The corporate cronyism of America’s political system has been highlighted with a massive kleptocratic bailout, writes Caitlin Johnstone in this summary of U.S. haywire responses to the crisis.
By Caitlin Johnstone
The corporate cronyism of America’s political system has been highlighted with a massive kleptocratic multitrillion-dollar corporate bailout of which actual Americans are only receiving a tiny fraction. Instead of putting that money toward paying people a living wage to stay home during a global pandemic, the overwhelming majority of the money is going to corporations while actual human beings receive a paltry $1,200 (which they won’t even be getting until May at the earliest) at a time of record-smashing unemployment.
America’s capitalism worship has been highlighted by The Wall Street Journal headline “Dow Soars More Than 11% In Biggest One-Day Jump Since 1933” running at the exact same time as “Record Rise in Unemployment Claims Halts Historic Run of Job Growth — More than 3 million workers file for jobless benefits as coronavirus hits the economy.” Stocks are booming, Amazon is surging, and mountains of wealth are being transferred to sprawling megacorporations, while actual human beings are terrified of what the future holds.
America’s joke of a healthcare system is being highlighted as uninsured COVID-19 patients are racking up $35,000 medical bills and even insured COVID-19 patients are looking at out-of-pocket expenses in excess of $1,300. Combine this with the millions of Americans getting thrown off of employer-provided health insurance and you’re looking at a huge number of people who will avoid getting tested and avoid treatment as much as possible. Both heads of America’s two-headed one-party system have spent decades forcefully creating this dynamic.
America’s income and wealth inequality is being highlighted in a nation suffering from all of the above problems while most Americans were already unable to afford a mere $1,000 emergency expense. A one-time $1,200 payment to a population already stretched that thin guarantees that millions will be plunged into crushing debt and destitution in a nation with a historically unprecedented billionaire class raking in even more unearned wealth.
The insanity of America’s war machine has been highlighted as awareness grows during a global health emergency that government military spending negatively impacts government healthcare spending and the U.S. has the most bloated military budget on the planet. Now as journalist Max Blumenthal explains this war machine’s escalating hostility toward China is causing Americans to needlessly die of the virus.
America’s fake political system has been highlighted as the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee completely vanished for a week and then returned to deliver an embarrassing string of befuddled interviews upon his return, reminding the nation once again that the Democrats are running an actual, literal dementia patient for the most powerful elected office in the world. Biden will of course be running against an incoherent reality TV star who only last week decided that the virus is indeed a real problem which needs to be seriously addressed, and who now already wants to begin rolling back the inadequate measures his administration implemented far too late. The debates between two men who don’t understand what they’re doing and can’t string a sentence together between them will soon be broadcast around the world for all of civilization to behold.
America’s lying mass media are being highlighted with propagandistic lines that would make Kim Jong Un blush, like The New York Times describing the American medical system as “unsurpassed.” We can safely expect U.S. media to get even more demented as they expand their hysteria-inducing new cold war propaganda campaign against Russia to China as well.
America’s murderous sanctions machine has been highlighted as the U.S. continues ramping up its economic warfare against Iranian civilians, with thousands already dead and potentially millions to follow due to Tehran’s inability to access necessary equipment, medicine and resources during the pandemic. The Trump administration has not eased the sanctions during the outbreak, and has in fact added to them, because killing Iranian civilians has always been the goal. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has gone on record to say that the objective is to make Iranian civilians so miserable and desperate that they overthrow their own government.
So basically everything crazy about America is being amplified to absurd caricatures of its own insanity and highlighted for everyone to see. There’s a lot of ugliness coming out into the light as a result of this virus, which may end up being one of its few perks for everyone. As they say of both viruses and governments, sunlight is the best disinfectant.
Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Follow her work on Facebook, Twitter, or her website. She has a podcast and a book, “Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.”
This article was re-published with permission.
The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.
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I see the propaganda mill is working overtime. The BBC ran an article on the ” horrors” of Stalinist Russia and on CNN advertisments for Amanpour,( that mouthpiece of the US Depatment of State) are running every 15 minutes. The spectre of socialism has the 1% in both the UK and the USA running scared.
Always love reading Caitlin’s articles .She does call it like it is and I couldn’t agree more .
I see the propaganda mill is working overtime. The BBC ran an article on the ” horrors” of Stalinist Russia and on CNN advertisments for Amanpour,( that mouthpiece of the US Depatment of State) are running every 15 minutes. The spectre of socialism has the 1% in both the UK and the USA running scared.
