Slavery as the “ideal” system
The more I think of it, slavery (in one form or another) is the ultimate goal or at least, ideal, in this nation’s economics.
It started with slavery engrained in its economy. We tend to think every white family had slaves as family pets, but it was really big business, being held by rich families and their corporations, especially agriculture (and like today, they continuously pit the poor white families against the blacks through blame and fear of crime). It was almost free labor (and they were generally fed scraps or the least desired portions of the meat), which of course was good for profits.
When emancipation was “forced” on these businesses (and the states that supported their practice), then suddenly, millions more people now had to have “freedom” and resources (including jobs/money) shared with them. This of course hurt the economy.
So this is when all the anti-government rhetoric began, and the portrayal of blacks as money-draining (and crime-prone) leeches and menaces to free society were greatly stepped up.
Basically, the nation was divided into this matrix; on the “professional” level, of big bad government against honest, productive “private enterprise”, and on the “everyday people” level, lazy criminal blacks (and any rogue whites who supported them), against the “hard working, productive” white men.
This was repeated, as even segregation and discrimination were forced to end. The rhetoric would be turned up, and eventually forced to be encrypted, as the racial sensitivities of “political correctness” and “multiculturalism” forced more direct references to race from political discourse. (And they deeply resented these things ever since!)
Now, the rhetoric became mostly economic (which is what it really was about all along) as well as morality (when even many whites began en-masse rebelling against the old religious-based mores of society), but since economics was initially framed along race, then race still had to be tied to it, in the titanic teamup of the government and minorities against business, and “the good people”. Communism also entered the picture, giving a larger framework in a foreign enemy “big government” could now be tied to. Young whites also continued to rebel, and so “hippies” were condemned by the older guardians of society.
So when the quality of life began greatly decreasing in the 70’s and afterward, with every city bombed out at the core, prices going up, while quality goes down (everything made cheaper in quality; “planned obsolecence” becoming the standard), and most importantly, jobs disappearing (often shipped out to other countries for what else but cheap labor; and those that remain having more responsibilities placed on the workers), and money even taken out of the country by moving enterprises over there, as well as to avoid US taxes, the rhetorical mechanism was long in place to blame this all on the minorities, who (in the rhetoric) force the taxes to go up, by gaining “free handouts” from that old enemy, the “big government”, and essentially “forcing” these businesses and landlords to cut back quality or jobs and resources while raising prices; basically punishing everyone for the perceived offenses of these so-called “leeches”.
They really can’t help it. It’s “the market” that determines that they must do all this to maintain profits; and while the CEO’s are deemed being worth more and more, and this cannot be figured into the problem; they “deserve” it.
Banks and the large automobile manufacturers will gain such a hold on the economy that they become “too big to fail”, and so must be bailed out by the government (to prevent total economic collapse), and then executives use the money for five and six figure recreations, but that’s their right. (Don’t you dare “envy” or “covet”, we are sternly scolded!)
If you must blame someone, this is really all that “socialist” president’s fault! As well as the “takers”, which this time are the unions (who often had their pensions used by the companies as well), in the case of the auto companies; and the “undeserving” loan recipients (many, minority), in the case of the banks! (And notice, in these latter cases, it’s not even the “nonworking” “welfare” recipient anymore! It’s people who “just” do “their 40 hours” a week, “turning a bolt” [which they already make way too much for], wanting even more, and yet not doing “more” like these poor, vilified CEO’s who push themselves with 80 or more hours. [even though it’s not healthy for them or their families, and thus not the model for what people “should” be working. Yet, it’s fixed that this is increasingly, practially the only way to stay afloat in this economy]).
We see right here the division of the entire populace into these two classes; one having unlimited rights and privileges, and the other being subservient; and somehow forfeiting the same “rights”. (We should be aware that this upper class basically sees itself as “the people”, as in “We the People”, not the rest of us. So while they speak of “freedom” and other things granted us by the Constitution, they believe only they have really “earned” it, to reference the old saying that freedom must be “earned”. Likewise, one could really argue the Africans and native Americans had already forfeited their lands and freedoms by their tribal life being “unproductive” in contrast to “Christian” Europe. Some Christians even add their pagan worship to that).
