18 February, 2008
Observations from the Frontline
“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country … corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.” — U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864 (letter to Col. William F. Elkins) Ref: The Lincoln Encyclopedia, Archer H. Shaw (Macmillan, 1950, NY)
It’s pretty obvious, at least to me anyway, that the ‘democratic process’ has run its course, at least as it’s presently constituted in the so-called developed countries. Not that I’m advocating a dictatorship, in any case we already have a de facto dictatorship by default by virtue of the total non participation by the ‘people’ in the political process. [See for example, ‘How Far Are the Clintons Willing to Go?’ By Robert Parry, Consortium News for details on what is effectively no more than an internal struggle that bears little relationship to reality]
Instead we have what might be called a ‘commercial democracy’, that is to say, a political system that is really no more than a ‘product’ that’s ‘sold’ to the electorate (those who bother to vote). Devoid of real choices, we have to be persuaded to participate by being sold a candidate.
Just how desperate the ruling classes are to restore some kind of legitimacy is illustrated by the Obama/Clinton candidacy. Of course it’s all smoke and mirrors, a PRjob of stupendous dimensions that’s costing hundreds of millions of dollars but one that is destined to backfire and for the obvious reason that real change is simply not on the cards, in fact it’s unthinkable let alone permissible.
The feeling I had, which I couldn’t pin down whilst there, is that there is a palpable undercurrent of fear gripping the US, fear of the future and it’s a fear felt not just by the ruling classbut by the entire populace. In part of course it’s the product of the ‘War on Terror’ propaganda onslaught but in reality it reflects the simple fact that the US economy is in meltdown and the political process has gone totally pear-shaped with no possible way out.
This just in:
“Bank of America delivered a report last night highlighting the current losses of the “Credit Crisis”. According to the report the meltdown in the US sub-prime real estate market has led to a global loss of $7.7 trillion dollars in stock market value since October.
“Quoting Bank of America chief market strategist Joseph Quinlan, “The crisis, which has spread beyond US shores to banks and other sectors worldwide”, is “one of the most vicious in financial history”. — News Dissector, 18 February, 2008
What is even more mind-boggling is the ‘discussion’ surrounding the Obama candidacy which seems to devolve down to ‘change, any change’ even if it’s the equivalent of the latest model of automobile to be presented to the public. All that’s changed is the style, in this case, a black face (or a woman).
To get some idea of the ‘state of the nation’ it’s best look at US television, not the programming which is wall-to-wall crapola (except for the re-runs of ‘Malcolm in the Middle’), but the commercials which have reached what can be best described as a fever pitch, an exhortation to consume like there’s no tomorrow. Watching it gave me a headache, it’s like the TV grew legs and proceeded to jump on my head and beat me into submission.
The really big question facing the US ruling class(and which must have them peeing in their pants) is assuming Obama does get elected, what then? Obviously there will be attempts to present some kind of ‘change’, perhaps a new set of the ‘Emperor’s Clothes’ which will be as non-existent as the original.
It’s a major conundrum but one that can only have one outcome (short of total collapse) namely out and out fascism, after all the groundwork’s already been laid, all the necessary ‘laws’ are in place, all that’s required is another ‘Reichstag Fire’. Perhaps the assassination of Obama would do the trick? Timing is all, it would have to occur before Obama is exposed as a charlatan, a hollow man of no substance. Perhaps on swearing-in day or some other auspicious occasion?
You think this is fantasy? Consider that should Obama actually get elected, what then? Assuming he really does want real change (dream on folks), how far do you think he’d get before he gets popped? The real question is what of the millions who vote for him and their expectations when he cannot deliver what he promised (whatever that is)? Right now it appears that the only change he could deliver is chump change aka Bush’s tax ‘giveaway’ most of which will go to the already disgustingly, obscenely rich.
And whilst there are no doubt some who will interpret what I’m saying as some kind of anti-American rhetoric, the same goes for my own decrepid ‘democracy’ here in the UK, for although a less extreme situation, it is beset with the same fundamental contradictions; loss of legitimacy, a brokedown system that exists courtesy of a credit-fueled economy that is coming apart at the seams.
This is a global capitalist crisis of extra-ordinary dimensions that has no parallel in history, which as the market strategist for Bank of America said “The crisis, which has spread beyond US shores to banksand other sectors worldwide”, is “one of the most vicious in financial history”.
Meanwhile there are those in the ruling elite who do appreciate the danger lurking in the dim recesses of the shopping malls and the blasted lands of those unfortunate enough to live on top of the Black Gold but even then, the US ‘left’ still doesn’t get it.
The following exchange was sent to me by Sarah Meyer who runs the excellent Index Research Website concerning arch imperialist Zbigniew Brzezinski’s statement, a portion of which follows:
“If the United States continues to be bogged down in a protracted bloody involvement in Iraq, the final destination on this downhill track is likely to be a head-on conflict with Iran and with much of the world of Islam at large. A plausible scenario for a military collision with Iran involves Iraqi failure to meet the benchmarks; followed by accusations of Iranian responsibility for the failure; then by some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the U.S. blamed on Iran; culminating in a “defensive” U.S. military action against Iran that plunges a lonely America into a spreading and deepening quagmire eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.” — http://www.oilempire.us/zbig.html for the rest of Zbig’s views.
To which the two lefty lawyers it was directed to responded with:
“Have we sunk this low, that we think Brzezinski the cold warrior sounds good?? He sounds just as arrogant and pro pax Americana as he ever did.”
Which of course entirely misses the point. As I said in my response to Sarah, Brzezinski is talking to his own class, not a bunch of lefties who also seem to be in denial!
When are we going to wake up to the fact that the ruling classis in total disarray and bereft of a solution to what is now double-edged crisis, a crisis of Capital and Climate, both of which are inextricably interlinked and surely doesn’t the promotion of a black candidate speak reams about the nature of the crisis confronting capitalism that it has to resort such extreme measures (for the Anglo-Saxon elite that is). As another good friend and comrade wrote me today:
“[L]iving here on what certainly be the good ship Leviathan, captained by Bluebeard and the pirates, cruise-missiling along on holiday in a sea of everybody else’s misery.” — ‘S Artesian’, and check out the excellent The Wolf Report: Nonconfidential analysis for the anti-investor.
Which just about sums up the situation but how much longer can the purloined ship of state stay afloat?