Tuesday, August 18, 2009


It has been twenty years since President Obama was swept from office. In those twenty years, the political game has been run by the Republicans. When in power, they pushed their measures through. When not in power, strategic use or threat of the filibuster, the echo chamber of corporate media and corporate backed advertising acted to prevent any progressive legislation from being passed.

The reforms of the New Deal have been swept aside. There is no minimum wage. The workday averages twelve to sixteen hours for an average wage of whatever the corporation feels like paying you. Health insurance in the current sense no longer exists. Instead, you are legally required to buy insurance and, each month, the insurance company will draw twenty claimants at random to have their costs paid. Medicare and Medicaid are gone. If you lose your job and get sick, you die. The conservative Supreme Court ruled in 2022 that forcing hospitals to treat anyone who needed treatment was an unfair infringement on their right to earn profits. Your home is provided by the corporation. Between rent paid to the corporation, out-of-pocket health costs and money owed to the company store, your take-home pay may even be five dollars a month. Your employment is entirely at the whim of your employer. You can be fired at any time for any reason. Your welfare payments will last a week and there is an ongoing effort to remove those amid cries that the US cannot afford it. Military costs now average 70% of government spending and we are at war with Eastasia.

I say this not because I want this to happen. I say this because this is the dream of the corporate class. Not because they are evil men (although you and I may think so) but because, to them, all that matters is the economy. When I wrote this scenario (in far greater detail), I wrote it as the background for a dystopian roleplay game I was working on. I never thought it would happen but I was wrong.

Because if something as simple, as plainly commonsense as a public option can be turned into a cause celebre for the corporate class and the horrifying faction of morons they lead around by the nose, then there are no limits. If a public option can be bargained away, anything is up for grabs. And the dream of the corporate class, of the owner class, has always been of an employee class completely at their mercy, as they were prior to the New Deal. And I now, even as I write this, that using the words "corporate class", talking about the division between the "malefactors of great wealth" and the serfs who labour for their enrichment will cause some, perhaps many, to label me a socialist or even a communist. Because people don't know or care what those words mean anymore. Now, it seems that we just accept entirely unregulated, free-for-all capitalism as a divine imperative and anything which deviates from that, even slightly, gets you labelled a socialist. Talking about providing for the less fortunate, in any way, makes you a commie. Compassion is outlawed, by public disdain, if not by law.

I'm trying to be angry here. Normally, I can deliver a pound of fresh outrage fresh on your doorstep every morning but today, I'm just fuckin sad. The civilised world would love to see you, America, but you never return our calls anymore.

1 comment:

I reserve the right to remove your comment if you're a prat. I also reserve the right to mercilessly mock you for the same crime.