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"Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face." -- Job 1:9 - 11
Once upon a time, university trained individuals believed that the relationship between the signifier (sound/letters/look of a sign) and the signified (concept/object of a sign) was not arbitrary. It is one of those "human" truths that words that rhyme share qualities, despite the randomness of speech, because, with or without education, human society seems to churn up a belief in the innate magic of words. A similarity of sound could denote a metaphysical sameness or relatedness, and we have all heard about the ancient practice of witchcraft that entailed little more than writing a name down. Either way, the coincidence of "job" and Job is more or less dormant, but it occurs to me that the Republicans have told the truth: they are Job creators.

Like Satan, they are certain that the only reason they're not winning is that there is some cheating going on. It starts with assuming that their view is "natural," that "the American people" is a phrase that is exactly synonymous with "I" -- a phenomenon John Boehner demonstrates weekly. (Will someone just count the times he has spoken that phrase into the Congressional Record?) The key to an assumption is that one is unaware of its existence. Whatever seems normal, natural, and "of course" is most in danger of being an assumption. Once a person, or a party, takes this assumption -- that the nation agrees with their position -- then delusions follow. A person begins believing his radio show has gultrillbions of listeners, that his Op/Ed hour on television is the most watched commercial in history, and that 2,000 attending a rally is greater than Martin Luther King ever drew.

It could be that narcissism is involved. I can't say. It could be a failure of ego differentiation. However, GOP speakers are now certain, and have been for some time, that Democrats only ever win when they have dead voters or organized negroes. There can be no other explanation, once the assumption of "normal," "everyone knows," "97% of Fox viewers agree" is in place. That's when polls must be biased for not biasing reality toward wishful thinking, when the people are "fooled" by the president because stupid, etc. (This sounds like Festinger's "cognitive dissonance" to me: having invested all they are in the myth of the right wing past, the right wing as "Americanism," any America that rejects conservativism cannot be real.)

Me, I think the GOP's overarching plan has been to create Jobs, and for decades.

When one generation has finished its service, completed its work, fought through its struggle, Job has accompanied it; when the new generation with its incalculable ranks, each individual in his place, stands ready to begin the pilgrimage, Job is there again, takes his place, which is the outpost of humanity. If the generation sees nothing but happy days in prosperous times, then Job faithfully accompanies it; but if the single individual experiences the terrors in thought, is anguished over the thought of what horror and distress life can have in store, over the thought that no one knows when the hour of despair may strike for him, then his troubled thought seeks out Job, rests in him, is calmed by him . . . as someone who witnesses that the horror has been suffered, the horror has been experienced, the battle of despair has been fought to the glory of God, for his own rescue, for the benefit and joy of others." -- Soren Kierkegaard, Eighteen Upbuilding Discourses.
(Sorry about that, but Kierkegaard is a lovely writer.)

Think back to 1980 and Ronald Reagan's various moves. They were 1) anti-labor, 2) anti-environmental, 3) incidentally free trade. As a result of his policies, we changed the way that we move goods from port to store. (The Motor Carrier Act of 1980 was a crippling blow to Teamsters and to rail transport.) Prior to Reagan's administration, your stores were likely to have goods from a mid-sized town, where they were wharehoused after coming from the port by rail. Afterward, goods went overland on tires to individual stores in "just in time" inventory schemes. Small towns suffered. Truckers suffered to some degree. The environment suffered massively. Just as Nixon's Earl Butts radically changed farm policy to turn wheat and corn into weapons for use against the Soviets and accidentally (?) created the accelerating holdings of large agribusiness concerns, so Reagan's hatred of unions would start the ball rolling on "merger mania," the revolving door of regulators to industry, and the rest.

Ronald Reagan, we know now, was deeply paranoid about Reds. Seth Rosenfeld documents how an hyper-reactionary fear pushed J. Edgar Hoover and Reagan together and made the one believe in secret fights against presumed secret agents (known by their disagreement with Reagan). (As above, "America is the way I say it is; if you disagree with me, then you must be something other than an American.")

H. Bush argued for the "thousand points of light" that would operate in exchange for federal power. He, unlike Reagan, was in favor of free capital primarily, or at least that appears to be the best explanation for his polity. Like Bill Clinton in his second term, H. Bush's priority was to create a world where capital could flow across oceans without restriction so as to flow in a secondary supply and demand cycle. Businesses that manufacture would demand labor and find a supply of labor, and businesses that needed clerical work would go to the supply, and it would change location whenever the supply or demand changed, with no hindrance of law or penalty of geography.

