No doubt about it; there are no answers, only responses, and the Tuesday, November 3, 2020 elections will probably deliver yet another fake litmus test for shysters who find ever more ways of using taxpayer’s money and labour as a source of capital.
Intensive solvency concerns about the performance of large US-based and European Financial Institutions have not gone away and continue to steer the global financial system toward systemic shrinkage. The response to the 2008 financial crisis was incapsulated in Obama’s ability to use syrupy sweet words to conflate hope and imprecation for the purpose of projecting Chicago School economics into the heartland of corporate enterprise…a pas de delux revealing how public interest and deep-state economics successfully…neo-conservative economics that is…manage to survive together in spite of the fact that private interests continue to engorge themselves on the wealth of the nation while emasculating the spirit of the American charter.
And as non sequitur, the inscription on the Statute of Liberty could equally be read as hyperbole in the hands of recruitment agencies seeking a labour force;
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me…” But wait, who is the ‘me’ here?
As the wheels of the industrial revolution turned, an opportunity opened up for the wretched of the earth to decamp from the miserable conditions they experienced under an old-world peonage system. “The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,” the millions caught in the maw of fiefdoms controlled by robber barons, despots, monarchs and every other one-percenter extracting whatever they could from their lowly brothers and sisters. Forever acting in deference to the principles of capitalist exploitation, they imposed the yoke of serfdom on their fellow beings for profit, whenever and wherever the possibility arose. The history of the American experience would be more of the same for a vast number of them.
Accompanying the parcelling-out of land in the newly ‘acquired’ Americas was the sound of the banker’s quill scratching the ledger as old European money etched its tentacles of ownership into a legal framework that would sanctify private property as reality de jure. The people would be allowed to dream the American dream, but the bankers would craft it in their own image.
Not aware that all systems are inevitable gamed…as rules of the game are kept in place to suit the people who gain most from them…the mesmerised multitudes seeking salvation in a continent that already possessed a multitude of people…albeit un-Christian…commenced their journey into to the heart of the capitalist ‘me’. The ‘me’ that needed them for extermination purposes and the clearance of vast tracts of indigenous land in order to access a state of colonial munificence. The original racist blueprint, nurtured within Western Colonialism’s sub-consciousness, set about replicating white supremacy and exploitive capitalism in the so-called new world in ways that presented (or misrepresented) their ability to exploit commercial opportunities in ways that inflated the idea of their own character and culture per se.
Being involved in the exploitive colonial experience, European man soon interpreted his own whiteness as something superior and promptly consigned people of colour to a lower caste. Nothing could have been farther from the truth. It was merely the awakening of the greed-is-good factor and discovering its predatory maw.
The industrial revolution produced the British Empire per means of colonisation, as did the American one. Extracting profit from labour became the denouement that would keep the labour market in bondage to a Tory psycho-social-babble-narrative that was more stick than carrot. The name of the game was to keep the vast majority of the people subjected to the will and wiles of the people who gamed the system…rules were rules because they served the interests of a governing class who needed to keep the majority of the people in a box, and the box was the status quo…or an arrangement of things that would benefit the psycho-social-babble-narrative that required fake media to deliver its delusional message of exceptionality.
And so, over time, fake became more potent than essential truths. Nobody could tell anymore who or what was real or if there were any leaders in possession of a moral compasses anymore. As business-as-usual became the mantra, the marketplace became the Holy Grail and more of the same meant more money and more power. Pretty soon many people lost their capacity to distinguish jackasses from people who could speak truth to power… the jackasses had become the majority.
With the arrival of this topsy-turvy world, movers and shakers of the moolah kind competed to satisfy the needs of a class of ‘wanters’ who wanted everything now…mainly goodies galore from a system that had consigned them to the consumerist box.
