What'll I do with just a photograph
To tell my troubles to?
When I'm alone
With only dreams of you
That won't come true
What'll I do?
Yes. Well. It is a Problem, isn't it?
Dreams that won't come true, indeed. That is the situation for endless millions of Americans, more and more of them every day, and Our Government, when it isn't actively colluding with its Sponsors to make it so, is doing nothing to prevent it or to address the deteriorating moral, physical, and spiritual condition of the People.
What'll we do?
Whatever shall we do?
Look, we've watched our nation's physical plant, its infrastructure and public services deteriorate for the last 30 years and more, as the Doctrines of Reaganism and Privatization have been sold and resold like phony gold coins to the Rubes. Americans have been subjected to a grand con all these years, the origins of which date to the origins of the country, a confidence game that has produced some wonderful things and some terrible things on the world stage, but which is now producing nothing but visions of worsening and perpetual misery for more and more Americans, and unfortunately much of mankind.
It doesn't have to be this way.
It never had to be this way. That we let it be this way is part of our cross to bear as a People, but though we are burdened, we do not have to put up with the additional crap our rulers have decided it is in their interests to further burden us with. They simply do not believe in the public interest. They do not believe in "we" if you will. Only "I", and only "I" as it pertains to themselves.
As I've watched the Ryan Budget Matter unfold, it is quite striking to notice how completely the interests of the People, the public interest, is ignored, by all the many yabberers on the the question of "What'll we do with Medicare?" (Which could be any number of other "Whatever Shall We Do?" questions I've brought up here).
There IS no Public Interest in their minds (if they have minds). Thus the idea that Medicare -- or what it represents -- is vital to the Nation and its People's well-being is completely ignored. The only things that reach that level of conscience and consciousness among the Palace political class and its many media courtiers is "National Security" and "The Deficit."
That's it. There is nothing else as far as they are concerned. We are seeing the same phenomenon operating throughout the Western/Imperialist World, as rights, privileges, the economic futures and benefits are taken away one by one and in batches by an absolutely driven political class -- often nominally Socialist -- that seems to be in complete and utter thrall to the global financiers.
The Banksters as it were.
The test model of this destructive program was run in California and the West back in the Pre-9/11 Era with the Enron/Energy scam that looted the entire then $9 billion surplus from the State treasury and then some more -- extortion which is still being paid by Californians and Westerners.
Those who were doing it were laughing at the Rubes, and those who tried to do something about it, like Gray Davis, were unceremoniously dismissed from office, or they were prevented from gaining office (see Gore, Al) through some of the most appalling dirty tricks and outright corruption ever witnessed in this country. And that's saying something!
It worked so darned well in California, why not try it on the National scale, and so it would be, with the lawless intervention of the Supreme Court to install George W Bush on the Throne and the bloodthirsty Busheviks, Cheneyites and their Sponsoring looters, plunderers and murderers to run absolutely rampant and wild.
That's how we got to today.
And in today's world, those who would grab, take, steal whatever is left to the miserable masses don't even bother to hide their intent any more, they hardly bother with their standard lies and subterfuge. It's right out in the open: they're gonna steal whatever they want from you because you aren't gonna do a damned thing about it. They have proved to themselves over and over again that you -- ie: We the People -- are powerless in the face of their Magnificence and Glory.
Yield or perish.
The way our Governing Class behave, they are absolutely convinced that is the way things are, the way they will always be, world without end (please.)
What'll we do?
Most people, it seems, have either hunkered down or given up without a fight, and that's kind of how it goes when these situations arise. It is human nature to yield to one's "betters." Or at least to ones that are apparently more powerful in the material world.
We know now how Germans so easily fell under the Nazi thrall. We're feeling some of that same thrall fall upon us. And we know how that little experiment in unpleasantness ended. No, it wasn't pretty.
But there was another 20th Century example of the People coming under sway of the Powerful -- perhaps against their will; there was a Civil War before the installation of the New Regime was consolidated -- in the Soviet Union. Its offspring is now operating -- spectacularly -- in China.
The Soviet Union collapsed in due time. How it happened is still mostly a mystery to Americans -- who were never allowed to understand the operating principles of a Communist (even if only ostensibly Communist) state. But there is no such state any more, gone as if it never was, and the rump state of the Russian Federation that has filled the vacuum of Power is hardly a match for What Used To Be.
No, China is the Model of the Future. Or maybe it's India. Experts disagree. But is that the Future we want? Is it even the Future the Chinese want?
If that is the Future, then many, many Americans will at least try to opt out. The United States will become a backwater of sorts, possibly still a refuge, but from the New Modern World, rather than leading it. But that's far down the road. We are nowhere near there yet.
I've tried to point up the fact that things have been worse than they are now, far worse, for many Americans. American passivity in the face of the Barbarians at the Gates may in part be due to that instinctive knowledge. Things are nowhere near as bad -- for most Americans -- as they once were, at least not in a material sense, and certainly not in the sense of "liberty."
Our Rulers know this too, and as they ratchet both the liberties and the material well-being of the masses, for the most part, they try to maintain a constant pressure toward reversal rather than attempting to push the masses into penury and servitude all at once. They sometimes push harder than at other times, witness Walker and other Republican Governors literally trying to delete the last 50 years of labor history and worse. Or that little punk Ryan in the House pushing passage of the renunciation of 50 years of the social contract.
These are overreaches, to be sure, but despite all the OUTRAGE!!!!™ they've inspired, it passes in due time -- which is what they are counting on -- all or most of what they want is enacted, and the People become accustomed to The New Normal.
That's the way it goes, no matter which way the political pendulum swings.
That's how the criminally high unemployment rate has been maintained for years now without more than a modest outcry from the People. How the numerous Wars keep going. How the Rich continue to hoover up every last dime still circulating in the more or less permanently collapsed consumer economy. People get used to it.
So whatever shall we do?
To an extent, the answer is plain: Nothing. Neither fight nor acquiesce.
And yet still we must:
This gets into realms I will try to explore more deeply in other posts, because this concept of "Nothing" in the material world is a spiritual one; it doesn't really make sense from a material perspective, and yet it is very real. Clearly the notion of giving up on what doesn't work has a resonance in the contemporary era, and by setting aside those actions and reactions that have no useful function any more, or by keeping ones that actually poison oneself or others at bay, we find a peace and a sense of liberation we may never have recognized before.
Demanding Better! is not just a material assertion, either. One demands better of oneself to start with, even as one may give up striving and desire.
So. Those Dreams may never come true, certainly much of what we once thought the Future would be will never happen for most of us. On the other hand, when you're open to what can be, much of what you were fighting against doesn't matter so much any more...
To be further explored later....