February 14, 2009 – Does the great mass of people even recognize it’s in a class war, and that it’s the target?
By The Cerebral Aesthetic Vagabond
For years I’ve observed a broadening, yet largely concealed class war, perpetrated by the “elites” against the “masses.” It’s a one-sided class war because the victims don’t even seem to recognize that they’re in a class war.
Today it’s best to think of government and corporations as a single fascist regime, exploiting each other’s strengths in a symbiotic relationship.
As always, since the dawn of history, government seeks power and legitimacy. In a land in which corporations have come to dominate virtually every aspect of daily life, government gains the most power and legitimacy from the support and cooperation of big business. One would normally think that a government’s legitimacy ensues from the voting public, but the voting public is increasingly irrelevant to the government, as the highly unpopular profligate bailouts and expansions of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan demonstrate.
Big business is a partner in the government’s “war on drugs,” for example, subjecting increasing numbers of private sector employees to a “whiz quiz,” and demanding that employees stop smoking. It proselytizes employees with the government’s mind-controlling messages of political correctness. It pays a shrinking share of corporate taxes to the government and serves as the government’s tax collector to its employees. It finances the political campaigns of many aspiring public “servants,” or as I like to call them “serpents.”
The age-old holy grail of corporations is money, and they can never seem to get enough of the stuff. Contrary to the fables told of our illustrious “free market” economy, corporations do not earn money through free market competition; corporations hate competition. No, they earn money the old fashioned way, by exploiting workers, driving competitors out of business, rapaciously exploiting naive people in other lands, using their armies of neatly dressed lawyers to make their actions all nice and legal. Corporations purchase laws from the government that legalize their immoral behavior and enable them to expand their monopolies. They rely on government – its law enforcement agencies and if necessary, its military – to enforce the laws that serve the corporations. In some cases, such as with the Recording Industry Association of America or the Business Software Alliance, the corporations themselves acquire the authority to enforce their laws. When all else fails and corporations permit their greed to make bad decisions for them, they can depend on the government to bail them out as many times as necessary to ensure that no corporate executive goes unpampered.
The two of them, government and corporations, which are really one today, are themselves controlled by a small group of people I refer to as the elites, who are engaged in an unrelenting assault on the rest of us, while we sit idly by and tolerate it, afraid to act out of fear of losing our job, our house or our access to health care, all of which we’re losing anyway.
One of the things that made the U.S. the great country it once was, and the acknowledged engine of job growth is small businesses. We used to have an economic and legislative climate that was friendly to small businesses and sought to level the playing field for them. No more. Huge corporations, irritated by the competition from small businesses, have utilized their political muscle to pass more and more laws that are primarily aimed at making the cost of doing business too high for small entities to remain in business.
Mega retailers drive mom and pop stores out of business, leaving behind vacant and boarded up main streets; large banks, the recipients of lavish taxpayer bailouts, use the money to acquire smaller banks, putting their small business owners out of business and reducing the competition for us banking customers; family farms are driven out of business by government regulations such as the nonsensical National Animal Identification System and corporations that make seed costs prohibitive. Here is an outstanding, but sad and troubling story of a small business owner who fought off stricter and stricter government regulation for years, futilely trying to comply with the government’s demands, realizing only at the end that what the government wanted was for him to go out of business. No doubt, the products this small business used to manufacture are now manufactured in some other country.
It’s bad enough that small business owners sometimes end up working for the very corporations that put them out of business, but the loss of a business represents a loss of self-determination, as well as a loss of healthy competition that benefits customers and fosters innovation.
While I have nothing against women in the workforce, it seems intuitive to me that as the number of women in the workforce has increased, wages have decreased. Obviously, with more people working, especially in the face of rising productivity, wages must go down. So now households with two wage earners are living no better than households did with a single wage earner thirty years ago. In fact, I think households today are worse off.
In addition to increased competition from more American workers, we’re also having to compete increasingly with foreign workers, both outside and within our borders. Jobs are outsourced to foreign countries, diminishing the supply of good jobs remaining. In addition, foreign workers are brought into our country to take the jobs that remain, both the good ones and the lowly ones. Law firms exist that specialize in helping corporations operating within our country to avoid hiring an American worker and instead hire a foreign worker for less pay. And of course, illegal immigrants, tacitly encouraged by the government and corporations, happily take the low-paying jobs, which is a win-win proposition because the illegal immigrant workers earn more money here than they would at home and the corporations gain a totally disposable workforce, one they don’t have to worry will become too uppity. If the illegal immigrant workers do become too uppity, the corporations can simply call in their government law enforcement team to eject the workers, pay a minuscule, token fine to the government for hiring illegal immigrants in the first place, and then when things cool down a bit, hire new illegal immigrant workers. Needless to say all this competition for jobs undermines wages.