Obviously if Trumps approval rating is going up at a time when he is so inept. Our population cannot see past the narrative that is presented. With that said, not much will change until a certain percentage of people can see past it. Sad but true state of the human condition. That is why we remain in the same state we have been in for hundreds of years. From what I can see and hear from people is that if Trump adopted Hitler’s tactics of blaming another group of people, the majority would follow him and commit genocide as the masses don’t seem to learn from history but repeat it. He also reminds me of North Korea’s dictator almost every time he gets up there with his worshipers surrounding him and bringing in the rich corporate crony’s that will sing his praises and convince the masses he is as amazing and wonderful as he believes he is. It actually scares the “you know what out of me.” Like the old story of the king with no clothes. If anyone tells him he is naked it is off with their heads (jobs in this case) and they are gone as quick as he can make it happen. It is amazing that humanity has made it this long in terms of life on this earth. Sorry, I am normally a positive person, and tend to believe at some point people will wake up, but this presidential term has me really baffled about human beings as a group. When I try and speak to anyone that is drinking the poisoned Koolaid it is like speaking to a wall that won’t listen. When people lose the ability to be open minded to hearing a truth, things are really scary. At what is the most amazing to me is that I know many of these people and have for many years and they are generally intelligent people. I have been in the social sciences for 40 years and I am baffled at the state humanity is in today (especially Americans). On a positive note, I had expected people to go “Mad Max” in situations like this and have been pleasantly surprised that on an individual level, people are being fairly kind to each other and things have not fallen apart as I had feared. That has been a pleasant surprise thus far. From that angle, maybe that is why we have survived as long as we have. Let’s hope we can keep that positive trait as a majority behavior vs watching the dismantling of society before our eyes. My guess is, if we begin destroying each other, the rich and powerful won’t give it a second thought unless we turn that anger in their direction.
It is a bit difficult to believe that someone “in social sciences” would really believe the world would turn “Mad Max”. It is also difficult to believe that you have such a narrow view of terms like “drinking the Koolaid” when it’s used to describe basically any dog pile – including the opposite side of the coin, where people attribute behaviors that existed before the orange man specifically to him.
That you consider yourself the voice of reason when it comes to people who approve of Trump rather than understanding that there are two sides to every coin shows that you’re a zealot at best, not a rational observer of behavior as you claim to be.
I agree with you so wholeheartedly and I am so scared for my two boys who have to grow up and live in this place where people will let other people loose their jobs, their healthcare, their homes, their families all because they worship the stock market and capitalism. They will never vote for someone who would actually do what needs to be done to improve the lives of the majority of Americans, like Bernie Sanders because they are afraid the stock market will go down. And the people who would vote for him can’t because they don’t have an address or ways and means to vote. So this whole system is perfect for the ultra rich. Right now people like Bill Gates are getting ready for a huge windfall from selling vaccinations to every country in the whole world. The collateral damage does not matter as long as they get more and more wealth. It’s sad to see the earth turn into a huge garbage dump and respect for the natural world is evaporating faster than climate change is overheating the planet and Americans are loosing their freedom. All so the ultra greedy rich can become wealthier while everyone else falls into poverty.
March 30, 2020 at 22:27
” there are two sides to every coin”
There are at least 3.
Thank you for your illustration of immersion in binaries and the usage of “axioms” to deflect thought.
Sure thing, TrollyaPolya.
That you’d single out a single sentence and turn it into a summary judgement speaks volumes about your lack of character.
This is top notch and we all need to support this News Group.
The elite and wealthy always win. Can you imagine, regular people (whatever that means) get $1200! One Payment! What happens to their bank mortgage the month after that? The bank will be saved but most likely they will then lose their home a few months after that and guess who gets the money for it? Their bank of course. Landlords can’t go without rent payments; they go bankrupts. The Democrats had huge leverage here but blew it — they could have gotten the world for the “working people.” They won’t be able to get it — Pelosi is trying today –but the system won’t allow it. All the Dems voted for this stimulus package including the so called progressive people. We shall need to vote them out as soon as possible. Call your rep and scream in their ear. Boeing company gets a basic 17 billion and then billions more for their executives!! For the working class person —-$1200!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!+
In revolutions, a common factor is the elites’ lack of response to wider social/economic problems.
This was definitely true of the French and Russian revolutions.
It should perhaps be noted what has arisen in America before the current crisis, and that is the immense divide between the “one-percent” and the great mass of the population.
The divide has arisen through things like a tax system which puts no responsibility on the super-privileged, while, at the same time, a great deal of the government’s activities serve those same people- eg, the Pentagon/security complex and the empire abroad that it is designed to serve.
