The Coastal Post - November, 1999

Drugs , Democracy and Hypocrisy

By Frank Scott

The ruling party battle between its gas-bag caucus and its blow-hard faction temporarily paused in order that both might pursue elections. The vote takes place after this is written, but two predictions can safely be made: most incumbents will be reelected, and the great majority of citizens will not vote. People's disgust with the political process can be forgiven. The lame-duck immoralist in the white house has only his wretched opposition to protect him from history, while congress consists of a handful of servants to the people, a host of employees to finance capital, and a majority of hypocrites and religious fanatics.

Capitalism has been called the system that creates lots of capital, but few capitalists. This contradiction is evident in the Russian economic tragedy, if not as yet clear to media-dazed Americans. Their representatives have more pressing problems to solve. A morally stained president is being persecuted by an ethically soiled opposition. Meanwhile, problems of inequality and debt grow at home, while global finance approaches a frenzy in uncontrolled profit seeking that leaves nations and people at a loss.

Members of our dominant Hypocritic party constantly remind us that they are people of great faith. They call upon invisible higher authority, to justify their visible lower morality, especially evident in their support for market forces under private control. Globalism, once regarded as the highest stage of capitalism, is now feared as its finale, even by its supporters. Comparing the excesses of Casino Capitalism to child molesting would be understating both its contradictions and its meanness. An ever more over-heated planet of under-fed millions is becoming the most blatant of economic crimes against nature.

Unregulated capital inundates nations with unwelcome investment in everything but what people really need, while creating problems that tear at the social fabric. A political movement responding to its socially destructive aspects is wrongly focused on issues like immigration, abortion or homosexuality and contributes-however unintentionally-to a climate of hatred and bigotry. The murders of a black man brutally dragged to death in Texas, and a gay white beaten and left to freeze in Wyoming, should not be seen as isolated cases. They tell of a society in which ignorance and alienation can become murder and mayhem at the slightest provocation.

People seeking decency in an indecent world are often led by demagogues into a biblical movement of parochial backwardness and intolerance. This minority is countered by a great majority who reject their extremes, but accept the systemic essentials of disrespect and dishonesty. They can be forgiven an uncritical acceptance of allegedly high intellect and proven low morals, given the alternative of allegedly high morals and proven low intellect. In the lesser evil politics controlled by corporate capital , liars who have occasionally had sex tend to look better than liars who have probably never made love.

No wonder Americans will spend more than six billion dollars on anti-depressant drugs this year. It is amazing how many are able to survive the degradation of politics and economics without getting drunk, stoned or medicated against a reality that makes superstition and fantasy look great by comparison.

The nation is in danger, but not from forces of reaction so ancient in ideology they should wear loin cloths rather than suits .There is reason to fear these immoral moralists who seem to have been born with chastity belts on their minds and blind folds on their brains. But the real danger is that America thought it defeated those forces by electing a president whose personal immorality and political dishonesty is a bigger threat. The media-mythical Man from Hope is presiding over a near hopeless period in history, and he, not the demons of the right, is responsible.

Even greater responsibility is borne by those Democrats who allow this farce to continue, while complaining about the problems they could be handling, were it not for this problem that they cannot handle. Especially disastrous is the conduct of the liberal wing of the party, which was trashed by Clinton and now desperately clings to him as though he were something other than the lamest of ducks. Meanwhile, the conservative Democrats he led to victory and who benefited most from his stylish lack of substance, and the extreme right wing whose agenda he advanced in a slightly humanized form, all stand to gain by him staying in office.

The greatest loss may be that America is reduced to being the pitiful, helpless giant it was dubbed a generation ago by Nixon. It is becoming a hedge fund for great wealth of the global investor class minority, with the hedge provided by the global working class majority. Inequality of income and wealth grows, along with inequality of power. The only area in which we are all equal is in the sordid moral and material environment that surrounds us and shapes our physical and mental health.

No matter how the vote is interpreted, democracy cannot exist or be served by minorities. Those few who control financial power and thereby control politics, or the greater number that show up at the polls and select from a menu limited to those chosen by that financial power hardly represent democracy.

Except for isolated candidates and issues, the overwhelming majority will lose on election day. It's hard to be dedicated to work for democracy when you're being medicated to accept hypocrisy. The drugging of America by corporate mind management will have to end before real democracy is possible. Hopefully, the next election will bring us closer than this one.

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