WHAT IF THE destruction of governmental services is in fact the clandestine purpose behind the economic collapse?
Too far fetched to consider?
Look at our national history.
Note how in the United States the capitalist Ruling Class relentlessly opposes government social services – public education, transit, health care, welfare, unemployment and disability compensation – and has done so since their inception.
Whenever possible, the Ruling Class uses its ownership of the political process to ensure such services never come into being.
When that tactic fails – as it did during the New Deal – the Ruling Class targets the services with relentless wars of attrition, as in the campaign to privatize Social Security.
Or the Ruling Class co-opts some genuinely humanitarian effort, as it did in its perversion of health care reform into the implicit slavery and unimaginably huge windfall profits of mandatory insurance – the greatest forcible transfer of wealth from people to plutocrats ever recorded.
These days – with the politicians of both parties in unabashed servitude to the Ruling Class (hence my use of the labels DemocRat and GOPorker) – such efforts appear unstoppable: so much so the final legacy of our era may well be the death of U.S. constitutional democracy.
But until now the associated warfare has been so low-keyed – and so methodically downplayed by Ruling Class media – it was imperceptible save to its designated victims: a circumstance enormously facilitated by the national cult of self-obsession that ensures our imprisonment in Moron Nation.
Again consider our history.
During the 1930s and for several years beyond the end of World War II, the U.S. had the best, most widespread public transport in the world. Even smaller cities – witness Roanoke, Virginia and Bellingham, Washington – had electrically powered trolley systems, what today is called "light rail." But all that was deliberately swept away – not by accident, but by governmental collaboration with the Ruling Class to ensure our permanent enslavement by Big Oil and Big Automotive.
Whether by compulsory automobile ownership – the ultimate example of slaves conditioned to love their bondage – or by transit systems wedded to buses, we are now inescapably shackled to vehicles powered by fossil-fueled, internal-combustion-engines.
The initial victims – those of us who could not afford automobiles – complained bitterly. Indeed we still complain. But because we are impoverished – that is, because we are demonstrably unprofitable (and therefore deemed unworthy of capitalist exploitation) – our complaints are dismissed as irrelevant.
Much the same thing happened when millions of the poorest and most disabled people were flung off welfare by intentionally murderous welfare cutbacks. Many DemocRats and GOPorkers applauded the savagery as “reform.” The remainder of the non-welfare population was indifferent. Few imagined they might someday need the very safeguards that had been so heartlessly – and permanently – destroyed.
Likewise when reversal of the indisputably real post-Sputnik education reforms began the process of moronation – the post-Kennedy dumbing down that has made us the most ignorant people on earth. Teachers protested; so did the better students. No one else listened.
Now of course the economic collapse and its subsequent Great Recession have inflicted a reduction of tax revenues so severe it has no precedent. This in turn has radically accelerated not just public school closures but the termination of all categories of social services.
The revenue shortfall is so huge – so devastating – it threatens to eliminate any governmental function that does not directly serve the three goals of capitalism: absolute power and unlimited profit for the Ruling Class, the total subjugation of all the rest of us.
Predictably, the military budget thus continues to be obscenely fattened even as every other budget is methodically starved.
Conditioned as we are to regard The Economy as a god-like entity beyond human control – conditioned too to regard the Ruling Class as stupid and bumbling – it seldom occurs to us to focus on how cleverly the so-called "collapse" escalates the seven-decade war on social services, perhaps to its final anti-humanitarian triumph.
No, you say. Not possible; not even the most diabolically greedy Wall Streeters would dare torpedo the economy merely to sink the governmental services they so notoriously despise. Besides, capitalists are not that bright...
Ah but note how these presumptively dimwitted capitalists destroyed the seemingly all-powerful Soviet Union, how they have concentrated their holdings into monopolies now more powerful than any government in human history, how their capitalist edicts now shape even the minutiae of everyday life.
Indeed perhaps capitalism's most successful stratagem of all has been convincing us the capitalists themselves are boorish dunces.
Meanwhile it becomes ever more undeniable – note the charges against Goldman Sachs – the alleged “collapse” was deliberately engineered.
And now the slow attrition of social services has become a rout.
Meanwhile the one principle that would combine all these facts in razor-edged symbiosis has been suppressed by the harshest and most relentless campaign of intellectual censorship and criminal taboo this nation has ever known.
What principle is that?
The historic truth of class struggle: the law of cause and effect applied to human societies, for the discovery of which all thanks to Karl Marx:
Outsourcing industry and downsizing the workforce – permanent Jobless Recovery – gave the Ruling Class a financial bonus of a magnitude inconceivable to most of us: picture a convoy of Brinks trucks long enough to ring the earth at the equator.
Now the downsizing of social services – first gradual, now catyclismic – adds still more to the capitalists' already unthinkable wealth.
Note too how the Ruling Class gradually freed itself from taxation, thereby guaranteeing that – once it pulled the plug on the American Dream – it was already exempt from the New Deal-type assessments that would be essential to rebuild the job market.
"Cunning" is understatement.
Factor in the looming double-apocalypse of petroleum bankruptcy and terminal climate change, and you have the perfect motive for grab-it-and-run looting: hence “collapse.”
Post-Katrina New Orleans is thus in every sense of the word a portrait of our future: the destiny to which – if the capitalist Ruling Class has its way – We the People have already been damned.
If I prayed, I would pray that I am wrong.
LB/27 April 2010