|The Grim Sweeper.|
Today I thought the root word of Inauguration should be used as the topic to guess at what the President's re-inauguration could augur. It certainly doesn't augur well that no mention is made of the fact that by the time Barack Obama was first elected in 2008, the world as we knew it had already been dramatically, irreversibly, changed. But instead of using that fact, together with the election of our first black president, as a logical start of a New Beginning, it was used instead as a distraction to convince the electorate things would change in response, but in fact, they have not.
Although pundits, politicians, Keynesians, and journalists alike, can ignore the wall of reality slammed into in 2008, capitalism itself, grappling with the unmentioned truth that it no longer needs, wants, nor knows what do with a large and growing number of our citizens, cannot. Something has gone terribly wrong, but no one knows how to address it, never mind reverse it, fomenting an almost impenetrable mindlessness. Rather than try to address the problems of the future by investigating what went wrong in the past, we have, as a country, decided, or glumly accepted, that nothing went wrong: we merely lost a skirmish in our battle to winning the future.
But since, per the dogma of capitalism, markets don't lie, what is it that they're trying to tell us that we have collectively decided to ignore? Can we use them like tea leaves and read the signs they've deposited once their invigorating properties have been drained to the dregs? Naturally, I don't know any more than you. But we both know we can't if we never take the trouble to try.
In spreading capitalism to other countries, it is always assumed we will bring the benefits enjoyed by our citizens to them. But by the very notions and ideas it lives by, why would capitalism want to do this? What benefits are to be derived therefrom? If no effort can justifiably be expended to increase the pleasure or opportunity of citizens in our own country, why is it so desirable to expend huge amounts of the capital their labor has generated in order to do it elsewhere?
Profits, of course. But huge amounts of time, accounting tricks, and energy is expended to assure those profits don't go to our government, nor to us, but only to the People, ie, the transnationals, the only People that count. But just as our People change the countries they invest in, so is that change, most of it alien and unwanted, reflected back onto us. We become more like China, for example: poor, underclass, with no rights, and a high rate of politically-inspired incarceration.
Similarly, we used black funds from the CIA and other intelligence services to secretly fund the Wahhabi school of fundalmentalist Muslim religious indoctrination in Saudi Arabia, and used it to foment cries for a jihad in Afghanistan against the godless Russians. Again those policies get mirrored back onto ourselves, as we nurture our own cult of Fundamentalist murderous-minded Intolerentsia, well-armed and Constitutionally protected. As freedom of Religion gets defended to the teeth, but freedom from religion, especially for those who are the most helpless, children, is castigated.
This has set the stage for the next act.
If we look back at how America was settled and the United States founded, we see the paradigm of private interest, with government support, calling itself Free Enterprise, even as it embroiled the entire population of England in a deadly and bloody War from which, those doing the actual dieing and bleeding, received none of the bounty. They did, however, incur all of the debts amassed from the heavy risks undertaken by private citizens who hid them from those who would be forced to pay the price. Pitt's financial acumen racked up crushing debt for the English treasury in order to pay the huge expenses of a modern war, waged for the benefit of its Aristocracy.
This was called the Revolutionary War. It was, however, as Gore Vidal has pointed out, rather the First American Civil War, for at the time it was fought, the American Colonies were part of England, and many American-born Englishmen fought against their brethren, other American-born Englishmen, as well as English-born Americans and English-born Englishmen.
The next cataclysm in the, by then, United States, was therefore the Second Civil War, fought because the founding fathers enshrined in the Constitution an institution so draconian and evil, it would not be used by any other modern power again, until Hitler: enforced slavery, backed up by the full power of the military, based solely on genetics. Otherwise known as Fascism. Not even Hitler ever enshrined slavery by genetic marker into Constitutional Law.
So while the great military machine we are so proud of, even as it's destroyed Democracy here in order to bring it everywhere else, has been entirely justified by paranoid fantasies that alien invaders were salivating to take over our country, the real danger has always been internal. Because although War has always been the main driver of growth in the US, the rewards reaped had to be shared with the soldiers and the populace, WW2 being no exception.
GW's wars, however, changed that paradigm. Our wars our no longer ours. We don't even fund them. They belong only to Wii the People: Boeing, Caterpillar, Burger King, Starbucks, Mcdonnell Douglas, Raytheon, Microsoft, Dell, Bechtel: it is only those People, not the people, who profit from Civil Wars fomented in other countries all over the globe, but mostly in resource-rich Africa and the Middle east: Iraq, Egypt, Algeria, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mali, Lybia, Syria, Darfur, Ethiopia .... Divide, arm, and conquer.
But just as we've imported China's uncaring attitude towards poverty and the Fundamentalist, medieval values we first promulgated in other countries, the Civil Wars that the US government, under successive Democratic and Republican administrations, have encouraged, and at times have been the outright cause of, are now preparing the soil and planting the seeds, by having heated discussions about how arming citizens to the teeth is a demonstration of peaceful intentions, by States' Rights advocacy complete with petitions to secede, by preparing the citizenry, both in rhetoric and armamentaria, for the idea to take root here, that the outbreak of a third Civil War just must be inevitable. It doesn't augur well.