Monday, August 25, 2008

It Ain't Pretty

Here we are on the first day of the Democratic National Convention where we Democrats will anoint Barack Hussein Obama as our candidate for President. It’s as good a day as any and maybe even better than most to remind ourselves of one very fundamental thing. America is now a totalitarian state and the elections are an illusion.

If you don’t believe me try looking around you and really seeing what the American dream has become. Look beyond the “shiny” stuff, the glitzy cars and Iphones. Look beyond the fundamentally meaningless commercial "circle-jerk". Look beyond all the energy and lives being wasted and dedicated to making the almighty profit and producing nothing of lasting value. Look beyond every shelf in your grocery store and the chemical and poison laden bottles and boxes there that our corporate owners tell us is our food. Look beyond the millions and millions of pounds of landfill that we import daily from across the globe. Ask yourself which God we truly honor in this country and you will see that is the economy. Not the economy defined as a successful and happy people. Not the economy defined as a healthy people. Not the economy defined as a people with a secure future but the economy defined by our corporate masters as one of profit and growth at all costs. Pause and ask yourself why it is necessary for our corporate owned state to increasingly police us and spy on us. Ask yourself why it is necessary for Americans to represent 25 percent of the world’s prison population while we only represent 6 percent of the earth’s population.

As I said above and how I truly wish it were not so, the elections are an illusion. The corporate trusts and the government which they own dearly love elections. Elections give us all the illusion that we have a choice. Elections make “We the People” think we actually have some say in how we live and what our future holds. Elections give the rubes an illusion of control over their lives. Elections keep us deflected for a while and away from actually looking at the sorry state we are in. Look at the reality and know that if elections truly mattered and we really had some choice how things would be. We would have a fair comprehensive national health care plan. We would not be spending huge sums on a military larger than the rest of the worlds combined. We surely wouldn’t be at war. We would surely have healthy and wholesome food for ourselves and our children. We would surely be looking at a positive future for our children instead of one dying in our own poisons. The hard reality is that America is already a second class nation, no health care, no real guarantee of a future any different than a continuing and increasingly difficult struggle with one another for a decent job and/or enough money so as not to starve and keep some semblance of roof over our heads. Except for a very small percentage of wealthy Americans there is no future of comfort, freedom or security.

And so here we are and with our illusion of the big "debate" between Obama and McCain. More simply it is really an emotional drama of "good guy" versus "bad guy" hidden in a plethora of fundamentally non-issues like taxes, half-assed healthcare, whether we should stop the insanity of war, whether we should stop poisoning ourselves and on and on. The real issues are global and ecological and not local to our own little part of the universe. However the capitalists who sponsor both the candidates don’t want the discussion to deal with the truth. Having an open debate about the disappearance of our fundamental resources or the fact that our extravagantly wasteful American lifestyle must dramatically change if we are to survive will hurt profits. Goddess forbid that the notion of an inexhaustible world of resources and constant "economic growth" is ever challenged by the reality of survival of the species.

So yeah, I will cast my vote for Obama and Biden. But as I do so I will do so with the knowledge that in the current state of affairs and in spite of Obama’s best efforts or intentions that, sooner or later, the American and maybe even the world economy will collapse completely. I’m going with Obama because I think he is less likely to attack some other nation just for the hell of it and on the whole I think he is the smarter of the two. I am, however, not fooled into believing that there are two or more political parties from which to choose. There is only one party and that is the party of big business just wearing multiple masks. Look behind the masks and you will find big agriculture, big chemical, big coal, big oil, big defense, big finance or big something else.

For lack of a better way of saying it, We Americans are in for a “Come to Jesus Moment”. We are on the brink, be it years or decades, from serious social and financial collapse. The millions of homes currently in foreclosure are a symptom. The soaring national debt is a symptom. The millions of Americans without health care is a symptom. The lack of available nutritious food is a symptom. The increasing demand for more oil and cheaper oil is a symptom and there are hundreds more. The fact that millions of us are actually paying more for water than gasoline is a symptom. Most Americans cannot believe that this can happen and a terrible level of disaster will be required before most will come to the realization that something is deeply wrong with their nation and in many ways the world as it is. We are probably a decade or more away from this collapse but it will happen. There is no way the current level of growth and resource depletion can continue. Don’t expect any of the candidates to seriously address these issues in the coming months because to do so is political suicide. All we can do is vote and hope and continue to push for meaningful change in our own individual ways.

Don’t forget to vote!

Update: I should really mention that some of this is or has been triggered by recent posts by Joe Bageant heterodyned with Michael Pollan and others.

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