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Chronicling the collapse of a failed society
A lonely voice of reason in the wilderness of our corrupt single-party Corporate State:
The rancorous debate over the debt belies a fundamental truth of our economy — that it is run for the few at the expense of the many, that our entire government has been turned into a machine which takes the wealth of a mass of Americans and accelerates it into the hands of the few. Let me give you some examples.
Take war. War takes the money from the American people and puts it into the hands of arms manufacturers, war profiteers, and private armies. The war in Iraq, based on lies: $3 trillion will be the cost of that war. The war in Afghanistan; based on a misreading of history; half a trillion dollars in expenses already. The war against Libya will be $1 billion by September.
We have to realize what this country’s economy has become. Our monetary policy, through the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, privatized the money supply, gathers the wealth, puts it in the hands of the few while the Federal Reserve can create money out of nothing, give it to banks to park at the Fed while our small businesses are starving for capital.
Mark my words — Wall Street cashes in whether we have a default or not. And the same type of thinking that created billions in bailouts for Wall Street and more than $1 trillion in giveaways by the Federal Reserve today leaves 26 million Americans either underemployed or unemployed. And nine out of ten Americans over the age of 65 are facing cuts in their Social Security in order to pay for a debt which grew from tax cuts for the rich and for endless wars.
Sadly, Kucinich stands little chance of having any impact from within the rotting heart of the corporatocracy he despises. In a nation where the flow of virtually all information is controlled by a vast corporate media machine, where style perpetually trumps substance and political debate is always relegated to the realm of the 10-second sound byte, Kucinich’s passionate and reasoned diatribe will be drowned out in the maddening din of propaganda, pushed to the fringes of our extreme-right corporate-controlled society.
“The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” While I cannot profess to be a Marxist, he certainly nailed it with the opening lines of the Communist Manifesto. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to sustain the myth of the classless America, as the rift between the elite few and the ordinary, impoverished masses becomes more and more pronounced. When will Americans finally wake up and realize that Capitalism has failed them? That our current society is little more than a slightly more refined version of the feudal system of serfs and lords? That the modern aristocracy of corporate overlords has successfully subjugated the masses into a system which ensures endless wealth for the few utter destitution for the rest?
What we are observing today, as our society crumbles around us, is the end-game in a long and troubled history of class warfare. For a relatively brief respite, conditions were favorable to the emergence of a sizable middle class, which lived for a time in unprecedented prosperity. But those conditions – a continent filled with innumerable resources under conquest, a planet in tatters after two world wars – have subsided, and having cemented its stranglehold on our national wealth, the corporate elite are now in a position to consolidate their riches and return our society to a structure which has been the norm throughout human history: a tiny handful of the wealthy and powerful enjoying a bounteous existence at the top, while the plebeian masses struggle to survive on the crumbs that fall from the table of the rich. Regardless of the names which we apply to our various social and economic schemes – capitalism, communism, feudalism – the end result has always been the same, as the human capacity for greed, avarice and sheer brutality come to the fore again and again.
But there have been subtle developments in today’s world that indicate that this time could potentially be different. In this the Internet Age, we have the capacity to communicate, educate and organize on a scale that has never before been known to man. The masses have always had one aspect in their favor, but until now it had successfully been diffused by the wealthy overlords: numbers. It is impossible to conceive how 5% of any given population could enslave the remaining 95% if that latter segment were united and inspired. The only reason the elite has managed to retain power throughout the ages has been their ability to splinter and fragment the masses – to divide and conquer. Today, Americans are indeed isolated and divided, and as a result it has been remarkably easy for the corporatocracy to continue reaping unprecedented profits as the world crumbles around them. But with modern communication technologies, the potential exists – now as never before – for the impoverished masses to finally join together, to rise up and reclaim what is rightfully theirs but has never yet been attained: a fair and equitable society in which all people are free to prosper and grow.
Today it may be little more than a dream, but it is important to bear in mind that, for the first time in history, the possibility exists.