I didn’t mean to start out the new year of 2017 with a downer and most likely opinionated post. That is what has happened though as I decided to read an article with an unassuming title that ended up pissing me off. If you’re interested in reading the source article for all the quoted text:
This is what started getting me pissed off…
American GREATNESS is code for world dominance in all areas of life; arguments to the contrary are matters of unjust defamation and internal subversion.
As if we’re so awesome, in our privileged arrogance, to believe that we’re superior to everyone else in the world. What is an American anyway? British, German, Irish, Russian, etc. We all have multicultural roots as hundreds of thousands immigrated to this country from the 1400’s to the 1700’s most often as a punishment. A lucky person was considered to have survived the trip to the “new world” only to be met with conditions worse than the ones they left. I submit that America is not great anymore, we’re not #1 in things that matter, like education and industry, but in things like gun ownership and incarceration. We’ve spent the last 15 years, at least, pushing a military agenda to fuel our capitalist machine to grow wealth for a relatively small portion of our population. Our elite have managed to transform our country into an Oligarchy. Head here to read a good post about oligarchy on In Saner Thought.
Business has been allowed to expand practically without limit, banking even more so, but it is the military factor that has given American capitalism its particular identity, a capitalism bent on solipsistic force-feeding, the ingestion of world power at the expense of other nations and our own people (upwards of 90% of them). Militarism and capitalism comprise a heady brew: the martial spirit turned inward, to ensure conformity with the System as it is, and complicity with its criminal activities (as in war crimes, or more difficult to discern, legitimated violence, in which society’s upper groups enjoy a privileged status, the violence practiced on those below).
The gold standard stopped being a standard in 1971 thanks to the Federal Reserve and Richard Nixon. Ever since then, there has been a slow erosion of policies and law that hindered business and banks from making more money at a quicker pace. The repeal of Glass-Steagall brought banks and lending institutions into the financial market mix as well in the 1990’s. The Fed ran with a 0% interest rate for several years leading up to the financial crisis of 2008-09, where no one in business or banking was held accountable, but Lehman Bros. was used as a scapegoat. My opinion is that they were used to show other businesses what would happen if they didn’t fall into line with the oligarchy that had taken control of our financial systems. The far-reaching powers granted to the President to use military force abroad to protect national security and punish terrorism and those who are harboring terrorists further fueled the capitalist machine.
Finally, don’t judge Trump too harshly, unless of course one is prepared to judge his peers by the same standards as well. Obama is Trump, without the hotels! He is Cheney, without the Wyoming twang, or Bush, the Texas ranch. He is what may be termed, an ultra-imperialist statesman, using liberal cosmetics to disguise policies of repression (targeted assassination, a blip on the radar screen of evil, outweighed by policies, e.g., nuclear modernization) which can bring down the house. Trump is not thereby exempt from criticisms and responsibility; he is a distillation of American political culture (and US culture in general), rashly opinionated, inflated in self-esteem, reactionary in political-economic core beliefs, hateful of those who do not see things in the same way he/she does. This is the start of a bleak winter—not for ourselves alone, but for everyone on the planet, as America’s destructive tendencies come more and more to the foreground.
The eyes of history will be the true judge of Trump and the U.S. democracy in the coming decades. We’re living through an interesting time, faced with a fork in the road, we chose to go with the wildcard candidate hoping that things will get better. The problem I see though, is that corporations, banks, and lobbyist purchased government officials are actually running the country. The President is just the lipstick on the pig that the American people are allowed to see. When media is controlled by the oligarchs, when the financial systems are controlled by the oligarchs, when the government is controlled by the oligarchs, are we not therefore, living in an oligarchy?
It’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better if, and when, the American people decide that they’ve had enough of the current system that is systematically favoring the wealthy.