Monday, September 5, 2011

"Fixing" the System

Gil Scott-Heron, Samir Hussein/Getty Images

Here's an article for your consideration, and be sure to read the comments to the end:

Now do you see how the system is supposed to work?  I particularly like the comment that suggests that a CEO should get 750,000 more votes than an out-of-work practical nurse who used to care for my mother in a family owned rest home while she declined with Parkinsons until she (my mother I mean) was living entirely in her memories of 1920 Wrightsville Beach, NC.  

It really isn't a new thing, this observation that money is power.  It just seems new because it's being made in new quarters, such as Mr. Lofgren's essay of yesterday.  One might observe that back in the 1840s, in a land somewhat advanced at that time on the Industrial Revolution railroad compared to say here, where we were using human labor (albeit mostly as free as slavery could make it for the producers), an economist/philosopher with a bit more on the ball than, oh, Ayn Rand or Glenn Beck, was observing the same things.  This philosopher was of course Karl Marx.  And Marx despaired of making serious changes in the circumstances of working people, although at the same time his own writings aimed at pointing out to those working people who could read some of the illusions under which they labored.

Where did this lead us, oh Israel?  Why to Lenin and Trotsky, who decided that up against the wall red neck muthers was the only way things were going to change for working people.  And of course what Lenin and Trotsky didn't realize was that once the principle that power flows from the barrel of a gun is fully unleashed, the man who is most willing to shoot people can end up in charge.  And thus, just prior to Hitler's invasion of the low countries and slightly more prior to Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union, Trotsky ended up with an ice pick in his brain, down in Mexico, courtesy of Uncle Joe. 

So indeed like old age, embarking on a political career is not for the faint of heart.  But one wonders just how tone deaf the Right must be, to make such arguments as the ones cited here in the American Thinker.  The point of voting, after all, is to give some hope to the voters that they have some voice in the situation.  The expression of hatred and utter contempt for working people (and people who are unemployed, and the elderly, and the poor generally) is little less than evil personified.  The Founders are not remembered for their small-minded, craven, selfish "adjustments" to a principle of universal suffrage which is enunciated full throat in the Declaration of Independence.  Rather, our history can be seen as a progress towards that principle, and one that crept at much too slow a pace for far too many, generation after generation.   Ms Bachmann's efforts to rewrite history are as weak as Uncle Joe's, and come from the same place, and it'll be quite a long time before the Tea Party locks up the Declaration and does not allow entry to the untutored vagabonds (I have heard of efforts by Rep. Joe Wilson to get the thing translated into Latin). 

The Cantors, the Ryans, the Perrys, and the multitude of scribblers and punditeers who lick their boots and justify every perversion of the American ideal, proceed at their own risk, at least in the long run.  Possibly money has achieved such power these days that change is no longer possible.  Possibly the system can be incrementally adjusted towards deeper and deeper injustice, one little state's rights step at a time.  Or, possibly, sad, wracked, destroyed Gil Scott-Heron might be proven right in the end.  Right now we're just in the middle of this journey.

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