On the curb, E. 86th St., Manhattan, New York -- a discarded biohazard trash can.
Being thrown away on the curb on E. 86th St., 2002
This world, which I have called "post-capitalist," erases the physical consideration of human labor and the physical presence of the plant. It concretizes the Marxist metaphor of the laborer being a resource and quite literally looks upon humans as raw materials to be mined and used up in just the way that Bauxite is. To work, it must have a completely flat structure across the globe, where the U.S. costs the capital no more than Bangladesh does for transit.

W. Bush's policies were anarchic. There is no easy way to say what his philosophy was, because there were separate philosophies operating. The ugly quilt of neo-cons dominated foreign policy, and it carried with it a world view of crisis that demanded all other concerns bow before it. Dick Cheney could say, "Deficits don't really matter" in 2004, when "the deficit" had been his own holy mantra while in opposition, "because 9/11."

Neo-con philosophy cast a security state ideology over everything except capital. Capital went wilder than it had ever done before. It could finally drink the punch, because domestic maintenance was, essentially, "Loyalty is the new competence." W.'s officials were known for their online degrees and mail-order Ph.D.'s.

If we synthesize the views and the acts, we get one thing: the private citizen is not a politically meaningful unit. The individual citizen is not a consideration in this world. She is an integer at most and a percentage, but her rights are abstract.

Remember the challenge Satan threw down in Job? The Republican Party, when it speaks to itself, says that it is America, that it knows what America wants. It tells itself that Democrats only win office ever because they commit fraud and because voters are bribed.

Let's just take away that Welfare, and then we'll see if those people vote Democratic! Let's take away that Medicare and Medicaid. Obviously, the Democrats are bribing the poors and moochers with it. Let's get rid of unemployment insurance, because it costs businesses withholdings that they'd like to keep, and the unemployed are reading left wing news papers. . . like the ones that aren't the New York Post.

The motivation, other than the eschatological freak-out over 9/11 and the creepy devotion to capital's independence from humanity, has been spite and an effort to get voters to curse the Democratic Party. Jim DeMint said that the GOP senate had to vote "no" on everything, because the ACA would be enormously popular and would support Democrats. It's far, far better for tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, to go bankrupt than for them to have safety and vote for a Democrat.

Remember, as the Job-creators seek to strike again, that Job never lost perspective and would not admit to a sin he had not committed or blame God for his woes.

Originally posted to A Frayed Knot on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 04:32 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tipos and misstakes and awl (17+ / 0-)

    I figured I ought to milk the pun as much as I could and hope there was a conceit in there.

    If money is the root of all evil, then what is Mitt Romney?

    by The Geogre on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 04:32:02 PM PDT

    •  So, the crime that democrats should not (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Geogre

      admit to is being moochers and poors because it is not true. An interesting thesis that I can't quite get the core of. What you are saying is that the Republican administrations  post-Eisenhower (I assume you could put Nixon in the list?) are a corollary to Satan and that "the American People" are an ever growing "Job" who suffers more and more afflictions?

      Kierkegaard I haven't read but will get around to it now.

      •  The sin: We deserve to suffer (7+ / 0-)

        The primary sin that Job is asked to confess is that he had sinned in such a way as to deserve his hardships. If he had done that, then he would be accusing God of being arbitrary (of having Kafkaesque laws). If he did confess that, he would have sinned. However, he also cannot take the other step, which is also sin, and curse God.

        In my parable, we deserve health, safety, and privacy. These are our rights, and if we "confess" to what the GOP wants us to, we'll say that we are moochers and takers and that there are no rights to mutual duty. Further, we cannot blame government (as GOP radio listeners do) for our dissatisfactions and turn to whatever party shakes its fist.

        If money is the root of all evil, then what is Mitt Romney?

        by The Geogre on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 03:17:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I love this writing effort. You are seriously (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Geogre, northsylvania

    amazing.  My favorite writer without exception here,  I just don't know what else to say except that you are amazing.  More to follow.

    "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy

    by helpImdrowning on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 02:54:02 AM PDT

    •  (cough cough) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      helpImdrowning

      Wow.

      Oh no, now I have to not stink.

      Thank you. (wrenches collar)

      If money is the root of all evil, then what is Mitt Romney?

      by The Geogre on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 03:18:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know if Job is to blame for our woes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Geogre

        or not, somehow I believe not.  However, your writing about Democratic values is something I won't forget anytime soon.  You couldn't possibly stink, no matter how often you wrench your collar.  You provide much important information and intellectual value to a very limited informational feed.