Many aspects of that structure are not stable, and they now are to be put under great stress.
I think all bets are off as to the ultimate outcome.
America’s domestic future might well be very different than many would have assumed just a short time ago.
And that goes for its international arrangements too.
I find it utterly despicable when people take advantage of other people’s misery.
Agree. America has become a kleptocracy!
people STILL congregating in churches DESPITE what we know that quarantine works. if these sorts of people get covid19, it’s on them. it’s social darwanism. good riddance to them.
Uh, that sounds more like sociopathy than social darwinism. Seems to be a buzzword among your type.
I’m surprised that Caitlin didn’t highlight one of the craziest things of all: Trump’s approval ratings have increased to around 60%. Absolutely bizarre.
b, over at MoA reported yesterday that after Trump signed that bill he stated that he would not abide by the transparency provisions that the Democrats insisted on before they would vote for it! Basically every provision that Democrats insisted on before they would agree, Trump just blew off and said that he will not abide by. This is a blatant breach of trust and is grounds for impeachment, if not immediate removal from office.
The Democrat Party has lost almost all credibility. Look at how they manipulate elections, support Trump in everywhere he asks and cheat to support utterly the worst possible candidate to run against him – not just once but now twice. They manage to make him look like a star when compared to their ineffective and meaningless opposition.
Yes, …and America’s joke of a POTUS, …slapstick routine of a Presidency, … joke of a Constitution and rule of Law, …joke of a Republic, …etc., but the laughter ends in horror.
Dear CN readers: Tune into Radio Ecoshock’s great interview with the wonderful Dr. John Campbell of Great Britain. If you just google Dr. Campbell’s name, all of his recent Covid 19 videos will come up and click on appropriate videos. There is a part one and part two of his recent Radio Ecoshock interviews. They are absolutely a do-not-miss for anyone searching for accurate, timely and wonderfully spoken information on the pandemic. Dr. Campbell should be knighted for his service to humanity. Starting in January, this humble nurse educator began detailing the tricklings of information about Covid 19 and his love for humanity and for giving daily accurate, up-to-date information is priceless in these pandemic times. Please check him out. I watch him every single morning. Lovely human being he is.
Apropos America’s murderous sanctions machine, I think Pompous has sighted some stray Tehran street dogs that have not yet been sanctioned.
Time to face the naked truth. The twin evils of malignant capitalism and its two party political coconspirators have brought us to this disastrous point. No correction can be made when our corrupt political duopoly run a presidential campaign between a severely cognitively impaired politician with an abhorrent policy legacy and an incumbent with a strange assortment of psychopathology including narcissism, delusional thinking and pathological lying.
No change will happen until we break the political monopoly of the Democrat and Republican parties. To do so means building up the party that addresses the needs of the people. I encourage all to check out the Green Party US. Read their 10 Key Values and then decide whether it is not better to support a party with these stated Values than be stuck with two parties that have brought us perpetual war, environmental collapse, loss of democracy and now total incompetence to manage a pandemic crisis. Please check out the GRUS. Thank you
Thanks you Caitlin Johnstone, this had to be said. I hope you are right, that these truths will come into the light for Americans. Perhaps if we could get you on Meet The Press it would. My fear is the people have so much learned helplessness, they don’t have the will to question official narratives push by Demoplicans and their lap dog the corporate press.
In a way this our chickens coming home to roost. Americans have been passively complicit in the trading of human lives for profit so long as we were trading lives in far off places. We thought we were safe. Not so. I do hope we find the will to fight.
Per Pompeo, he wants the people of Iran to overthrow their own nation—-although it is America’s actions of sanctions which are causing the horror in Iran. And yet , isn’t this all illegal per the United Nations? Perhaps the UN should be moved to a different nation, as the current host nation appears to make positive international relations—impossible.
All this is resoundingly true. The US is, in its military’s favorite acronym, FUBAR. As always, the question is “what’s to be done?” Or is it just that this is the way a civilization (species homo sapiens?) ends?
“ the objective is to make Iranian civilians so miserable and desperate that they overthrow their own government. “
Which clearly does not apply to US citizens …
Excellent comment – thanks.
Treatments based on anti-malarial drugs and antibiotics are being developed very fast. With any luck this idiocy (closing parks, with their fresh air and sunshine, so people can stay locked up in germ incubators, etc.) will be over soon.
