Awareness is growing that despite civic mythology taught and learned in middle or graduate school , this system does not work for the benefit of everyone. But rather than leading to calls for sweeping reform, the lack of any organized political voice for radical reformation is leading to an epidemic of HBLT syndrome. This Heavy Breathing Light Thinking attack finds concerned, anxious and often delirious sources scaring people out of their wits with biased, perverse and misinformed layers of supposed information. And regardless of the perspective of the consciousness drinking from whatever polluted fountain of gossip, innuendo and fantasy, evidence reveals that destruction and damnation are near and if we don’t do something soon we’re doomed. Sadly, the conclusion may be correct but most of the reasons cited to reach it range from honestly mistaken to dishonestly manipulative to stark ravingly insane.
A devoutly Christian servant of capitalism and Israel, sent to the White House with nearly fifteen million dollars of Wall Street financing and near total American Jewish support is seen as a Muslim, a socialist, and an anti-Semite by those who find government the work of Satan and logic the enemy of reason. Meanwhile, others who smugly believe themselves better informed and sophisticated see protest against the uncontrolled and often illegal immigration of people thrown out of their countries by capital – because they have become unprofitably expensive life, and imported here by capital – where they have become profitably inexpensive cheap labor, as evidence of racism, fascism and anything but understandable reaction when the enormous and unequally borne social cost of such immigration is considered.
With millions in the former third world electing governments to transform the system that is destroying the planet, the relatively affluent and supposedly enlightened masses of the USA remain generally unquestioning of that system while being reduced to identity group mobs claiming to represent democracy by showing total disrespect for their fellow citizens.
What is called bipartisan politics at the top involves government – on the payroll of corporate capital and foreign interest – doing the bidding of minority money and working against majority well being. Meanwhile supposed democracy for the rest of us creates social divisions among people with far more in common than they are led to believe, forcing them into phony special interest ghettos that guarantee divisive helplessness made to order for the ruling power to continue leading us to the ruin everyone correctly fears.
Our expenditures for the mass murder of war increase almost exponentially but we are moved to fear social spending as the cause of our financial chaos. While the Pentagon nearly bursts at the seams with taxpayer dollars we are warned that social security will bankrupt the nation if we don’t reduce even more of our people to poverty. Millions suffering unemployment are often treated as malingerers while we are rallied to support the rights of capital to export good jobs and import cheap labor. We are led to see foreign aggressors as suffering victims in need of more American aid and protectors of finance capital as communists and socialists. We elect a president who supposedly represents change and the endless war in Afghanistan not only continues but grows more deadly while the threat of terror supposedly being suppressed actually increases both at home and abroad. And freedoms previously thought inviolable shrink under the alleged terror menace that would not exist without a foreign policy based on racial supremacy and imperial domination. No wonder there is so much hyper ventilating and so little reasoning. But despite our sometimes irrational behavior we may not be as helpless a mass of thoughtless consumers as our consciousness controllers wish us to be.
Those who see government working against the common interests are correct, but when they repeat romantic myth about returning it to the people they are wrong. This instrument of corporate and imperial management never did belong to the people, dating from its origins under the rich owners of land taken from the indigenous inhabitants and continuing to the present financial monstrosity of war and social division. We need a democratic revolution in order to remake government and for the first time in our history create an expression of the will of the people, rather than what it has always been been and still is ; a servant of the wealthy controllers and owners of this nation.
Government serves to maintain the political economic system in its primary function; to produce, distribute, buy or sell everything that sustains or destroys life and in the process create a private profit on one side of the ledger which always causes a social loss on the other. The national dilemma over immigration, both legal and illegal, is a clear case in point.
The upper class owners of the plants, mills and farms that employ immigrants reap wild profits from the massive influx of cheap labor desperate for survival. When the immigration is illegal and thereby more desperate, the exploitation and profit grow accordingly. The upper middle class also profits by having a pool of cheap help to clean and repair its homes, tend to its children and gardens and generally provide a reliable workforce that lives, shops, schools and gets health care in other communities outside its own. But the social cost of the influx of hundreds of thousands of victims of the international market are borne by those who clean their own houses, tend their own children, and gardens if they have any, and are not even close to owning anything beyond their own homes and even that has become more problematic. A clear economic demarcation in who profits from this policy and who loses should be apparent to any population with a sense of itself as people of different economic classes and not merely identity group separations. But in this culture a serious social problem for all becomes a divisive battle between supposed liberal and conservative identity groupings, with vicious disrespect and sometimes incredible ignorance shown by either side while a minority class at the top laughs all the way to the bank, which it keeps filling with money from both battling groups while refusing to loan any of it to either one unless they pay exorbitant rates to borrow their own funds.
