Saturday, December 01, 2018

Making Sense of Our Times

Our last article focused on the falsity of the current "noise" of social media's attempt to make people believe that we're under siege by a bunch of "socialists". While there is some truth in their claims in that they---mostly the Millennials who make up groups like Antifa or BLM---are at the vanguard of a neo-Marxist socialist or even Communist spear tip. The social media wants us to think that at any moment, there will be a vast uprising of wannabe Che Guevaras, Huey Newtons and Angela Davis', or "Maos", or whomever. That the spirit of the SLA, Weatherman, SDS, Baader-Meinhof gang, or Black Panthers lives again. They want us to think that the Democrats in Washington are covertly planning to oust Trump, arresting his supporters and seizing our guns.

Well, it is true that this past election revealed a lot of desperation by certain Democratic officials who were determined to rig elections with votes of long dead individuals and illegal immigrants. A few were eventually fired, but still eligible for their retirement benefits which I find mind boggling. While not very publicized, the "New Black Panthers", an overtly racist and mostly Muslim group which openly calls for the murder any non-black individuals and the overthrow of the government, again tried to bully and intimidate whites, Hispanics, and Asians from voting, although their efforts didn't really come too much.

The cold hard fact of the matter is that while they're being lead to believe that they are advancing the cause of some idealistic version of Marxist "socialism" or Communism, they are being played like a cheap banjo. They are, as Lenin would say, "useful idiots". Their energies and passions are being directed the way certain very powerful groups want; "broken on the cliffs" as one might say (a common Chinese tactic by the way). Their leaders are being outed and will now appear on special lists where they will be monitored for evermore. Meanwhile, "socialism" is once more being cast as a negative; associated with failure and violence. Why would that be you silently ask?

Well, why would you want to discredit a rival ideology? Personally, if I was trying to redirect public opinion away from some ideology which could interfere with my plans, it might be handy if I could convince people to associate the very term with some negative baggage. For instance, instead of referring to Cuba or Venezuela as forms of Communism, a mostly failed Marxian ideology, what if I started calling it simply "socialist", thus associating the name with state sanctioned violence, a loss of freedom, and economic turmoil?

Instead of looking at how successful non-Marxist democratic socialism has been historically in Scandinavia and parts of Europe, they start pointing their finger at the current social or economic situation without mentioning the invading "migrants"? That might create an impression that democratic socialism is just another name for socialism (Marx be damned) which is another way of calling it Communist. What would I hope to achieve here? Well, I suppose the ideal outcome would be to convince people that socialism, especially non-Marxist socialism, which inherently a doomed political system. Where would they led me, and the public at that point?

It would lead people to conclude that pretty much anything too far off our current system would obviously be unsuccessful. That would imply that Capitalistic democracy would be the only viable political system. But what, exactly, is "Capitalistic democracy"? It's simply a economic political system whereby everything is measured by economic success; where money equates to power, and those who have the power should government, or to put it another way, money trumps individual rights. You cease to be citizens of a country and become global consumers. You consume in order to consume some more, be it "keeping up appearances" or artificially created trends, or whatever.

For Capitalistic democracy to survive, it must grow constantly. It can never stop. Think of it as an ravenous creature that, no matter how much it eats, can never be satisfied. Even as it expands, it continues to eat what it had just consumed, and so it perpetually recycles. In the case of a political economic system, if it can expand by manipulation or by persuasion, it will do so by force...war...or at the very least, conflict.

Unchecked, it can also cause social and economic inequality. That is, the upper tier's quality of life increases far and away from that on the lower tier while the middle tier adsorbs the weight of supporting the other two continues to shrink; ultimately finding itself just slightly better than lower tier. Ideally, the economic social scale should look like a diamond on its side, with a small wealthy class at the top and a small poor class on the bottom with a broad middle class in the center. What we have today looks more like a hourglass with a very wealthy upper class at the top, a large lower class at the bottom, and a narrow middle class in the center.

I don't want you to assume that Capitalistic democracy is necessarily a bad thing. It's not, if the beast is kept on a leach; that is, if it's regulated and controlled. In that case, there is both growth and an opportunity for adapting to the expansion. It progresses, albeit it slowly. It doesn't force open markets by economic pressure or military threats, nor does it create industrial pseudo-monopolies whereby a single sector controls the overwhelming majority of resources to the point where there is no competition; no new newcomers or innovators.

Who benefits under Capitalistic democracy? Well, obviously those with the money, and when we say "money" I mean mega-bucks; far beyond what most people can even comprehend. These individuals, who've amassed a tremendous amount of political influence to go with their economic influence, are the plutocrats. They use their "privilege", as they prefer to think of it, to acquire even more power which in turn creates more opportunities to make more money, and so the circle goes around and around.

These plutocrats have come together to create an Oligarchy; which is essentially rule by a small elite group, and rule they do, albeit mostly behind the scenes. They ensure that laws are written for their economic benefit; that they are exempt from the same laws that affect the "ordinary masses". They do this through corporate lobbyists who act as their "errand boys"; who help write some legislation and advise elected officials on the passage of others. They help to ensure the "right" people are hired for key positions. Some may even run for office themselves (always under the guise of a populist "one of the common folk" types). They also make sure elections are too expensive for the majority of the people. After all, only they are fit to make the "big decisions" such as writing tax laws, forcing open markets (either through bribery or intimidation), and where to drill.

Of course, everyone once in awhile, some individual or group comes along to rock their yacht. Those individuals are usually bullied into scurrying along. Some are simply bought off. Those who continue to hand around are subject to increasing degrees of ridicule and eventual character assassination (including their family, friends, and associates). Sometimes, that's not enough, and when it's not...well, you can imagine what happens then. Recent history is full of "what ifs" and "what may have been" scenarios.