These are real Doctors, that care about treating ill people, not Medical Bureaucrats like the infamous jerk, Fauci. If you want to understand what I mean, take a look at Dr. Raoult’s (one of the foremost authorities in the World on infectious diseases) comments on approving parachutes.
For a political slant, Trump will look good for recommending this, right out of the box. Trump may be a lot of things you don’t like but he is not a bureaucrat, which in a crisis like this is very helpful.
Wonderful piece of journalistic sanity Ms Johnstone in a time of rampant nincompoopery. How far this country has fallen. But this grand example of extreme stupidity cannot continue indefinitely. Something has got to give. Revolution possibly? Maybe. If you take the time to study the French Revolution that began in 1789-90, the Russian Revolutions of 1917 and 1990 and the German revolutions in 1919 and in 1933, you will find that military failure coupled to economic collapse were prime ingredients in the causes behind those political and social upheavals. I might add that the results of those events did not lead immediately to democracy and peace. Civil war and war against neighboring nations followed. Not to mention enormous suffering by whole populations. All it’s going to take is some minor incident to set it off. When I studied Russian history in college, I was told by one of my professors that the 1917 may have been sparked when an elderly woman died of cold and hunger in a St. Petersburg bread line. When police came to remove the body, the others in line dragged her corpse back into line. One thing led to another and soldiers were eventually brought in and ordered to shoot if the body of the old woman wasn’t turned over to the police. The bread line refused. The soldiers were told to fire. They refused. The cossacks were then called in and told to shoot. They too refused. By this time a large crowd gathered and chased away the police and soldiers, many of whom joined the crowd. The crowd got larger and larger. Within a day the secret police disappeared. Two days later the Romanov dynasty, which had governed Russia for 300 years, was gone. Eventually, civil war and a brutal communist regime would govern Russia for the next 75 years. Something to consider.
Caitlin is touching on a lot of issues here, and I’d like to add my own rant.
We are receiving minimal actual information as to how best to protect ourselves and others from these viruses (I am using the plural because it seems we are actually besieged by not one, but a set of mutating organisms).
Several days ago I was subjected to watching both local(Seattle) and national news.
Afterwards I was pissed off. Hysteria and human interest stories. In two hours I learned absolutely nothing that would help. Zero. Wash hands and distance. That’s the best y’all can do?
So I drew up a list. A person near me said,”Well you can probably find that all out on line”
“Wrong answer.” I replied, and put my finger on a freshly gathered morning newspaper. “This all should be right here on the front page.” Every one you talk to has a different story. Somewhere researchers are studying, and we should be much better informed. They are not because why? Liabilities? They may get sued by either individuals or big Pharma for recommending vitamin C or Chlorawhatever etc.
So..to whom do they serve?
These are just a few questions:
What are the typical symptoms in order of most to least common?
What is the gestation period? (7, 14, 30 days…I’ve heard all three)
At what point(s) is an infected individual most contagious?
Are there carriers that don’t seem sick?
At what high temperature does this virus perish?
At what temperature does the virus flourish?
How low a temperature kills it?
How long can the viruses live on a hard surface at 20C/69F. ?
How long can the viruses live airborne at 20C/69F. ?
On that note, do typical HVAC heating/cooling systems in buildings remove airborne viruses? (Probably not—look at New York)
Can the viruses attach them selves to dust and other particles in the air?
Can the viruses be transmitted through chlorinated (city) drinking water with typical levels of chlorine?
Can the viruses be transmitted through feces?
Can animals be infected? (we know about the bats but what about rats?)
Ans yes I’ll just say it: Is this another of their bloody bioweapons?
Yes, US public information is extremely poor, even from CDC: chatty entertainment and marketing styles.
Vague and foolish notions and gestures are taken as sufficient information and action; truth does not matter.
No apparent organization, and no public analysis, of efforts to increase research and medical production.
Clearly incompetent opportunists serving profiteers and scammers run the show and control expectations.
Tune in daily to Dr. John Campbell’s Covid updates. This wonderful man, a PhD in Nursing in Britain and a nursing instructor for many decades, has accurate answers to ALL of your questions above- except the last one. For suppositions on that, I direct you to one of my mentors, John Day, a public health physician in Austin, Texas who helped train me in my Family Medicine NP program back in the 1990s. He has many, many great links on his blog and you can read to your heart’s content and make your own judgements on your last question. Scroll through his blog in recent weeks. But do try out Dr. Campbell’s videos. And if you like to get into the biochemistry weeds, Med-Cram has some excellent lectures about Covid-19. I could answer every question you have except the last one, and accurately, but it would take much too long here, so use the resources above at your disposal. You will learn a lot and even enjoy learning. Cheers and stay well.
