May 11, 2008
Gravediggers of the world unite! Capitalism Must Die….
By: Rowan Wolf
By Jason Miller of Thomas Paine's corner
“What this means is that corporations and those who run them cannot stop exploiting resources and amassing wealth until they have… .I cannot finish this sentence, because the truth is that can never stop; like cancer, they can only continue to expand until they kill the host.” –Derrick Jensen
Yes. It’s another anti-capitalist rant by Jason Miller. Big surprise! I’m the associate editor for Cyrano’s Journal Online, the anti-capitalist tool. We’re not big fans of free market ideology and its tacit socioeconomic license to rape, pillage and plunder.
Here’s a novel idea—if you don’t like my diatribes against the predominatingly rotten-to the-core system that ensures the most despicable human beings wield the most power, don’t read them! And you relentless “keepers of the faith,” dazzle us with more of your intellectually dishonest arguments supporting capitalism. I’m quite familiar with the mental gymnastics you do to buttress a heinous system that rationalizes and “legitimizes” your greed, ruthlessness, selfishness, speciesism, hyper-individualism, exploitative and abusive tendencies, and the wholesale commodification of the Earth and its sentient inhabitants. It is obvious to all but the most self-deluded that capitalism is destroying the planet and us. So go ahead and jerk us off with your inane apologetics “validating” capitalism. And then go fuck yourselves.
Fortunately, there are those with the will, conscience, and intellectual capacity to wrench their minds free from the mental shackles of capitalist indoctrination. Yet like the seemingly endless drip, drip, drip of Chinese water torture, the Bernays-crafted inculcation keeps many amongst the poor and working class singing the praises of the free markets that are robbing them blind and drives a fair number of good little Proletarians to the cruel madness of libertarianism. Visions of benevolent Invisible Hands gently guiding them to the promised land of free markets (where liberty and fairness rain down from the sky as manna from heaven) dance through their impaired cerebral tissue, a tissue ossified to the extent that most driven to the feverish state of libertarianism are more resistant to reason than the most dedicated of religious zealots.
Those whose minds remain supple and open refuse to accept the idiotic Panglossian view that a slightly evolved and cleverly disguised form of feudalism is “the best of all possible worlds.” They embrace the possibility of humanity evolving socio-economically to a much more egalitarian, just, humane, and sustainable system without attempting to create an unattainable “utopia.” And they recognize that the short-comings (many of which were imposed or caused by the United States, capitalism’s chief defender) of Maoism, Stalinism, and a number of other anti-capitalist revolutions and systems are not valid reasons to summarily reject and dismiss the notion of putting capitalism out of our misery and replacing it with a system that promotes the greater good rather than the “success” and comfort of a few individuals.
Consider but a few examples of the contradictions, perversions, crises, and abominations which are the inevitable consequences of the systematized greed and selfishness of capitalism, a highly contagious and lethal virus that is plaguing the world—to the extent that it has even infected those bastions of “communist evil,” Russia and China:
Food riots are occurring with increasing frequency around the world, food prices in the US are soaring, and 35,000 human beings starve to death each day. Yet instead of pursuing legitimate alternatives to the Peak Oil crisis, we divert significant volumes of precious sugar and corn to the manufacture of biofuels. Meanwhile, the sector of the power elite that “represents” We the People in Congress allows the major oil companies to keep record profits derived by exploiting their oligopoly on a commodity as essential to human survival as food in an industrialized society. “Our” Congress lacks the spine (or is it the will?) to compel rapacious corporate bastards like Chevron to employ reasonable portions of their staggering profits to innovate alternative energy sources. “Big Oil” has been raping the people and the planet far too long in its relentless pursuit of obscene profits.
When CNN recently ran an editorial by Glenn Beck (its resident pig-of-a-man apologist for free market economic slavery, proud ignorance, and ugly Americanism) thanking Big Oil for “providing” us with the fuel we need to make our economy run, that was a clear indication that nationalization of these parasitic entities is long over-due. (But then again so is Beck’s removal from the human race, a punishment he richly deserves for using virtually every breath he draws to help ensure the hellish reign of capitalism does not end).