One of the consequences of declining wages is that debt has been substituted for wages in order to maintain our “nonnegotiable” standard of living. Of course, debt is also one of the principal weapons being deployed against us in this class war, which I discuss in more detail below, so it’s a clever strategy to get us to rely on debt instead of wages.
Another consequence of sending both mom and dad into the workforce is that it renders the children unsupervised, making them easy targets for televised brainwashing or state-supervised day care. It also creates the impetus for more government schooling. After all, we can’t leave the children unsupervised because they might start thinking for themselves, and mom and dad are working. So the obvious solution is to let the government “care” for them in school.
Government and corporations have been increasingly involved in our education. First, universal, compulsory education was introduced, which admittedly had some benefits, such as making the populace more literate.
Now there are increasing efforts to lengthen school terms and get kids into government schools as early as the preschool level. There has simultaneously been an intensification of efforts to demonize and eliminate the dreaded homeschoolers. We can’t have people thinking for themselves, after all.
Vocational schools have been largely taken over by for-profit corporations which have transformed these once useful alternatives to college into little more than diploma mills. These “schools” aren’t at all concerned with teaching, their primarily objective being to collect tuition from naive, hopeful students who don’t seem to understand that even if they successfully graduate with any sort of credential, they aren’t likely to get a job in their field of study. I once considered going to a culinary school because I have a passion for cooking and a natural talent for it. Upon reading the school’s course catalog, however, I discovered some statistics way in the back of the book which revealed that only 10% of the school’s graduates actually end up being chefs or even cooks. I suspect that the statistics are similar for many of the vocational schools one sees advertised on the television.
Thanks to government-sponsored student loans, the cost of higher education has reached prohibitive levels, again, leaving graduates encumbered with debt before they even enter the workforce armed with their shiny new degree.
Finally, the agenda of higher education is increasingly shaped by government policy. In the obsequious scramble for government grants, schools are forced to promote the government’s agenda. Any professor or student that bucks the system will quickly find themselves going nowhere fast. Tenure will be rescinded, grants withdrawn, degrees withheld. Just ask Norman G. Finkelstein or Peter Duesberg what happens to independent thinkers in that bastion of enlightenment known as higher education.
Debt is the most refined tool of enslavement because those who are bound by chains of debt usually encumber themselves voluntarily, albeit often after being goaded by slick marketing campaigns produced by corporate advertising firms.
Every activity today seems to involve the acquisition of debt: buying a house, buying a car, getting an education, obtaining medical care and even paying for everyday needs with excessively abundant credit cards, which probably outnumber people here in the U.S.
Our dependence on debt has given our “betters” considerable leverage over us. Besides overt laws, such as the draconian bankruptcy law passed in 2005, the so-called “credit score” has become a powerful lever of control. We are subjected to seemingly contradictory advice regarding the use of credit in order to maintain our precious credit score: don’t have too much debt, don’t have too little. Our credit score is even a factor in employment today, although the relevance escapes me. Nevertheless, the possibility exists that a perfectly qualified job applicant cannot get a job because they have a poor credit score, even if it’s the result of having no debts!
Even those of us who shun debt are subjected to it anyway against our will, since our very money supply is essentially created with and backed by debt. Then there are the generous bailouts given to corporations, which leave the government, that is the taxpayers, that is us, saddled with debt. A person with no debts may think they are unaffected by debt, but when every person and every business and every government around them is mired in debt, the economy as a whole suffers. In such a case, which is precisely what exists today, instead of spending money on productive activities and creating jobs, money is spent on debt service. So one way or another, debt is a tightening chain around all our necks.
For many years corporations have pushed unhealthful “foods” on us: convenience foods, processed foods, fast food. Of course, we lapped it up as well, preferring the pseudo-satisfaction of a tasty, salty, greasy, sugary meal to the genuine satisfaction of a healthful, nutritious meal we prepare ourselves.
Yet when people do choose to eat healthful foods, the government seeks to destroy their nutritional value, as with its incipient vegetable irradiation program that will no doubt be expanded until all natural food is rendered devoid of nutritional value.
The government is also embarking on a program to regulate nutritional supplements of all kinds as drugs. First it attacked herbal supplements as “unsafe.” Now it’s seeking to regulate ordinary vitamins as drugs. If one follows this program to its logical conclusion, food itself may eventually be regulated as a “drug.” After all, governments are presently considering classifying a perfectly natural substance which is essential to plants, CO2, as a dangerous pollutant. Would classifying garlic as a controlled medicine be any more farfetched? Of course, regulating food is consistent with the “war on drugs,” granting intellectual property rights to the owners of harmful GMO seeds and tagging all animals under the NAIS program. There appears to be a coordinated effort to control what we put into our own bodies.