I watched Joe Rogan # 1439 with Micheal Osterholm.
According to Osterholm, animals are definitely involved in the original animal to human transmission, as is the case with SARS and MERS.
HVAC recirculated air breathed by other humans is dangerous.
Unlike SARS and MERS, this one is scary because infected individuals can be contagious for several days before they realize they have contracted the virus, or symptoms appear.
Sadly, Caitlin, the people who aren’t listening will continue to no listen even though you have provided ample evidence that should cause them to start listening. But clearly if you want something that will work, you will need to talk to the Chinese or the Russians or both. I have a daughter in Argentina and she tells me that the Chinese government is supporting Argentina’s efforts to defeat Covid. The US can’t even support itself, never mind anyone else.
That the Dems in the House and Senate rolled over and gave the parasites on Wall Street and the predators of the Fortune 500 everything they could ask for and more is a day that can never be forgotten. Just eleven years after the bipartisan cesspool handed them the entire store, they’re at it again.
A crisis moment like this is when the millions of working people make demands of the elites. Pragmatic populist proposals that should have been at the top of the list — Med4All, total credit card & student loan write-off, UBI of $2,ooo per mo with no cuts to the social safety nets, $17 min wage — are now forgotten for a measly $1,200 bribe.
And don’t for one second think the ruling class can’t afford any of what I’ve just outlined, they can QE trillions into Wall Street at the drop of a hat and spend a trillion dollars annually on defense [sic] but just can’t seem to take care of the people.
We have no voice at the table! We have no muscle in the room! A strong labor movement with a robust political action wing that would send to Washington working people with moxie and chutzpah who worked their way up through years in the union halls, labor committees, etc. who would demand some substantive benefits to the millions of hard toiling masses, is nowhere to be found!
BRAVO! Caitlin JOHNSTONE.
Keep writing and sounding the alarm.
Maybe one day usa Citizens will wake up to the disrepresentation of potus and congress.
Let us play with some numbers, shall we?
Recently, Congress has been playing with some very BIG numbers.
So, in order to play fair, and I am sure you will all agree that we should play fair, we ought to have rules the we all agree with and accept.
To wit, in the English speaking part of the numbers world certain things are held to be so, to be “true”.
A Million, of anything, is said to be made up of a thousand thousand parts or pieces, that is 1,000 x 1,000 or 1,000,000.
(A one followed by six zeros)
A Billion is a thousand Million, that is 1,000,000 x 1,000 or 1,000,000,000.
(A one followed by nine zeros)
A Trillion is a thousand Billion, that is 1,000,000,000 x 1,000 or
(A one followed by twelve zeros)
Now, we have some numbers which are estimated, that is best guesses based on some factual information, but subject to a certain amount of variation over time.
The estimated population of the U$A, as of January 28, 2020, was/is 329,227,746.
The estimated number of millionaires in the U$A is 14,814,453 and the estimated number of billionaires in the U$A is 607.
Now, however much annoyance and chagrin it may cause, these two groups, millionaires and billionaires will, for the purpose of this exercise, be lumped together.
Thus in the lumpen grouping we calculate a grand total of 14,815,060.
If a Trillion is divided by 330,000,000, the result is 3,030.30.
If that same Trillion is divided by 14,815,060, the result is 67,498.91.
You can readily see that there is a difference between 3030.30 and 67,498.91.
However, we must factor in one further number, the actual total of the Really BIG number, which seems to be changing by the hour, from a low of 2 Trillion, including a much smaller amount to be divvied up among the many, to a stand alone sum of 4.2 Trillion for the corporate portion, which is also speculative and possibly secret, known only to certain wisdoms who reside on high, far above the ken of hoi paloi.
Yet, for giggles and guffaws, let us multiply those numbers, by 4.2, just for odious perspective, shall we?
If we do the multiplying for the total population, which includes the lumpen group, we get 12,727.26, per person.
Doing the same with the smaller population of ONLY the lumpen group, we get 283,495.43, per elite.
Again, one cannot fail to note the difference.
Now, let us pretend that we are talking about dollars.
Real Money (or what passes as something real).
If every woman, child, and man in the U$A were to share equally in a 4.2 Trillion dollar “bailout”, then each would get $12, 727.26.
Conversely, if the many had to “pay” 4.2 Million, every woman, child, and man would owe, would be penalized, that amount.
On the other side of the Great Divide, the lumpen group would, each, receive that somewhat larger number of dollars.
Now, which group more needs this money?