We are becoming all id and no superego.
With television providing the seductively addictive medium for the cult of consumerism, far too many of us have been sucked into the spiritually comatose state of blind pursuit of life at the expense of the rest of Earth’s sentient beings, the liberty to run over, fuck over, and slaughter as many human and non-human animals as we see fit, and happiness derived from instantly gratifying ourselves with as much stuff and pleasure as we can jam into our over-flowing basements and eerily vacuous inner selves. We are becoming all id and no superego. Fuck conscience. Unabashed political sociopaths like Bush and Cheney reflect the depraved perversity of our collective inner selves. Lurking beneath their smirking cynical “adult” veneers are depraved children whose intellectual and moral aspects were quick frozen just before they reached their third birthdays.
The truly scary part is that there is a little Cheney in all of us. (Fortunately there is a lot more in some than in others). But take heart. You can minimize the damage your inner Cheney does. When he steps to the forefront of your psyche, simply envision your superego quail hunting with him, shooting him as he did his “friend,” and unceremoniously stuffing him and his badly mutilated face back into the inner recesses of your unconscious.
Driven by emotion and humanity’s most repulsive qualities, capitalism is intrinsically unstable. All the Fed intervention, Keynesianism, dog and pony “economic stimuli,” and liberal band-aids (i.e. our myriad half measure “social welfare” programs and business regulatory laws) cannot prevent the inevitable crises of capitalism (i.e. recessions, depressions, massive unemployment, homelessness, severe environmental damage….). FDR,” radical communist” that he was (according to the craven parasites hoarding most of the nation’s wealth), may have had good intentions when he crafted the New Deal, but ultimately the crumbs he threw the poor and working class to avert a revolution served the long-term interests of the power elite by prolonging capitalism’s inevitable demise.
Today capitalism’s grave diggers stand poised to shovel with a vengeance. Besides the aforementioned food shortages, sky-rocketing fuel and gasoline prices are finally putting a potentially lethal economic bite on the US American middle class, a group of people who have served as the buffers and unwitting foot-soldiers for the malevolent swine comprising the power elite. (Marxist sociologist C. Wright Mills provided us with masterful analyses of the power elite and the middle class in The Power Elite and White Collar).
War criminals guilty of Nuremberg-class crimes perpetuate a genocide that has resulted in the slaughter of two million Iraqis and the creation of 4 million Iraqi refugees. And that doesn’t count the millions of Iraqis who died in Gulf War I and as a result of Clinton’s barbaric economic sanctions. Rather than dangling lifelessly from the end of a rope (like the Nazi war criminals and Saddam Hussein), Bush, Cheney, et al continue perpetrating crimes of equal or greater magnitude while holding onto the most powerful positions in the world. Seventy percent of the US population is opposed to this capitalist-driven imperial invasion launched to secure a stranglehold on the rapidly dwindling supply of precious petroleum. Yet instead of getting the withdrawal Democrats promised when they retook Congress, we got a “surge.”
In our bourgeois democracy and ostensible “republic,” we have the illusion of choice between two supposedly different parties. But, as almost every social and political analyst worth his salt has concluded, ultimately the Republicans and Democrats serve the same class interests. Those of the rich and powerful. The rhetoric (and some of the actions) of the Democrats serve to create a façade of pseudo-humanity which “softens” the appearance of the empathy-deficient sociopaths who conduct US foreign policy in a brutal, murderous fashion and who allow an intolerable degree of economic suffering at home (given the extent of the wealth of this nation). Yes, Derrick Jensen nailed it when he suggested we have a one-party system. Barring a VERY limited number of exceptions, our “elected” officials are members of the Capitalist Party.
Even something as mundane as a trip to the post office serves as a poignant reminder of the extent to which our system is turned upside down. The US Postal Service, a government entity for many years, is still a quasi-public entity. Yet we leave something as “trivial” as health care in the hands of private enterprise and the Invisible Hand of the “free market” gives many of us the finger. And despite the fact that polls dating back to the 1970’s have consistently shown that over 70% of US Americans want universal health care, the power elite has leveraged its formidable economic influence to perpetuate a private health care system that ranks at the bottom of the industrialized world. Some “developing” countries actually rank above the “almighty” United States in key indicators of the health of their population. We may have the most the latest and greatest medical technologies, but what good are they if large numbers of people can’t access them?
