Thursday, December 29, 2011

Year End Musings

[House near ours in New Mexico. I love its appearance of isolation out on the llano -- although the location is actually East Mountains -- and I like its vaguely pioneer aspect. It's a fairly new house built in the style of the pioneers (this area was opened for settlement around 1900) on about 40 acres of mostly horse-pasture. Our house in New Mexico is an actual pioneer dwelling, started in around 1900 and continually remodeled and added to ever since.]

Been through quite the year -- such that I doubt many of us have experienced in our lifetimes. Not only have the People been up in arms over various indignities, debilities, thefts and destructions, but the Earth itself is clearly in the process of rebelling against the depredations against it.

We're in for a very bumpy ride for some time to come.

The key understanding is that Our Rulers have screwed things up so thoroughly and so badly, it will take generations to unravel the mess they have made, and it will take generations more to restore some semblance of the basic principles of common decency that have been lost.

In other words, we're not going to solve this any time soon, no matter how much we inveigle against The Powers That Be. They will do their best to ignore our imprecations -- as they have been doing remarkably consistently throughout this year of Revolution -- but inevitably they will fail to stem the tide, and from all the signs, their end is nigh-er than they think.

From the observation posts round about, it's become quite obvious that the structure of predation and exploitation built and run by Our Rulers is on a shaky foundation, so shaky that it could collapse at any moment due to the fact that nearly all of its accumulated wealth and power is illusory.

That's been perhaps the most important revelation of the Occupy Movement and its precursors. Our Rulers not only have feet of clay, they are running con games in the air. For all the damage they are doing to the general well being of the Earth and its People, they are gaining essentially nothing thereby. For all that they are busy stealing from the rest of us -- and from one another -- the crushing burden of their pretense-economics will simply disintegrate in their midst sooner rather than later.

And then what?

We should try to be ready -- and for the most part, we really aren't. The disappointment in the outcome of the Revolutions in North Africa, for example, is an indication of how unready for "success" we really are.

In this country, the fact that the Wisconsin Uprising accomplished essentially nothing -- in that the rebels were not able to prevent or significantly alter any of the draconian impositions of the State under the Walker administration, despite the success of some of the later recalls -- is still being processed. The Wisconsin Thing was critically important for changing the minds of the masses to help get them out of their torpor and passivity, but politically it was a non-event. No matter how many hundreds and thousands and hundreds of thousands gather -- and occupy -- for redress of grievance from this government, it doesn't matter. They will be ignored, and their interests dismissed. Period. End. Of. Discussion.

And so it has been throughout most of the country most of the time given all the many rebellions and uprisings since Wisconsin.

The blank stare of the Robo-Riot-Police has become the Implacable Face of Rule.

It's become standard: the People may "rise up" all they like. Their petitions will not be received by Rulers, their grievances will not be redressed. Have a nice day. Have some pepper spray and bludgeoning to go with your retreat. Bye now!

The political system obviously only works for the favored few -- to the extent it works at all. Favored interests of the private sector can essentially have and do anything they want, with the cheery connivance of Government (such as it is) while the People are left to fend for themselves as best they may, corralled and contained and distracted by shiny objects to the extent they are considered at all by those in power.

The People have become useless impediments in the eyes of the Highest of the Mighty. They get in the way, but -- as has been demonstrated over and over again -- they are easily disposed of, they and their Mounds of Garbage that is all they possess in the world.

Yet another homeless encampment was "cleared" here yesterday, its 120 denizens scattered to the winds -- and to the completely inadequate shelters that can accommodate less than half of the number dispossessed -- and their things, their few pitiful belongings confiscated (supposedly for safe-keeping, but we know how that goes.)

So. These evicted dispossessed ones say they will simply establish another camp -- and they will keep on doing it no matter what the Authorities do. They have successfully been establishing and running camps for the homeless and the dispossessed for years; government ignores their pleas to be left alone to take care of one another. Camps are raided and destroyed over and over again -- and re-established over and over again.

The homeless aren't going away. Not so long as the predators run free.

Homeless encampments have been a feature of civil society in this country -- and very prominently around here -- for many years. Remember "Bag Ladies?" They go back almost 40 years now. They were the first sign I think most of us knew of that something had gone terribly wrong with the social contract, and that some of us were not just being dispossessed without recourse, some, like these forlorn women who carried all their remaining possessions in a couple of shopping bags while they rode public transit or trudged the sidewalks forlornly, endlessly.

Soon they were joined by more and more of the dispossessed and discarded, often those who had been discharged from mental hospitals but never provided with the promised "services" that were supposed to be available in the community once the Snake Pits that had housed them were shuttered and repurposed or demolished.

Then more and more homeless joined them, people whose livings had vanished in the great spurts of 'Growth' -- or rather economic lootings -- that periodically coursed through society leaving more and more wreckage in their wakes.

There was never enough shelter for all the discarded and dispossessed that were the inevitable product of the civic refusal to curb the triumph of greed, to provide for the least among us, and the many failed experiments of the plethora of non-profits and charities to handle the "crisis of homelessness." All they did was perpetuate it.

When the economy went into its latest tailspin, millions upon millions were forced into poverty -- millions more are still being forced into poverty -- and many millions were forced out of their homes and their livings. That's been the chief characteristic of policy since the beginning of this Endless Recession: enforced poverty for the millions, enforced dispossession, enforced exploitation and extraction for the millions upon millions, while a handful of top-dogs live like kings on the profits of impoverishment.

Half of all Americans are now "officially poor or low income." And most, according to experts, will never rise from this state; they'll never have the opportunity. In fact, given trends, more and more Americans are bound for poverty. The United States is becoming the richest Third World nation in history.

Well, under the circumstances, some people, of course, seek to do something about it -- and they set out to reverse the trend. "There's Revolution in this town."

So far, it has not been successful in turning the situation for the masses around, but it has awakened them from their slumber.

The question for the coming year is where that awakening is going to lead.

No one can say at this point.

Thus, the coming year is bound to be very exciting, fraught with danger, and kind of wonderful all at the same time.

No matter what Our Rulers do from this point on, it will matter less and less. Events have a way of taking on lives of their own, and the Events of 2011 have given rise to extraordinary levels of energy and activism among the many, in utter disregard of the Few.



  1. It's never very comforting being right, especially about bad news, when you're among the suffering. But as you correctly note, once suffering becomes all but universal, misery indeed loves company, and finds in it its last hope.
    It's kind of cheesy, but an old Counting Crows song always ends up on my playlist about now:
    It's been a long December
    And there's reason to believe
    Maybe this year will be better than the last.
    Can't remember...
    All the times I tried to tell myself to hold onto these moments as they passed....

  2. My habit has been to become very depressed this time of year, but I've learned all kinds of ways to cope with it, some of them actually positive.

    This year has been different. I could feel the usual Gloom descending as winter progressed, and yet spontaneously it lifted. This was while I was snowed in in New Mexico. It was the most amazing thing. I don't usually do well in cold, yet it didn't bother me more than momentarily and superficially. Clearing the driveway -- repeatedly -- in order to get out if need be was merely a chore, something to do. The Gloom of the season was gone.

    Whether this is the harbinger of a Better New Year, I can't say, but I feel no dread of things to come.

    And I do like those lyrics. Cheesy? Nah.