It goes by many names neoliberalism, neoserfdom, libertarianism, globalization — Naomi Klein calls it corporatism in the Shock Doctrine — and third worldization, but it’s generally in the same ballpark insofar as the “remedies” and “therapies” and “fixes” that it pursues. The current incarnation of the uber rightist Tea Party seems to be drinking out of the same carafe as a lot of the folks that “liberally” push this sort of stuff; and ordinarily, what it portends for the overwhelming majority of any national population, are less than desirable results.
These tired, old, worn out canards and mantras, about the panacea of bare bones taxes, regulation, workers’ right and protections, and essentially making it impossible for workers to unionize — and in any way gain some kind of leverage — are still being pushed as vociferously as if they were fresh and “revolutionary” ideas. The laboratories that they have been tested in; however, would suggest that, these prescriptions and shortsighted “therapies” and initiatives exhibit the same sort of outcomes, over and over again. Things like: masses of good paying jobs and whole industries leaving a country, learned helplessness becoming rampant throughout a society, and what Marx called the reserve army being fattened like a pig. One wonders if this is really the intention of these prescriptions and “therapies” and “fixes”, in the first place? Especially, considering that they have “succeeded” in producing the same unenviable repetitions, again and again.
And the concomitant blaming of “onerous government” is undoubtedly an easy target for those who are prone to view it as a bogeyman for a snowballing, seemingly ever increasing variety of things. And, in fact, the people leading this charge seem to be folks who have never gotten over this childhood imaginary figment — and its plots and plans to undermine their most important drives and ambitions. In addition, to finding fault with government, seemingly at turn; those of the argument that the market ostensibly “lifts all boats” and peoples, are now proposing things such as eviscerating the federal minimum wage law. Apparently, they are proposing this as some kind of “fix” for a beleaguered economy, but instead; however, it would seem that the folks who at one time argued that a job was the consummate social program, are now suggesting that one needs — multiple of them — just to be employed in the United States.
A country that has built so much throughout its history, will now need a national effort to build poorhouses, unlike that which has been observed before. But this is probably also a repercussion of thinking that a country could subsist just buying, and not producing much of anything that could be exported for profit someplace else. Junk and reusable material to be recycled elsewhere, just doesn’t have the same return value, as brand new, high quality, first rate stuff.
Where is the new Horatio Alger of the present, who will write the stories of those who go from rags on the streets and sidewalks, to rags at the big box retailing chain? While, of course, American military “might” and bases crisscross the planet; and politicians celebrate this configuration, and the only “remedy” that they can suggest is to amp the whole thing up with more of the same caffeine and drugs? We truly are in need of that sort of a Horatio Alger at the present. I guess our closest thing to him, is a rotund man from Flint, Michigan with a microphone and a camera. It’s probably better that a filmmaker presents these arguments, today; than a novelist, because the reading of literature is probably not a growth market.
What is growth market though, apparently, is proposing what the Republican Party has been proposing, probably at least since the early 1980s. That is, in a nutshell: lowering the have-more tax burden, gutting regulation(s), and the pursuit of hard power and a bellicose foreign policy on the international stage. Whatever Obama’s faults — and there are a great many of them — he has gotten away from this sort of business as usual, and it has created a reactionary windstorm; unlike that has been seen, perhaps since the death of Vince Foster.
This windstorm is, undoubtedly bringing about very tired old “ideas” and products, that have been seen — again and again — before the present. And although, they haven’t proven to be successful, they seem to appear glossy to a limited number of folks; who are, undeniably, enchanted by their shiny, glistening; metallic, gleam and luster. I hate to disillusion those who are enraptured by such shiny, happy, triflous sorts of things, but they will most certainly bring about disappointment, and undesired outcomes of which their sellers, of course, would not divulge to those that they are trying to swindle. Caveat emptor, is just as true in electoral politics as in any other place, and if more would take note of this perennial truism, perhaps far fewer scheming, duplicitous, and recklessly self-interested individuals, would be considered as serious to become our so-called stewards of the national public trust.
Sean Fenley is an independent progressive who would like to see some sanity brought to the creation and implementation of current, and future U.S. military, economic, foreign and domestic policies. He has been published by a number of websites, and publications throughout the alternative media.