Government works to keep equilibrium in the system by trying to avoid total breakdown due to internal contradictions which could cause so much loss that revolution or dissolution would result. But we have reached a point at which it has become more difficult than ever to keep profit accumulating for a minority without causing ever greater loss for the majority and leading to the present sense of impending chaos. Many of the scare stories circulating originate from sources trying desperately to distract from any criticism of the system, but most are reactions from people genuinely concerned but totally confused. Whether consciously doing so or not, all are engaged in an effort to sustain what is falling apart.
Private bankers juggle books to save a finance system by making debtors out of those who once saved, an oil drilling disaster threatens far more than one company’s profit margin and congress aligns with the executive in further demonizing Iran and threatening more war to please Israel and keep the pentagon complex floating in dollars and death. Celebrity scandals, sports gossip and conspiracy theories may distract some but most have good reason to be concerned about all these social problems and more. But we can’t gain control of our public space by sputtering rage at individual villains and their alleged plots, sinking into identity group separatism or going into private therapy.
Corporate capital owns what is supposed to be our government and those who see that fact are growing righteously angry. But when they liken it to socialism they are as far removed from material reality as those who see every problem in America resulting simply from:
(only pick one ) uncontrolled immigration, Tea Party mobilizations, 911 conspirators, greedy executives, lazy workers, overweight people, welfare chiselers, major media, the internet, Satan, anti-Semitism, pornography or health food. Emotional and irrational responses are to be expected when no organized political outlet exists for most people in the face of a rapidly changing environment which is making life more difficult for almost all while they’re being told that everything is getting better and soon will be just fine.
We live in a world of incredible private wealth and more incredible social poverty and are expected to believe that a relative handful of billionaires work their fingers to the bone while hundreds of millions of workers, the unemployed and the poor are all shiftless louts. Wealth and poverty are glaringly obvious and inequality can be seen and understood without a doctoral degree, but economic classes only seem to exist for a right wing which warns about a class war of the toiling majority against the minority of idle rich, while what passes for a left protects great wealth by supporting forms of trickle down economics that scatter bread crumbs and sprinkle water on millions suffering desperate hunger and critical drought.
Capitalism and its resulting environmental degradation and climate change are seen as deadly threats by representatives of the global majority who met at Cochabamba to begin planning to save mother earth while here at the center of the threat we are told climate change is a scam, the environment only needs more private investors and capitalism is wonderful if only we could all be capitalists. Of course, and plastic foods are much better than organic meals, children need candy and cell phones more than healthy diets and education, and people who feel persecuted need to form small groups with others who feel persecuted and begin persecuting other people who are blamed for their feelings of persecution, so long as those other people are members of their own class and not those high above them in the stratified structure of supposed equality that we call “ours”.
No wonder we are easy to shape into believers in outside enemies, inside conspiracies, incredible plots and supernatural disorders. Capitalism is not mysterious, occult or a secret cabal. It exists because most of us don’t understand what it is and what it is doing to us and our world. We need to stop gasping, take several deep breaths and begin to think about who actually owns this country and how they got it and maintain their power over most of us with the system that serves their wealth and works against our need and desire for democracy and humanity. This system is slowly disintegrating over our heads and under our feet; it will only speed in its dissolution if we don’t stop reacting to the most simplistic and emotional arguments for what seems to be wrong. We need a program of regular, thoughtful breathing that enables us to inhale personal reality and exhale social change.
Organizations exist and new ones are forming, both here and abroad, to transform material reality before it destroys us, and though none here are yet explicitly political parties, all are working for democracy whether they are calling for votes in an election or votes to support their organizing. We would do well to consider such organizations formed around the most special interest group: humanity, and not one or another identified sector chosen or ghettoized to think itself special, different or somehow more or less deserving of decency and comfort. All of us or none of us? That seems more apparent than ever before. At least to some of us, and we’d better transmit that message to others as relatively powerless as we have been, and stop treating them all as though they were our rulers.