"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

May 20, 2011

An Elegant Contrast

Broken record time: Wealth gets the state its possessors want. Wealth concentrates. It does not do so by laws of nature or economy. The invisible hand is a fiction, however useful. Wealth concentrates, because those who have it use force and fraud to acquire it, directly with violence and intimidation, or indirectly with law, religion and education. That is its consistency. Having wealth means having the ability to keep and expand it. To protect it. To give the retention and protection of it the sanction of God, civilization and moral authority.

Power's form is stable over time. Its justifications vary. Its interactions with captive populations change, evolve, devolve and periodically need to be reset. Populations change, though the form of power has proven remarkably stable. The core of the state is consistent. It's application varies. Its lies and fabrications are offered to suit the alteration of years and ages, or the primacy of factions. They are not monoliths, or monographs.

Our American state is possessed by the wealthy. It is organized and run for their benefit. A simple proposition, and despite its elegance, nonetheless true.

Which is why Congressional members, for all their pretend inefficiencies and alleged partisan divides, can swiftly come to agree on extending the Patriot Act, yet again.

Or on the need to cut spending and the "deficit," meaning those programs which benefit, however negligibly, the poor and the needy (whether or not they've yet agreed on how to do it).

Or on the largest military expenditures in human history.

Or on handing over the Commons to bankers to cover the losses of their ruthless speculations.

But - figuring out how to extend a flea's pittance of the budget of a continent bestriding, permanent warfare state, for the meager and temporary benefit of laid off workers?

Well, the fuckers still cannot agree on how or when to do that.

I'm sure they'll find it as difficult to agree, when it comes to re-re-re-opening the Gulf of Mexico to future devastating oil disasters...

1 comment:

senecal said...

I know you know this, but it's a more interesting statement if you add some history to it, for example the history of wealth and its role in government in the US since 1776. Even a conservative historian like Kevin Phillips has written on this, along with left historians like Gabriel Kolko.

My funny pass-word today is "reezxmat" -- cool, man!