Yet in the twisted mind and blackened heart of the capitalist, these arrangements are ideal. Mail delivery is essential to conducting commerce. “The mail must go through” and having a powerful and ubiquitous entity like the USPS ensures that businesses get the mail that is critical to maintaining the flow of their sacred profits. Health care is another matter. The power elite have access to the best medical attention known to man. What the hell do they care if a significant percentage of the poor and working class suffers through their illnesses and pain, goes bankrupt trying to get healing and relief or simply dies? As long as our economic lords and masters have enough wage and debt slaves from whom they can exploit their surplus labor and interest AND there are no riots or major social upheavals, they’re happy. Besides, Big Pharma and other elements within the health industrial complex make money by the truckload—-and that, my friends, is the essence of capitalism. Even if it means wringing profits out of the elderly, weak and infirm.
Yes, capitalism is the bane of the Earth. It is a linear system premised on infinite growth. Corporate media whores love to crow about “the growth of the economy” as if the further expansion of our highly toxic, industrialized, and consumption obsessed society on a planet that is already on life support is a “good thing.” Let’s celebrate! We drove another 100 species to extinction, increased the toxicity of the air and water, and eliminated 5% more of the rain forests!
Not unlike the Church in the Middle Ages, the infrastructures of capitalism, both physical and socioeconomic, pervade nearly every aspect of our being. Corporate media, industrialized education, inculcation, peer pressure, and Madison Avenue ensure that nearly all of us spend at least part of our lives as dogmatic adherents to the “faith.” Here are some of their soul and planet murdering lies:
1. Profits and property are valuable and inviolable. People are disposable.
2. It’s all about me. (Hyper-individualism and narcissism)
3. Capitalism and democracy are inextricably linked and one is not possible without the other. (The reality is that capitalism is a hierarchal form of economic tyranny that is antithetical to democracy).
4. The world and the human and non-human animals around us are objects to be exploited for our personal gain.
5. Public monies must go to military and law enforcement to protect our precious possessions and enforce our right to fuck others. Any attempt to spend public monies for humane purposes is a form of socialism and is a threat to our “liberty.” (We will NOT surrender that right to sleep under a bridge, by God).
6. Our economy functions most effectively when it works on the premise of the law of the jungle. If you are fit (and lucky), you prosper. Otherwise, fuck you. Have a good day!
7. Success (even spiritual success in our perverse Calvinistic form of Christianity) is measured by our accumulation of wealth.
8. Consuming with gluttonous abandon is our “Godgiven right” and sacred responsibility (remember our morally retarded president urging us to shop and spend money to counter the “terrorist” attacks on 9/11)?
These beliefs are driven into our minds with sledge-hammer blows from the moment we emerge from the birth canal. And not only do they set us up to be moral abominations (at the very least by participating in the evils of our capitalist empire in banal ways) but from a pragmatic standpoint, our perverse and distorted “faith” has plunged us into global instability: politically, economically, socially and environmentally.
The silver lining to this frighteningly ominous cloud is that collapse or revolution is coming. Neither Mother Nature nor the oppressed will tolerate abject abuse and exploitation indefinitely. Egalitarianism, democracy, social justice, sustainability, communalism, and respect for the Earth clash violently with the essence of capitalism, but no intellectually honest person can dismiss them as socialist dogma, the “backward” ways of “primitive indigenous populations,” or utopian impossibilities. We must embrace and implement these principles if we are to ensure the continued existence of human animals, non-human animals and the Earth itself.
Meanwhile, once the grave diggers have completed their task and chaos ensues, Derrick Jensen will be able to blow up all the dams he wants and the Second Amendment will prove to be the anti-capitalists’ best friend
Jason Miller is a recovering US American middle class suburbanite who strives to remain intellectually free. He is Cyrano’s Journal Online’s associate editor and publishes Thomas Paine’s Corner within Cyrano’s. You can reach him at JMiller@bestcyrano.com