business of nation states has too often been war, and, war has always been
good business. "Good" in the sense that war
advances the power positions and wealth of the war makers and their
friends. A "good war"
is any war that makes profits regardless whether the war itself is just,
legal, or warranted. War is thrust upon the masses, those who do
the killing, bleeding and dying. Today, in the post-modern United
States, war is sold like any other commodity to a populace groomed into
believing that patriotism demands that they, as consumers, buy into any
war the military industrial complex puts up for sale. Little
has changed over the centuries in the relationship between the rulers and those they
rule. Human history shows a continuum of the rich ruling elite,
the privileged haves, shepherding the have-nots into perpetual war for perpetual
profit. The haves have the profits. The have-nots have their
wounds, lost limbs, dead children, misery, grief and poverty. It
is the common people, such as Cindy Sheehan, who mourn the death of
their soldier sons and daughters while the children of the rich opt-out
from "serving their country" avoiding any possibility of
sacrificing their rarified lives for some orchestrated "good
cause". They may be rich, but the children of the wealthy are
greed capitalism has made war for centuries, first on the indigenous Americans,
then on Africans
(slavery), the French, the Brits, the Spanish, Canada (Hull invasion War
of 1812), Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Philippines,
Hawaii, Germany, Nicaragua, Panama, Grenada, Haiti, China, Russia, Japan, Vietnam,
Cambodia, Laos, Grenada, Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq.... One can go on and on.
U.S. capitalism, hard pressed to sustain itself during peacetime, favors
and glorifies war. Destroying marketplaces is good for creating the conditions for
their profitable rebuilding. Capital invested in constructive
destruction is to capitalism, as destroying a city in order to save it,
is to militarism. Capitalism destroying and then rebuilding is a
double-edged sword of immense profit.
beast that exploits and devours the resources of others has
been the hallmark of capitalism for a long time. In the recent
past, the French, Spanish, German, Japanese, British, and Soviet
empires unleashed their beast. The empire today is the United
States and its beast is unleashed. The contradictions of capitalism,
however, make the sun that never sets on an empire unsustainable,
regardless of which empire it shines on. All empires come and
capitalism cannot out-compete, it need to overcome through other means, whether
by manipulation, coercion, or war. The ever-increasing resources
vital to capitalism's continuation must be acquired one way or
another. If they cannot be purchased, or otherwise negotiated for,
they are taken. Capitalism requires a feudal infrastructure.
The regime (nobles) dictates what the empire must have. The
CEOs, Pentagon brass, etc. (vassals) serve the nobles. The people
(serfs) die in obedience and service to them. Lest one consider
the comparison between feudalism and capitalism farfetched, how many of
today's nobles and vassals have family members fighting in Iraq or
Afghanistan? How many sons and daughters of the Bush, Cheney,
Rumsfeld, Rice, Wolfowitz, Rove, etc., families are in Iraq dodging
improvised explosive devices in that country's roadways? How
many of their children find military service of sufficient sane value to
capitalism refers to the established economic processes that allow the
employment of so-called free wage laborers. These workers are
supposedly at liberty to sell their labor unrestrained from the
constraints of landlords and lords. The parameters under which
labor operates, however, are deliberately and continuously
shifting. The shifts often preclude viable employment choices as
unemployment, low wages, and reduced benefits are manipulated for
maximum corporate profitability. Worker status digresses such that
workers, in order to survive, must accept something far less than
satisfactory employment, i.e., they work for less than a livable
wage. For many young people, this opens up the possibility of
being easily recruited by the military through a de facto economic
conscription. This race to the bottom for cheap labor, i.e., the
coercion of the worker, contributes to neo-feudalism posing as
post-modern capitalism. Post modern landlords contrive and control
most of our lives, including the hourly wage, the rent, the mortgage,
the cost of a loaf of bread, a gallon of gasoline, a quart of milk,
prescription medication, health insurance, public transportation, what
we eat, read, hear on the radio, watch on TV, what we buy, what we
think, and who we kill. The lords restructure workers' pensions,
often eliminating them when the corporate times get tough. What
happens to workers should the sovereign entities, the corporations,
fail? While bankruptcy statutes, down-sizing, off-shoring, union
busting and federal and state laws protect the corporation and its vassals,
the workers, get abused and shafted.
