Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Hysterical Materialism: Anything New? Maybe


The annual shopping frenzy representing profit for corporate America and loss for consumer nation is over. The joyful smiles of children at Santa’s visit were followed by the frowning faces of parents on his departure when the bills arrived. But that happens every year. Was this season different from all others, to paraphrase one of the fables that keep our often dysfunctional human family divided among supporters of identitarianism, drugs, religion, therapy or, just maybe, social revolution? Haven’t we been told that the recession is over, repeatedly, for several years now?

The cycle of commodity consumption to satisfy desperate desires and compulsive cravings induced by advertising has been with us for generations and always reaches fever pitch at the joyous season of peace and profit. But stylish fashions of the market are being accompanied by more fascistic styles in politics and a global population’s attention is being drawn to what visionaries warned against at the system’s origins.

In the 19th century, early in capital’s industrial age, many cautioned that treating the earth and its people simply as profit producing modules could endanger both the race and the planet responsible for its survival. Lately, we’ve seen evidence of that becoming so clear that it isn’t necessary for a visionary minority to come forward since a growing majority is getting angry at being treated like products instead of humans while taking note of the danger to the race in that same treatment being applied to earth, air, water and other natural resources which have been suffering unnatural use for seeming millennia.

As a geo-political crisis of the western capitalist world grows more menacing and threats of war are being made on even more nations than usual, and the assault on nature under the strain of what is called the climate change crisis becomes more obvious to all but paid servants of capital and abject morons, what’s a private profit system’s rich minority to do in order that their wealth remain under their control and the natives, peasants and other workers of the majority don’t get ideas about a need for radical change? Simple:

Make the monthly announcement of another end to the recession, and show all the increasing dollar flow to prove it, without revealing that the source of the flow comes from the American majority’s faucets filling minority reservoirs to overflowing while that majority remains in a parched economic drought. And that’s not all.

Corporate media tells daily stories of Russian problems and Putin’s menace while goading Russia and Putin into taking defensive measures due to military encirclement by the west that grows worse with each report of danger coming from the east. As Russia re-arms, faced with a real threat from American Euro-puppet NATO nations edging closer to its border, the propaganda paparazzi here keeps warning about alleged Russian hostility that revives the madness of the old cold war and brings it closer to a new hot war that could be worse than anything imagined by the idiots doing the provoking.

The crippled empire is in such bad shape that it has finally, desperately acknowledged the murderously idiotic nature of Cuba policy and acceded to demands to sell lots of stuff to that nation since we need more consumers, fast. But this mincing step towards sanity is only taken with rhetorical blather from capital’s senior clerk at the half-white house about rescuing the Cuban people from their dreadful state of eating regularly, being well educated and maintaining one of the world’s foremost health care systems. Awful. They need to become over consumers of physical and mental waste like true citizens of democracy and have the freedom of speech such as Americans enjoy and unfortunate Cubans have never known. If Eric Garner of New York had been murdered in Cuba, so the opponents of the government claim, he would not have had the freedom to say, “ I can’t breathe”, several times as he was being strangled to death by the police. Take that, you totalitarian fiends!

We are also told our stock market is booming but not that most of us haven’t a prayer of ever owning any stock, and that our unemployment rate is not as high as it was the last time we weren’t told how many people had dropped out of the work force and weren’t even being counted. Or were working part time low paying jobs which made the gross number of jobs go up but the truly gross measurement of wages decline. Not to worry.

Our warfare welfare state rulers are trying to get us into more military conflicts which could mean more jobs, definitely mean more death, and a lower unemployment rate since the dead are definitely unemployed but not included in the count.

Capitalist mathematics can be truly wonderful, especially if you invest in weapons and war but never have to use the weapons or fight the war, like our minority investor class. Of course, terrorism tends to level the field of slaughter while it raises the profits of war, but that contradiction is being noticed along with those of climate and politics and all of them related to the economics of all seasons under markets dominated by minority private control.

This could be, should be and really has to be not only an interesting but also much better year for humanity in which more of us confront the de-humanizing system of private profit for some and massive loss for most. That is capitalism, and it is not a threat to one or another nation, ethnicity, alleged race or real class, but to all of humanity. Happy New Year.

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