Swans Commentary » swans.com February 12, 2007  



A Mess Of Potage


by Carol Warner Christen





(Swans - February 12, 2007)   Is there such an idea as rule by the People to give to the rich? I keep trying to find that rule. Oh, wait! The plutocrats surreptiously slipped the unspoken thought into our country on its 204th birthday in 1980 by a surfeit of binges of, for, and by the very wealthy pretenders to the non-existent throne of the United States. You know the one: the throne that exists over and above the heads of We, the People, the Decider's throne. By outrageous methods and chutzpah, through Republicans and Democrats (yes, Reagan, Clinton, and Gore helped the Bushes), we have become an empire without voting on it. It has been referred to as a coup d'état by some; ignored by everyone else.

When did our adult population of mostly middle class people decide 1) to build an empire using the military-industrial complex for gain, 2) to get China to sell us junk we don't need and to buy all our treasury bonds as payment, and 3) to rob all the oil regions of the world of their resources? Since most middle class people I know don't think like that and neither do the poor, it must have been put there by the plutocrats, the neo-conservatives, or people just tired of American freedoms and decent basic living.

You know plutocrats by their religion: plutolatry, or the worship of wealth. It may be that the Deity and Wealth have traded places in the religious world with one mistaken for the other. Religion and the end of life as we know it has reared its head with the last book of the Bible coming to the fore. Since it is a rehash of the last five books of the Old Testament, how could it be the last book in the New? And, why? The plutocrats have cannily married religion to mammon to produce an entirely new idea: We, the People, are here solely for the end times or the tribulation which war in Iran -- nuclear -- may very well bring about.

We are all tired of the Earth and the crowded, sordid aspects the plutocrats have created. Our plutocrats now earn more than 99% of the People. The poor have grown into a huge class of people who are no longer wanted by them for anything except to die, please. The middle class works harder and longer per week than ever for less and less of the national potage. Most of the money is going to go in the next budget by the Executive Branch to the coffers of the Pentagon. Strange, but I read the Founders felt that there should be no army of ours standing longer than two years because of the dangers to the Republic.

"What, me worry?" (Alfred E. Neumann of cartoon fame.) The corporacrats have, of course, joined the plutocrats albeit of lesser rank. The corporacrats are now one person with the hydra-heads of thousands of shareholders and CEO's. I wish I could do that trick. Alas, we left England because we didn't want to be in the lower ranks of the hierarchy of the throne. Does anyone recall the ranking? On top, are the royal rulers, one only of either sex. Then come the aristocrats of royal birth such as barons, and earls, counts, and princes. Oh, my! Last in the parade were the captains of industry just above the English people with no rank at all. What do we have here?

We have no royalty, only movie stars. The People of the United States have no rank at all. We do, though, have the captains of industry now risen to the top of the American food chain claiming compensation over 450 times that of the peons (you and me) they have hired until they can move offshore, hire slaves, even children, in other countries for pennies. Of course, they are doing that, too, today.

We, the People, are inundated with advertisements to buy their wares. If we don't, they will go broke, sort of. There is barely a space or place without the incessant selling of products, looks, the good life, the stuff, the piffle we must have. We must have it now. Our infrastructure is aging. We were unable to help New Orleans. People beg on the streets. Gangs of homeless teens attack wantonly any who cross their paths. Medical care has changed; the clinics are gone. Technology advances to spreading itself smaller and smaller, infiltrating the commons and the social until none of that human interaction is left. Just lonely diners talking on cell phones; lonely people talking into space so others can hear but not partake. Children dare not play outside freely as children did for millennia.

My ex-husband once said that, if this goes on, we will all be living alone in a small cubicle. The cubicles will cover the earth like spoors and, after awhile, the earth will shake itself from her moorings and go into space looking for a mate.

What do we do with all of this information and knowledge that overwhelms us? Back off? Retreat? Shop? Vacation? Go into debt because it no longer appears to matter to the government or the individual? The Executive Branch wrote the budget for almost $3,000,000,000,000 for war alone. I think the Executive needs its head examined. That branch has also decided to downsize the People's share of its own wealth by cutting programs. I am for cutting programs that are there to give plutocrat's children jobs in government. I am against cutting programs for the People and their general welfare, the domestic tranquility, freedom and liberty, wilderness, wild life, life itself.

Here's what we do: 1) stop any shopping that does not fill basic human needs; 2) fill the meeting rooms of counties, cities, states and demand that the general welfare come first; 3) all laws with exceptionally wordy premises not in the average person's interest be declared null and void; 4) corporate "persons-in-law only" may not be honored as human persons and must give an accounting solely to the corporate state board that approved their license to operate, which can be rescinded by voters; 5) move the economy to small independent groups, which Thomas Jefferson felt would serve our needs better than huge, anonymous corporations that pollute and cheat us of a decent planet to live upon; 6) everything humans need for basics should be within walking distance, not commuting distance; 7) a huge job swap for commuters should take place since driving is now beyond all bounds of sanity from pollution to time to distance; 8) dig up all covered up railroad tracks and begin using them; 9) reduce the federal government in the Executive Branch to reasonable bureaus with scientists leading the way, not politicians or their children per se; 8) advertising incessantly should be shut off and out of the public square; and, 9) if none of the above works, we all sit down and refuse to move until the busybodies get the hint. This is just my starter list. I'm sure others have workable agendas to remove boredom and over-usage of common facilities.

