(crossposted from My Left Wing)
The center cannot hold
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
from The Second Coming by William Butler Yeats
In a capitalist society such as ours there is a dynamic tension between the general welfare and the earnings/holdings of the top 1 or 2 percent. Now if you are in the top 2 percent of people in the US in terms of wealth, you are rolling in some serious moola. What makes a person with that kind of do-re-mi want to squeeze even more out of the lower classes? It can only be greed.
(more below the fold...)
excessive or rapacious desire, esp. for wealth or possessions.
It is often argued by rightwingers that greed is the fuel upon which our ‘freemarket’ capitalist system runs, and there is a lot of truth in that. It occurs to me however, that to be meritorious a capitalist system should restrain greed and run instead on self-interest. What’s the difference? Self-interest is neither excessive nor rapacious.
It’s not my intent to argue the relative merits of the various forms of government, only to point out that any of them, when abused, become ugly. And our form of government has been massively abused of late – and all because our super rich are burning for even greater wealth. Their boundless greed blinds them to the plight of the masses.
So what if the ranks of the homeless are growing, real wages are in decline, millions of jobs are being exported, people can’t afford a quality education, veterans’ programs are being ruthlessly slashed, social security and Medicare are under constant attack, our national infrastructure is crumbling, and fifty million Americans are without any form of health insurance? Daddy needs a bigger fucking yacht.
Our system runs on competition any wingnut will tell you, and in any competition you have winners and losers. The problem with that analogy is that life is not a football game and the ‘losers’ need and should be able to expect something more from the ‘winners’ than a bunch of obnoxious victory dancing in the end zone.
There are natural limits to how hard the masses can be squeezed by the ruling class. When those limits are exceeded bad things happen.
Many have pointed out that when enough of the middleclass has been squeezed down into the lower class, that there aren’t going to be enough consumers left to keep our consumer-based society afloat. This can’t be lost on the ruling classes. They didn’t get where they are by being stupid. But they have obviously decided that it doesn’t matter. Screw the long-term well being of the nation, it’s time to take the money and run.
They call it ‘globalization’, but it amounts to highway robbery.
Apparently those in the ruling class have decided to wring the last wealth out of the American masses and then flee to lives of luxury elsewhere in the world so that they won’t be there when the angry mobs show up with pitchforks and torches.
They are aided and abetted by the only ones who can stop them – the Congress. The good people we elect to congress tend not to last very long. Far too often they end up either hightailing it out of there or being corrupted and becoming just another sold out member of the cesspool. The whiff of Big Money seems to melt any and all opposition.
The American people are being sold down the river left and right, and there aren’t nearly enough people screaming about it. I guess that might seem ‘shrill’.
While so many of us are anesthetized and mesmerized by sports mania, mindless entertainment, slick propaganda, and the ever seductive lure of trivial pursuits, our pockets are being picked, our bank accounts cleaned out, the Treasury looted and our futures stolen.
Like many of us, I have high hopes for the 110th Congress. Will they take the bull by the horns and begin the cleanup work that is so desperately needed? Will they reinstate the oversight function of Congress? Will they begin the serious investigations that are called for? Will they serve the people well?
I’m taking a wait and see attitude. I’m cynical but I am keeping hope alive. I dearly hope they’ll do their duty.
If they don’t reverse the course this country is on, we’re headed for some very difficult times. People have a hard time conceiving of civil war breaking out in this country, but at some point it will. People can only take so much oppression and mistreatment before they explode. If we weren’t so lulled by television and propaganda, we might already have reached that point.
We cannot bear much more hemorrhaging of jobs, lowering of wages, and tilting of the scales of justice. At some point it’s all going to go POW!
Many will scoff, and who knows, maybe we are too lazy, anesthetized, misinformed, etc. to ever actually take to the streets. But don’t think I’m the only one who has been tuning up his pitchfork.
Come the revolution, I would like to recommend that we use the Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations to hunt down the pillagers and repatriate their stolen fortunes to the US Treasury. I think we need to send a warning shot across the bow of the capitalist pirates and serve notice on them that we will hunt them down with the same fervor as the Nazi hunters – we will find you no matter how long it takes.
Don’t get too comfy there in Paraguay George. :-)