Friday, January 22, 2010
Lunacy, The Moon. Photo by Darryl
This is the winter of progressive discontent. The Senate race in Massachusetts ought to be a warning to progressives that compromise with Republicans, with the corporate world of insurance companies and pharmaceuticals, not only doesn't work, but actually undermines the confidence of the electorate. Like the mules they are, however, the leaders of the Democratic party have dug their heals in and refused to move. The republicans with a mere minority of 41 senators are running the country-- into the ground. Maybe it is time for a third party after all, the Green party, to put up congressional candidates (rather than an egomaniac for the presidency).
The Supreme Court ruling that corporations may now have unlimited support for particular candidates, that they may run endless ads for their puppet candidates, is especially distressing. Ralph Nader must be turning over in his grave. Oh, wait. The Bush appointees have handed down what may be the most devastating ruling on who runs for office in the future, pets of the most powerful CEOs, their yapping dogs. Remember the film Network, "Im mad as Hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore." (click). Tea baggers carry the same words on their signs as their Republican reps, with Shakespearean irony, give more power than ever to the corporate giants in the name of "free speech." Network, indeed; be sure to watch the corporate owned T V Channel of your choice for further updates.
Meanwhile read Plato's Republic, Book VIII , for an accounting of how democracy sooner or later degenerates into tyranny.
And from Network (1976)
Arthur Jensen: [calmly] Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale? You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM, and ITT, and AT&T, and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those *are* the nations of the world today. What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state, Karl Marx? They get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, minimax solutions, and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments, just like we do. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that . . . perfect world . . . in which there's no war or famine, oppression or brutality. One vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock. All necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused. And I have chosen you, Mr. Beale, to preach this evangel.
Howard Beale: Why me?
Arthur Jensen: Because you're on television, dummy. Sixty million people watch you every night of the week, Monday through Friday.
Howard Beale: I have seen the face of God.
Arthur Jensen: You just might be right, Mr. Beale.