Sunday, January 30, 2005

WILDLIFE HANDBOOK: Identifying the N. American Brown Shirt

Well, gang, here we are again. I suppose most of you have signed up for this Nature Walk because of the result of the recent election. Whatever it takes to wake you up to the true nature of things. That you have reacted to the news by trying to be a more careful custodian of this fragile world we live in, is to be commended. As we explore the woods today, we will try to point out the various predator species which lurk just within the forest cover. And we will show you how to safely handle such animals, if they should invade your own quiet neighborhoods. VIZ.: the BROWN-SHIRTED LOON; the BLACK-LEATHERED BADGER; the PSYCHOPHANTIC VULTURE; and the
FAWNING MORON.

O.K. Let's stop kidding around. I took a poll about a month ago and only 4% of respondents thought we were living in a healthy democracy. This somewhat surprised me. We shouldn't be throwing around accusations lightly. when they concern the future of our country, our democracy, and even, possibly, our planet. From the comments I received, it is obvious that not everyone is living in the real world. Let me correct some misconceptions.

"If we were living in a corporate oligarchy already, MSNBC, dKos, atrios, et al would all be shut down."

Nope. Not if our corporate oligarchs, and their Princes, have read history well. The Peronists would always get themselves in trouble by closing popular newspapers and arresting anti-government priests. Much by accident, they discovered the following truth: If you leave your critics in place, people go to work instead of wasting productive time parading in the streets, destroying property and making a mess. If given the option, most people would rather buy a newspaper and be satisfied knowing that their government is corrupt. They argue about it (quietly) at lunch and then they go home and watch the tube.

Of course, the corporate oligarchate stacks the deck in other more subtle ways. Perhaps, they will threaten the family of an investigative reporter who then flees the country. "See!", they will say, "If he was telling the truth, why did he run?"

That and the disappearing of a few people now and then, makes their ability to control a free press, quite uncanny. Of course, that obviously is not what is happening in America. So don't worry. Unless this or this or this is happening in our country, we have nothing to worry about. As a back-up to that thought, there are not enough prisons (yet) to hold us all. So what are they going to do? Shoot us?

Whether one compares our present government to a Fascist, Nazi, Francoist, or Peronist, one is basically describing the variations on the theme of a corporate oligarchy.

In the evolution of governments, there have been many patterns. In our Western World, we have molded our institutions under the illusion that "we the people" decide the parameters of our shared lives. Doesn't that sound all soft and fuzzy? But, I digress.

A company gets permits and opens up. The company makes widgets. We don't care. If the owner can sell enough widgets to pay our salary, everything must be O.K. I mean, they must follow rules that we have determined are necessary for us all to have a good life.

Therefore, we know: the widgets are safe and non-polluting; the plant is safe and efficient (and non-polluting) ; we are given (solvent) pension plans and useful health plans (if we haven't figured out universal health care, yet); we are paid a descent living wage with a fair chance at promotion, etc.

In a corporate oligarchy, the government if formed by, of and for the corporations (producers of booty; providers of jobs). They can treat themselves and their employees any way they want. After all, who else can give you a job? So what if there is no toilet paper, it is delivered once a month. There is a nurse on duty, occasionally, so don't bitch.

You will have to carry an identity card and a work permit, or don't even show up. They will ask for your name, race, religion, address, phone number, tattoos, and tell you it is for your own protection: To keep terrorists out.

Then Jews, Blacks, Democrats, people named Rodriguez, short people, tall people are, one by one declared terrorists and are fired, and maybe, they too are disappeared.

(Full disclosure: People are people. Even oligarchs can be good. Schindler was not allowed to pay his Jewish "employees". But he fed them.)

Also, you know that if your mom did not keep nagging you about cleaning up your room when you were a kid, you never would have cleaned it. Well, corporations can be like that, too. If we were a corporate oligarchy, we might find that our government might try to lower pollution standards, workplace safety standards and things like that. But until things like
this start happening, I do not think there is much to worry us.

Corporate oligarchies always seem to devolve into Police States.

This may be because, having taken all power away from the people, the people get pissed and need a strong authoritarian prescence to remind them of their dependent position. They are given ID cards they must all carry or risk arrest. And before you start leaping to conclusions, why would you think we are a corporate oligarchy. Because we have a greater per centage of our citizens in jail than any other country? Because people are fired for having the wrong politics? Or, lawyers are sanctioned for defending democracy? Or, you start noticing that most law-breakers in our country, do not look like most law makers. (Don't white people steal?) That could be a tip. Police fail to act when demonstrators are set upon by brown shirts. A large private army with allegiance to only one party, emerges. (CACI et al?)

But since none of these things are happening here, we can still protest against government policies that we do not think are right. We, probably, wont lose anything but our voices. Hopefully, not permanently. At least, not yet.

Corporate oligarchies are racist.

Not necessarily. They would just as soon have everybody slaving away making them money. But we are in the middle of a period of "resource" deficits. But I would not worry if out autocratic government has become fascistic unless one sees it pursue a mad policy of retaining control by diverting as much of the world's dwindling resources into our own nations coffers, damning the rest of the world to privation, starvation and death. Mass deaths are applauded, as
Nature reasserts her balance. "Look, they have died, so we don't have to.", they must chortle over a brandy.