All of this brings us back to the Millennial "Snowflakes". They represent the typical idealistic youth. They think they've got it all figured out. They know how things should be run; it's all so simple. Yeah, my generation did so too. We told ourselves that we had it all figured out. We "tuned out and turned on". All be needed to do was "give peace a chance", thought that "all we need is love". Communes, sex, drugs, and rock n roll was all that was required. Well, that didn't turn out so well did it?

The biggest difference is that while my generation, the children of the "Greatest Generation" and their children, the Silents, was perhaps the most economically spoiled generation in history, is that it set the stage for a continuing cycle where there was less and less emphasis on personal responsibility and growing sense of entitlement. While many of my generation initially lived off of their parent's dime, they eventually grew up and found their way in the world. Nowadays, their grandchildren, the Millennials, are still living in their parent's basements and thanks to technology and the lack of social contact, never really grew up.

As a result, they created a social "bubble" which prevented them from ever experiencing the world as it really is. They remain sheltered in many ways, but they still have that sense of entitlement but still possess that youthful idealism. This has created a generation that is emotionally weak, and thus easily manipulated. Thus, the ruling Oligarchy has to find a way to "bleed off" that idealism while steering them from the one ideology which could threaten their hold on power. But if you think that's all, you'd be wrong. There's more. Much more.

Since the goal has always been about "more", what has to happen is the creation of state in which they face no threats to their power, which means there has to be social as well as economic stability. How to do that? First, there has to be a crisis which can be used to focus the public's attention. Usually this is in the form of an external threat, and we have one. Terrorism. With terrorism, we have the opportunity for an never-ending war and the perfect excuse to intervene militarily anywhere we want. It also allows for a wartime economy which artificially increases economic production (besides, war or "conflicts" are highly profitable). More recently, there have been subtle attempts to rekindle a new Cold War with Russia or China since the "War on Terrorism" has been slowing down. The nice thing about this kind of war is that, like terrorism, is can go on forever. Meanwhile, they build a surveillance system to help "protect" us. They create ways to monitor us; track us until we have unwittingly helped construct our own prisons in the name of security.

But what about employment? If the economy is doing well, artificially or not, won't there be a shortage of soldiers and sailors? Nope. First, we have an increase in automation to help keep employee numbers down. Secondly, we have illegal immigration. As more and more individuals enter the country and seek jobs, demand for work pushes down wages and benefits. Thus, people are forced to take less...unless they would like to join the military. This takes potential workers out of the job market (and the fact that a certain percentage won't be returning). Another plus is weak unions who are unable or unwilling to do anything for force up wages (usually faced with the threat of closing plants and shipping jobs overseas).

In addition, the Oligarchy finds ways to divide the populace. If we are arguing and fighting with each other, we aren't watching them now are we? To do that, they foster division across every possible avenue they can, be it race, gender, class, religion, social, bright versus average, or whatever. If there's a difference, they'll find a way to exploit it. We see accusations that one side is going to do this or that to the other side and back again. They do whatever they can to kindle the fire until it's nearly out of control. I say "nearly" intentionally. They don't want things spiraling so far out of control they lose control themselves (remember, they need stability and order in order to make profits).

However, they have to allow things to get so bad that the public will demand that the government "do something", and "something" they will indeed do. They will impose order, but for a price, and that price will be our freedom (or at least much of it). We are already a surveillance state. Next will be police state (police departments across the country are already being militarized to deal with the increasing violence of criminal gangs that have been allowed to enter the country not to mention a failed "drug war" policy, and an outdated justice and educational system which fails to teach while rewarding mediocrity and a lack of discipline). A controlled population is a compliant population, and a compliant population is one which do as expected and not rock any boats. Of course, so long as you do what you're a good little drone, you'll have nothing worry about.

So, you must be wondering just what political philosophy these Oligarchs follow if their goal is money and a callous control of society, even if it means creating chaos and violence to bring about total dominance. Well, like any group, there is no monolithic or overarching single ideology. There are those who support a softer approach which emphasizes more social engineering while others who prefer a more self-direction. The majority belong to one or the other two pre-approved political parties of which the literally own, along with the media and every other major industry.

However, having said that, they don't adhere to necessarily to the stated ideals of that political party although they may do so publicly. As a group, the ruling Oligarchy is Fascist (which, as Fascism's founder, Benito Mussolini, once said would be better called "Corporatism"). Some lean toward a Left leaning form while other want a Right leaning version as stated before. This then is what all the fuss is about. It's not "socialism" or Communism". It's whether a Left or Right oriented version of Fascism prevails. For us, it really doesn't matter if we get eaten by the lion or the tiger does it?

Fascism, which tends to be ultra conservative, has historically borrowed from both the Left and Right; the degree of which depending on the traditions and history of the country in question which is why Germany's version was different from Spain's which was different from Argentina's which differed from Italy's, which, again, was different from that of Romania, Hungary, or Bulgaria. In that sense, it's almost neutral when it comes a political spectrum, especially the antiquated version that we still use today (it originated in the 18th Century during the French Revolutionary Period). Some may see its reach as a form of pseudo-socialism" at this stage while other may see a rise in nationalism, but it's still Fascism any way you look at it.

Fascism, by its very nature is very fluid. It ebbs and flows, but always advances against the weakest links of society until it either succeeds or society sees it for what it is and reacts aggressively. Thus, the question is what will we do? Will we set back and watch it advance, believing we're safe in our little world? Will we allow our society to be torn apart as it seeks to manufacture artificial divisions and turn us against each other? Or will we acknowledge our mutual enemy and come together to restore the country of our Founders? The choice is yours.

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