Critical State

SUBHEAD: We are hostages of big banking; big pharma; higher ed loan grifters; GMO agribiz; fast food and mandatory driving.  

By James Kunstler on 7 November 2011 for -  

Image above: A rally for Pigasus, the pig candidate for President from the Yippie party during the Chicago 1968 Democratic Convention demonstartions. From (

Portents of winter and the toothless chatter of flag-draped traitors vies with a fog of lies spread by Koch Brother messenger boys, Reagan nostalgia hucksters, suck-ups in office, Murdoch empire servelings, Banker PR catamites, and Jesus terrorists to occupy the national mind-space with a narcotic Jell-O of half-formed wish fulfillment scams. The nation is hostage to a confederacy of racketeers. Banking. Big Pharma. The Higher Ed / Loan nexus. GMO agri-biz. Fast food. Mandatory motoring. You name it. What a disgrace we are, and the worst of us are the least to know that.

This winter will be the Occupy Movement's Valley Forge. An uneasy quiet may settle across this land blanketed in frozen dishonesty while OWS goes to the ground. Wait until next summer when the Occupiers head for the nominating conventions. Chicago in 1968 was nothing compared to what might go down in Charlotte, NC (Democrats) and Tampa, FLA (Republicans) in 2012. These two giant, useless, political bucket shops need to be put out of business and something else has to take their place. Who will be the new breed of genuine patriots? It would be nice to suppose that something noble and intelligent might emerge from the current miasma, a reality-based third party. But history isn't so reassuring.
I heard some rumors. Lawrence Kotlikoff at Boston University - the only economist in the USA with a coherent plan for banking, healthcare, tax, and entitlement reform - said on a podcast some weeks back that he was advising an un-named national figure who intends to mount a third party campaign. I didn't have a clue who that might be.
Last week in Virginia a professional political back-stager, who had worked for the DNC during the Howard Dean days, told me that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was stealthily hiring Hillary Clinton's old campaign staffers in seeming preparation for... something. Well, Bloomberg wouldn't have to take anybody else's money - and by "anybody" I mean especially the corporations because, you know, corporations are people, with free speech rights (and feelings!). It also happens that Bloomberg is neither a Republican or a Democrat, but a registered independent. Will he go to the ground, too, this winter like OWS, and wait for the public disgust to mount toward criticality? Hey, sometimes your country calls (for help!) and figures arise and they undertake what's necessary, even against type. Abe Lincoln, in 1859, was a railroad lawyer - the horror!
I have no idea who else might be waiting in the background, someone tortured with disgust by the leveraged buy-out of the American common good, someone capable of articulating the terms of the convulsion we face in national life if we don't start doing things differently. Surely in a population of 310 million you can find more than a few resolute personalities who refuse to just sit back and watch the sickening spectacle of inept vacillation.
Of course, the first order of business is to get corporate money out of politics. Are we capable of doing that? Can we legislate a redefinition of corporate "personhood?" After all, corporations have no allegiance whatsoever to the public interest, only to their shareholders and boards of directors. Who was the Supreme Court kidding when they proposed in 2010 that corporations have a personal stake in politics. Corporations are sociopaths. They need to be tasered!
The second order of business is to enforce the existing laws in money matters and bring back laws (e.g. the Glass-Steagall act) that were recklessly thrown away in the systematic bid to loot the working public; then move beyond that to contest the web of rackets that make it impossible for Americans to even take care of themselves.
The third order of business is to shut down the war industry and close hundreds of overseas military bases that are draining scarce public capital.
The fourth order of business is to prepare the US public for the realities of the post-Global economy and the post-cheap-energy way of life. Tell them the truth: we don't have "a hundred years" of natural gas. We can't drill-drill-drill our way to "energy independence." We have to get more local, less complex, finer, and leaner. Give the American people a clear sense of where circumstances are taking us, even if it is a tough assignment.
More likely, nobody will step forward to take on the two major parties. In which case, plan now to occupy the political conventions. Google-map your routes to Tampa and Charlotte (Home of Bank of America!). Stake out the campsites and cheap lodgings. Prepare to shame these organized grifters, and to turn their self-serving jamborees upside-down.


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