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January 2001

2001: A Race Odyssey?

By Frank Scott

The new year begins with a relatively unpopular president, and a need to rethink our economic dictatorship and its fake democracy, rather than grumble about one or another corporate flunky in the white house. The new American CEO represents less than 25% of the electorate. More than 100 million citizens didn't bother with a charade of democracy that offered them a no-choice set of corporadoes. That majority seems to understand what a confused minority still needs to learn.

Because consciousness controllers convinced them that Bush would change America to a 19th century nation, and that he stole the election to do so, some near hysterics have missed an inescapable fact: there has been no change at all. Corporate wealth is still in control of everything.

The Constitution some see as holy scripture defiled by an evil court is in reality a legal tool, for use within a political structure organized around private control of a political economy. The court did exactly what the constitution-and the electoral college-enables it to do: it maintained that control.

Now, a new intellectual lightweight will preside over an executive committee of crooks who support affirmative action for corporate conservatives, instead of for corporate liberals. And the opposition will approve most of his appointees, displaying the unity of capital's hired hands.

Mass murderer Colin Powell, a supporter of affirmative action, will replace mass murderer Madeline Albright, a supporter of affirmative action. A feminist cheering section will be replaced by a civil rights cheering section. White America's favorite black man will be treated even more heroically than in the past, as spineless and brainless Democrats join in his praises.

And Condaleeza Rice will fill Bush's mental echo-chamber with national in-security advice, and please those women and African Americans who suffer from a moral dementia that transcends sex or race.

Identity politics and the diversity buzzword are clarified in their corporate meaning: minority tokens on the executive board, to show that there is equality in America. Sure. All who accept the system of war, pollution and poverty, can be seated near power, no matter what their race , sex , religious or sexual persuasion.

This administration has a gay in the family, and multi-racial killers and thieves in its extended family. One cheer for "diversity." And two hollow cheers for the Xmas season of disappointed sellers, though happy consumers found bargains for things they didn't really need. Sales were off during the shopping orgy on which thousands depend for their profits, and in which millions incur more debt. Not this year, as on Wall Street, where the dot-com fabric has begun to unravel. The new president will see an over-inflated economic balloon that may not be bursting, but is rapidly losing air.

Hysteria over allegedly stolen elections, and unawareness of the theft that happened long before any vote was cast, is an example of our bewildered state of mind. Kept rich in fiction but poor in information, our mental shortcomings were never more clear to a global population we dominate with our weapons, while believing it is our system of democracy that makes us strong. The world giggles, but this no laughing matter for us.

Even with our problems, we begin the year with more social action for change than before, even if some of it may seem misguided. We need to read the signs of reality with a clear focus, unclouded by mind managers, and gain control of our senses, if we would ever control our country.

Here are figures from the Federal Reserve that tell us more about our nation than any alleged electoral irregularity: Between 1977 and 1999, the after-tax income of the top fifth of Americans increased 43 percent, while that of the top 1 percent increased 115 percent. At the same time, the majority of all households lost economic ground or struggled to maintain the same level.

Between 1983 and 1998, the wealth of the top 1 percent grew by 42 percent, while the bottom 40 percent saw their net worth fall by 76 percent.

The top 1% now own 34% of total national wealth, up from 30% in 1992. That is more than is owned by the bottom 90%. During the 1990s, if the minimum wage had risen as fast as top CEO pay, it would now be $24.13 an hour instead of $5.15.

And personal debt keeps rising, as Americans spend more than they make. Millions of consumers are buying "on credit," which is why millions of other Americans are working to make the goods and perform the services being purchased. As a result, the economy seems healthy, but it is getting sicker every day.

Consumer credit is growing at a staggering 9% annual rate. In 1994, 780,000 Americans filed for bankruptcy. By 1999, the number had soared to 1,281,000. Solution? Corporate Congress is working to make it harder for ordinary citizens to file for bankruptcy.

And hunger in America grows, as millions of families needed charity to feed themselves in the midst of the excess of gluttony we call a holiday season.

These intimations of inequality should make clear what is happening to our political economic system, controlled by a corporate Mafia with two sets of mobsters, two standards of morality, but one ruling set of capitalist values.

It is time to rethink the state of our nation, and those controlling values which thrive on pollution, waste, unequal wealth and human misery. We don't need grumbling over personalities, or which corporate gang is in charge. We need social actions that move us away from continued loss and despair for so many, and toward material and spiritual progress for all. Far more important than a president or a party, we need substantial change in our political economic system. Happy New Year.

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