I look at the events of the world today, and throughout all of human history, and I can’t help but think that we are like children on the playground of the world. Some of us are bullies, some are the bullied. Some play nice and know how to share, and some inflict pain while the bystanders look out only for their themselves. We’ve seen it countless times, played out in innumerable situations; sometimes we nod knowingly and other times we shake our heads. I’ve been around long enough to be sure of certain things, and this is one of them: the Rich and the Powerful look out for themselves first and foremost. If you think they care about the rest of us then you are sadly mistaken.
There’s been a lot of talk in some circles here in the USA about how we can protect our borders, how we can protect our citizens and our institutions. It’s all nonsense. We can’t protect against harmful intentions anymore than we can come together as a nation and put aside our petty differences. The fact is, I believe, that the more discontent and conflict there is between artificially divided groups of people the easier it is for the powerful to commit their crimes against us. The fact that humans are so easily manipulated because they can’t think for themselves has been a major contributor to the success of humanity’s petty tyrants, emperors and fascists. I hate fascists, don’t you? They are typically such narrow minded, self-centered little ego maniacs, convinced of their own importance and the insignificance of the rest of the world.
We recently came up on the one year anniversary of the bombing at the Boston Marathon and a fellow blogger posted something very thought provoking around the subjects of terrorism and “protection”. It was his post (toritto) that sparked this stream of consciousness below. It is my tirade for a Saturday morning and it was completely cathartic, I assure you.
I really want to talk about power today. From my perspective, any discussion on power has to shoot like an arrow to the heart of the matter, and that space is occupied by the Plutocrats. First let me say that I don’t believe they care at all about petty terrorists (Boston) or organized cells of terrorists (Twin Towers) or blown up American citizens anywhere. In fact, it helps them tremendously to have these acts of terror shake us up and convince us we need to let them do what they need to do to “protect” us. Fear based strategies are very effective.
They care even less about the human beings killed globally by our “foreign policies”; policies which should, in fact, be called what they really are: government sanctioned strategies implemented by multinational mega-corporations to control the world’s most prized resources. (Arab Spring-ing up so suddenly? Perhaps they had CIA help in fanning those early flames at a time when the winds were perfectly high. Destabilize the entire area and make way for American corporations once the dust settles? Sort of like what we had hoped for with Afghanistan back in the 80’s, except it didn’t quite work out that way?)
Today the United States so closely resembles Russia in terms of our posture and tactics that together we make China look like benign Capitalists. While China wins over the hearts of African nations by building roads and schools, they also gobble up those vast resources… Resources that America and Russia will want to get their hands on soon enough. Meanwhile, Russia plots how to quietly conquer Ukraine and secure the port of Odessa. The rest of the world, apparently, is too preoccupied with wringing their hands, and mesmerized by Vlad (Mr. Universe) Putin’s flexing muscles.
America? We quibble over how to put more of the middle class into the poorhouse, and more of the poor into early graves. We maintain our ridiculous Cold War with the fading image of Castro’s Cuba, hoping to reinforce the belief that we are still anti-Communist for propaganda’s sake; meanwhile Europe establishes economic ties that will ensure that Cuba continues to boycott America. And while we’re allowing guns to flow freely into Mexico, American Corporations are setting up shop south of the border, with low labor costs and free reign to pollute the environment.
Here’s the thing about our fearless leaders, our Congressional Representatives, our Executive branch: they are smarter than we are. They know that if you stir people up with fears that Mexicans are flooding over our borders and grabbing up jobs that Americans need and want (like picking tomatoes under the hot sun, or scrubbing toilets, or washing dirty dishes in roach-infested kitchens, or slaughtering pigs) then THEY are free to do what they want. They know that if they let the urban gangs run rampant and kill each other off then the disenfranchised won’t come together anytime soon and start another Black Power movement or another massive Worker’s Rights movement or demand jobs that pay a living wage. They know that if Americans are fearful of Muslims (extremist, fanatical or otherwise) then we won’t think to be fearful of what THEY are doing to us.
And this massive, utterly ridiculous swing to the right? It is a race to the bottom. Who will be the next moderate Republican to hold their nose and swim deeper into the cesspool of I, ME, MINE? Truth: The Plutocrats would like to make us all out to be bottom feeders, and proclaim themselves to be the engine that drives this massive Capitalistic machine. An engine needs gears and pulleys, nuts and bolts, conduits and housing, and a purpose, my friends. You and I are the moving parts that are so replaceable. The Capitalist system, as we know it today provides the housing of the machine. The conduit, of course is power and influence. And the purpose? Well, it isn’t to make the moving parts rich.
I single out America because I live here and I witness every day the shifting terrain and the hairpin turns. My criticism is not limited to our national boundaries, however. I see the same twisted logic being employed globally. Austerity measures being shoved down the throats of nations across the face of the planet. Do you think the rich are suffering under these austerity measures that are imposed with such conviction and without compromise?
Back to America’s role in the world… We are not the world’s cop or rescuer- we only step in when: A) It benefits us economically or strategically, or B) the outcry is so deafening that it can’t be ignored (Bosnia/Herzegovina). What about WWII, you might ask? Look how long it took us to get involved. So many countries crushed, so many millions slaughtered, and yet after the war we brought German scientists over here to work for us. Under Truman’s Operation Paperclip we wanted their expertise…
Think what you will about the aid we send to so many nations, but in my mind it cannot make up for the atrocities committed, the puppet dictators we’ve installed and propped up, or the people we have slaughtered. In that context, humanitarian/financial/military aid is about as sincere as the flowers an abuser sends after the beating has occurred. We are the bullies that make deals in dark alleys with an assortment of ruffians and hoodlums, then roam the streets brandishing clubs we call persuasion. Shameful that such a great nation has its priorities so screwed up. Shameful that we operate inhumanely and illegally without consequence or conscience. Shameful that the world community is not a community, and that we still haven’t learned to look out for each other simply because it is the right thing to do.