We enter the season of frenzied consumption on a note of some cheer. The worst regime in American history was handed defeat, in a victory achieved against supposedly great odds. Remember panicked predictions about how the evil Cheney cabal would steal the election, and that no voting machine would work under the control of the demonic genius Karl Rove? Instead, our sloppy, often corrupt and hardly democratic electoral system performed in its usual manner; those seeking majority rule by voting for servants of minority wealth had their ballots accurately counted. So?
Did the outcome affect our two party-one-class ruling structure? Of course, not. Keeping this in mind, we can participate in the shopping and eating orgy of our annual celebration of the divine market. But as we indulge in credit card abuse and digestive molestation, let’s consider what didn’t change at all with this vote. Our two biggest problems are likely to get worse.
Our economic shamans may move from policies that borrow, cut taxes for the rich and spend foolishly, to policies that borrow, raise taxes for the middle and spend foolishly. Tax and debt to meet expenses are facts of national life, but when the spending benefits war and the rich, the tax burden falls on the working middle, and the debt becomes incredible, we have a financial crisis. It will not end under this congress, and it may even become more serious.
Incurring debt for some things makes great sense. But piling up debt for imperial war, tax gifts to the wealthy, and consumption of often useless goods and services only adds to the incredible imbalance that threatens to destroy our economic, and in the process our natural environment.
We owe tens of trillions of dollars, much of it to foreigners from whom we borrow more every day. It’s unlikely that they will unite to force us into the physical bankruptcy we deserve for our financial immorality, but we can’t rule that out forever. Even given the fact that it’s in our creditors_ material interest to keep buying our increasingly immaterial principle, there could be a market explosion or meltdown in our future. Choose your metaphor, but understand that it could mean chaos for ordinary people. Then remember that there will be no substantial change in the policies of American capitalism just because a different caucus of the ruling party runs congress.
In the shorter term we face an even more deadly problem . The new crusade called the war on terror has already caused enough carnage to prove that it surely is a war, however misnamed and dishonest its rationale. It will hardly end with the new congress. Right wing loonies claimed the nation would assume something called San Francisco values if the Democrats won. Few voters fell for that silliness, but most have not yet discovered the real values that create our policy. They are hardly San Francisco’s, whatever images that label may suggest to bigots.
In fact, whether our congressional corporadoes claim to practice family, gay, Christian or secular values, when America’s Zionist lobby cracks the whip, they all passionately express Israeli values.
The artificial intelligence of our foreign policy, possibly understood in the big lie about Iraq, will maintain the even bigger lie about Israel. That settler state, founded on doctrines of racial superiority and the domination of native people, is still cast as one of victimized refugees besieged by an Arab world set on their extermination. This apartheid entity has become worse than racist South Africa, which never exercised control over the American government, nor palmed itself off as an oppressed minority. But Israelis are regularly portrayed as harassed and threatened with destruction, motivated by ancient hatred of Jews. Despite the fact that Israelis who call themselves Semites are mostly Europeans, it isn’t only labels that lie. The entire fabrication threatens to explode into something beyond the horrible bloodbath in Iraq.
The fire next time could involve nuclear weapons, which are in the arsenal of a nation whose rulers consider themselves a racially select group, special to god, yet simultaneously hated and besieged by all god’s other children, and thus able to take any holy actions necessary to save themselves.
Ridding ourselves of representatives of those awaiting a divine ejaculation called The Rapture, and replacing them with representatives of those awaiting a cosmic orgasm called the Second Coming, hasn’t made things more rational. Fanatic fundamentalism is no less a threat now than it was before election day. The hostile propaganda barrage from Israel, with its hundreds of nukes, about an alleged genocidal nuclear threat from Iran, which has none, will loudly continue in the corridors of its American lobby. And it will echo more loudly in a congress which could be more zealously Zionist than the previous gang.
The trillions in debt which we carry, the precarious nature of nature itself under the burden of unregulated capital, and the menace of imperial racism that threatens further bloodshed in the middle east, are major problems that must be confronted by those who truly wish a peaceful future. Palestinian and Iraqi suffering is reaching a point at which complete breakdown into even more fatalistic actions should be expected. As most of the world acknowledges their desperate circumstances, America and its lackeys still play dumb.
We do not have a government, which will confront these matters in a just and humane fashion. We need to be at least as critical and suspicious of the new congress as we were of the old. And we need to confront the realities of our economic and foreign policy, before our ignorance invites more damage and takes more lives. Please shop, eat, drive and above all think, carefully. Happy holidays.