of the principal of equality and equal opportunity for all in this the
21st century? This much cherished ideal found in the country's
founding documents is made into a mockery as permanent prosperity for
the rich is enshrined through congressional legislation, i.e., tax cuts,
inheritance tax elimination, bankruptcy laws, so-called energy policy,
and the legal recognition of corporations as being de facto
persons. The workers, meanwhile, are subjugated by minimum and low
paying service sector employment with decreased rights and benefits,
often without health insurance. Post-modern capitalism has turned
life in the United States into neo-feudalism with the token figurehead
noble, the president, serving the corporate masters of war. The
monarchy may not look like traditional kings, yet it exists within the
community of billionaire and multi-millionaire power brokers that make
foreign and domestic policy decisions. The chains of 16th century
feudalism have morphed into a 21st century version where slaves without
chains hustle to make ends meet as the nobility dines on the world's
carved up resources.
the feudal times of the Middle Ages, witches were blamed for many ills
within society. There were the
so-called Middles Ages "bitches" and other heretics. There was Christine de
abbess and musician Hildegard of Bingen, and the patron of the arts
Eleanor of Aquitaine. There were the scientific thinkers
persecuted by those they threatened with their knowledge, Copernicus,
Galileo, et al. The nobles accused these people of treasonous
behavior diverting attention away from themselves. They blamed,
stigmatized, and summarily prosecuted anyone opposing them. Today's
nobles blame "feminazis", gays, dissidents, environmentalists,
peace and social justice activists, disabilities rights advocates,
anti-imperialists, and war protestors, diverting attention away from the
regime's heinous failures. Everyone not in agreement with the US
regime is castigated as a "traitor" in the attempts at drawing
the spotlight away from its corruption and malfeasance.
lords, as in feudal times, have co-opted the churches in controlling the
masses. This symbiotic relationship between State and Church is
mutually advantageous. The more things change throughout history, the more they
remain the same. The more knowledge that humanity acquires, the
further backward the populace goes. The poorer people become, the
less they know, or care to know. Caring less makes the prospect of
taking control away from the masters less probable. We, the
people, have become, we, the serfs. We will remain serfs as long
as income is taxed instead of wealth, and as long as workers are willing
to contribute their sons and daughters to die fighting for the lies and
profits of the rich. The yoke of oppression is alive and well
within US capitalism, for it and feudalism, are the same.
the book, We Can Change the World, in the chapter "Hope and
revolution, Dave Stratman writes,
Revolution, in my view, does not mean
simply a new economic structure, and it does not mean control by a new
elite. It means transforming all the relationships in society to
accord with the values, goals and idea of human life of ordinary
Karl Marx has been and continues to be
"discredited" by capitalists who point out that no successful
Marxist society exists today. The extent of the necessity to
continue vilifying Marx suggests a recognition otherwise. If Marx
is dead, why is it necessary to continuously bury him? If
capitalism's so-called triumph over socialism is the "end of
history" as the fall of the Soviet Union was depicted to be, then
why does history continue to repeat itself? Why does capitalism
and neo-liberalism continue to fail the vast majority of the world's
population? Why does the massive poverty of the many exist amidst
the massive wealth of the few?
capitalist apologists draw a distinction between capitalism and what
they call the free market. They state that the term capitalism
refers to imbalances within the free market and that criticism of
capitalism is erroneous as the two terms are nor interchangeable.
Critics of Marx accuse him of skillfully and treacherously chastising
capitalism for the temporary setbacks attributed to free market
imbalances. They argue that Marx's dialectic is more successful as
a method in maneuvering a pro-capitalist opponent into a losing argument
than it is for revealing the failures of capitalism as a system.
Regardless, whether one embraces Marx's definition of capitalism
or not, capitalism is as Marx predicted, in crisis. Whether
participatory economics can or will replace capitalism is
questionable. The world, however, cannot continue the obscene
imbalances between the haves and the have-nots to continue.
Whether we call this imbalance capitalism's inherent internal
contradictions, or the free market's anomalies is irrelevant, as
capitalism once again nears its breaking point and humanity considers
moving beyond feudalism, again.
Visions! omens! hallucinations!
gone down the American river!
Dreams! adorations! illuminations! religions! the whole boatload of
Breakthroughs! over the river! flips and crucifixions!
gone down the flood! Highs! Epiphanies! Despairs! Ten years' animal
screams and suicides!
Minds! New loves! Mad generation! down on the rocks of Time!
Real holy laughter in the river! They saw it all! the wild eyes! the
holy yells! They bade farewell!
They jumped off the roof! to solitude! waving!
carrying flowers! Down to the river! into the street!
- Allan Ginsberg