Ironically, herbs, vitamins and good food do more to promote good health than all the pharmaceutical drugs in the world. While all these food and nutrient controls are being imposed on us, for our own protection of course, pharmaceutical drugs kill more people every year than all illicit drugs and herbal supplements combined! In fact, it appears that the pincer-type agenda is to force feed us pharmaceutical drugs – look at how they’re pushing such drugs onto kids and healthy people today – and deprive us of truly beneficial nutrients. Why, I saw a television commercial the other day that floored me. It said, simply, “Sitting for long periods of time causes headaches,” or something to that effect. Then the name of some pain relief medication faded onto the screen. My immediate thought was, “OK, so get up and move around,” but the corporations would rather we imbibe their drugs instead.
Of course the water supply is needlessly and increasingly contaminated – or perhaps “poisoned” is a better word – with fluoride. And the air we breathe is increasingly saturated with chemtrails, again, for reasons not elucidated to us peons.
One of the consequences of our induced poor health is cognitive impairment and a weakened will to resist what’s happening to us. That might explain the unbelievably bizarre fact that although Congress had something like a 10% approval rating, even lower than that of Dick Cheney, if that’s even possible, Congress enjoyed a 95% reelection rate! It’s as if Americans are suffering from multiple personality disorder, one personality that complains about all the evils being perpetrated on it, and the other that robotically continues repeating the same actions over and over, expecting different results each time.
Access to health care has been under assault for years. Long ago, when I was a kid, people simply went to the family doctor. Then HMOs and health insurance companies arose, which restricted access to health care. Now the government is even more stringently rationing access to health care in the latest but not the last “stimulus” bill. If this trend continues, we will eventually be paying through the nose for mandatory health insurance and getting nothing in return. This, in fact, appears to be the grand plan of the great “change”-master now residing in the White House, which will be a boon to corporations that sell health insurance, but just another burden to us.
Actually, were it not for the fact that our food, water and air is under attack, reducing access to the sick care system we euphemistically call the health care system would be a benefit!
All forms of communication and all financial transactions either are, or can be monitored today. Not satisfied with that level of penetrating scrutiny, governments are collecting our DNA, often against our will, and putting it into a database, the purpose of which isn’t disclosed to us. Is it for the purpose of enhanced surveillance, perhaps with the introduction of sensors that can identify our DNA as we pass by? Is it for the purpose of identifying genetic weaknesses in order to develop gene-specific biological weapons? Is it to provide health insurance companies with secret insight into their customers’ health? Or is the explanation more banal, that the government run amok simply now considers us all criminals until proven otherwise, so it might as well collect all our DNA just in case we go postal?
It’s bad enough that we have to submit to a near strip search, complete with cavity searches when boarding a flying cattle car, but now such absurd precautions, which haven’t netted a single would-be airborne “terrorist,” are being extended to trains and ships. After all, we wouldn’t want some terrorist to drive a train or a ship into a skyscraper, now would we? Soon we’ll need a government-issued Real ID card to ride a municipal bus or subway, start our car or even ride a bicycle. Here’s a time saving idea. Embed electric taser probes in the seat of our cars and bicycles. If we fail to insert our Real ID card into the card reader within, say, three seconds after sitting down, we get a nice jolt to our derriere. No longer will police suffer confusion between their pistol and their taser. In fact, they won’t even have to stop munching on their donut to electrocute us because we’ll be electrocuting ourselves!
Automobile transportation is already tightly controlled by the government, whether people realize it or not. Between licenses, registration, insurance and constant threats to lose one’s license or have their vehicle confiscated for using drugs or hiring a prostitute, it’s a considerable burden for people to operate a car. They just don’t recognize the burden because they’re used to it, but if one lives without all those things for a while it’s very liberating. Of course, not having a government-issued driver’s license is viewed with considerable suspicion by corporations, as I once discovered when I attempted to use an expired license to identify me when withdrawing money from my bank account. Somehow, the fact that the license was expired magically made all the information on it suspect and the bank refused to give me my own money. So I went outside and withdrew it from the imminently more intelligent ATM machine.
Guns, of course, have always been and always will be a huge threat to tyrannies, whether governmental or corporate in nature. The demonizing of guns begins at the youngest of ages today, wherein even kindergartners can be expelled for merely drawing a picture of a gun during art class. Hand-winging, politically correct “progressives” are the useful idiots to tyrannies seeking to remove the guns from our hands. Ironically, it’s governments that kill the most people with guns, whether in far off lands or right here at home. Even their “safe” tasers kill remarkably often.
