The conflict between Joe Six-Pack and Two-Buck Chuck was resolved after the longest , most expensive presidential campaign in history. Consumers of budget beer and cheap wine were set against one another by the owners of both the brewery and the winery. Imaginary divisions have once again been used to keep manual and mental workers from noticing that they are employed by the same people:
The wealthy they currently bail out with their tax dollars, at the risk of their own individual and social bankruptcy. A new regime has arrived, and the old system prevails. So what's new?
Symbolism may be more important than any substance Obama is thought to have. Politically, he was never more than the John Kerry of 2004 , and far less a voice of the unrepresented than the Jesse Jackson of 1984. But his affirmative action team's light and bright contrast to the other affirmative action team's dark and dim made it easy. And his impact may be greater in a world in which most people are not white, and have been furious with the white western imperial menace. If international faith, like that of the multitudes here, can be rewarded with something more than symbolism, the world will change for the better. But don't hang by your lip waiting for such change.
The professional hysterics who claimed the election would be stolen will now have to find other employment, and broadcast media will suffer declining revenue with the spending orgy of the campaign ended. But the general public may suffer the greatest loss .
Evangelicals who believe Israel was ordained by god are momentarily subdued, but zionists who see Israel as sacred homeland for europeans who believe they are semites - the way Nigerians are native to Sweden - retain control. A holder of dual Israeli-US citizenship is the new White House Chief of Staff, and the tragedy of Gaza and Palestine will likely continue, as will the warlike policy towards Iran. We can only hope the corporate rulers who know that talk is not only cheap, but more profitable than war, which kills consumers, will keep the new president from going to extremes beyond normally brutal practice.
But the american military - political juggernaut remains , and it will continue threatening movements for peace , social justice and real democracy wherever they exist , even if its style differs from the regime it replaces. So, where are we?
In a world that has spread U.S. violence to Syria and Pakistan, with plans to increase the assault on Afghanistan. Our meddling in other nations will not stop under the new regime, though it may become lower key than it was under Bush . Will that represent change? About as much as a tax payer bail out of finance capital means we've changed to socialist economics. While that belief is popular among those who think the post office is socialism and the library is communism, we will see minimal financial redistribution under another affirmative action program for capitalism .
A return to primitive social democratic policies is at hand. That means money for some things we actually need, like infrastructure repair , slight regulation of the market and a few dollars for the majority who work for a living . At least until the next breakdown in our Ponzi Scheme economy, based on Vegas principles that guarantee profits for the house owners by assuring loss for the house tenants. The economy in which people work to survive is quite real, but the gambling casino that enriches our rulers is a creation of faith based belief, as much as any theory of intelligent design or the big bang as originators of the universe. But we pay a heavy price, in the material world, for these intrigues in the immaterial.
From 1979 to 2008 the top 1% income group in the U.S.A. gained $600 billion annually , while the bottom 80 percent lost that same $600 billion. That's an average yearly gain of $500,000 at the top, while the bottom lost an average $8,000. Do we need a radical redistribution of income? Will Obama bring it about? Are you serious?
Between October 2007 and October 2008, $8.3 trillion vanished from Wall Street, which is our economic Vatican, though that Roman religious center may have more substance than the myth that serves as foundation for capital's capitol. Where did those trillions come from? Where did they go? Let's put those mind boggling numbers into some perspective:
1 trillion seconds = 32,000 years. More than 8 trillion dollars?
Personal debt in the United States was $13.8 trillion in March of 2008, while total reported income for 2007 was $12.4 trillion. If we owe more than 100% of what we make, that leaves nothing for rent, mortgage, food, clothing, health care, burgers , ballet and whatever else we need to make life wonderful, without even more borrowing. How can we survive without going into even greater debt than we've already accumulated? And credit is tightening, fast, while jobs are vanishing, even faster.
These are much bigger numbers and more serious problems than any racial symbolism or choreographed celebration can solve without radical transformation of a system that Obama is sworn to serve, not change.
Let's hope that the spirit of celebration becomes a force demanding real change, before the dream of a bright new day becomes the nightmare of a very long dark night. That fan club for an individual needs to become a movement for society, before war, unemployment and unpayable debts turn their idol into a scapegoat, and our nation into a dead zone . People need to keep the faith, by all means. But we can’t just exult over surface change and pray that it gets better. We need to organize for democratic change of substance, and work to create it, very soon.
Copyright (c) 2008 by Frank Scott. All rights reserved.
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