We approach the annual celebration of peace, love and over consumption as America’s longest war threatens to become longer and spread to more nations. But there will be less consuming than usual in a time of political repression, economic recession and social depression. Class relations are strained by the most unequal distribution of wealth in our history and political divisions are causing canine-like political disputes among confused citizens angrily chasing their own tails. We fight ourselves under controlling force that prevents us from recognizing commonality by stressing differences. Ethnicities, skin tones and identity groups are used to keep us from confronting a disaster we face in common and even our minds are hyphenated into divisions causing battles of self against self.
Some were near panic over Tea Party victories in the fiasco we call our electoral democracy, insisting that fascism was at hand. Other equally mystified voters crowed of triumph for the common man at having elected more employees of the rich. Billion dollar campaigns mask the fact that both capitalist parties keep switching crews on the Titanic as the ship continues to sink. The cancer or polio choice offered the citizenry every two years has more than fifty percent never bothering to vote and results in minorities electing a government bought and paid for by infinitely smaller minorities. No wonder there is growing if baffling disgust with a politics dominated by corporate capital, billionaires and foreign interests.
Our anti-social politics create fear, anger and ignorance and send them into battle against ignorance, anger and fear. The minority voting for cancer shows contemptuous disrespect for the minority voting for polio. And vice versa. This civil war threatens a terminal social disease if it continues neglecting our political economy. A manipulated struggle between those thinking they are more virtuous or more patriotic makes respect for one another almost impossible and prevents identifying the real problem: a minority dominated economic monster spending trillions of public dollars on imperial war, bank bailouts and private wealth. It is bankrupting the nation and may bring further disaster if it is not democratically subdued.
People should be disgusted with government that serves minority interests and not the mass of Americans who think themselves democrats, republicans, independents or apathetics. A relatively tiny group representing corporations and finance capital dominates our politics. This cabal controls national wealth, which it uses to create staggering private profits from war and waste, all at the expense of a public absorbing the crippling loss. Calling this a democracy should make people furious but those using media to manage our minds the way they use politics to manage the rest of our lives propagandize us into lashing out at scapegoats.
The smug superiority shown by some liberals is negatively balanced by the hateful bigotry shown by some conservatives. These divisions are the product of a market culture that only profits some at the expense of others. But we all pay a price when we focus on the results and not the source of our problems. People from upscale communities who support immigration but whose only contact with immigrants is when their houses are cleaned, their children tended or their homes repaired are hardly more politically correct than those who complain about immigration because they deal with its social impact of crowded neighborhoods and lost jobs. Our anti-social environment makes immigration beneficial to some and costly to others. But that’s true of everything else in our profit and loss economy. And those believing that America is failing not because government spends trillions on imperial warfare and service to great wealth, but because it spends millions on the most downtrodden in our society are not only misguided; they are loony.
This is feudal era politics setting peasants against serfs while the landlord laughs all the way to the bank but it’s more deadly in the 21st century. Divide and conquer thoughts that would have taken years to put into people’s heads in ages past can corrupt minds more quickly in technologically wired societies where transmitting propaganda takes micro seconds. And when American political leaders mouth platitudes about social justice and fighting racism while they invest taxpayer dollars in propping up a racial theocracy in Israel, our problems are not tea party members, Muslims or immigrants but a power structure that rules with such murderous hypocrisy.
The holiday season is as good a time as any to begin acting on teachings of humanity and cooperation in direct contradiction to the prevailing values of anti-social bigotry and murderously competitive war making. We suffer under a system which is inflicting austerity on the public while a minority gorges itself and induces the people to blame one another for problems which originate not with individuals but in the social organization itself. Food, clothing and shelter are not rising in cost because poor people live in comfort but because rich people lavish in luxury. The military budget does not continually expand because we are threatened from outside the USA but because inside the USA there are psychotics demanding wars on Iran and any other nation or people that dare to attempt breaking the imperial model and changing the organization of nations to support humanity before private profit. And in order to deal with these and more problems that threaten our survival as a people and not simply as an identity group among people, we need to be human beings with common purpose. We could start by trying to understand why there is disagreement and ignorance among us and not simply demean others as secular idiots, religious morons, political terrorists or imbeciles from outer space. It might help us create democratic solutions to problems that threaten all of our futures. Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and Bless Americans. At least try, for a change.