Tuesday, June 05, 2007


A Feral Dog Howls in Harvard Yard

Submitted by dada on Wed, 06/06/2007 - 1:12am.

Once upon a time business in the industrialized world needed its citizen laborers as customers, as consumers, which implied they be paid at least enough to buy the products of the businesses and corporations that beat their asses into submission along America's assembly lines and hog slaughtering plants. That was called American opportunity and prosperity and it looked pretty damned good to millions of war ravaged Urpeen furiners trying to decide whether to eat a wharf rat or the neighbor's cat for dinner. As for the Third World, they could eat dirt and do native dances for what few tourists existed then (otherwise called the rich), but mainly they should stay out of the way of "our" natural resources in their countries.

At any rate, when the citizen labor force, by their sheer numbers, held most of the dough in their calloused mitts, there was no avoiding them by the business classes. But now that so much of not just this nation's, but the world's wealth, has become concentrated in the hands of so few, that is no longer a problem for the rich. People are cheaper than ever and getting more plentiful by the minute. So work'em to death, kill'em, eat'em if you want to. Who the fuck cares? The international rich, the managers and controllers of the new financial globalism and the world's resources and the planet's labor forces, whether they be Asian "Confucian capitalists," masters of Colombian Narco state fortunes or Chinese Tongs, New York or London brokerage and media barons, or Russian oligarchs, hold increasing and previously unimaginable concentrated wealth. They look to be a replacement for the mass market, indeed even a better one with fewer mass distribution problems, higher grade demand and at top prices.

Until then however, the real dough is still in the energy game, the big suckdown of hydrocarbons, that plus convincing Americans to burn up their own seed corn. Academics, economists and scientists offer "free market solutions," such as ethyl alcohol from corn — which most readers here know requires more petroleum to grow than energy it produces, and will deprive the rest of the world of much needed food — just so Americans may continue motoring the suburban savannah lands, grazing on Subway Cold Cut Combos and Outback's Kookaburra Chicken Wings.

But even when the last Toyota Prius is forever moldering in the globally warmed deserts of Minneapolis, we proles will not be totally unprofitable creatures. Yesterday I read a gem of an economic paper asserting that in the emerging information, amusement, service, and "experience and attention economy," it is vital that "private business capture ownership and control of the public's knowledge and its attending rent streams." Apparently it's not bad enough that we become a third rate gulag of impoverished nitwits. They are going to charge us for the privilege.


Some more, because it's such a damn fine piece of writing

Submitted by dada on Wed, 06/06/2007 - 1:15am.

The United States has the most obsessive business class in the world. This would be no big deal if it did not direct the minds of the nation's population thorough its public relations indoctrination industry. This is a matter of life and death for the financial pickle vendors, sub-prime mortgage shysters and CitiBank, Morgan Stanley and other high financiers who have come to actually own this country. There is only one threat to their empire of debt: people acting in the interests of ordinary society — which in the rest of the world is known as socialism. Consequently, we have no socialist politicians and no socialist journalists in our entire press and media, which is simply unimaginable in most civilized places like Europe. It is important that the working class thinks it has the self-determination they learned about in high school civics classes designed in the universities, that they feel any kind of individual power at all, which basically comes down the tepid power of consumer choice, which makes them malleable, and intolerant of any voice that suggests otherwise. But if even one iota of class awareness were allowed to flourish here, well, much of the American business class and the entire Yale University faculty would be hiding out in Argentina.

Without class interests and class awareness there can be no genuine politics or political parties. So, to the everlasting relief of the business classes, and with thanks to our university system's poli-sci, history and social science departments, we have neither. Despite all the media's political white noise, we have a depoliticized society. It may be that the Internet is changing things. It surely is the most refreshing opportunity to come along maybe in all of modern American history, and it does put heat on some political campaigns. No arguing that it influences certain influencers in society, to the degree that anything besides advertising influences anybody in the consumer republic. Problem is though, how do you create critical political mass in a depoliticized society? Most people don't vote and when it comes to actual participation in politics, opportunity is zilch. If you are not from the relatively privileged political and business segments, what the hell access is there for the individual to participate, except in one of the two business based and supported parties offered? Even at the local level. Anyone who has tried to affect one of these parties locally knows you either play entirely by the party line or stand isolated, over in the corner of the Holiday Inn meeting room with your paper plate of stale salami and Triscuits and keep your mouth shut and let the Rotary Club's big dogs bark. "Save the class dissidence bullshit for your next Al-Qaeda cell meeting, buddy!"

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