Tuesday, January 28, 2020

The System Nearing Financial and Climate Collapse: Capitalism

 ‘Why are there forty million poor people in America?.. when you begin to ask that question, you are raising questions about the economic system, …you begin to question the capitalistic economy. “
Martin Luther King

“I'm a human being, first and foremost, and as such I'm for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole."
 Malcolm X

Having just recently celebrated the annual reductive canonization of Martin Luther King by deservedly extolling his work for human solidarity but with hardly anyone quoting his criticisms of capitalism, his fellow revolutionary Malcolm’s words are still timely as well in going far beyond current identity group divisions and addressing humanity as a whole. At their time Malcolm was played as the divisive force by racists and protectors of the system he was most critical of, and in unity with MLK about. That system they were working against- and why they were murdered - has not changed in essence since Marx analyzed it in the 19th century, but the 21st has brought it, and us, closer to disaster than at any previous point. While billions of the colonized, enslaved and class diminished have suffered over the ages, now all are threatened as never before.

 In the USA alone, 300 million Americans carry a national debt of more than 23 trillion dollars, which were minted in the name of our nation and then turned over to private financial sources. Then we borrowed it from them without asking how they hell they got our money and now were loaning it to us to spend on the military industrial complex a republican president warned against many years ago. We also financed the creation of billionaires who collect interest on that debt by claiming that it’s our responsibility to pay, and lose, and theirs to collect, and profit.

 Our personal consumer debt is more than 13 trillion dollars, which we need to buy all the stuff that keeps us alive and lots more that we need the way a forest needs a fire. More than a trillion of that is for the plastic we use to survive and occasionally eat steak or salmon on a budget that might be able to afford us taco-pizza-burgers if we had to pay cash. More than 9 trillion covers our mortgage debt so we can make believe we are “home owners”, until such time as the bank decides we aren’t paying fast enough and we’re reduced to being renters, if we can find apartments, or being homeless. Another trillion plus each for student and auto loans so we can be taught that this system makes sense as long as we keep driving to the mall, the school, the ministry and the poorhouse by simultaneously polluting our personal lives and social environment.

What was once called a sea of debt on which we floated has become an ocean of debt into which we are sinking, and still our ruling minority programs us to ask “where can we get the money to fund health care and education” as though we all had doctoral degrees from the London School of Economics and were well trained in scratching our butts and picking our noses with the same finger while rationalizing economic insanity. Stop spending it on weapons, drugs, waste and garbage and redirect it to what humans need most: shelter, food, clothing, health care, and other stuff like that. Duh?

The incredible amount of debt – imaginary, make believe wealth - which global capitalism treats as a systemic foundation now threatens to structurally collapse. That is not just a problem for the 1% or smaller percentile that still exercises power over space, time and life itself. The last collapse a few years ago reduced millions of former homeowners and jobholders to a struggle for survival that has not ended for most of them, and they’ve been joined in a supposed recovery – for capital! – that finds more people working for less pay and less people enjoying the fruits of their labor. No different than what began with industrial capitalism back in the 19th century when people who previously lived off the land, or tried to, were herded into cities and factories and mills to create wealth, some of which trickled down to them but mostly defied nature and gravity by flowing up to the ruling powers whose wealth was beyond that of previous feudal lords. Now, global capital has created a tiny minority of wealthy people who make the feudal lords seem almost a New York rush hour crowd by comparison. As few as three multi-billionaire Americans have as much combined wealth as 150 million Americans, all of those expected to dutifully troop off to the polls and vote for continuing the system that is moving much closer to a financial breakdown, with more pain and suffering for more Americans and the rest of the world than the last collapse caused. Using public funds to bail out private wealth temporarily saved that one and the public good be damned. That cannot be allowed to happen again, and uprisings all over the world are taking place because more people can’t take it any more. They feel the pain and see the handwriting on the wall, which may still be beyond those of us who can only use our smart phones to get dumb news which tells us nothing but what consciousness control pays its media to cram into our heads.