In time, capitalism in America would succeed in rendering the American dream comatose. Consumption of fake culture began to take its toll as weak-minded ‘exceptionalism’ fomented political unrest within the national psyche. American culture, in all its multiple forms, had reached its limit and the world was no longer impressed. Within a ‘box’ of tech escapism , greatness was talked up by charlatans tweeting vindictive verbiage 24/7 to a public that had long ago lost its political mojo…imagination…by not being able to imagine that there was any alternative to the ‘box’ that they were imprisoned in.
Like groundhogs, they would periodically emerge from their burrows to vote in a new president. November 3rd was such an occasion. This occasion was one where they could vote-in the expeditor of their choice, and like groundhogs using augury as barometer, sniff out the potential of their man or woman for their ability to keep America a buoyant and aggressive corporate force with a trickle down wealth effect to placate the needs of the masses.
American elections are not about real change; they are only about touting an American form of exceptionalism that nurtures the expansion of corporate power. It revolves around receiving copious amounts of taxpayer’s money to support the activities of The Pentagon and multiple intelligence agencies operating alongside America’s industrial and technical power base in order to deploy their skills in ways that ensure that the emerging economies…such as China’s state capitalist enterprise, itself a expeditor operating an inclusive economy that could give new meaning to social development.
America’s self-justifying foreign policy is about demonising those who pose a challenge to the pre-eminence of this narrative. For the past eight decades this narrative has wed those who shamelessly ‘want’ to exploit power (presidents and parliaments alike) for their own purposes and those who ‘want’ to abjectly go along for the ride.
So, it’s the voice of self-justification that has succeeded in focusing the American public on its own navel. The groundhogs who will emerge from their burrows on that designated day in November will not question why their masters believe that all those who oppose America’s desire to dominate the globe with their military might should be sanctioned out of existence or bombed back to the stone-age.
This is the genesis of a modern tragedy. The American people go to elections without being aware of what they have done in the world at large. Americans may attend their voting booths, but they and their candidates might as well stay at home, because they have become as groundhogs evermore emerging from their bunkers to sniff for signs of a spring that is losing its vibrancy.
But perhaps it’s time to extend the analogy to include the lemming. A small short-tailed furry-footed rodent that is regarded as the locust of mammals and will strip its habitat bare. This little creature tends to strip its environment of sustainable balances in its pursuit of craven objectives. Sadly, the American population and its go-it-alone policies have assumed metaphoric status… a derailed train rushing across a multilateral landscape toward cliff’s edge…simply because it has lost its ability to see itself for what it has become. Is it time to replace the Eagle mascot with the image of a lemming?
That it fails to see that the source of its craven behaviour is within its own obviously corrupt system suggests that its preoccupation with ‘particularisms’ is, by extension, a secondary problem arising from a myopia that is self-imprisoning.
The Founding Fathers ( the ancestors) of the groundhog-cum-lemming stakeholders were so totally committed to the ownership of assets…human and otherwise, that justice was left to blow in the winds of bloviators extolling Holy Writ in ways suggesting that the peon should be grateful for his lot and get-on-with-it. The foundation stones of orthodox capitalism supporting fake justice and social exclusion were set in place by the Founding Fathers and would thereafter remain embalmed in self-justification. The peons would remain captives to a system that excluded them from the narrative that gamed the system. In time, this narrative which was borne on the back of pragmatic opportunism would ultimately reach its breaking point in the 20th & 21st century.
The great-new-world developed a penchant for ‘greatness’. It had in its possession unbelievable resources. Opportunities existed in abundance and a self-righteous culture spread outward across the vast plains while simultaneously taking possession of the national psyche. The folk came to believe that they were God’s gift to history and adopted a vision of themselves as the dominant people. They accepted force as their modus operandi. They made a supreme effort to replace the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker with the banker, the media mogul, the lawyer and the fighter-pilot. Modernity need not be constrained by reason or civilising trope…progress was in the eye of the dealer and might became right. The American public would be indoctrinated into believing that it was o.k. to possess a mighty military and navy that could go forth and shit on the world by way of bombing millions of defenceless people…brown or yellow of course. They became proud of the fact that they had developed a technology that could threaten all and sundry…and their airpower confirmed that they could reach them and destroy them with merciless abandon.
