Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Developing Tragedy

Eighty-four years ago today the Stock Market crashed…and I was born. I’m not sure it crashed just before I was born or just after I was born. What I do know is that the connection between the two events is totally irrelevant. Similarly, when I was born the market was at its all-time low, today it is at an all-time high, but again, that is completely irrelevant. I suspect that much of what seems to concern us at the moment, unemployment, abortion, Obamacare, immigration, spying, the coming elections, Benghazi, the budget, and so on, although they would appear to be of great importance, are basically irrelevant  to the two linked unfolding human tragedies that are about to occur.

The first of these is global warming that will, if no immediate actions are taken, result in a human tragedy of monumental proportions. Taking such actions are, unfortunately, intimately linked to the second tragedy, slowly developing as we fritter away our time dealing with the myriad “problems” that are, by design in most cases, distracting us from the worst tragedy of all that is about to overtake us…Corporate Fascism.

Mussolini wrote on fascism when conditions were much simpler than they are at the present time. His view sees the development of fascism as a merger of two distinct and strong “powers,” the power of the state and the power of corporations. I think he was unaware of the possibility that the power of the state (nation) could actually be usurped by international corporations with unlimited resources, corporations that did not exist with so much power during Mussolini’s time. But this is what seems to be happening now as we argue needlessly about abortion, Benghazi, Hillary, and which Republican nitwit will front the Republican Party, none of which will ultimately matter in a world controlled by a few massive corporations and billionaires (not unrelated interests).

It seems to me the evidence for this takeover is clear. We bemoan, for example, the relative demise of the U.S., losing our power over others and falling behind in most vital respects, with rampant unemployment, inefficient medical care, failing schools, loss of manufacturing , and etc., etc. Why, in the “most powerful nation on earth,” should this be happening? I submit it is because nations, including ours, are becoming irrelevant in the modern “globalization” context. Powerful nations are a threat to the International Corporations that are increasingly more powerful, with budgets that dwarf those of most nations. From their point of view, nations exist only to compete to provide the least  expensive work force and the least expensive resources that enable the corporations to flourish. In this scheme of things the U.S. is no different than any other nation.

Of course the U.S. remains a “world power,” even the most powerful one on earth, but this is true only because it is controlled by corporations that are primarily only interested in using its military and intelligence agencies to insure their global hegemony. It is only militarily that the U.S. remains powerful, and it is only the Pentagon budgets that are considered important enough to continue to be funded and overfunded year after year. We now have a “volunteer” military, essentially a mercenary force. While it is true this force ostensibly represents our “national interests,” and performs very efficiently and even “patriotically,” on the orders of our government, our government is controlled by international corporate interests. Thus our military power is little more than a private corporate force that does not necessarily have to do with “national” interests. What national interests, as opposed to corporate interests, were served by invading Iraq (where their oil fields were hypothetically divided before the attack), what national interests would be served by attacking Iran (to benefit Israel and protect our Middle East hegemony), by staying in Afghanistan (with their apparently many as yet untapped natural resources). And who will benefit from our current boast that we will surpass Saudi Arabia and Russia in producing oil and gas? And who will benefit from a gigantic pipeline carrying dirty oil from Canada to be sold on the international market? All of this, in turn, is due to the fact that our nation is now controlled by an elaborate military/industrial/political complex that is the mainstay of our increasingly militarized nation, a nation that now exists only on the basis of the continuing wars necessary to keep it going and generate corporate profits through the exploitation of others. The tragedy here is not only that this system reduces nations in importance vis-à-vis corporations, but, more importantly, reduces humans to the level of peasants and serfs, no more than nuts and bolts, basically dehumanized, with no more rights and privileges than any other commodities on the marketplace. Labor, no matter how technologically sophisticated, is bought and sold no matter where it is found. If it doesn’t exist in the U.S. it can be found elsewhere. “Buy American might be an interesting slogan but it has no meaning in international competition.

Social Security, Medicare, minimum wages, unemployment insurance, food stamps, vacations, a forty hour work week, were not gifts presented to us by the generosity of corporations and they are now relentlessly trying to do away with all of them.

“The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism -- ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.... Among us today a concentration of private power without equal in history is growing.” 

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