HERE'S THE DEAL -- in case you were wondering
(here's a bit of wisdom by one of my favorite DU posters. -- brook)
The Deal by arendt
There is an unspoken deal by which two intolerant reactionary forces have made an alliance to carve up something they both want: America. Its the same kind of alliance that Hitler and Stalin made when they carved up Poland and Eastern Europe. The two forces are corporate feudalism and fundamentalist theocracy, and the deal is as follows.
1. What the corporate fuedalists get
Th corporations get to loot everything in America that isn't nailed down, and many things that are. They get to loot our industrial infrastructure and ship it to East Asia. They get to loot our government trust funds, by any excuse they can find: defunding the contributions to the Pension Guarantee fund, privatizing Social Security. They get to exempt themselves from paying any taxes at all for any reason. Only little people pay taxes, and corporations are not little.
When the corporations get done, America will be a plantation economy. We will produce raw materials; and we will do menial service jobs, like distribution and retailing for products produced in those Asian sweatshops. All the intellectual property produced by generations of working professionals, all the genetic inheritance of the world will be the private property of 500 or so obscenely wealthy corporations. They will have monopoly control of all resources, locked behind walls of encryption, license keys, private networks, patent lawyers, and government regulators. It will be "hydraulic despotism" with a vengeance.
In short, America is to be rendered into economic and political slavery to the multi-national corporations. It is to be just another plantation economy to service the needs of the corporate overclass.Those few ultra-talented individuals who are worth paying halfway decent wages will be offered house-nigger status in some gated corporate community - the same way things are run in India and China today. The same way things were run in the Roman Empire.
2. What the theocrats get
The theocrats get to be the plantation overseers of Plantation America. They get to
torment and punish any slave who gets uppity. They get to force ignorance, superstition, and fear onto the slave class so that the next generation will have never heard anything about democracy, education, or a genuine middle-class economy.
They get to be totally incompetent and corrupt, but supported financially by the corporations whose bidding they do. Like Catholic priests in the dark ages, their job is to support the authority of the state, not really to save souls. The Catholic church invented simony, and lives with sodomy and pederasty to this very day. Religious hypocrites are very good at keeping the focus on women and thinking as the agents of Satan. These guys will laugh all the way to whatever sleazy motel they get caught in banging the faithful women or young boys of their flock of sheep.
Of course, the corporations will play the good cop in this phony game. You see it today, as Yahoo and Microsoft say "we were only obeying the laws of our host country". What's ironic is that it really is a "host" country, because they are bloody parasites.
3. Why both sides accept this deal
This is a much better division of labor than Adolf and Uncle Joe could work out, because those guys wanted the same thing: political and miliary power. But the alliance of feudalists and theocrats is more asymmetrical. Corporations want your money; fundies want your soul. Corporations want the people's regulators out of their accounting books. Fundamentalists want their regulators in women's bedrooms. No conflict of interest there. The corporations don't care what kind of medieval nonsense the fundamentalists impose on the slave class, because the corporate elite has no intention of being controlled by the theocrats. If the corpses don't demand complete extra-territoriality (i.e., diplomatic immunity) for all their high-level apparatchiks; they will simply find ways to bribe the local authorities. I mean that's what they have done in places like South America and Africa for decades. And, America will just be another banana republic.
As soon as the theocrats wipe out the last vestiges of democracy, there will be one of those "four legs good, two legs better" moments. Low and behold, they will decide that the Rapture isn't coming soon. Instead, they will just start burning witches and gays and intellectuals. Just like Taliban Afghanistan, the football stadiums will be turned into auto-de-fes, the Inquisition will be re-established, and religious gulags will be opened in Montana, Alaska, New Mexico, and West Texas.
The corporations will tolerate this nonsense because they will control theocrats of other denominations and play them off against each other in endless wars, which will swell the profits of their arms dealers and give all governments involved an excuse for not delivering any kind of social services or economic progress. It will be a world full of warlords, all with god on their side. Of course, women will be returned to their role as baby factories, to keep churning out the cannon fodder for all those wars.
