Lost: Can We Regain Paradise?
By Jason Miller
20 December, 2006
We have reached the deplorable
circumstance where in large measure a very powerful few are in possession
of the earth's resources, the land and its riches and all the franchises
and other privileges that yield a return. These positions are maintained
virtually without taxation; they are immune to the demands made on others.
The very poor, who have nothing, are the object of compulsory charity.
And the rest -- the workers, the middle-class, the backbone of the country
-- are made to support the lot by their labor.
de Mille (granddaughter of Henry George), New York, 1979
that Ms. George de Mille penned her observations before the patron saint
of the “have mores” established residence at 1600 Pennsylvania
Avenue. In less than three decades, a Friedman-inspired Reagan and his
successors made astounding gains for the “very powerful”
de Mille described.
Reagan wielded the scalpel
that emasculated organized labor and convinced America that “regulation”
is a four letter word. George H.W. Bush further crippled unions and
condemned many poor Mexicans to corporate exploitation through his relentless
efforts to make NAFTA a reality. Convincing the multitude of his compassion
and empathy, Clinton proceeded to sign NAFTA into law and cheerfully
eviscerated public assistance.
Embarking on a “divine
mission, George W. Bush has taken “free trade”, deregulation,
fiscal strangulation of social programs, enervation of We the People,
and militarism to breath-taking heights. In spite of W’s failure
to eliminate the “Death Tax”, Milton Friedman is beaming
with pride as the flames of eternal damnation incinerate his corporeal
shell and render his wicked soul vulnerable to the divine castigation
he so richly deserves.
Consider the words of Henry
George, a US American economic and political thinker who advocated a
balance of free markets, government regulation, and social programs:
The forces of the new
era have not yet had time to make status hereditary, but we may clearly
see that when the industrial organization compels a thousand workmen
to take service under one master, the proportion of masters to men will
be but as one to a thousand, though the one may come from the ranks
of the thousand. "Master"! We don't like the word. It is not
American! But what is the use of objecting to the word when we have
the thing? The man who gives me employment, which I must have or suffer,
that man is my master, let me call him what I will.
Inculcating and deluding
the masses with a multi-billion dollar barrage of agitprop and sophistry
potent enough to penetrate the minds of the most adroit thinkers, the
moneyed interests behind corporatism and exploitative Capitalism have
created a false dichotomy that clings to our collective psyche like
a cocklebur deeply embedded in a wool sock. They are intent on retaining
mastery over their wage slaves(1).
According to “conventional
thinking” proffered by the corporate media, only two choices exist:
the extant form of rapacious Capitalism or the gross perversions of
Communism implemented by Stalin and Mao. Socialism might be considered
as a third alternative at times, but since it is theoretically a transitional
state leading to Communism, is “Leftist”, and advocates
the needs of the collective over the desires of a few avaricious individuals,
the MSM generally tends to equate it with Communism.
As all freedom loving denizens
of the United States and its satellite bastions of Corporatism know,
Communism is inherently evil while Capitalism is intrinsically good.
Which is why the Bush Regime recently rescinded a ban on training right
wing military forces in several Latin American nations. It is imperative
that we keep the world safe for corporate plunder, human exploitation,
and rape of the environment. Even if that means supporting murderous
dictators like Pinochet or the slaughter of tens of thousands of civilians
by right wing paramilitaries trained and supplied by the United States.
While it is true that there
are potentially insurmountable problems with implementing a purely collective
economic system that ignores the natural human propensities for greed
and self interest, “prevailing thought” leaves no room for
middle ground. As obedient wage slaves, we must labor to our dying breath
to preserve an economic order that ensures the suffering of billions
to afford a few million the means to satiate their every whim and desire(2).
Forget the existence of alternative
economic theories like Distributism or Social Democracy. Potential economic
models which threaten their stranglehold on prosperity are anathema
to the plutocracy. Adopting an economic system with at least as much
emphasis on society’s needs as on the pursuit of individual riches
would almost certainly achieve a modicum of economic and social justice.
However, as evidenced by their tenacious efforts to eliminate public
funding for socially beneficial programs (rather than improving them),
our opulent overlords have little interest in down-sizing their fleets
of expensive cars so that children can eat.
And why do the wage slaves
accept these pernicious lies, gross injustices, and moral aberrations?
Many have yet to shake free
of insidious abstractions like uber-nationalism, xenophobia, racism,
militarism, narcissism, and consumerism. These ludicrous conceptualizations
effectively manacle their very minds and souls. Those who have awakened
face the stark reality of nearly insurmountable economic barriers to
freedom from some degree of complicity in the fascist designs of the
Virtually every member of
humanity barring the pecunious class faces a brutal dilemma. Do they
serve the elite as wage slaves or languish as one of their deeply impoverished
victims? (In some cases both fates befall them simultaneously). While
there are those precious few who win the lottery, exploit extreme athletic
or musical talent, or miraculously embody the Horatio Alger myth, most
people find themselves choosing between the Scylla and Charybdis.
To maintain their affluence
and power, the haut monde need a relatively compliant stable of wage
slaves to enable them to exploit the rest of humanity. Bread and circuses
ensure the cooperation of most. As for the nuisances who begin to feel
the agonizing prick of conscience and start questioning the system,
the Sirens of consumerism, conformity, and fear often draw them back
to devotional obedience and spiritual ruin.
