Saturday, September 20, 2008

It's The System, Stupid

With major private institutions collapsing onto taxpayer’s shoulders almost daily, we continue to hear that our system is strong and sound. Sure. And the easter bunny created the universe. We are also told this is the worst crisis since the Great Depression, and that we can believe.

The 20th century depression was a phase in the long range disintegration of a system which has been living on borrowed time and money ever since. Nature and politics are now forcing it to repay some of its colossal debt, but with no collateral save a public willing to absorb further enormous burdens that jeopardize the future of all humanity. The official story holds only the financial community at fault, with greedy dealers and deregulators guilty of all that has gone wrong. Once we get rid of them things will get back to what they were before unregulated free market fundamentalism took over, and everything will be just fine. Sure. The way it was before the easter bunny created the universe.

Folks, we are not simply dealing with a part of an economy going wrong, but with an entire system that is in process of falling apart.

And we certainly won’t solve our problems with the next election, which will make the future seem less precarious for a few of us , while increasing the danger for all of us . The new executive gang will try making repairs at the top of a structure which is rotting at its foundation.The longer we continue supporting corporadoes who only differ on which group of millionaires to pay off with public funds, the shorter the time before we seal our own fate as victims .

Capitalism’s free market religion has brought fortune, comfort and affluence to millions the world over, but in the process it has murdered almost as many, impoverished many more, and brought devastation to the natural and social environment on which humanity depends for survival.

Whether its current stage is called a time of sluggish growth, which is official economc theory , or a time of chaotic collapse, which is the reality for those made homeless, jobless and lifeless by its practice, there is agreement that it is a crisis. So? We have these bust cycles all the time, say the high priests of the faith, and we always survive them with another economic boom. The late breaking bulletin for these fundamentalists is that the booms are getting shorter and are shared by less people, while the busts are becoming longer and taking more people to an economic graveyard which threatens to ultimately include society itself

The gap between a wealthy minority and the rest of humanity is greater than ever before in modern times, and resistance to the savage inequities of the system is growing. This resistance is not always unified and often unclear on exactly what it is against beyond injustice , but since injustice is at the system's core , it’s a worthwhile place to start.

That there is starvation , hunger and massive poverty in a world where affluent minorities go on diets while feeding their pets does not escape the consciousness of the majority doing the suffering. Millions of working people need no economic degrees to understand the injustice of some sitting around doing nothing and getting richer , while they struggle to survive and get poorer. That experience is balanced by a new breed of the educated middle class which lives its morality every day, instead of only once a week in a church, synagogue or mosque. That new class is attempting radical forms of social organizing , even if not always in the political parties necessary to affect long term change. Globally, they are not just raising money to feed the poor and unemployed , but raising consciousness and helping organize people to reclaim their land, their rights, their jobs and ultimately to end poverty, once and for all.

The system protectors and their employees will have none of it, whether in the USA, Bolivia , Venezuela, the Middle East , or anywhere else . And they will still run the world after the November election.

While our perverse democracy’s multi million dollar ad campaign grinds our brains into pulp , important issues are reduced to the race, sex and religious beliefs of the major presidential product line. The idiocy of the campaigns is matched by the emptiness of the candidates, a void which can make the simplest expression of moderate thoughtfulness seem a brilliant and probing argument for change. And despite surface political differences , they all support more war , increased military spending, the mythical market , and deep devotion to the Jewish state of Israel which is a major reason for our bloody conflicts in the middle east , and the hateful retaliation they provoke.

No matter which major party affirmative action team wins, it will attempt to strengthen this imperial anachronism by borrowing more billions from foreigners , floating fake electronic money to pay them off , and giving the real bill to taxpayers . New loans will pay off old loans made with other borrowed money to pay still older loans , until this massive Ponzi scheme reaches a climax . It could come sooner than we think.

The myth of a privately controlled free market is only sustained by the reality of publicly financed bail outs of wealth and capital. Unless we demand democratic control of any publicly funded operations in the marketplace, the bottom line will remain the same: They profit, at our loss. This system is morally and financially bankrupt, and we sustain it only by jeopardizing our own future. Some would revive the New Deal that saved capitalism after the last depression, but if we reshuffle those cards we only delay the inevitable. We need an entirely New Deck in order to save humanity from a system which will eventually lead us to total disaster.

Copyright (c) 2008 by Frank Scott. All rights reserved.

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