Which could more easily afford to part with the amount?
Isn’t this fun?
Let us also ponder who had the most “leverage” with Congress (and the White House) to pull off this classy deal?
I’m glad I can read this article here which is a “blowing trumpet of truth” that I really appreciate.
I’m reading here because I’ve been having difficulty reaching the author’s site. It seems to come and go.
Regardless – I’ll try to whistle in to add my sound to the trumpet of truth and I hope folks start to hear the music.
“So basically everything crazy about America is being amplified to absurd caricatures of its own insanity and highlighted for everyone to see.” And the most bizarre example of this just turned up today in an email from a European cousin who happened by accident to have been born on American soil. His mother was pregnant at the time of a family visit. He is now 70 years old and recently discovered, when he was denied a mortgage on a new home, that he is an “Accidental American”[ SEE: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accidental_American ] and that he owes a lifetime of back taxes to Uncle Sam. This is the culminating chaos of civilization.
yup, Uncle Sam will not let anyone off the hook.
I know an elderly Syrian physician who had all his money in Switzerland. He subsequently became a US citizen and had to pay taxes on the money in Switzerland. All that time he accumulated his money, he was not a citizen. Ouch! Sound like opportunistic theft to me.
America is about a relatively small number of very privileged men and the establishments they own being served by most of the country’s resources.
Trump and the Congress are just making that more glaringly obvious in the midst of a national crisis.
Over recent years, a great many abroad have lost confidence in the US.
Given its lack of principles and meaningful direction.
I think now Americans themselves are likely to begin doing so too.
Trump hasn’t handled anything well, and in November voters get to choose between him and Joe Biden, a lifelong political apparatchik.
Since Reagan’s deficite and cold war spending, Clinton getting rid of Glass-Stiegel, “greed is good” in the 80’s, tax cuts for the rich since REagan and beyond, the Zionist Federal Reserve and wars for Israel. What chance does the average American stand
” . . . everything crazy about America is being amplified to absurd caricatures of its own insanity and highlighted for everyone to see.”
Agreed – everything crazy IS being amplified. However, not EVERYONE can see it because those who choose not to believe instead follow their Orange leader even when he says things that contradict health professionals and /or what he himself said the day before. It’s truly frightening to have such an incompetent in such an important position and even scarier that ANYONE believes a word he says.
Sixty years ago, if an American read a book about what’s going on in this country now, they would have considered it fiction.
It is times like this when truths sound like dark humor. Or maybe it’s my way of coping with the dystopia we live in?
Well said, Caitlin.
The entire fantasy of U$ “democracy”, of cultural and political economic superiority, has been shown, to any with the courage and integrity to see and honestly describe, to themselves and others, what is obvious, to be nothing but childish cults of personality and obscene kabuki ritual.
Even that great revolutionary, Bernie Sanders, has joined in the pageantry of pathological posturing and blatantly self-serving behavior and glib, shameless deceit, of spineless and craven applause of his “friends”, the despicable sociopathic “leaders” of the Senate, in his case, that that body might deliver unanimous consent to a heartless and cruel continuation of destructive “business as usual” so that a few thousand, even more pathologically dangerous, individuals may be permitted to lord it over the many, may destroy the capacity of the planet to support most life and may profit, in the most vile fashion, from war, both with bombs, bullets, missiles, and mines and with economic sanctions designed to deny children food and medicine.
Yet, even more disgusting, the media propaganda machine will most effectively not only hide these machinations from the many, but easily convince the frightened huddled masses that the few crumbs they are about to receive are largess of the most loving and hard to obtain sort, that all of the malarkey and shenanigans, the sacrifices of the people’s chosen “Representatives”, who put their own reputations and interests “on the line” FOR the people, reflect the very best and most sacred tendencies of the greatest nation, most beloved by God, Himself, that this world, or any other, has ever had the privilege and honor to behold.
Giving everything to the “job creating few”, the financial and corporate elite, was not only the height of wisdom, but also the very best that could be hoped for.
Now then, let us join together, buckle down, tug up our bootstraps, and go kick Venezuelan butt, Iranian ass, Russian and Chinese authoritarianism and, once and forever, put all other nations and peoples in their proper subservient place.
Indeed, quite a few observant U$ians will see at least some of this tripe for what it is, the raw guts of oppression, but most will cheer the ongoing vapulation as necessary, just, and highly useful for improving morale and patriotic cohesion.
It is quite likely that a majority might even clamor for more, might simper and and grovel for more outrageous evidence that they’ve just been granted supreme good fortune and are meritorious enough to deserve, please sir, a wee bit more of the gruel, as they smack their lips and get a belly full of abuse which proves that their masters really do care about them.
