Thursday, October 24, 2013
A Nod to Walt Kelly & I Go Pogo—"We have met the enemy, and he is US!"
My last post on Facebook included a video about the media distortions and mob think to which we are so easily lead; when posted elsewhere, it got the response, "Well, I guess that's why the govt. sees us all as sheep."
My response— I think that you are right: many in the government do see the people as sheep. This story is the very opposite of government manipulation, but it may expose, as you suggest, why so many politicians and those who pull their strings think of us as such.
Although some jury awards have seemed overboard, and although frivolous or nuisance lawsuits can be used unfairly, the "Tort Reform" movement is cynically motivated by the same treacherous greed and perpetrated by the same corporate criminal interests that oppose all regulation of business. In a society ruled by true laissez faire (let business do whatever it wants with no government interference) and caveat emptor (let the buyer beware), the scoundrels and the sociopaths always have the upper hand.
Tort reform; deregulation; term limits; the "religious" right to refuse insurance protections to employees; union busting; the corporate right to intrude on employee's personal lives; gag orders in legal settlements; the absurd but shrewd idea that corporations are people and money is speech; the gutting of the Voting Rights Act; the unscrupulous purging of voter roles; the enactment of new registration and voting requirements that intentionally suppress voting; "No new taxes...ever!"; the cutting or eliminating programs for those in need while heaping incredible subsidies or bailouts on those who illegally foreclose on peoples' property or pollute and destroy the environment; unjustified and illegal wars pursued on false pretenses: All of these are part of the same movement, aided by the corporate controlled media, designed to decimate the middle class. A peasantry set at one another's throats for the few remaining crumbs really is a sensible goal for a ruthless, anti-social, plutocratic oligarchy.
The fact that so many of those elected to positions of power actually subscribe to a conflation of Ayn Rand's hypocritical social Darwinism and a misinterpretation of MIlton Friedman's "business has no moral responsibility except to make money" is due, for the most part, to the carefully cultivated cynicism, apathy, and cowardice of the American people who have come to care more about the new "American Idol," the latest "Survivor," or the latest irrelevant sexual scandal or lewd celebrity pictures on the net than they care about the running of our government or the welfare of our society and our world.
As a result of willful ignorance, intellectual ennui, and a nagging but indefinable sense of aggrievement, the populous is easily manipulated and roused to incomprehensible and often uncontrollable anger over calculated and intentionally distorted or spurious claims by demagogues (Ted Cruz being the latest puppet of the Right, though the left have theirs as well). After a few hours or occasionally even days of engagement, of course, the angry mob subsides to its disinterested apathy once again.
WE ARE the GOVERNMENT, but in so many ways we have allowed our selfishness, cowardice, ignorance, and apathy to turn over our responsibilities and our interests to those who care little for the actual needs of the country but for whom ruthless self-interest and self-righteous hypocrisy are most useful tools.
"The Greatest Threat to Democracy is Hypocrisy! Seek Truth! Speak Truth!" Tim McMullen