The “truth” always hurts the lower classes or races, matching the Calvinism-infused “manifest destiny” the colonialists (Puritans, etc.) appealed to, and the “presuppositionalism” modern “Reconstructionists” cite as one of their pillars. (So it should figure, what they are trying to “reconstruct” might ultimately include! The theology also includes the notion that “God causes the sin, but man is responsible”, so the “cursed” groups can still be despised and blamed as if they could help their condition).
Yet the government stepped in wrongly trying to make things “equal”, and this is what has caused all our economic problems.
This is just a repeat of the sentiments marking slavery, and its end.
(Only now, under the guise of “freedom”, they can claim these classes, unlike race, are formed solely by the person’s own efforts to achieve. But one group, marked by race is having problems achieving, and so this becomes the justification to bring race back into the equations more directly, under the guise of what they call “culture”, and continuing to appear to blame the government and one of its “parties” for giving them “free stuff”, and in fact being the true “racists” trying to “enslave them a new way”).
Ever since the loss of the Civil War, diehard Confederates vowed “The South Shall Rise Again”. That regime was seen as embodying the true values of the original nation, and so this “Lost Cause” refuses to be given up, as people try to restore those “values” one way or another, starting again with economics.
So even the hard working middle class will argue in the CEOs’ favor, that they “delayed gratification”, and so deserve it all, and if that middle class observer’s finances are too tight, it’s because of the common enemy of both him and the big businesses; the government and these “vast hordes of leeches”.
They didn’t “delay gratification”, which insinuates that they must “pay” now, through low paid subservience, but the government keeps trying to interfere, and that’s why everyone is getting punished, and the “angry middle class” blames the poor.
(These articles: http://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/five-myths-about-why-the-south-seceded/2011/01/03/ABHr6jD_story.html #3: http://www.salon.com/2014/07/16/i_was_poor_but_a_gop_die_hard_how_i_finally_left_the_politics_of_shame show this dynamic back in slavery days, and now, where people identify with the power structure screwing them over, even thinking these leaders as “better” than even themselves, so that their enemy and/or scapegoat becomes one’s own).
Then and now, this is why the rich always end up being defended as “earning” everything they have, and are thus the real “victims”, and would share the wealth if they weren’t so taxed and regulated by the “liberals” in order to give it all to the “undeserving”.
So three mechanisms of virtual slavery have arisen. One, the drug war, which was targeted at minorities, and then justifies trapping them in a cycle of lifelong legalized discrimination, for being imprisoned, then then having a conviction record.
Of course, this comes nowhere near restoring slavery, but it’s a way of getting as many as you can into the system (and also bolsters the case that “the people” are so “crime-prone”, filling prisons disproportionately. And once tarnished and hardened like that, they will become more likely to fall into cycles of crime and public assistance).
The next one is the “prison industrial complex” (see also https://erictb.wordpress.com/2011/08/09/review-the-new-jim-crow/#comment-3218) where prisons are privatized, becoming “big business”, under the profit motive, and thus have a big motive to try to get more young people into prisons.
When I first heard of this, it was a story actually about mostly white kids in Pennsylvania, which IIRC was one of the early instances of this system. But of course, it will greatly benefit from the drug war, funneling mostly black kids into the system.
The other is financial debt, egged on by increasingly high interest (which was directly condemned by the Bible, yet conservative Christians; often the most virulent defenders of “capitalism” during the Cold War, didn’t seem to think anything of this). Not just for home, car and other credit, but even student loans, with education increasingly being the main key to “pulling up your bootstraps”* (it wasn’t always like this), but now made financially astronomical; about as much as a nice home or more, and almost impossible for many to ever pay off completely; being trapped like this, with part of their every dollar essentially owned by these institutions, perhaps for life. (And anyone notice how much money colleges everywhere have been putting into expansion of campuses and other fancy new additions, often causing controversies in the neighborhood, at schools such as NYU and Columbia? This may provide nice amenities for students and faculty alike, but still, that’s a lot of money they are tossing around, while it’s “scarce” for everyone else, including students plagued with increasing debt. Who do you think the cost of this is being passed down to? Even if they get the money from government grants, then there’s another destination of tax money!)