 The nearing potential collapse of the massive debtors prison which capitalism has become is a short term situation that we may still be able to avoid, even though many system supporters feel it is unavoidable and society – the common working masses – will just have to learn to live with more austerity and less, much less, comfort. Almost unknown due to media blackouts here, mobs of frustrated people in places from France to Lebanon to Chile to Nigeria are aroused as never before in rising against the authority and rule that has reduced them to lower and lower status. This short-range problem is reduced by mind management in the USA to replacing one CEO of a failing corporation with another, while preserving the destructive and near collapsing system.

And that same system is at the root of a longer range problem reduced to a brand name – climate change – by the profiteers who would use a flame thrower to put out a fire, or rely on a private profit system to end the potential for destruction of the planet and its inhabitants by; the private profit system. While devising plans to clean up the mess we’ve made of nature by using the same system that created that mess, many have begun to notice that you can’t clean up the water supply by continuing to throw garbage into the water but just burning it first, so that the air is fouled while the water is filtered in order to return a profit to the air fouling firm instead of the water polluting business. It is the system that has reduced the humanity spoken of by MLK, Malcolm X and experienced by all of us who breathe, or try to, that has placed private profits for a dwindling minority over all else. That minority has amassed the forces to dominate and market air, water, earth and humanity itself, transforming us all into commodities which can be bought and sold at the market only if we amass the market forces to do so, and if we can’t, we can drop dead.

It once was easier to get away with when there were enough people getting by to feel comfortable enough to think maybe it would eventually all work out for the best. That former working middle class is sinking lower, the lower class is in more misery than ever in modern times, and the tiny minority at the top is richer than ever before based on its purchase of armies and a professional class also dwindling in numbers but still numerous enough to transform minds and politics into acceptance of the economic slavery that passes for democracy.
It can’t and won’t last much longer and if we wait for nature to take action it will obviously be disaster. But if we organize and act as a human race, facing our problems as a race threatened with annihilation if we don’t work together, the result could be the salvation offered by real democracy in which the words of past revolutionaries like Malcolm and Martin become the actions of the present generation. That means ending capitalism and beginning humanity.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Legalienate Hails Self-Defense Assassination Policy

"The hits just keep on coming, if you'll pardon the expression," said Legalienate's Frank Scott in the wake of the U.S. assassination of Iran's Major General Qassem Soleimani, an enemy of ISIS who was deeply beloved in Iran for having protected the country against foreign aggression for decades. Scott, self-appointed U.S. foreign policy czar since last February, called the assassination "boldly prudent," explaining that murdering leaders who resist Washington's democratic invasions and defensive assaults are a form of "tough love," and the very essence of self-defense. "If I bomb your neighborhood and kill your family to save it from evildoers, and then you haul off and attack me without provocation, I have every reason to kill you," said Scott. "That's only reasonable."

"Absolutely," added Legalienate co-editor Michael Smith, who declared himself co-president of the United States in 2019, after a bitter sequence of American policy disasters had reduced the country to a failed state.  

"We can't think of a better way to celebrate Martin Luther King Day than by applauding drone assassinations of foreign leaders," said Smith. "We're well on the way to achieving the politics of love that Dr. King dreamed of."

Legalienate fact-checkers have confirmed that Soleimani's evil nature can scarcely be overestimated. As commander of Iran's Quds force, he fiendishly plotted attacks on American soldiers heroically defending Iraq by killing and maiming hundreds of thousands of Iraqis during an inexplicably prolonged liberation of their country. 

"He was pure evil," said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with customary Christian charity, "and we saved the Iraqi people from an imminent wave of anti-U.S. attacks." A grateful Iraqi parliament promptly voted to expel all U.S. troops from the country.

Meanwhile, back in Washington, President Trump explained his drone kill with the detached thoughtfulness that has become his trademark. "Everyone knows getting rid of 'bad hombres' prevents war, and nobody does it better than me," he said. Quickly backing up the president, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham pointed out that throughout history "peace has been the result" when deeply beloved military figures were assassinated by hostile powers. Legalienate's editorial board concurs in this sage judgment. Who can doubt, for example, that if Chairman Mao had assassinated General MacArthur at the height of the Korean War, the prospects for world peace would have been greatly enhanced? Surely no thinking person.

The anti-Trump resistance reacted critically to the Soleimani assassination. "Killing an evil adversary is a fabulous victory for the United States, though we deplore violence," said New York Senator Shuck (and Jive) Chumer. "But why weren't we given advance notice so we could claim some of the glory?" Chumer concluded his remarks with an appeal for electoral support in November: "Remember to vote Democrat because we hate everything Trump stands for except the results!"

