If you would like to contribute your own work, contact me at failedempire AT gmail DOT com.
Chronicling the collapse of a failed society
One more year has come and gone, and by and large we as a society have absolutely nothing to show for it. It was a brutal year in some respects – two ongoing wars, one vastly expanded; continued bailouts for those who need it least’ real unemployment hovering at 20%; the Republican mid-term massacre; the rise of the Teabaggers – the list could go on far longer than I care to remember. Towards the end of the year we were told by our “liberal” president that we had entered a “season of progress,” during which a few pathetic crumbs were thrown to the masses, for which we were meant to be eternally grateful – the repeal of DADT, an extension of unemployment benefits (coupled, of course, with massive tax cuts for the rich). Silly purists that we are, we demand far more than the real world allows.
As devastating as all of the above might seem, in most respects 2010 was an utterly forgettable year. It represents but one more year in an endless stream in which the status quo of our plutocracy was not merely maintained but hardily reinforced. The persistent trend of greater wealth for the rich and more devastating squalor for the poor – and lately, middle class – continued unabated, and the social paradigm which pits humans against humans in the name of the sacred god of free-market capitalism remained predominant. The concept of “human rights” remains but a vague concept, while millions lack the basic necessities of health care, shelter, and adequate sustenance.
Human progress will remain in this state of stagnation as long as the masses remain so utterly distracted. Even we on the left, self-professed members of the reality based community, bear our share of the guilt. In many ways, our actions help to propagate the ignorance that spews forth from the corporate media, simply because many of us unknowingly accept the basic bullshit framework so carefully defined by the corporatocracy.
Every time we allow ourselves to get worked up over issues which in the ultimate sense are utterly meaningless, we are further enabling the fictional corporate narrative and missing the opportunity to work towards genuine progress. Yes, the repeal of DADT was a good thing, but was it really worth the effort and energy that accompanied it? Who really gives a shit if the military discriminates? The U.S. military is the very face of American empire, and have committed some of the worst atrocities in the history of our race. Why would anyone struggle so hard to have the “privilege” to join them? Certainly, the gay rights movement is an important one, but the repeal of DADT seems like a non-victory. When members of the LGBT community are allowed to marry freely and without discrimination, then we might have cause to celebrate.
Similarly, every time we allow ourselves to get flustered over the actions of any given Republican or Democratic elected official, we lose sight of the bigger picture and become mired in the fantasy corporate world view. There is no real difference between a corporate Republican and a corporate Democrat; the Democrat might pay lip service to progressive values, but their actions demonstrate where their true allegiance lies. If Barack Obama were a true progressive, we would have seen real progressive achievements during his term. The same can be said of the Democrat-controlled Congress. The lack of results – or rather, the record of right-wing achievements – amply proves the genuine character of our “liberal” Democrats.
It’s time to stop settling for so little, to stop focusing on these trivial, utterly meaningless issues and focus on the things that truly matter. End the wars. Dismantle the absurdly enormous military. Bring genuine universal health care to all Americans, disbanding the parasitic insurance companies in the process. Tax the shit out of Wall Street and all of their corporate brethren. Put an end to our oil addiction and finally develop the capacity for practical, everyday use of renewable energy. Take corporate money out of the political process. Raise the minimum wage. End the ridiculous prison industry, which results in a higher percentage of Americans behind bars than any other developed nation.
The only thing preventing us from realizing these goals is ourselves. In every era, in every nation, true power has always rested with the people. We’re the giant cowering in the corner while some little turd with a stick runs rampant in the candy shop. It’s high time we stop crying, rise up, and show that little malevolent runt the treatment he deserves.