For those few recalcitrant, free-thinking individuals that remain there’s always the burgeoning for-profit gulag. The government can expand the prison population easily by criminalizing more and more innocuous and formerly legal behaviors. In the biggest irony of all, the “war on drugs” is the richest source of bodies to man the for-profit gulag, yet governments around the world are among the biggest producers and traffickers of illicit drugs! So they traffic in this stuff, then when some hapless person buys their product, the government sends them to prison to be a slave laborer for some corporation.
The elite class is not encumbered by rising costs and declining wages like the rest of us. With the exception of Ted Kennedy, it is not subject to travel restrictions like the rest of us. It is not as much a target of surveillance as the rest of us and has greater means to avoid it. It has access to better quality nutrition and health care. In all cases, it is the elites who are pulling the strings of the corporations and governments which are assaulting us.
It’s hard to believe that all these observations are manifestations of a well thought out, long term plan to enslave us as a permanent underclass, but that’s what it looks like, and I alluded to it in an earlier post titled Peak Human. Plan or no plan, the end result is the same, namely, that we are victims of a class war being waged against us by the elites. Will we recognize it? Or will we sheepishly continue to tolerate it?
The esteemed Paul Craig Roberts makes a strong case in favor of an ongoing class war in his recent essay titled, President of Special Interests, in which he writes:
Congress has had a parade of CEOs, ranging from Bill Gates of MIcrosoft and IBM brass on down the line, to testify that they desperately need more H-1B work visas for foreign employees as they cannot find enough American software engineers and IT workers to grow their businesses. Yet, all the companies who sing this song have established records of replacing American employees with H-1B workers who are paid less.
Just the other day Microsoft, IBM, Texas Instruments, Sprint Nextel, Intel, Motorola, and scores of other corporations announced thousands of layoffs of the qualified American engineers who “are in short supply.” [My emphasis]
Could the intentions of these corporations be any more plain? What I absolutely cannot fathom is the shortsightedness of their policies. The largest market in the world is the U.S., correct? The corporations, with the full aid and abetting of the government, are driving down the standard of living of American, correct? And they wonder why retail sales are falling off a cliff? Eventually Americans will not be able to buy anything except bare subsistence items.
Even the World Socialist Web Site recognizes the ongoing class war in an article titled, US automakers outline massive attack on jobs, wages:
The Obama administration is seeking to use the near collapse of the two industrial icons as an opportunity to permanently restructure class relations in the US. The assault on autoworkers—long among the best paid industrial workers in the US—will be used as a precedent to roll back the conditions of the entire working class to levels of poverty and exploitation not seen since the 1930s. [My emphasis]
I guess this is what “Mr. Change” meant by change, the eradication of the working class, at a time when we need productive people, not parasitic bankers. I sure hope the people who elected this guy are happy with the results because so far, all I see is a continuation of the Bush-Clinton-Bush elitist cabal.
Cindy Sheehan has written a breathtaking synopsis of our ongoing class war in her Intro to Myth America. It’s so heartening to me to see people starting to “get it,” to understand how this country is really structured, that “freedom” does not exist and that we’re really all slaves to the oligarchy, at least in their eyes.
Appropriately enough, she quotes a loathsome man in the introduction to her introduction, who allegedly said,
There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning. — Billionaire Robber, Warren Buffet.
I’ve never understood why people fawn over this guy, as if he were a kindly old grandfather. Nice people do not become the richest in the world. People often talk about about how he lives in a modest home in Omaha. Well, his modest “little” home of 6,000 square feet is more accurately described as an estate. The second richest person in the world lives in a house that’s over 40,000 square feet in size. These two individuals alone have hoarded enough wealth for a million people, and those same people find that laudable? I’m no socialist, but at what point does one possess enough wealth? At what point does an individual’s pathogenic pursuit of wealth become detrimental to society?
Were these two individuals wealthy because of their own hard work, innovation or determination, I might say they deserved their “success.” But their “success” is less a result of their own merit and more a result their cleverly figuring out how to take advantage of our system, which has been systematically restructured over the decades to facilitate this type of plundering of society, as Ms. Sheehan observes. The frenzied bank bailout activity we’re witnessing with such anxious impotence is merely the predictable final consequence of all the wealth transfer mechanisms that have been quietly erected.
Ultimately, however, we do have the power to restructure our system to ensure more fairness. We simply need to become aware and educated and take an activist stance toward electing people to office, not on the basis of seductive television advertisements, but on the basis of documented accomplishment and a firm commitment to represent the people who put the elected representatives in office. And should our elected representatives fail to do our bidding, then we have an obligation to remove them from office. Should we fail to be vigilant and stern in this regard then we deserve to remain slaves to the oligarchy.
I find it baffling how Congress could have a public approval rating hovering around an embarrassing 10% yet enjoy a better than 90% reelection rate! This is what must change in America. If Congress has a 10% approval rate, that suggests to me that only 10% are worthy of reelection, not 90%.