Written by Chris Floyd
Friday, 03 August 2007
Ain’t no use jivin’
Ain’t no use jokin’
Everything is broken.
— Bob Dylan
Anyone of a certain age — and not a very great one at that — knows perfectly well from their own experience how the country’s infrastructure has been allowed to wither and rot over the past three decades. They can see with their own eyes how the absolute ascendancy of crony capitalism — the rigged “free market” feasting on gargantuan pork and sweetheart laws laid out by well-bribed pols — has transformed the country into an ugly, crumbling, slap-dash monoculture laid over broken roads, abandoned cities and hard, harsh lives. As Dylan put it in a recent interview:
Well, America’s a different place than it was when those [older] records were made. It was more like Europe used to be, where every territory was different — every country was different, every state was different. A different culture, different architecture, different food. You could go 100 miles in the States and it would be like going from Stalingrad to Paris or something. It’s just not that way anymore. It’s all homogenized. People wear the same clothes, eat the same food, think the same things.
And one of the “same things” they think is that the brutal ascendancy of Money Power is just the natural order of things, that there’s nothing to be done about it: you just vote for one slickly earnest Bible-quoting goober after another, knowing all the while that he will steer the contracts for roads and bridges and sewer pipes and health inspections and safety checks and schools and hospitals to some crony or contributor who will cut every corner he can to fill his pockets. What does he care? He’ll take a helicopter, he doesn’t need the highway. He’s got the finest doctors on call, his house is custom-made, his children go to the best private schools, and if one of the meat-packing plants he and his fellow venture capitalists own blows up and kills a bunch of locked-in workers, so what? The insurance will cover it, and if it doesn’t, you can just slice and dice another deal to get an extra wad: maybe some crony pol will sell you the city water system for peanuts, and you can jack up the rates.
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