Thursday, November 20, 2008
Parliament of Whores
Every once in a while we're privy to a snapshot from D.C. that throws the truth about the people ruling us into bold relief. Today's was the eulogy delivered on the Senate floor to the illustrious career of the Esteemed Colleague from Alaska, Senator Stevens. Apparently the only crimes a corrupt political hack like Stevens could possibly commit that would cause his peers to shun his presence are the sexual variety.
And in the end, they gave him a standing ovation, even though he didn't steal all that much. Such is the utter cluelessness of those who pretend to rule us, imposters whose strings are being pulled by their employers, and who, even at moments like this, which so clearly underscore the establishment's moral bankruptcy, remain infatuated with their own narcissistic image looking back at them from the fun house mirror.
When I turned on CNN early this morning, Harry Reid, in a live shot from the Senate podium, was talking about what a wonderful human being Stevens is and what an illustrious career the old grifter has had. The ancient dean of the Senate, Robert Byrd sat directly behind Reid, looking glum, and like a fossil from the century before last, and I was sorry to see him taking part in this gross spectacle. Byrd, after all, was one of the very few to oppose the Iraq War in the strongest possible terms, at a time when doing so got people called "traitor" and worse. But when push comes to shove, you know that Byrd, along with the rest of the so-called "liberals" in this hollowed-out political corpse of a Senate is hypnotized by the self-serving mythology of the "august body," which has long since submitted to the iron collar of the corporatocracy and functioned only as a tool of the billionaire class.
The American corporatocracy has fastened its iron grip on the American economy and American society chiefly through two means: first by infusing enough money into the political process to turn our national legislature into a huge payoffs-and-patronage plantation, and secondly by setting the parameters of our national political conversation through corporate ownership of the television news organs which monopolize both the available air space and the attention of the masses.
Now this ruling class has shown itself incapable of ruling anything, even itself. After two disastrous and criminal wars of failed, hare-brained imperial adventurism in the past 40 years, and two total economic collapses in 80 years caused by capitalist feeding frenzies, I'm going around asking people, "Didja learn anything yet?" and getting blank stares in reply. But at least I'm hoping most of them now realize we've got problems.
What the solution to our problems might be I can't say. I doubt very much that Barack Obama is going to part the Red Sea and lead us before Pharaoh's onrushing chariots in our escape to the Promised Land. And I'm certain our solution doesn't reside in the Senate. But the biggest difficulty I'm having with all this is that even revolutionaries don't have the answer. Karl Marx's solution to the problem of capitalist cannibalism was a pie-in-the-sky paradise of brotherly love and groovy vibes which would cause us all to start sharing everything equally.
However, even though Marx's prescription is purest fantasy, his diagnosis is dead on, and looking at the wreckage which is all that remains of American society and the U.S. economy, we now see clearly that "Society can no longer live under this bourgeoisie, in other words, its existence is no longer compatible with society."