But when the shit hits the fan at home, a convenient way of sharing resources is for the ruling classes to stockpile whatever they need, and everyone else eats at their sufferance. This often translates as, "Kill the Jews!", "Kill the blacks!", "Whop the micks!", "Nick the WOP's!", "Make the white critters dance!", depending on who is holding the guns. Sometimes they feel it is proper to kill their slaves, when they cannot afford to keep them. (It is considered an act of mercy, like shooting a race horse with a broken leg.) But none of that is happening
here.

But you know all this. What you really want to know is, what can you do about it? Usually, if you have seen too many of these signs, it is already too late. But, we should continue to be noisy, expose corruption promote peace and understanding. If the government does try to muzzle us, well, we all know what we would have to do then. The reason I feel like I must present a broad anthropological overview of the alternative possibilities of dealing with a one-party state is that a one-party state should understand that it does have limitations. If the government ignores 50% of its citizens it tends to foster revolution (check Colombia and a few other SAm states).

So that brings us to today's relevant conclusion. If a population (polity) is being taken over by an autocratic dictatorship, the time to talk about what one should do in such a case is certainly enshrined in our own history. The government cobbled together by our early patriots had to allow citizens to do what they had done: drink brandy by the fireside and figure out what to do if George III kept treating them as non-entities.

That should always be legal: to question one's government, petition one's government, and only as a last resort, pull out the Declaration of Independence. Our forefathers believed that you could drink, and chat, and dream and no one should bother you. They also knew that if you dressed up as an Indian and dumped a shipload of tea into the harbor, you could get shot. It is that last point which makes it truly an awkward moment, when one realizes that one has remained a democrat but his country has run off to excess.

To be complete, the choices a citizen would have to make if their government turned into a fascist style repressive police state would be: Change with the times, try to be a happy camper in the new corporate oligarchy; Change your name, live on the edges, be paranoid and duck a lot; Become an open opponent of the regime until they silence you; Join a revolution. If you know any others, please let us all know below.

just remember, they wont come for us (they already have all of our addresses and phone numbers) until they decide what to do with us. And since we obviously so not live in such a country...We may still have weeks to organize (Ha!)

Remember, Andrew Johnson was not convicted of his impeachment. The opposition, having just fought a Civil War, pulled back at the last moment. Perhaps, if we had some way of boosting our shared memory of our last great encounter with intransigence, those Yahoos would tread more carefully. Or, if we are lucky, our worthy opponents will remember that if you push too far, some folks will begin pushing back. If they don't have a lever, they will use their fists.

Dancing takes two, and is more fun than fighting. I sure hope there is music playing when we all finally get together.

3 Comments:

Anonymous sheila said...

Absolutely fascinating. Please contact me as soon as possible. Yesterday a man was cutting down most of the trees in my new neighbor's backyard. I told him I wished he'd cut his hand off so he couldn't continue (the bird refugees were chirping a dirge 'where shall I go tonight? where shall I make my nest?') and then I suggested he cut his dick off so he couldn't reproduce. He told me he was just trying to put food on the table, to pay his bills and that my house was made of wood. I told him to find something else to do. I'm not in his neighborhood cutting down trees. His reach far exceeds his grasp, our head has overloaded our ass. My cry went from "Fall" to "Jump." What has any human done to help the earth? Trees can have a lifespan a hundred times that of a human, they sustain life, they hold the earth together, but this butcrack redneck with a chainsaw could wipe the better creature from the face of the earth in seconds. You've got a plow strapped to your back cutting up paradise into neat parallel rows. There are too many of us but that will soon be remedied. None of it is going to work. Here's the ugly little secret departed Dan Cartier clued me in to.
OIL LUBRICATES THE PLATES
It's crunch time. It's all moot when the earthquakes get so intense they affect the apparently delicate balance of the earth's rotation on its axis. Bush is a sign of the times. Probably the antichrist. Don't miss the acute irony that Ralph Nader, the savior of the planet, put him there.

1:27 PM  
Blogger sheila said...

sheila said...

Absolutely fascinating. Please contact me as soon as possible. Yesterday a man was cutting down most of the trees in my new neighbor's backyard. I told him I wished he'd cut his hand off so he couldn't continue (the bird refugees were chirping a dirge 'where shall I go tonight? where shall I make my nest?') and then I suggested he cut his dick off so he couldn't reproduce. He told me he was just trying to put food on the table, to pay his bills and that my house was made of wood. I told him to find something else to do. I'm not in his neighborhood cutting down trees. His reach far exceeds his grasp, our head has overloaded our ass. My cry went from "Fall" to "Jump." What has any human done to help the earth? Trees can have a lifespan a hundred times that of a human, they sustain life, they hold the earth together, but this butcrack redneck with a chainsaw could wipe the better creature from the face of the earth in seconds. You've got a plow strapped to your back cutting up paradise into neat parallel rows. There are too many of us but that will soon be remedied. None of it is going to work. Here's the ugly little secret departed Dan Cartier clued me in to.
OIL LUBRICATES THE PLATES
It's crunch time. It's all moot when the earthquakes get so intense they affect the apparently delicate balance of the earth's rotation on its axis. Bush is a sign of the times. Probably the antichrist. Don't miss the acute irony that Ralph Nader, the savior of the planet, put him there.

1:27 PM

2:13 PM  
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5:03 AM  

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