BY PHIL ROCKSTROH | Dateline: 6/21/07
Why did the Democratic Congress betray the voting public? Betrayal is often a consequence of wishful thinking. It’s the world’s way of delivering the life lesson that it’s time to shed the vanity of one’s innocence and grow-the-hell-up. Apropos, here’s lesson number one for political innocents: Power serves the perpetuation of power. In an era of runaway corporate capitalism, the political elite exist to serve the corporate elite. It’s that simple.
Why do the elites lie so brazenly? Ironically, because they believe they’re entitled to, by virtue of their superior sense of morality. How did they come to this arrogant conclusion? Because they think they’re better than us. If they believe in anything at all, it is this: They view us as a reeking collection of wretched, baseborn rabble, who are, on an individual level, a few billion neurons short of being governable by honest means.
Yes, you read that correctly: They believe they’re better than you. When they lie and flout the rules and assert that the rule of law doesn’t apply to them or refuse to impeach fellow members of their political and social class who break the law — it is because they have convinced themselves it is best for society as a whole.
How did they come by such self-serving convictions? The massive extent of their privilege has convinced them that they’re the quintessence of human virtue, that they’re the most gifted of all golden children ever kissed by the radiant light of the sun. In other words, they’re the worst sort of emotionally arrested brats — spoiled children inhabiting adult bodies who mistake their feelings of infantile omnipotence for the benediction of superior ability: “I’m so special that what’s good for me is good for the world,” amounts to the sum total of their childish creed. In the case of narcissists such as these, over time, self-interest and systems of belief grow intertwined. Hence, within their warped, self-justifying belief systems, their actions, however mercenary, become acts of altruism.
The elites don’t exactly believe their own lies; rather, they proceed from the neo-con guru, Leo Strauss’ dictum (the modus operandi of the ruling classes) that it is necessary to promulgate “noble lies” to society’s lower orders. This sort of virtuous mendacity must be practiced, because those varieties of upright apes (you and I) must be spared the complexities of the truth; otherwise, it will cause us to grow dangerously agitated — will cause us to rattle the bars of our cages and fling poop at our betters. They believe it’s better to ply us with lies because it’s less trouble then having to hose us down in our filthy cages. In this way, they believe, all naked apes will have a more agreeable existence within the hierarchy-bound monkey house of capitalism.
LEO STRAUSS, THE FATHER OF NEOCON CYNICISM. Another intellectual “gift” to the Right, and intellectual poison to the masses, from the University of Chicago, which also gave us Milton Friedman and the “Chicago Boys”…
This may help to better understand the Washington establishment and its courtesan punditry who serve to reinforce their ceaseless narrative of exceptionalism. This is why they’ve disingenuously covered up the infantilism of George W. Bush for so long: LittleDubya is the id of the ruling class made manifest –he’s their troubled child, who, by his destructive actions, cracks the deceptively normal veneer of a miserable family and reveals the rot within. At a certain level, it’s damn entertaining: his instability so shakes the foundation of the house that it causes the skeletons in its closets to dance.
By engaging in a mode of being so careless it amounts to public immolation, these corrupt elitists are bringing the empire down. There is nothing new in this: Such recklessness is the method by which cunning strivers commit suicide.
Those who take the trouble to look will apprehend the disastrous results of the ruling elites’ pathology: wars of choice sold to a credulous citizenry by public relations confidence artists; a predatory economy that benefits one percent of the population; a demoralized, deeply ignorant populace who are either unaware of or indifferent to the difference between the virtues and vicissitudes of the electoral processes of a democratic republic, in contrast to the schlock circus, financed by big money corporatist, being inflicted upon us, at present.
Moreover, the elitist’s barriers of isolation and exclusion play out among the classes below as an idiot’s mimicry of soulless gated “communities” and the pernicious craving for a vast border wall – all an imitation of the ruling classes’ paranoia-driven compulsion for isolation and their narcissistic obsession with exclusivity.
