Wed Jun 6, 2012, 05:54 PM
MrScorpio (58,940 posts)
All empires fall because they rot from within...
That should be a warning to us all. But of course, sometimes the worst place see something is when you're standing right next to it.
When I see Americans actually voting for and promoting Republican doctrines and the end results of those doctrines, it seems to me that they really don't understand how badly it will end for us all by doing that very thing.
Now there's no question that America is the world's preeminent global power. Republicans are the greatest purveyors and abusers of that power, while Democrats function as the saviors and justifiers of it. It should be yin and yang, give and take and a delicate struggle for balance.
However, there really is no equitable balance when it comes to a preference by the American people. Clearly, they default to Republicans and merely tolerate Democrats. Unfortunately, by doing this we have created a behemoth of an empire that is completely unsustainable.
Of course, this could be seen as both a good and bad thing. Good in one way, where we would have a very good excuse to finally stop dedicating the vast wealth of America towards propping up the Military/Industrial/Congressional Complex, with all the Right Wing, militaristic nationalism that it entails. But also bad, because with that complex America which was built, the current geo-political/geo-economic structure, is actually made out of a house of cards that would have far ranging consequences if we were to cease holding it up. Plus, in order to make something good come out of a collapse, we'd have to find the will and where-with-all to build on the rubble of the empire's fall.
There's no question that, what could fill such a vacuum would be chaotic at best, but it could end up being very catastrophic for the world in the very least.
At this point we find ourselves teetering over the abyss of where Republicanism would finally take us, only to be rescued and pulled back from it at the last minute when the people occasionally tell themselves that rejecting Republicans is necessary. They're not voting FOR Democrats, by the way, but are rejecting the default.
We, as Democrats, are not the default, People - So, do not delude yourselves. The way that Republicans are allowed to get away with things that we never could should reveal to you that they are treated like the callous, but favored first son and we are nothing more than the loyal, but largely ignored red-headed step child.
The deference to Republicans is seen as natural and self-congratulatory. They are seen as the "winners", because they are favored by the rich and the powerful. Everyone loves a winner, right? Of course, you know and I know that that "winning" is always achieved on the backs of those who have the least to benefit from it. The money and power that the Republicans serve becomes very much a self-actualization of great power and influence in politics as well. The people who see the Republicans benefitting from supporting winners, then yearn to jump on the band wagon in a sadly self-serving and self-deluded fashion. Forget the price that they're paying is their own democracy, it's time to cash in.
So yesterday, we saw again a majority of people voting AGAINST their own best interests because they were voting for a "winner". It's this kind of attitude that keeps propping up The America Empire and the captains of that empire... Not the clerks who clean up after them.
Of course, there's a down side to this: We keep ignoring what's really in our best interests for everyone; a social contract that guarantees decent working conditions and living wages, a high standard of living, a clean environment, effective and equitable education, the elimination of poverty, peace and justice and the general direction that nations take when they put the needs of all of its citizens first instead of the whims of the "winners". We lose the strength and resilience of American society, when only the rich and power benefit from it. Those at the top rig the game and the rest of us keep hoping to win the lotto.
Also by trashing unions, allowing great sums of private corporate cash into the electoral process and the complete abandonment of the news media to address the lop-sidedness of it all for fear of angering their own corporate masters, unfortunately there is an eventual direction where this is going: Feudalism.
Americans will have the distinction of cheering for and identifying with their own corporate lords for their own satisfaction and by doing this through abandoning self-rule and democracy. Patriotism will be defined as serving those winners, instead of looking out for everyone. Basically, the only rights that we'll deserve are those that our betters will deem to give us. That will make our society basically weak and self-destructive. Republicans, who are prone to doubling down on their failed policies, policies that spell doom for us all and the American people keep allowing them to take the risks which only benefit the rich. The "winners" win and everyone only sees that and ignores who loses.
I can't think of anything more that is as naive and morally lazy than that. But we're doing it anyway.
So unless the majority of people wake up and figure out that they're condemning themselves to the role of serfs by continuing to vote for "the winners", the sheer weight of inequality and massive power will cause this empire of ours to collapse on itself from internal rot. So, it's going to be a fight... We just have to stop shooting ourselves in the feet in order to win it and save ourselves.
Democrats are going to have to be more than just the clean up crew. As sad as that is, it's the truth.
7 replies, 1837 views
All empires fall because they rot from within... (Original post)
|Warren Stupidity||Jun 2012||#2|
|Major Hogwash||Jun 2012||#4|
|Major Hogwash||Jun 2012||#6|
Response to MrScorpio (Original post)
Wed Jun 6, 2012, 06:07 PM
hifiguy (13,143 posts)
1. A modernized version of feudalism
has always been the endgame for the plutocracy, going all the way back to the Gilded Age. In the US it has been given an especially nasty twist - in its American variant, feudalism imposes no responsibilities whatsoever on the "aristocracy" to protect any peasants, even their own.
In historical feudalism the lord of the manor had an obligation to protect "his" peasants from the depradations of rivals or maurauding bands on masterless knights. The same went for the antebellum south. If a plantation-owning slaveholder wanted to realize any profit from his plantation he had to at least keep his slaves fed and fit to work the fields lest the cotton rot.
It may go too far to say that the plutocracy has found a way to improve on feudalism or the antebellum "way" but it may not. The plutocracy wants all of the "advantages" of feudalism or the antebellum South with none of the reciprocal obligations, such as they were, to the lower classes.
The plutocracy wants a system where the unruly masses can be (1) culled; (2) virtually enslaved; (3) forced to procreate enough to keep enough serfs around to be exploited as labor and especially as cannon fodder so that the imperial goal of world domination can be realized, or at the least, attempted. Yet they do not want to spend even a penny to "care" for their slaves.
Great piece, Mr. S., as always.
Response to MrScorpio (Original post)
Wed Jun 6, 2012, 06:26 PM
lunatica (29,440 posts)
3. Maybe the Military Empire would collapse but the country wouldn't
Why shouldn't we go back to being just another power among other powers. This crap about competing to be a Superpower isn't all it's cracked up to be. France, England, Holland and Spain managed to remain countries. Why wouldn't that happen to us.
We're just stuck in the Super power mindset. We could cut our military spending in half, stop making up new wars every generation and still be a Superpower.
Response to MrScorpio (Original post)
Wed Jun 6, 2012, 07:21 PM
Major Hogwash (13,545 posts)
4. A fish rots from the head down.
It doesn't have anything to do with unions, bro.
That's just their latest strawman -- "it's all the fault of the unions."
Except it wasn't unions that had to have their asses pulled back from the abyss by a bailout bill by the federal government, was it?
There are 26 states that already have "right to work" laws on the books.
The unions are only 1/4th of what they were just 30 years ago.
Membership is down, while corporate profits are up.
It's not the unions that caused the mortgage crisis in the United States.
It's not the unions that caused America to lose their 4-star credit rating last year.
It's not the unions that beat on the war drums after 9/11.