Saturday, December 04, 2010

Concern for the Future

Politics seems to have devolved into a game played only by and essentially for the benefit of those with wealth and power. Theoretically, politics is the medium through which all of the people’s business is conducted in a reasoned, orderly and respectful fashion. Theoretically, politics is the medium through which civil societies progress. This is the way it is supposed to be in a democracy. But democracies cannot function if governments are corrupted by wealth and its influences and the population remains pathetically uneducated, for an ignorant people can be readily duped into believing that which is patently not true. Such a population is primed for the fearsome manipulation that is the hallmark of demagoguery.

The fact that this nation is rapidly sinking should be no great surprise. America was founded on blood, on slavery, on forced labor. The vast majority of Americans live on stolen land. We have built an economy based on the endless exploitation of foreign labor while allowing the domestic work force to fester. We have allowed our infrastructure to undergo a steady and inexorable collapse from persistent neglect. We have turned over many of the essential aspects of the Commons, such as healthcare, over to the practices of those who live for profit. As a result tens of millions of human beings have been knowingly deprived of access to health care so that a certain few can make hundreds of millions of dollars. These dollars have been built upon needless suffering and unnecessary death. We have placed profit above all else allowing for the sanctioned production of such toxic products as tobacco, Agent Orange, depleted uranium weaponry and napalm. This is a kind of brutality and butchery that is not essentially different than the practices of so-called “organized crime.”

We have failed at educating our people so abysmally that superstition and crazed religious beliefs have trumped science. As a result, the plundering of the planet continues since the threat of climate change is seen as a nasty little hoax perpetrated by godless scientists. We have become a people that are essentially asleep and numb to our own supreme foolishness.

America has been conducting a foreign policy based upon the bankrupt concept of exceptionalism i.e. that we, as a nation, are somehow inherently allowed to behave in regards to other nations anyway we choose regardless of how criminal that behavior might be. As a result, tens of millions of human beings, mostly of different color, have been literally crushed under the weight of massive and brutal military power.

The cumulative weight of our past has left its indelible imprint on character of the nation. We should fear for the future. This fear is misplaced, however, if we focus on the national debt or the supposed threat of socialism or unemployment, for example. We should be concerned, instead, for the people that we have become. If we wish to change the future, we must change ourselves.

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