Banking overdraft fees are high (and this is “market” rate; i.e. what they all do!), so that a few of them can add up to $100’s. As one meme says, it’s basically punishing people for not having money. This then adds up to a sort of “domino effect” and now makes them have less to pay all their bills, and more likely to overdraw again. They may reason this this is to deter people “irresponsibly” overdrawing all the time, but then it’s like punishing everyone for the abuses of some; sort of like some dysfunctional family, prison, or boot-camp type discipline. People should really think about things like this, when they insist only “government” control is too heavy handed and lacking in alternatives.
This domino affect pushes many people to circumvent it through what else, but more credit. More debt! (Just pushing it back a bit, but it meanwhile increases with the interest!)
So it’s a catch-22, where conservatives say people struggle because they are being lazy and not striving to succeed enough; but then the reason you’re struggling is because you put yourself in debt, trying to pull yourself up by the bootstraps!
(In addition to this, “planned obsolescence” continued to reach new highs, eventually becoming technological, as we depend more and more on electronics, which are deliberately made obsolete so that you have to keep buying new ones. One large company reportedly sends out software “updates” that actually kill the device, forcing you to buy a new one, when it gets a certain age! Yet, these are good, honest, “productive” enterprises who “deserve” every penny they get!)
Now, this one also doesn’t trap just minorities, but then class division was really what’s more important than race division anyway; it’s just that race was initially an easier, pre-made distinction, and it was easy to take them as slaves, and they could pull other strings like using certain scriptures to seemingly justify it. But now, race continues to be a good deflectionary tactic, as it was even in past centuries, to have everyone blaming the other race for the financial problems.
Nothing has changed; we’re seeing all the same tactics over and over.
*(In passing, you hear both sides saying “education” is what needs to be fixed in order to solve “the black problem”, but when blacks say this, they mean the quality of education, which was always inferior, with poor materials and infrastructure itself. When conservatives say this, they’re referring to the “lowering of standards” where kids are being [supposedly] wrongly passed through without meeting the actual qualifications, in order to make them “equal”, when they really are not. However much this may actually be done or not, when it is, it is likely to compensate for the poor quality. So to complain about making it too easy for them, without addressing the crumbling system, is just another ploy to keep the people down, and make it look like its just their own “inferiority”, and that inequality is thus quite “fair”).
So this system truly has everyone by the throat, and rather than the government “persecuting” it and giving everything to minorities; it itself is often bought out by these private interests. They have now created a virtual “ice age” of apparent scarcity (i.e. reaction as if that was the case, such as cutbacks, hoarding, etc.) and struggle in what was supposed to be the most properous nation in the world, and yet many will still blame it all on the minorities, and call into question the character of the whole “group” or groups (which now includes “illegal immigrants”, of course), and this will point to what, other than how good it would be if all these “problem people” were somehow corralled, like they were in the glory days of the nation’s early history.
People are faced with a choice, which is what political debate has been divided on:
Admit the system as founded was wrong
Contend that it was right.
The former is what the liberals have done, and the latter is what conservatives have been doing, though [most] having to hide the real conclusion, and some may not even have thought enough to be aware of what it really leads to.
Under the premise of “exceptionality”, blame for the economic problems can never be placed on the early nation for founding its economy on slavery and oppression in the first place. No, it’s continuously excused with “the good outweighs the bad”. But all of these problems today, which they are the biggest complainers of, are never seen as part of that “bad”; only blamed on others. (And then, the “black problems” they also point out are not seen as part of that initial “bad” either; only blamed on blacks themselves and liberals, with the blacks accused of being the ones “excusing” themselves and blaming everyone else!)