So, what did it do to the American psyche? How is it possible for the people of America to not be aware that their myopic view of the world exists because they are boxed-in by their own ignorance. At the mercy of American media and tweet-street culture as it continues to release an unending stream of vitriolic admonishments imputing that some particular quarter of the system is more craven in its behaviour than another…a futile pot- calling-the-kettle-black exercise designed to shift the blame elsewhere. But alas, as the corruption is endemic, there is no othe SELF JUSTIFYING AMERICA IS PREPARING FOR ANOTHER GROUNDHOG DAY PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONr particular quarter to shift the blame to.
It now seems that a significant number of Americans would not recognise craven behaviour if it bit them on the nose…more pity to those enlightened Americans caught-up in this dealer’s web of lies and more power to their elbows.
As contempt and vitriolic vapours continue to waft out of the political swamp, ever more puke will emerge to coalesce and pollute the air in ways that suck the oxygen out of the air feeding the lungs of the body politic. The movers and shakers will continue to corrode the body politic as the people’s lack the ‘bottle’ in confronting the problem of systemic corruption remain dormant. Meanwhile, President Trump and his followers will be pursued as an exceptionally corrupt clique by an equally corrupt clique such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and MSNBC who conceal their own involvement in pernicious propaganda. What these two sides of the same coin have in common is a loathing for new concepts and the fear that social pressures might rise up and set about ushering in programs that would challenge their privileges and give them the short shrift to boot.
Furthermore, expect the Trump witch-hunt to gain ever more momentum in spite of the fact that his predecessors were no better than he. Trump is merely another American president expeditiously running a bully pulpit, which includes a penchant for stamping on orthodoxies…an exercise in rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic, comes to mind. Strangely, the American public is proud of their amoral presidents and celebrities…think Truman, Nixon, both Clintons, George W. Bush, Henry Kissinger, Dick Cheney, Obama and others too numerous to mention and you realise that all these people had the same thing in common…an inability to live in conformity with their conscience. Ontological America had become blasé. It was o.k. to accept the fact that their leaders valued power more than conscientious deliberation.
American media (and its message) repeatedly ran half-baked delusional tropes that endlessly and selectively engaged the public in the subject of good versus evil. The idea was to project the image of American culture as a panacea for the ills of the world. Self-justification became its home-grown mantra. Throughout the 20th century it would repeat ad nauseam portrayals of itself as saviour on the big silver screens across the movieland world…that new country of distraction where propaganda reigned supreme… and with Hollywood tropes pushing the America first agenda to persuade the rest of the world that the American way of doing business could be the only feasible way of achieving progress, their endgame could be realised. The idea of making business the business of America would in time translate into making America an Empire held together by ever more propaganda to counter the fake self-justification factor.
The plan was to show that Americans could fix everything because they were a can-do people and anybody who thought otherwise had to be ‘fixed’ and the fixers didn’t need the ability to live conscionable lives to qualify as presidential candidates. Over time, the fixers became the can-do dealers in regime change and the people kept voting in presidents who promised to keep them market dominant. And the people named in the previous paragraph were chosen as laureates, not because of their enlightened views…they were not required to have them…but their business acumen and ability to fake niceties in the service of corporate expediency were seen as prerequisites for producing more of the same.
And recently, Hillary Clinton postulated the idea of regime change, declaring Trump to be an “illegitimate president.” She could not accept the fact that her clique was denied foreordination. Shakespeare believed that all the world was a stage. If he were alive today, he might say that media has become a staging mechanism wherein human perversions chase wanton dreams to waste their mojo in the quest for liberal phantoms that might fill the vacuum their ‘wanting’ moments need to fill.
Count on it, the next electoral season in the land of groundhogs and lemmings will tip the clueless political dialogue toward the cliff edge. Truly, American style democracy is nothing more than packaged freedom and fake liberalism. That’s what corporate capitalism does best, impose fake legitimacy on its own manufactured version of the American Dream.
Denis A. Conroy,
Freelance Writer