Crazy, but that’s how it goes
Millions of people living as foes
Maybe. it’s not too late
To learn how to love, and forget how to hate
Mental wounds not healing
Life’s a bitter shame
I’m goin’ off the rails on a crazy train
I’m goin’ off the rails on a crazy train
[Daisley – Osbourne – Rhoads]
It is very difficult to write about the current state of affairs in the United States of America, let alone the world. I have seen two different blog posts in the past couple of weeks intimating our county may be heading towards some sort of internecine conflict, these people could very well be correct. I will not name these people, there is no point, they are not the only voices sounding some sort of alarm, I would think our government has explored some sort of plan for such a contingency.
The polarization is striking, an election won by electoral vote, an election lost by popular vote; county by county across the country a sea of Republican red, counterbalanced by densely populated enclaves of Democratic blue. Evoking shades of The Hunger Games we have the coasts and the big cities going one way and the vast swathes of flyover country going the other. It would be well to consider a definition of the word “polity”.
From the Wiki – A polity is any kind of political entity. It is a group of people who are collectively united by a self-reflected cohesive force such as identity, who have a capacity to mobilize resources, and are organized by some form of institutionalized hierarchy.
The question becomes, is the USA able to achieve any sort of polity? Especially when there seems to be so many different versions of identity floating around these days? Group after group with wildly divergent demands clamor for their certain issue, mostly expressed in terms that cloak or obfuscate the reality of whatever it is they are seeking, and more often than not they are answered in terms equally misleading. Maybe a better term would be consensus, a meeting of the minds; or if one wishes to be ominously Marxist, taking the good old dialectic out for a spin around the block, just keep your head down, don’t want to pick up the stray bullet, or two. So, buckle your seat belt, it’s going to be bumpy ride; and do try to keep up, we’re going down the tracks on the Crazy Train, with lives in the balance.
Whose life is it anyway?
Anyone who thinks there aren’t a few racists left is deluding themselves, anyone who ignores the Civil Rights Act is looking for an excuse, either for a fight, for pushing an agenda, or is out of touch with reality, as the broad majority of America really is hoping that equal rights are somehow going to work out. America is not a racist country, we fought a war to end slavery, and we have civil rights codified in law, and most people just want to live and let live.
This being said, let’s get real people. Black Americans have been royally screwed, worse than most other Americans, 50 years of being assured of the vote, of some affirmative action has obviously not “leveled the playing field” (to use a hackneyed phrase that cretins such as our last few Presidents have been fond of using). Matter of fact, if you know any true history, you should know there has never been anything close to this fantasy of fairness in this country, never, ever, not in my lifetime, yours, George Washington’s’, Lincoln’s, nobodies’. If there are some who still buy into the bootstrap bullshit that anybody can make it, you must live in La-La Land, and welcome to it, I prefer reality.
Which brings me to my next point, if Blacks in this country deserve reparations, then so do a lot of white people, because we have all been caught in the same meat grinder. What was slavery, Jim Crow, indentured servitude, tenant farming, child labor, and all the rest of the sickening exploitation about? The motive? Profit, more profit, free labor, dirt cheap labor, all to fatten the bank accounts of the ruling class. This country is so delusional it is maddening, beyond description, we pat ourselves on the back for Emancipation (and it was a good thing) while willfully ignoring the very monster which caused it. Greece was a slave society, as was Rome, our shining models for organized government, it doesn’t stop there, the Egyptians, the Mongols, everybody, don’t kid yourself; and the motive has always been the same, money and power. When the citizens of these various empires started figuring it out, then they found new people to exploit though colonialism, the modern equivalent being the trade deal. Today there are (it is said) five men who own more wealth than half the people in the world, it would be interesting to see a true breakdown of the situation in the US if reliable figures can be found. Who can blame the black youth in the ghetto for striking out? For being angry? I can’t, I may be scared, irritated, but then I stop and think, where can this young man (or woman) find truly gainful employment? It’s not much better for white youths, look around, think about the people working these menial jobs, then think about the gated communities, the mutual funds, the hedge funds. There is obviously some kind of privilege for some, but definitely not for all. Once again, let’s be honest, for every one who does get out, there’s 100 left behind, it’s the nature of the beast, baked in the cake. We have all heard the figures on the income distribution, how is the supposed wonders of the free market working out in practice?
Every group has some gripe about the way this country has fallen out, Native Americans have obviously been marginalized, as have the Mexicans and others further south, and the Asians, all have suffered, including Anglos, and always the same culprit …….. profit. It would be criminally negligent at this point to fail to point out the failings of various Socialist schemes throughout history, the pogroms, show trials, mass killings, we should know this history if we don’t want to repeat it. We hear all the time about Capitalist failures, same for the Left’s, and what are we left with? A shouting match. With the way things are going? Could be a long hot summer, we need solutions, and we need them now. Can’t you hear that lonely whistle blow? Could be the Midnight Special, maybe not.
It is telling that the pools of the deep blue Democratic vote are located on the coasts, in the big cities, the centers of power, the habitat of the power broker and the Wall Street traitor, excuse me, trader. Oh so sophisticated, advanced, well educated, and very, very, progressive. Of course tyranny has always been sold this way, progress, advancement, railways through Africa, sailing, sailing, over the bounding main. And of course it was always going to be better for the “common” man, the phrase itself harking back to the bad old days of serfdom, lords and ladies, master and slave. Who can forget this little gem “better living through chemistry”?
A headline made its way around the web recently, “Republicans are flirting with class warfare in their healthcare bill”, and one could wonder what is wrong with this statement? It’s true, should be no problem, other than what it leaves out, which is true of most propaganda. For self-righteous smug Democrats, for supposed progressives, to not realize the absolute horror implicit in this statement leaves little hope. Both political parties have not only flirted with class warfare for decades, they have absolutely reveled in it. It was Johnson who sent tens of thousands of troops to their death in Indochina, Clinton bombed, the Bushies had their fun, and I don’t remember Obama vetoing any defense bills, or did I miss something? And Chelsea works where?
Another good one is the TV advert featuring the young hipster couple complete with pet pig living life “their way”, walking through the park and winding up with a visit to Fidelity Investments, or some other dealer in people’s lives. They are just being smart, looking out for themselves, everybody’s doing it, it’s socially acceptable. Let’s go back a bit, remember “where can this young man (or woman) find truly gainful employment?” At a fry pit, fast food joint, or the trendy natural food store where you go shopping and the clerk is scraping by on $9 an hour and can barely feed her child that means the absolute world to her. Feel free to substitute your preferred pronoun at this point, and then go delve deeply into your mutual fund or 401K and see what assets are funding your nature trip to experience the wonders of, wherever………………………….
The end, or not…………….
I don’t have to agree, neither do you, but we will all ride out whatever happens in our country, can we agree on that? Want what you want? National health care? Then you will have to deal with the other side, you will have to compromise, you will have to do what benefits the most people, you may have to give up your pet project, that’s politics, that’s getting along. Want justice? Want peace? Then start with economic justice, that is my personal recommendation. Don’t tolerate the free-loaders on the top or bottom, pull together. A whole bunch of these issues would be moot if people had the cash to do what they want with their own lives, or to buy what they need whether it be goods and services. Of course these hot shot executives would get quite the comeuppance, the politicos would lose their cush deals, the MIC may finally have to wind down. We should never forget the opposition. But fer Chrissakes! Could we be just a bit more hypocritical or out of touch?