I want to thank Bill Struck for clarifying something for me in his criticism of Thomas Streicher’s opinion piece criticizing capitalism. I always thought that the divide in America was between conservatives and liberals or Democrats and Republicans. But no, according to Bill, it’s between those who would have our country administered by corporations rather than a duly elected government.
Bill says that these corporations are owned by us. Who exactly is this “us” to whom he refers? Is it the “us” who have supported the corporate wars, which have devastated our economy while enriching corporate vested interests like Halliburton and Exxon Mobile? Is it the “us” who sent our young people off to war on the invented “fact” of WMDs? Is it the “us” who continues to deny the scientific fact of fossil fuel-based global warming or the “us” who would defend mentally ill people’s right to bear arms? Is it the “us” who claims to need assault weapons to defend themselves against the very troops who have been fighting on their behalf for the past 10 years?
What an insult to the sacrifice of these brave and damaged soldiers! Besides, the idea that shooting at targets with a semi-auto will prepare you to face a battle-experienced combat veteran is pure delusion. Is this really what our forefathers intended for us? Recently a woman wrote to decry legislation to keep guns out of the wrong hands saying that “the Constitution should not be tampered with.” I hate to bring it up, but if the Constitution had not been tampered with, she, as a woman, would not be entitled to her own opinion today. Contained within these “Constitutional patriots” letters is a call for the editor of this paper to censor any opinion contrary to their own. There is something amiss here. First, this is not a capitalist system. It is a Ponzi scheme operated within a gambling casino called Wall Street. The players will sacrifice anything to keep their seat at the table, including other people’s children or the welfare of their own country. The ordinary investor can ante up, but their money has little intrinsic value and can disappear on a whim. They are playing against the house, and there is no gold standard any more.
The super wealthy and the corporations are stashing dollars in overseas accounts thus taking them out of circulation. The Federal Reserve is printing dollars to shore up the American economy and, thereby, reducing the value of the illusory wealth of folks like Bill Struck. Hey, don’t take my word for it. Go talk to the tens of thousands of your fellow Americans (what a concept) who have lost all to a rigged real estate rip off. Oh, don’t worry; speculators are busy fixing up those foreclosed properties and selling them at a profit. To whom? Probably the next generation that believes that “you can’t lose in real estate.” Secondly, America has become a corporatocracy dressed up as a democracy or a republic, take your pick. It doesn’t make any difference anymore.
Please understand that I have no children and will not be around to see the future, but I truly regret that I am powerless to prevent the destruction of a beautiful idea like America. To watch an experiment in social harmonics be destroyed by manufactured greed, avarice and an insidiously complacent laziness makes me sad. But who am I to predict the future or describe the people who live there? I can only look at the compass needle to see where it points and it points to a saying by the Roman Marcus Aurilius: “There is no more productive slave than a willing slave, and there is no more willing slave than a happy slave.”
The Constitution guarantees the pursuit of happiness. Anyone who thinks that corporations have his best interest at heart needs only go to the gas station, look at the price of gas and remember that America is about to become the biggest producer of oil in the world. While I have not agreed with Thomas Streicher on everything, I knew him as a man who had the courage of his convictions, who did more to help the less fortunate than most of us would even contemplate.
John Keane lives in Grass Valley.
To watch an experiment in social harmonics be destroyed by manufactured greed, avarice and an insidiously complacent laziness makes me sad.