Friday, November 9, 2012
They Aren't As Smart As They Think They Are
But they have all the Power, so it's a wash, right?
I'm talking about Our Betters, those who rule us with the rod and the staff. They just aren't very bright, as we've recently seen with the candidacy of one Willard Mitt Romney, aka "Mitch" (h/t Letterman). He was simply an avatar of his class however, no brighter nor particularly less bright than any of the dozens or hundreds of minted or legacy multibazillionaires who deign to own the government and thus to acquire the right to rule.
This is how an aristocracy is established and how it rots from the inside as well. We've had plenty of experience with legacy aristos wishing to -- and frequently succeeding in -- imposing their right through some permutation of le droit du seigneur. It is, strictly speaking, a form of official and sanctioned rape -- something made quite clear during the campaign with statements and actions by Republican candidates that simply denied that "rape" was a serious or real offense against the persons of The Little People, in this case The Little People With Lady Parts.
Much as I excoriate the Republicans for their stupidity and their cruelty, I don't let the Dems off blamelessly. After all, in our duopolistic political system, their role -- which they typically perform dutifully and frequently energetically -- is that of enablers for the stupid cruelties of the Rs. It's not unlike the role of the Church vis a vis the Spanish during the Conquest. While some of the clergy remonstrated with the conquistadors over their abject bloodlust and cruelty during (and after) the Conquest -- and were sometimes eloquent and forceful in their condemnations -- the upshot was to enable even worse abuses and ever more cruelty in pursuit of the supposed salvation of the savage's souls. In other words, the victims were truly better off dead.
There is no People's Voice in the midst of this. The People are little more than resources for exploitation or waste for disposal. The People's very existence is a bother to their Betters.
And that, perhaps, is the stupidest aspect of our current Ruling Class; they see the rest of us as a bothersome and ultimately irrelevant burden on their beautiful minds and lives, when in fact, it is the People who are responsible for providing all the benefits and comforts the Rulers desire and demand. Treat the People well, and all good things flow to those who serve them. Treat them poorly and the Ruling Class totters, eventually causing its own extinction.
The People are not abstractions or impediments. The People are the foundation upon which everything else is constructed. Our Betters once knew this and acted on it -- perhaps with some reluctance, but still...
They have forgotten.
The People have immense intrinsic power under the circumstances, but there is a general reluctance to use it, partly because there is no institutional memory among the masses of what to do when those who rule are as stupid and cruel as the ones we have today.
The Occupy Movement (which has by no means gone away) was an attempt to formulate some kind of mass opposition to the character of the rule we are subject to. Whereas I saw it initially as the Revolution itself, I realized later it was at best a precursor -- a necessary one to be sure because the People do not know what to do in the face of such gross cruelty and incompetence by those in charge.
During the last 30 or 40 years the knowledge has been largely beaten, bred, and "educated" out of them. It all has to be relearned, in many cases from the ground up. There is no political opposition to the rule of the stupid and cruel, and part of the learning process that's been going on has been finding the means and methods of sidestepping the politics while forcing the political system to be responsive and responsible. So far, nothing tried has really worked, though there are those who claim that what's been done to date has had a profound effect on the Ruling Class (I don't see it that way at all, but that's just me.)
Re-learning the basics of mass movements and social and revolutionary theory takes time, and actually using it takes lots of practice. There are no real shortcuts, though the Gene Sharp Method proposes a sort of short-cut to Revolution -- one that unfortunately leads too often to the triumph of neo-liberalism and greater misery for more people than before the Sharpian Revolutions. This is not exactly what we need at this time. We are already in the triumphant phase of a neo-liberal revolution among the ruling classes. We need to get beyond that.
There is a widespread lack of enthusiasm for the confirmation of Team Obama in office -- along with simple disgust at the same sort of gridlocked Congress we've had for the last several years. The electorate apparently said keep them around to do their will, but we don't really know what their will is -- except that we can be sure it will include further depredations on the masses as a matter of course and right. Further stupidity. Further avoidance of the correct path toward the future.
And yet seemingly spontaneously all of it can change in a twinkling.