“The Market” is just blind “nature“, which people think justifies all their actions. (Along with “survival of the fittest” and the rest of the philosophy you might read in the works of Rand and others). It is in contrast to “integrity”, where we bring an ethic of justice and care into our participation in nature. This is what people are missing, in all their rationalizations.
It is basically a denial of “responsibility” (another term they like to toss at others a lot). It’s the corporate analogue to the “everybody’s doing it” excuse children might use. “It’s not my fault I’m raising prices, lowering quality, or taking jobs and money out of the US economy. The Market made me do it”. (And of course, it’s really those dumb “takers”‘ fault the market is so messed up like that in the first place).
But then “nature” is what the “problem people” in crime and assistance are following as well, and we think this makes them “animals”, but the “civilized” so-called “productive” or “makers” are following the “animal” drive just as much.
The problem is, everyone wants to follow “nature”, and justify themselves in doing it, while condemning the way others follow the same instincts. This I call “inertia”. No one wants to “move” from the course (of behavior or beliefs) they are on.
The assumption is that integrity is basically defined as nature itself; like nature comprises integrity. That the more you can justify your actions with “it’s just nature”; the more your drives match up with nature, the more you can claim “integrity” (under the premise of “innocence” of any “wrongdoing”), which includes “justice” (the actions are justified, and so “justice” has in fact been done). But this leaves out the “care” half of it.
People want to act totally on nature, yet think they have “integrity”.
Man’s desire is to “BE” good, without DOing good, or to be judged as “good” without ACTUALLY being good.
Then, they assume the reward of this state of “good” is prosperity and rulership in the world.
So we say it’s an “exceptional” nation, and colonialism and slavery don’t matter, because of all the other “good” we did (typical using one’s own assortment of “works” to justify falling short in other areas; like people do with God); and look, these crime and poverty ridden people today are just using that as an excuse for their ongoing “problems” and demand for “free stuff” (we project this “excuse”-making onto the other, because “excuses” are only legitimate for us).
So the added insinuation of this (uttered only by the most radical white supremacists): “see, they were justified in enslaving these people, and it’s you ‘egalitarians’ who’ve ruined everything by forcing their freedom on us”.
The sole aim of pure, unmitigated “nature” is survival, at any cost, including the instinct of “control or kill them before they control or kill you”. So following nature alone will naturally hypothetically gravitate toward some form of total control (which is the reason radical “Right” ideology always ends up becoming just as “authoritarian” as the worst Leftist regimes when given the power. The “libertarian” and “populist” [“anti-government”, etc.] language they employ now is just their pleas for their own “freedom” [only] under those more powerful than they are. If their way of thinking were to gain control, then the so-called “persecuted” become the persecutors, and the first sign of this is how they already scoff at the supposed “victimhood” of others lower on the chain than they are, and the fact that they so detest any real authority above themselves in the first place).
People just want to live out their instinctual drive for survival with the least opposition (hence, “inertia”).
So they may not actually, consciously be trying to restore chattel slavery, but the point is, that it is the hypothetical ideal, which some could even argue would solve our financial problems. (But most won’t bring themselves to say it that way). So instead, they use these other means to try to get as low and subserviant a work force as possible, and have as many of them as they can, blaming each other, or those even lower than they are, so that they can see and do nothing, as the situation gets worse and worse.
The goal is that more people should wake up to this, and not depend solely on the government to fix it up (as again, it has been largely bought out by corporate interests, so they’ll only end up doing just enough for those lower down, to have everyone blaming them for benefitting from all the government “control” over everyone else, and the problems of the struggling likely won’t even be solved). There should be a mass outcry against the cost of education and loan interest if nothing else.
And also, against the 150+ year old blaming game itself! This should take precedence over complaining about “inequality”. For how can we expect to be taken seriously continuing to ask for “equality”, when political discourse is filled with loud rhetoric claiming we’ve already been given too much, that’s “free” and “undeserved” even, and is what’s destroying the economy (with some going as far as to say that whites are the “persecuted minority” now!) and we hardly even ever respond to it?
This should raise the consciousness of the problem, and lead to better solutions, without just running to the government, and thus keeping the rhetorical ball of deflection rolling.