Friday, September 26, 2008

Much Ado About Nothing: Screw the Debates

I had intended to watch the presidential debates tonight but I have decided against it. At first only because Violet was screaming. She's asleep now and I am still not bothering. It is not apathy or disinterest in politics that keeps me away, but the total disillusionment with the current two-party system. Two masks of the same face. I say "Off with its head!"

I am currently reading Noam Chomsky's "Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order," and I often become disheartened with the world after reading Chomsky. The truth hurts, and the truth is that the world is a fucked up and corrupt place. I'm going to vote for a third party, which will just be to protest of the two major parties who may publicly seem to differ greatly but always have one thing in common: defending privilege. By privilege I refer to the "opulent minority," the rich few whose dollars and opinions are what really matter. No one candidate is going to be able to contend with the thousand corporations and handful of people that make up 80% of the world's wealth, no matter how good their intentions may be.

You may be surprised at the extremes at which leaders have went to in order to maintain this economic structure. India is one example. "The 'process of de-industrialization' that converted the industrial workshop and trading center of the world to a deeply impoverished agricultural society." In this book economic historian Paul Bairoch notes, "India was only the first major casualty in a very long list...even politically independent third world countries [that] were forced to open their markets to Western products." Chomsky writes that "meanwhile Western societies protected themselves from market discipline, and developed."
There are some interesting excerpts from CIA documents in this book, too. Here is a good excerpt from chapter two:

"The enormous public relations industry, from its origins early in this century, has been dedicated to the "control of the public mind," as business leaders described the task. And they acted on their words, surely one of he central themes of modern history. The fact that the public relations industry has its roots and major centers in the country that is "most free" is exactly what we should expect..."

'The founding fathers repeated the sentiments of the British "men of best quality" in almost the same words. As one put it: "When I mention the public, I mean to include only the rational part of it. The ignorant and vulgar are as unfit to judge of the modes [of government], as they are unable to manage [its] reins." The people are a "great beast" that must be tamed, his colleague Alexander Hamilton declared. Rebellious and independent farmers had to be taught, sometimes by force, that the ideals of the revolutionary pamphlets were not to be taken too seriously. The common people were not to be represented by countrymen like themselves, who know the people's sores, but by gentry, merchants, lawyers, and other "responsible men" who could be trusted to defend privilege."

2 comments:

Hot Belly Mama - taking it all back said...

I too am frustrated. I totally get it. It is said that every 200 years, a nation has a revolution. It's been 200 years since our last revolution....

*mary* said...

Yeah, now they want taxpayers- the poor and middle-class ones, I mean- to subsidize this bail-out. You can only build a house of cards so high before it collapses in on itself.
So you say you want a revolution, well, you know...

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