Perhaps, we should cover the country in an enormous sheet of cellophane and place a zip-lock seal at its southern border, or, better yet — in the interest of being more metaphorically accurate — let’s simply zip the entire land mass of the U.S. into a body bag and be done with it.
What will be at the root of the empire’s demise? It seems the elite of the nation will succumb to “Small World Syndrome” — that malady borne of incurable careerism, a form of self-induced cretinism that reduces the vast and intricate world to only those things that advance the goals of its egoist sufferers. It is a degenerative disease that winnows down the consciousness of those afflicted to a banal nub of awareness, engendering the shallowness of character on display in the corporate media and the arrogance and cluelessness of the empire’s business and political classes. It possesses a love of little but mammon; it is the myth of Midas, manifested in the hoarding of hedge funds; it is the tale of an idiot gibbering over his collection of used strings.
What can be done? In these dangerous times, credulousness to party dogma is as dangerous as a fundamentalist Christian’s literal interpretation of the Bible: There is no need to squander the hours searching for an “intelligent design” within the architecture of denial and duplicity built into this claptrap system — a system that we have collaborated in constructing by our loyalty to political parties that are, in return, neither loyal to us nor any idea, policy nor principle that doesn’t maintain the corporate status quo.
Accordingly, we must make the elites of the Democratic Party accountable for their betrayal — or we ourselves will become complicit. The faith of Democratic partisans in their degraded party is analogous to Bush and his loyalist still believing they can achieve victory in Iraq and the delusion-based wing of the Republican Party who, a few years ago, clung to the belief, regardless of facts, that Terri Schiavo’s brain was not irreparably damaged and she would someday rise from her hospital bed and bless the heavens for them and their unwavering devotion to her cause.
Faith-based Democrats are equally as delusional. Only their fantasies don’t flow from the belief in a mythical father figure, existing somewhere in the boundless sky, who scripture proclaims has a deep concern for the fate of all things, from fallen sparrows to medically manipulated stem cells; rather, their beliefs are based on the bughouse crazy notion that the elites of the Democratic Party could give a fallen sparrow’s ass about the circumstances of their lives.
In the same manner, I could never reconcile myself with the Judeo/Christian/Islamic conception of god –some strange, invisible, “who’s-your-daddy-in-the-sky,” sadist — who wants me on my knees (as if I’m a performer in some kind of cosmic porno movie) to show my belief in and devotion to him — I can’t delude myself into feeling any sense of devotion to the present-day Democratic Party.
Long ago, reason and common sense caused me to renounce the toxic tenets of organized religion. At present, I feel compelled to apply the same principles to the Democratic Party, leading me to conclude, as did Voltaire regarding the unchecked power of The Church in his day, that we must, “crush the infamous thing.”
Freedom begins when we free ourselves from as many illusions as possible — including dogma, clichés, cant, magical thinking, as well as blind devotion to a corrupt political class.
I wrote the following, before the 2006 mid-term election: “[…] I believe, at this late hour, the second best thing that could come to pass in our crumbling republic is for the total destruction of the Democratic Party — and then from its ashes to rise a party of true progressives.
“[…] I believe the best thing that could happen for our country would be for the leaders of the Republican Party — out of a deep sense of shame (as if they even possessed the capacity for such a thing) regarding the manner they have disgraced their country and themselves — to commit seppuku (the act of ritual suicide practiced by disgraced leaders in feudalist Japan) on national television.“
Because there’s no chance of that event coming to pass, I believe the dismantling of the Democratic Party, as we know it, is in order. It is our moribund republic’s last, best hope — if any is still possible.”
I received quite a bit of flack from party loyalists and netroots activists that my pronouncement was premature and we should wait and see.
We’ve waited and we’ve seen. Consequently, since the Republican leadership has not taken ceremonial swords in hand and disemboweled themselves on nationwide TV, it’s time we pulled the plug on the Democratic Party, an entity that has only been kept alive by a corporately inserted food-tube. In my opinion, this remains the last, best hope for the living ideals of progressive governance to become part of the body politic.
Phil Rockstroh, a self-described, auto-didactic, gasbag monologist, is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living in New York City. He may be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org