Pentagon officials expressed amazement that President Trump actually carried out the assassination of Soleimani, merely because they had listed it on the menu of options. "What kind of nutcase would go to a restaurant thinking he could order something just because it appeared on the menu?" asked Major Spin, an assistant secretary of public relations at the Pentagon. Legalienate's Michael Smith, self-proclaimed democratic emperor of U.S. domestic affairs since last year, was equally aghast at such irrational thinking: "Who could have predicted that a thin-skinned narcissist who lives for taking revenge would do such a thing?" Again, surely no reasoning person.

On an encouraging note, the fiercely independent corporate media, fighting courageously to preserve its claim to being an adversary of state power, enthusiastically endorsed Trump's justification for the assassination. "No one disputes Soleimani's blood-drenched legacy," opined the Los Angeles Times, properly drawing attention to that long line of celebrated generals who won wars without shedding blood. American generals have been especially tender, what with the pacifist Indian wars, General Sherman's peace march to the sea during the Civil War, the bloodless trench warfare in World War I, and the virtually Gandhian atomization of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II, to say nothing of the Christ-like firebombings of Hamburg, Dresden, and Tokyo. 

So the obvious question raised in relation to the Soleimani assassination is not, "Was it right?", but "Does it make America great again?", which is, after all, President Trump's governing mandate.

So let us count the ways our Iran policy has been great. Were we not great in 1953 when we overthrew Iranian democracy to prevent Iranian maniacs from seizing control of American oil inside Iran? Were we not great in backing the Shah for 26 years as he enacted tough love policies that crackpots at Amnesty International mysteriously characterized as "beyond belief," finally ending in an anti-Washington revolution thanks to the ingratitude of the Iranian people? Were we not great when we encouraged Saddam Hussein to defensively attack Iran in 1980, which ended up killing half a million people due to the barbaric nature of Middle Easterners, but which was finally brought to a peaceful conclusion by civilized U.S. intelligence officers helping orchestrate gas attacks against Iran? Were we not great in 1988 when the U.S.S. Vincennes deliberately blasted a menacing civilian airliner in an ascending flight path out of the Iranian sky, killing 290 people? Were we not great in defensively assassinating Iranian cabinet ministers and a Supreme Court justice? Were we not great in selflessly invading and occupying countries on Iran's immediate borders, while threatening to bomb thousands of pre-selected targets inside Iran if its leaders failed to please our peace-loving leaders? Were we not great in imposing economic sanctions on Iran, denying lifesaving medicines and medical equipment to ill patients and causing airliners to fall out of the sky due to a shortage of spare parts? 

Surely Hillary Clinton is correct in saying that the U.S. "never stopped being great."

Monday, January 6, 2020

Happy New Year?

In its mortally dangerous and crumbling state, the global capitalist empire temporarily headquartered in the USA is showing more signs of ruling class behavior which would make that of a cornered rat seem passive, humanitarian and reasoned. The year begins with an American terrorist attack killing a popular Iranian leader seen as heroic by many of his people, ever more feverish stories of an alleged Chinese capitalist menace to humanity worse than Mao’s communism, and Russian capitalist threats to the multi-billion dollar perverted circus that passes for democracy in America. As these tales approach hysteria, we are also given wonderful economic news by our ministry of mind management showing a booming national shopping mall and ever expanding stock market, financed by increasing and staggering debt, while growing numbers of Americans are reduced to poverty and homelessness. Things are looking great to those of us who eat soup with a fork or rely on corporate media for trying to understand material reality, but a growing number are aware that we are caught up in a national act of political economic suicide. What is to be done?

While too many college educated Americans are convinced by corporate media that “our” democracy is under assault, first by Trump and then by evil Russians, the un-college educated majority are probably better informed by working class experience that referring to this thing as “ours” is like a domestic slave family in the old south referring to “our” plantation. The packed field of democratic party candidates for the November attempt at democracy are regularly rated by, first; their adherence to what is called moderation, which means keep doing everything we’ve been doing on the path to collapse, and then; how many millions of dollars they have raised in order to partake of this historic democracy which rhymes with hypocrisy but costs even more. So far, our collective fundraisers who are not billioaires have come up with more than 650 million dollars in pursuit of the subsidized housing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and there are still 10 months to go. It will take more than a billion dollars to succeed in “our” democracy.

