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POLITICAL ECONOMY
Commentary: Wall Street Caligula
by Arnaud De Borchgrave
Washington (UPI) Dec 31, 2013


disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

It is a brilliant movie and manna from heaven for the United States' enemies and assorted detractors round the globe.

Never mind that "The Wolf On Wall Street" is based on the story of Jordan Belfort, who built a gigantic scam in the late 1990s to dupe investors into buying worthless penny stocks, Wall Street will still be seen and portrayed as the depraved citadel of capitalism where the rich get richer and the poor poorer.

It's not the usual 90 minutes but three riveting hours of financial crime, money grubbing and sexual debauchery (public fornication and male masturbation when hookers aren't immediately at hand) that relegate "La Dolce Vita" and Roman orgy movies to family entertainment.

One reviewer (Matt Zoller Seitz) writes: "It's the world we live in. Men like Belfort represent us even as they're robbing us blind. They're America, and on some level we must be OK with them representing, otherwise would have seen reforms in the late '80s or '90s or '00s that made it harder for men like Belfort to amass a fortune, or at least quickly detected and harshly punished their sins."

After a mere two years in jail, Belfort now makes a living as a motivational speaker; his only regret seems to be getting caught. Following "Wolf" his speaking fees are bound to hit the high end of five figures.

The Cold War's Soviet propagandists in charge of portraying the United States as the fount of all evil never came close to depicting Wall Street as life on the lower circles of Dante's "Inferno." But Wall Street's "Wolf" does just that, dragging hundreds of fawning employees down to Dante's hell hole.

"The Wolf on Wall Street" is brilliantly directed by film legend Martin Scorsese whose star Leonardo DiCaprio delivers the most spectacular performance of a spectacular career.

That it should be released for the Christmas/New Year break ensured maximum attendance for the antithesis of family entertainment. It is bound to give fresh extremist energy to Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood fanatics and to al-Qaida's religious terrorists.

Sayyid Qutb was the second most influential early leader of the Muslim Brotherhood after Hassan Al-Banna, who had memorized the entire Koran at 14 and was assassinated at 43 in 1949.

That same year, Qutb, studying at Colorado State Teachers College in Greeley, Colo., developed a hatred for what he described as "materialistic greed, moral and spiritual degeneracy" of all things American.

Qutb was particularly disgusted by male and female students dancing cheek-to-cheek.

After three years in the United States, Qutb concluded democracy was materialistic greed and spiritual degeneracy -- "barbarian," he wrote.

His book, "The America I Have Seen," rejected democracy, nationalism and secularism.

"Every young man took the hand of a young woman," he said, "and these were the same youngsters who had just been singing hymns. Red and blue lights. With only a few white lamps, illuminated the dance floor. The room became a confusion of feet and legs; arms twisted around hips; lips met lips; chests pressed together."

Qutb became head of the Muslim Brotherhood's propaganda wing in 1952. His second book, "Islam and the Problem of Civilization," pronounced a sentence of death on the "synthetic (Western) civilization."

Today's Muslim Brotherhood fanatics aren't democrats. "One-man-one-vote-one-time" is their idea of obtaining and then keeping dictatorial religious power. They want absolute power to purge Islam of Western civilization.

Wall Street's "Wolf" can only reinforce the take-no-prisoners violence.

Qutb was in prison as a suspect in the plot to assassinate Gamal Abdel Nasser, which triggered outlawing the Muslim Brotherhood. After the third plot to kill him, Nasser ordered the hanging of three Brotherhood leaders, including Qutb.

For Islam, Qutb died a martyr.

The tribal practices of Wall Street's stock fraud gazillionaires merely reinforce the widespread view -- e.g., the new left-wing mayor of New York -- that the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer.

The much ballyhooed ace investors are in reality lowlife hooked on drugs. This will immediately play into the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood and swell the ranks of the United States' detractors the world over. It's not rocket science.

Wall Street's "Wolf" is still fascinating after the three hours it takes to see it. Anti-U.S. propagandists, a global tribe of disappointed former communists and socialists frustrated by democratic capitalism, will have a field day.

Most viewers around the world will assume this is present-day America, Hardly a day goes by without the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times publishing yet another example of "Street" greed.

Last November, JP Morgan Chase was fined $13 billion (half the bank's annual income) that had been acquired illegally by the sale of palpably shoddy mortgage securities despite a sea of red flags.

It was the largest penalty a single financial institution has ever paid.

For the general public, there isn't much difference between fraudulent mortgages and fraudulent penny stocks.

For DiCaprio, the stunningly brilliant star of "The Wolf of Wall Street," the 3-hour saga is similar to the story of the Roman Emperor Caligula. In just 4 years, from AD 37-41, he bankrupted the empire on lavish sexual orgies.

Caligula had a touch of class.

.


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