America needs us, make-believe capitalists!
Knights must have their squires and, under our feudal (or, is it feral?) capitalist system, those squires are nowadays called stockholders – pyrrhic stockholders in my dictionary, to be used by the true capitalists as “brothers-in-arms”… a make-believe middle class fooled into thinking that it holds power over its destiny, even when obvious servitude is but a simple, unarguable fact.
For the capitalist-elite to remain holding power in this United States, pulling the strings on a puppet government of equal Democratic-Republican opportunity, there must be a large segment of the population tagged as neither “sectarian-capitalists” nor “secular-socialists”… those one would describe as “make-believe capitalists.” You know, that next door neighbor who thinks of himself as a home-owner instead of a home-debtor; a minimalist-stockholder of a few shares of stock, most likely through a 401k or a pension plan; a person thoroughly brainwashed to believe that democracy and capitalism are one and the same.
It may seem surprisingly abnormal for these make-believe capitalists to stay faithful to their masters after what has happened in this last decade… abhorrent wars of choice, holocaustic economic thuggery and the rest. The nature and gravity of what’s occurred has yet to reach home – as if living in a nightmare from which we’ll soon be waking up. Somehow most Americans still believe that the American Dream is still alive… that we will continue creating wealth (if imaginary) via ingenious and magical capitalist mitosis.
But the nightmare continues… as the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico looms larger and larger by the day, and politicians try to make hay of the situation. Case in point this past week: the obnoxious senator from Kentucky, Mitch McConnell, cautioning Democrats not to gang up on British Petroleum, the company that comes to mind front and center as we begin to realize the magnitude of the economic and environmental consequences awaiting this nation. And that is before the true impact – economic, environmental, social and political – is measured by year’s end… most particularly if likely additional catastrophic events, such as major hurricanes, play an aggravating part in the disaster.
McConnell isn’t just content with blaming the administration and Obama for “their part” in, and the handling of, the disaster, bringing the “brothers-in-arms” rationale to protect BP from responsibility beyond the existing liability cap of an absurdly ridiculous $75 million that he and his peer-thugs in Congress had previously legislated… now being considered going up to $10 billion – a sum which will no doubt turn out to be minuscule to cover the economic losses from this disaster. For this senator, the hundreds of thousands of middle-class Americans who own stock in BP, mostly through their 401k’s and pension plans, would be victimized by this nation if trying to collect its due from BP.
Going before “Meet the Press” this past week, the duly elected elite-servant and most powerful Republican member of the Senate, with impunity afforded by a biased and ill-prepared interviewer [oh how we miss you Tim Russert!], David Gregory, spewed lie after lie before an audience of millions… some such lies no doubt to be repeated by the vast mass of no-nothings which make up the strident voice of the conservative corps.
Showcased by McConnell was the importance of America getting 30 percent of its oil from the Gulf, and the proposition that if you shut that down people would have to pay $14 per gallon of gasoline. Obviously, Gregory was unprepared, or worse, to challenge such idiotic lies… given the fact that the oil extracted from the Gulf does not belong to us – absolutely no help with our energy woes – or the absurd, ill-founded statement that ceasing drilling in the Gulf would bring the price of a gallon of gas at the pump to $14. As a matter of fact, the US does not even have the refinery capacity to handle the oil now being drilled there, which is being shipped elsewhere for refining, then sold back to us in a version of the Triangle Trade. Americans pay the market price for the oil, just as if they were buying it from any other place. The market is global no matter the source with the price per barrel being the same.
Those shriek voices of master-liar Mitch McConnell or ignoramus Sarah Palin who beat the drum of “Drill Baby, Drill” echo throughout the land but we don’t seem to get it, even with the palpability of disasters such as the one now occurring in the Gulf. We are still unwilling to try former government leaders like Dick Cheney (of secret energy task force fame) for criminal acts against the nation and the corporate thuggery they perpetrated; or even fail to recognize that it is Big Oil and Big Wall Street that run our lives, wild and unregulated… feral capitalism at its very best, or worst, depending whether you are a knight, a make-believe squire, or a poor devil without a job or the prospect of one.
At the end of the day, it is the least economically-able Americans who will pay for most of the cost related to the oil spill at the Gulf; as it was recently the case with the bailout of Wall Street’s financial thugs. And we owe it all to a government that has proven to be not one of the people, by the people and for the people… no matter whether the White House is the domicile for a Democrat or a Republican. America needs us, make-believe capitalists, to continue assuming the risks for the true capitalists.
McConnell and his conservative friends need not worry: BP won’t go bankrupt.
© 2010 Ben Tanosborn
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