Wednesday, November 3, 2010
A disgusting "fuite en avant" with devastating consequences
The French have a wonderful expression which is hard to translate into English:fuite en avant. This expression can roughly be translated as "flight forward", or "headlong rush", "panic-induced compulsion to further exacerbate a crisis or calamity" or even "unconscious mechanism that causes a person to throw himself/herself into a dreaded danger". No matter how one translates this expression, it is painfully obvious that this is exactly what took place in yesterday's elections in the USA: a sickening, disgusting electoral fuite en avant.
Only an thorough analysis of the many decades of immoral and incompetent political rule by both Parties could truly explain what happened yesterday, but even a look at the comparatively recent acceleration into chaos and debacle is already a good indicator of the causes of the current disaster.
Bush (I am talking about "Junior" here) and Obama will enter the history books as the two President who totally and shamefully squandered a truly historical opportunity to achieve otherwise impossible results.
Following the events of 9/11 the entire world united behind the USA in an absolutely unprecedented show of sympathy and support for the USA. This was when the French socialist newspaper "Le Monde" had a headline saying "Nous sommes tous des Americans" (We are all Americans) and one million people demonstrated in the streets of Tehran to express their heartfelt support for the victims of the tragedy in New York. It took the Neocon's boundless arrogance, imperial hubris, crude illiterate "cow-boy" "diplomacy", xenophobic nationalism and narcissistic condescension to alienate the entire planet to never heard of before levels of anti-Americanism. Following eight years of such horror, the world naively mistook Obama for a quasi-messiah, the man who would somehow change it all and bring back an old USA (which never really existed, but nevermind that).
Obama (who had campaigned on an explicit promise to double the size of the US special operations forces and to increase of the US Army by 4 divisions!) was even given a Nobel Peace Prize before having actually done anything at all. Yet literally from day one, Obama back-stabbed his voters by betraying almost every promise he had made. The "yes we can!" and "change you can believe in!" brand salesman turned into an ugly and equally evil "Bush the Third" kind of President: a puppet of Wall Street, a puppet of the Israel Lobby, a puppet for the military-industrial complex, a puppet for the billionaires, a puppet for Big Pharma and Big Oil - a puppet for everything which is destroying the USA as a country and makes it hated by the rest of the planet. So one can hardly blame the American public for being "angry with Washington". But what is sickening is not the public's anger, but what it chose to do with this anger.
If the Republicans are quite literally the party of open and unapologetic evil, then the so-called "Tea Party" is the militantly lunatic faction of that already quite demented party. I am not referring to all the policy "solutions" which the Tea-Partiers are advocating here, but to the kind of illiterate, ignorant, angry and frightened base instincts which they appeal to. This is Bush's nationalism, only squared. This is Reagan's "government is the problem", only pushed to even more absurd extremes ("Obamacare" is described as "socialism" by people who have absolutely no concept of what the word "socialism" means!). While originally the Tea Party did have some real libertarian roots, it was rapidly co-opted and fully taken under control by the behind-the-scenes "Big Business" (the Koch brothers, Carl Rove, etc.). Just like Hitler used illiterate morons for his SA, so will US Big Business use the "Tea Partiers" as the stormtroopers to further weaken the state and strengthen the corporate control over the USA.
All this really begs the question of how stupid Americans really are, does it not?
The truth is that stupidity does not explain what is going on. Sure, the entire propaganda structure of the US society (from a lobotomizing school system, to 4+ hours of TV exposure each day, to an almost overt cult of ignorance and illiteracy - many did vote for Dubya, remember?) has greatly contributed to the "stupidification" of the American public. But that's only part of the story. What is no less important is the absolute moral bankruptcy of the US society.
Think about it: this is a society which suffers from what a friend of mine calls an "acute compassion deficit disorder". This country has the highest per capita ratio of people in prison and male rape is considered an unofficial but widely accepted form of torture for prisoners and most Americans think: screw them! They deserve it. Obey the law and you will not be raped. This country has an immense population of homeless and poor, many of whom hold one or several jobs, and what do most Americans think? Screw them! They are welfare bums! Medical problems are one of the leading causes of personal bankruptcy and homelessness? Screw them! We don't want "socialist" healthcare in our "free" nation! The world hates the USA? Screw it! We brought these ungrateful bastards freedom and prosperity and they hate us? We will kick their sorry asses! Etc. etc. etc. This is the kind of ideology which permeates the ideological fabric of this ugly society.
Mind you, the very same people who mindlessly parrot all these slogans will also show a lot of sincere generosity and compassion towards their fellow-citizens when they see them. Primarily, this "compassion deficit disorder" is an ideological phenomenon, not an expression of an individual morality. But then, the vast majority of Germans during WWII also retained their individual sense of decency and compassion, its collectively that they acted like vicious beasts.
Americans even display this blinding ideology to "screw" themselves. Just look at the State of California in which a proposition to legalize marijuana was defeated. California is completely bankrupt, its jails are over-filled many times over, and weed is smoked all over the state. Anybody sane would therefore conclude that 99.99999% of Californians would agree to legalize marijuana, tax it and thereby take away the profits from the drug dealers and place them into a dying state. But no - Californians voted to keep their jails filled with non-violent offenders, to keep the drug trade up and running, to keep their state bankrupt and to have the Federal authorities further raid the providers of medical marijuana (which is legal under state law). How stupid can anybody get?!
You want another example? Florida is a state totally devastated by promoters of urban sprawl, rabid and unplanned growth, and by a massive - and probably irreparable - destruction of Florida's water supply (no, not for drinking, but for watering golf courses and providing cheap water for industry). And yet, Floridians soundly *defeated* a proposition which was supposed to give them the right to vote on any changes to local comprehensive land use plans (Proposition 4). Yes, Floridians voted *not* to have such rights. How stupid can anybody get?!
One thing is clear: the immense disillusion with Obama has resulted in a devastating backlash into a new era of triumphant Fascism and lunacy. For the rest of the world, this basically means, more of the same, only worse.
At a time when banks are hoarding their assets and credit is dead, the US government will not inject more money into the economy, it will further make cuts into budgets even if that means utterly destroying an already moribund US economy. You can count on the Tea Partiers to push the USA into a full-scale and lasting depression by essentially asphyxiating the US economy. This, in turn, will negatively impact the rest of the world or, at least, that part or the world which still sheepishly follows the "Washington consensus" and its suicidal policies (Europe anybody?!)
US imperial policies will only get worse. When real unemployment is somewhere in the range of 20% or more, and 40-50% for Blacks, you can be sure that the ranks of the military will swell with more angry jarheads ready to take on any "sand nigger" who dares to sit on the oil Americans 'need' to drive all their big SUVs. The war on Iran is on, my friends, make no mistake about it.
And if fictional terrorist plots a la "shoe bomber", "undies bomber", "Times Square bomber" or the latest Yemeni "Postal bombers" do not do sufficiently terrify the general public, you can expect another false-flag operation a la 9/11 which will usher in yet another era of hysteria, fear and aggression.
Eventually, of course, the USA will collapse under the weight of its own self-defeating hubris and idiocy. But in the meantime, things will get very, very ugly indeed. This is the inevitable consequence of any fuite en avant.