And as for incorrigible dissidents,
humanity’s subjugators exercise isolation and ridicule to arrest
the spread of their influence on the rest of the population. And extortion
virtually ensures a reasonable degree of servility from dissenters.
As Solzhenitsyn observed in the Gulag Archipelago, even the most recalcitrant
will fold when their families are threatened or jeopardized.
Leaving little to chance,
the oligarchy has erected significant structural and psychological barriers
to meaningful dissent, significant opposition, or escape from wage slavery.
Consider this summary, which is by no means exhaustive:
1. Maintaining nearly monopolistic
control of the means to disseminate information (excepting the Internet)
2. Providing seductively
alluring offers of “success” in the form of material wealth
and trophy spouses
3. Dispensing immediate gratification
via easy credit, pornography, and fast food
4.Devoting insane levels
of financial and human resources to law enforcement and the military
(creating a formidable means of employing physical force)
5. Manufacturing sufficient
mass hysteria (first the threat was Communism and now it is “Terrorism”)
to virtually eliminate civil liberties with little more than a whimper
of objection from the populace
6. Deflecting responsibility
to scapegoats like Muslims, Gays, and illegal immigrants
7. Promulgating a militaristic,
commercialized form of Christianity via the mega churches of the Religious
8. Allowing corporations
to set our government policy, write our laws, and bribe Congress with
9. Wantonly deregulating
10. Implementing numerous
free trade agreements
11. Virtually eliminating
the existence of organized labor
12. Dumbing down many of
our children by bombarding them with rote learning to prepare for barrages
of standardized tests (which seriously limits their capacity to think
critically and independently)
13. Wal-Martizing the economy
14. Demanding higher productivity
for lower wages and decreased benefits
15. Increasing the staggering
number of people without health insurance
16. Widening the wealth and
17. Financially starving
18. Creating incestuous relationships
between the state and major corporations (as exemplified by the military-mass
media complex) and in turn endowing their government with power approaching
19. Waging perpetual wars
20. Indenturing the poor
and working class to creditors by seriously weakening bankruptcy protection
21. Passing the Military
Commissions Act and the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act
22. Creating and stockpiling
weapons of mass destruction
23. Accelerating privatization
around the globe (which is placing people at the mercy of ruthless corporations
which sell them health care, education, utilities, fuel for their vehicles,
and even drinking water)
24. Perpetuating an unjust
mandatory income tax (enforced by a jack-booted IRS) on people who ultimately
have no real say in how the money is used
25. Hijacking the vote in
the United States for two consecutive presidential elections
In the face of such severe
oppression, some of the victims in developing nations have resorted
to fighting back with asymmetrical warfare. Choosing a path of non-violence,
larger numbers in the developing world are employing political and economic
power to defy the Neoliberal and Imperialist despots.
While some awakened souls
amongst the wage slaves in developed nations have freed themselves physically
by dropping out of the system, many have settled for spiritual and intellectual
freedom as they strive to evoke change while enduring their bondage.
A relatively tiny number
of craven and malevolent individuals hoard a majority of the planet’s
wealth and have bullied billions into economic subjugation or a form
of indentured servitude. Given the elites’ stacked deck, loaded
dice, and crooked croupier, what play can the enslaved make?
How about an organized and
unified effort to drive a stake through the heart of a vampiric system
crafted and championed by compassionless bastards like Milton Friedman?
Despite facing economic tyranny
of immense proportions, we wage slaves are far from impotent. In fact,
we possess two strengths which give us incredible leverage:
1. The system would collapse
without our cooperation.
2. We outnumber our “handlers”
by a wide margin.
Prolonged massive boycotts
coupled with widespread sustained strikes would catalyze a rapid implosion
of a system already teetering on the brink of collapse. Businesses would
shutter. Currency and market values would race downward. War machines
would grind to a welcome halt. Governments would collapse. Hubristic
malefactors would scurry as mice fleeing the imminent pounce of a hungry
And chaos would ensue.
Would reason and humanity
triumph to the extent that the emergent economic order would reverse
the devastation inflicted by Neoliberalism, Corporatism, and predatory
Let’s hope we get the
answer to that question before the criminal class crosses the Rubicon.
(1)Karl Marx decried wage
slavery and its inevitability in a Capitalist system. But one doesn’t
have to subscribe to Communism to recognize the smothering oppression
and egregious social injustices associated with the prevailing economic
paradigm which is championed and maintained by nexus of economic power
in the United States.
(2)Thankfully the United
States has a “mixed economy”. Imagine the depth of human
misery if unadulterated Capitalism was unleashed with men like Cheney
at the helm.
Jason Miller is a wage slave of the American Empire
who has freed himself intellectually and spiritually. He writes prolifically,
his essays have appeared widely on the Internet, and he volunteers at
a homeless shelter. He welcomes constructive correspondence at firstname.lastname@example.org
or via his blog, Thomas Paine's Corner, at http://civillibertarian.blogspot.com/
[I dedicate this essay to
the untold millions who suffered as a result of Milton Friedman’s
creation of an intellectual bulwark for economic brutality. On 11/16/06,
Friedman died of heart failure, an ironic cause of death for a heartless
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