Then, if team blue, they will exercise their franchise and vote for Buddy Biden and the Roaches or, if team red, for Trumpet and the Corona Viruses.
And the “progressives”? They will lionize the “great courage and steadfast integrity” of bold and brave Bernie.
The government will have grabbed more power, diminished more rights to the point of absurdity, “social distancing” will facilitate censorship, and confinement, solitary or otherwise, will be “mainstream”, the young will have been disabused of any silly notions of meaningful change and “adults” will even more readily be able to crush any youthful question or resistance to neoliberal extraction.
Polite society will, henceforth, be spared any vexation about defending itself and it will generally be accepted that this is the very best of all possible worlds.
Professors of Panglossian Positivity will thrive, the Empire will be embraced as best practice and example, and Greed will not merely be “Good”, it will be “Great!”
In actual fact, destabilization and societal collapse will accelerate.
The environment will be more ruthlessly pillaged and plundered.
Unless, of course, other nations grow weary of the insanity, or U$ians finally, actually, in sufficient number, no longer buy the lies.
What are the odds?
Who even cares?
I have watched, since I was old enough to understand, over my seventy-three years of life on this planet, in this nation, at this time steady, appalling intentional decline. I have spoken against it, even raged, at times, to no discernible avail that I can honestly claim. Yet, my allegiance is always with the young for they have far mor at risk.
I should like to think, to imagine that my children, who are still young, might have full, healthy and fulfilling lives, as may their cohort, as may uncounted generations yet to come.
But I despair, for I have little reason to consider that reason, sanity, humanity, concern, care, or empathy may prevail.
What we witness is betrayal, greed, avarice, and ruthless pathology unhinged, a Full Spectrum of Dominance, abuse, destruction, by the best and brightest willing, openly and happily, to lie, to cheat, to steal, and to kill. They brag about it. Are cheered and revered for doing so.
While Assange is to be sacrificed for telling the truth about the U$ war machine and other things, to a U$ populace that does not care to know and fervently wishes not to understand the pervasive corruption which rules, crushing, daily, their own humanity and potential.
What more must be said, might be felt, can be understood, when ears are deaf, hearts are cold, and minds choose not to function?
Do things have to end badly?
There is choice.
Is there the courage to make such choice?
Is there the humanity?
What do you think?
There’s a saying Caitlin that “What goes around, comes around”? Another word for this saying is Karma? The Bible calls it reaping what you have sowed? America is now reaping what it has sowed & is now paying the price for its rampant criminality & lack of humanity? Everything you mentioned in your insightful article regarding the Dealthcult, cronyistic Nation called America is being exposed under the blinding glare of the Coronovirus Pandemic? The Tremendous Leadership vaccum under the incompetence of Trump, the lousy Healthcare system, the corrupt propaganda Media & disgusting Political & Financial system is wilting & collapsing in on itself like a black hole & all because of a microscopic virus? What’s sickening to observe that even now, with the US, being the epicentre of the Pandemic, they still find time to wage endless Wars, sanction other Nations & hold phoney charges against Maduro in order to try their stupid regime change attempts? It defies logic, the stupidity & arrogance of America, & really sums up what their priorities are? Empire building instead of saving their own Countrymen from the Coronovirus? America will be getting everything it deserves, courtesy of the Coronovirus,? “What goes around, comes around” & payback & hell is coming with it?
Please distinguish between the political-corporate-military-mainstream media elite and the American citizenry. There are many American citizens that oppose the very policies you hold us directly responsible for. By that logic you are responsible for your country’s passive or direct support for American hegemony.
Homer, clearly you are correct that, in any kind of a sane and rational world, the many should not be held responsible for the behavior of their leaders and the leaders’ propagandists.
Even if the horrors are noisily committed “in the name” of the many.
However, when the U$ “leadership” decided that Afghanistan was behind 911, or that Saddam was complicit and had WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction), you will recall that the entire populations of those nations were attacked.
When U$ “leadership” decided that Iran and Venezuela were “bag guys”, the economic sanctions applied are, to this very day, impacting the many in those nations. With the Novel Coronavirus, for example, ALL Iranians, women, children, and men cannot get the medicine and food they need.
Frankly, there is a veritable litany of examples of the U$ punishing the many whenever U$ “leaders” desire “regime change”, or want the resources of other nations. This history is long and appalling, indeed, from the very beginning.