And as the nation prepares for that election in November - unless it's canceled by an even greater war in the middle east than the one that's  been going on for most of this century – we’re reading scare tales in the NewYorkTimes-WashingtonPost about ballot meddling by foreign invaders and fascist anti-Semitic racist misogynist bigots ruling everywhere  in america but in enlightened communities which read the NewYorkTimes-WashingtonPost. Meanwhile, MSNBC-FOX-PBS keep us all up to date on the terrible treatment dreadful China is giving it’s Islamic minorities by sending them to re-education camps to learn how not to be Islamic rebels. Forward thinking America tries to accomplish the same task by destroying their nations and killing hundreds of thousands of Islamic people in joyous, enlightened democratic action to transform their bodies into ashes so as not to need worrying about their minds. Earlier in our history of freedom and democracy and after slaughtering hundreds of thousands of indigenous people in building this great nation, we compassionately took their children away from their families and sent them to schools where they could un-learn their culture and values and instead of hunting animals and gathering vegetables they could learn to hunt for money and gather commodities, thus becoming civilized, democratic, freedom loving citizens of the greatest democracy the world has ever known. China may be trying to do something like that but without first slaughtering their Islamic people into not becoming terrorists. Can any graduate of an American institute of consciousness control imagine anything more horrible? Keep reading those profit making glorified “free”press businesses and watching those profit making glorified you-tubers and they’ll soon come up with more bloody, horrifying, and menacing to all we hold sacred acts of foreign brutality enough to make our blood run cold, our tears run wet, and our minds dissolve into further moral sewage.

While a small minority of a relatively privileged class have only recently discovered that despite their good fortunes the nation is in dreadful condition, they tend to think everything was just fine until the born rich real estate genius who became the political pinhead in chief somehow twisted our sacred and biblical constitution – a document written by and for the original 1% and many of them  Indian killers and slave owners – taking out all the good parts about peace and love and democracy and  justice and replacing them with hateful racist bigotry and turning good old everyday sexism into grad school misogyny and other big words for small minds. Under these terrible conditions, what’s a nation to do?

Spend more than 700 billion dollars for defense, that’s what. And said defense of our sacred shores and holy documents and enlightened citizenry means we need hundreds of military bases in foreign countries, which is like allegedly defending New Yorkers by sending the New York police department to Seattle, Oakland, Toronto and Berlin in order to protect them from the menacing inhabitants of those places while New Yorkers contnue to suffer from the same American free market political economic idiocy the nation enjoys.

We especially need to surround Russia with bases and missiles all around its borders to stop it from, uh, meddling in our cherished democracy by perhaps tossing a few million bucks into the coffers of a candidate who might cut the military budget, stop menacing them, and begin housing and feeding its ever divided and expanding “minorities” who need to wake up to this malevolent hustle and become a real majority to end this colossal death trip before it ends all of us.

The murder of the Iranian military leader will create far more danger to the world, but possibly even more to Americans, and blaming it on the white house pinhead while excusing the congressional boneheads who have previously set-up the imperial global forces that have murdered millions long before the current brain-dead and Israel manipulated egotist took office compounds the felony. The boneheads may think they can offer safety to Netanyahu and perhaps put him into the white house if they can just impeach Trump. Those of us paying the price of this failing-by-the-minutes social degeneracy need to bring about a radical reformation of American society before the worst happens.

The best would be to make this the last year of the destructive forces of international capital and the first of a global move towards a democracy to transform reality into something based on the value of individual human life, and not on a profit based individual rush to disaster. This horrendous murder of an Iranian leader, mistakenly labeled a “war crime” by some of the well meaning, as though the usual war slaughters are not also representative of disgusting evil only conceivable by the lowest form of social degeneracy imaginable, may bring the world closer together to fight the menace of America’s minority rulers who think themselves a master race of self chosen people. We’d better start acting as a conscious social and truly democratic force and not leave it to the rest of the world to transform our nation or it may leave us only slightly better off than before. If that. Happy New Year.