4. The end result: stagnation
....It is customary for people living in developed economies to treat constant economic progress
....as natural and self-evident. Yet, if one looks at the human record since, say, the neolithic
....revolution, growth is the exception and economic stagnation is the rule. Indeed, for thousands of
....years prior to the industrial revolution, all regions of the earth experienced virtually no discernible
....change in the everyday life of their people. Empires came and went, and so did the prosperity
....of merchants and aristocrats in Venice, Vijayanagar, Beijing, and Timbuctu, but the livelihood of
....the mass of the population remained essentially the same...
Engines of Growth and Africa’s Economic Performance" by Marcel Fafchamps
Department of Economics, University of Oxford, UK (1998)
A school of honest economists holds that successful economies are an exception to a dismal rule of stagnant, dead-end economies. They claim that modern, mass consumption, middle-class economies are as rare of an emergent phenomenon as the rise of multi-cellular life on earth. As some wag put it: if all there were to economics was buying cheap and selling dear, the ancient Romans would have been modern capitalists. (The Roman emperors actively rejected labor-saving machinery in order to keep the slave class employed, and therefore controlled. Today's economic statistics show that cheap labor America uses more minimum wage labor and less labor saving machinery than it did in its supposedly less technical past.)
According to this school of emergence, it is the political leadership that creates the conditions necessary for economic "takeoff". If that is true, our current leadership is creating an economic "crash landing". Of course, the claim that democracy fuels economic progress is vehemently opposed by corporate propaganda that tries to insist that economic well-being creates democracy. But, even with that theory, we end up with stagnation and authoritarianism.
Suppose that the state of government follows the state of the economy. Then, to institute dictatorship, all you have to do is wreck the middle class economy. And that is exactly what the GOP and their corporate sponsors have been doing to the USA. With a wrecked economy, we can't afford education. With theocrats in charge, we can't run sophisticated programs to support the middle class. We will stagnate.
5. Political Blitzkrieg
America today is about as screwed as Poland was in 1939. The devastation resulting from the second consecutive theft of a national election will be to the first as the Polish blitzkrieg was to the Austrian anschluss or the peaceful, if shameful, partition of Czechoslovakia. The pitiful defenses of the hapless Democratic Party - about as ineffective as Polish Cavalry officers attacking tanks with swords - are hopelessly outmatched, regardless of the patriotism of their rank and file.
The corporate media leads the attack, wailing like Stuka bombers to spread panic and fear of terrorists amidst civilians. The GOP armored phalanxes of rubber-stamp legislators switch from easy penetration to encirclement and elimination of the quaintly-named "loyal opposition", impervious to any flesh-and-blood political arguments. Bush arrogantly places himself above the law. Hanging Judge Elito demonstrates his open contempt for the Constitution with his "unary executive" and "signing statements". The Congress pulverizes middle class entitlements while increasing tax breaks for the rich. Any investigation against the ever-increasing scandals and crimes of the GOP is smothered in its crib, while the Justice Department investigates Quakers and other "terrorists". The run-up to the aggression against Iran gathers steam. Total victory for The Deal is within sight, and there is nothing left to stop them.
If you are a member of the middle class, you had better cash out and get out before they tatoo a number on your wrist and put a yellow armband on your sleeve. Kristalnacht 2 is coming. But, the beauty of religious dictatorship as opposed to racial destiny is that you can always just convert. You can find Jesus, burn all those science books, get a slave-wage job at WalMart, put your wife in a burkha, and send your kids to that religious feeder school for US Army cannon fodder. You always have a choice in the new theocratic America: martyr or slave. Love it, or we'll kill you - slowly and painfully. Because our god is a sadist.
The Christo-fascist zombie death cult is victorious, and we let it happen on our watch. I have no remedy to propose. I can only hang my head in shame at my ineffectiveness and the gullibility and cravenness of the American people.