Our diplomats will have to negotiate our country out of all the egotistical schemes we have perpetrated in the past 70 years in other countries. Those humans in those countries deserve to decide who they are and how to use their resources to benefit their progeny, not ours. Our progeny have been so sated that we are a mass of spoiled babies in our wants, our greed, our avarice, and our death-dealing to anyone at all.

The National Guard will come back and we will take our lumps with their radioactive poisoning and their injuries. The National Guard will go back to its duties for our states. The CIA will be disbanded en masse as will all murderous ops groups of subversives we have coached and empowered to kill us or anyone someone orders anonymously. The next ones will be on trial for murder. All political prisoners, including Guantánamo, will be released and paid compensation to the extent of our injuries to them. All of our bases in the world will close and we will bring our soldiers home and release them after razing the Pentagon. The military will start over with a few good generals and a few good men in a few good buildings. All compensation to our victims will be paid by the military-industrial complex, which will be disincorporated en masse paying fines for their horrendous damage.

If the world shakes with celebration at this beginning towards human sanity, it will work. No dictator will ever again receive help from us; he's on his own. We have gone too far from our hearts lately; too far to ensure a future for anyone. That's not what we want or need. Everyone is too bored. Reality might help until we begin to climb out of the fine mess we've made of the only planet we have.

As a personal aside: things have a way of over-accumulating today. We rarely buy much; but, we are given others' excesses. We cleared our farm yard of old decrepit junk and there is more because someone gave us more stuff or our farm equipment died and we bought some used. The law of things is that they fall into maximum disorder no matter what the care given. Over time, motors give up, rust builds up, wires break, and batteries die. Our dumps are full as we fill the oceans with junk and poisons. "Anywhere except in our own backyards" is our motto and it's killing the environment. Anyone reading string theory knows that the universe vibrates on a very tiny scale and those vibrations change everything all the time. There is no permanence here. We would be better off dancing and singing and painting and writing our lives away while loving. We need to use the right brain more than the nasty, busy ego-based left brain.

We are the People I write about. We are the People. We have no plutocratic gods before us; we are us. Those who want some certainty in their lives can migrate to a monarchy; there are some left. Those who want regimented lives can go to monasteries and praise God. Those who want to kill can visit psychiatrists and have their medicines adjusted. Those who do kill can spend their entire lives in a prison. All lesser crimes need sentence adjustment because prison is not an industry; excessive sentences have become the trend. By getting "tough on crime," we have become vicious. Maybe we need to take an entire year off and contemplate our sins ourselves.

That leads to another good idea: no more political parties as permanent fixtures. We group as the need arises and disband when the need is gone. This Republican-Democratic dichotomy has led to enough corporate lobbyists to overwhelm the Congress with payoffs of one kind or another to the tune of at least $200,000,000 per month. I want to know why that gets attention from elected humans. Greed is good, right? It was decided in 1987 that it was. My previous boss said so to me in the office in 1991 during working hours. I told him it was one of the seven deadly sins. We pay our elected officials the minute they assume their offices. So, why are they taking bribes? They make more than three times the median wage.

Another problem will soon be the engulfing of Washington, D.C., with ocean floods. Let's move the city now right into the center of the country near Chicago. The elected need to come from equal distances and to a city that has centralized concepts and art and music and comedy. Washington, D.C., has nothing but plutocrats flying in from the east coast elites. It is not American culture at its best; it is in-grown at worst. Flooding may be a blessing.

Well, I've had enough to eat of this potage. Fill yourselves up and let's work it all off our backs and into better tomorrows.


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About the Author

Carol Warner Christen: Woman born 1939, twice married, five children, 7 grandchildren; own a goat farm, rural Oregon after years in Chicago area and Ohio; Associate of Arts, Chicago Art Institute (1 year); artist, editor, mechanical design drafting supervisor; owned two computer companies before anyone had a computer; activist; antiwar; human.



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This Edition's Internal Links

Oil and War - Michael Doliner

Lubricating Our Megamachines - Gilles d'Aymery

Two Views: Reasonable/Rational and Neocon/Born Again - Milo Clark

On Obligation In A Participatory Democracy - Michael DeLang

Attitude - Martin Murie

A Freak Speaks - Troy Headrick

Beware Of Those Desperate Hawks - Philip Greenspan

Pimps and Ponces at War - Film Review by Peter Byrne

"The Producers" In Denmark - Charles Marowitz

Another Chekhov Worth Meeting - Book Review by Peter Byrne

Islamorada - Book Excerpt by William T. Hathaway

Satori - Poem by Guido Monte

Blips #47 - From the Martian Desk - Gilles d'Aymery

Letters to the Editor

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Swans -- ISSN: 1554-4915
URL for this work: http://www.swans.com/library/art13/carenc02.html
Published February 12, 2007