Do you feel any sense of personal shame for the genocide practiced against the original human inhabitants of this continent (North America) or the “peculiar institution” of slavery (which was the initiating source of U$ wealth that made “us” a player on the world stage?).
Now, you might say that those you have correctly and properly identified as not going along with the greed and barbarity of the “leaders” do deserve to be held, to some degree, blameless, and you might even say that that those people are powerless, as well, to do anything to effectively change the overarching policies which obtain regardless of which wing of the war machine/property party is in power.
It ain’t our fault and we can do nothing about it except engage in meaningless rituals of exercising an empty franchise because political parties are private clubs not public entities, and as George Carlin put it, we ain’t in that club. We merely get smacked with it.
Right now, we are getting pretty well clubbed.
And it is going to get much much worse for hoi paloi, the people, here, in the U$.
So, whose fault is that?
Who is responsible when the political “choice” in the 2020 presidential election, here in the Homeland, is between Trump or Biden?
Shall we blame the Russians?
Of course, you might be thrilled at choosing between lesser weevils.
However, guess what, a lot of folks think it a pretty lousy non-choice, merely “more of the same” and “nothing will change”, that the “stuff” that you and many others do not support, do not agree with, will continue.
Other nations will be bombed, if not directly BY “us”, then with weaponry (which is about all we “manufacture”, these days, everything else, as you may be increasingly aware, has been “off-shored” for profit to the few) “we” sell. Other nations will be sanctioned , which is economic warfare … I am certain you get the continuing “drift”.
But hey, it is not “our” fault, even if “we” vote FOR “more of the same” and “nothing will change”.
That is just the way it is.
“We” are good U$ians.
How can “we” be held responsible?
At worst, “we” are simply following “order” or orders.
Let “us” console ourselves by considering war and sanctions as simply being extreme forms of “social distancing”.
Akin to torture being merely “enhanced interrogation”. Remember that? Recall how many U$ians applauded and the Hollywood response.
If war and sanctions have been official policy since the end of World War II, or from the beginning, well, it ain’t “our” fault and “we” cannot do anything about it anyhow.
Imagine what it will feel like if, if not when, “we” find ourselves on the receiving end?
That would be really outrageous, wouldn’t it?
Of course, bad things cannot happen to “us”.
I mean, our “leaders” would never allow “us” to be impoverished, become ill with inadequate health CARE, or permit huge numbers of “us” lose our jobs or our homes, to “bailout” fraudulent Bankers, would THEY?
Does it not come down to understanding WHO is responsible for war, sanctions, economic collapse, and authoritarian crackdowns, for the loss of rights and societal viability?
If it ain’t us, then what are we going to do about it, about those who AREresponsible for doing those harmful, destructive, criminal things?
You know, if it ain’t our “fault”?
Is that a discussion worth having?
Might it be necessary and about time?
Sunlight or 254-nm ultraviolet irradiation. Though neither gets below the surface to kill all the contagion.
Seriously, you can find rot everywhere you look in the crumbling American empire. We don’t allow legal slavery under the constitution any longer, but an ever larger segment of the citizenry are reduced to becoming abject wage slaves totally at the mercies of rapacious plutocrats and their famous “best laid plans,” as you so competently outlined for the reader.
I read that after all the recalculations are made and the final of many votes cast, this record-breaking grand bailout will cost the American polity on the order of $6.5 trillion dollars. My individual share of this life-line will be $1,200. If my maths are correct, my cut of the loot will represent 0.0000000184 percent of the total. I wonder what percent of the total contribution I will be expected to make when this deficit is eventually recovered from the population in the form of taxes, fees or surcharges, as it must be under capitalism… with interest! I’d guess it will be rather larger than either the flat amount or the miniscule fraction of the humongous pie calculated above.
What’s especially bothersome is that the trillions allotted to the uber capitalists is not limited to simply making them whole on their losses during the shutdown, but they are given, not just boatloads, but supertankers full of money to invest and grow their businesses, in fact, oodles of money to allow them to buy out their smaller competitors and further consolidate the business monopolies that already control and strangle this economy. And, of course, there are no restraints on what part of this tranche of cash they can keep for themselves as bonuses, stock options and dividends all courtesy of the American taxpayer.
Bottom line: If you work for a living, you’re helped with 12 extra Benjamins to get through this crisis–approximately one month’s rent in a typical Rust Belt city. If you “clip coupons” by investing the fortune left to you by your old-moneyed granddad, you get 12 more billions in walking around money. May not be fair, but it is soooo typically American. Neither Joe nor the Donald will disagree with the plan.