        "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy

        by helpImdrowning on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 03:50:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  You are so talented, i wish I had some little (0+ / 0-)

    thing to add to your obviously exceptional take on what is happening politically today.  All I can say is thank you.  I so wish you well.

    "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy

    by helpImdrowning on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 03:21:44 AM PDT

  •  Name magic is alive and well today (4+ / 0-)
    ...the ancient practice of witchcraft that entailed little more than writing a name down.
    All you have to do is call someone "socialist" or  "terrorist", and they are irrevocably beyond redemtion. Calling someone/thing a bad name makes them evil. And it makes the climate  pink with purple polkadots.

    Don't let millionaires steal Social Security.
    I said, "Don't let millionaires steal Social Security!"

    by Leo in NJ on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 03:49:35 AM PDT

    •  Unfortunately, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Geogre

      when socialist is a code name for terrorist, with the same implications, we know that their mojo is working.

      "There's a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in". Leonard Cohen

      by northsylvania on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:02:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Embedding meanings (0+ / 0-)

      What's interesting is that the old magic of "socialist!" failed to work recently. The Millennials live in a shorter contextual moment than their grandparents did, and they've been told, all their political lives, to fear an amorphous enemy that has neither a home nation nor an ideology. Consequently, when the GOP cranked up "socialized medicine" in 2009, at least one poll found people saying, "Socialized medicine sounds good."

      When people do as Orwell said in "Politics and the English Language" and equate a political movement with just 'bad' or 'good' or 'free,' then they must constantly invest in maintenance, or the language will shift its emotive values. The GOP has had a really hard time in maintenance because it has had at least two heads pointing in different directions.

      One head of Cerebus is responsible for "unborn" now being in the vocabulary, when it is lexically impossible. The other wants "labor cost" to be a neutral concept, a "fact."

      If money is the root of all evil, then what is Mitt Romney?

      by The Geogre on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 04:50:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The funny thing is that in Acts 2:44 (you know-- (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Geogre, Calamity Jean, Leo in NJ

      the Bible, which Righties claim that they, and they alone, follow), everyone shared with everyone else. Why, that's...that's...that's SOCIALISM!!!!

      •  Luke 18:22 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean
        And when Jesus heard it, he said unto him, One thing thou lackest yet: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
        At my school, I'm now encouraged to put a "favorite Bible verse" in my e-mail signature. I have been tempted to use James 3:1.

        Jesus did not own things. For the entrance into Jerusalem, He told his disciples to take a donkey.

        Jesus told His followers that they were to never ask for loans to be repaid, and certainly not to charge interest.

        The lunatic right has now taken it upon itself to say, "If Jesus were here today he'd say" and other bits of overt hubris.

        If money is the root of all evil, then what is Mitt Romney?

        by The Geogre on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 10:47:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting parallel (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Geogre

    But I invite you to recall that God made a deal with Satan (and why on Earth (or above or below it) would He do that?) to torment Job. Just as the Democrats are continually making deal after deal with the Republicans (Clinton's 'ending welfare as we know it?' Our current administration's urgent desire for a 'grand bargain'? And so forth?) to torment us.

    And eventually, if things continue on as they seem to be, as Obama has repeatedly said that he wants them to be, we will all be shouting to the heavens, 'Eloi! Eloi! lama sabachthani?' Because I don't know about you, but I don't have the patience of Job.

    •  Seeing the Fnords? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dfarrah, FourthOfJulyAsburyPark

      The "adversary" in a trial got to try the man. Our architecture of Satan came later.

      You are right about Democrats making bargains, and I haven't the first explanation or expiation of it. In fact, I would not want to find them. I could not vote for Clinton 2 because of his transformation into Capital Man. Had Bane Romneylan not come to be such a garish cartoon figure, I would have abstained this time, simply because of the erosions of first and fourth amendment rights, the growth of the executive, and the tepid approach to the underlying capital diversion of America.

      That said, I don't think it's a party doing this. I see Congress members in both chambers remaining true to the people. Almost all of them are Democrats. However, without media divestment the real public call for driving money out can never be heard or known, and without money being driven out the top party officials will make deals with Pluto/Hel/Satan, and we will get amelioration rather than cures.

      If money is the root of all evil, then what is Mitt Romney?

      by The Geogre on Thu Oct 04, 2012 at 02:07:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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