Wednesday, April 16, 2008

If hedonism doesn't work, try jingoism.

Dear George,

We have a problem, here. Seven years of hedonic consumption by the public kept them diverted while you implemented your Corporatist Police State. The country simply wouldn’t get its knickers in a knot over the suspension of habeas corpus, the introduction of torture, military commissions, the Patriot Act, illegal wars of aggression, stagnant wages, tax cuts for the rich and the erosion of the Constitution as long as it could get a new Lexus, charge a Louis Vitton™ purse on its MasterCard or lose itself in its wide-screen plasma TV.

Unfortunately, the times they are a changing. The American consumer is a little tapped out. Credit is collapsing, he’s stuck with a negative equity of his leveraged house, the bank is cancelling his equity line of credit, and he’s starting to realize that he’s been royally fucked over.

In other words, there is a real danger that the American consumer might morph into an American citizen who is suddenly very interesting in the malfeasance and mendacity coming out of the Beltway. And outbreaks of democracy, as we all know, can be very destabilizing.

Hedonic consumption encouraged self-absorption, which contributed to keeping both families and communities fragmented. The husband who just has to have the newest electronic gadget is loath to discuss his desire with his wife because he knows damn well she will tell him how stupid he is for wanting it and how the money could be spent for something better, like a new stove or wallpapering the family room.

Now that families can no longer consume, there is a danger that they may discover each other. The danger a cohesive family presents is that it could well merge with other families to form a community. Once this happens, things begin to get a little testy for the Corporatist State as people start taking an interest in its machinations.

I know you don’t do history, so I’m going to run some by you. Try to stay awake.

Whenever our oligarchy has faced an outburst of populism, they have found that the best antidote is to start a war. This all begin when McKinley snuffed a nineteenth century outburst of populism by starting the Spanish American War. Wilson followed with World War I, and FDR sidetracked a growing socialist movement with World War II.

But, you say, we already have a robust war going in Iraq. This is true, but the problem with Iraq is that it is a colonial war, and colonial wars simply don’t stir up the jingoism necessary to redirect the public’s attention away from its misery.

So, here's what you do. Have the CIA plant a monumental explosive device in the Green Zone of sufficient magnitude that it would reduce our fortress embassy to rubble. What we need are some massive American casualties.

Next, you produce evidence that places the blame for the explosion squarely on Iran’s shoulders.

This you call America’s new Pearl Harbor. Go before Congress and give them your Day-Of-Infamy speech and ask for a formal declaration of war on Iran. Bring back the draft and scam America into believing we have another “just” war.

Those who suggest that a war with Iran would ruin America forget that America is ruined already, so what difference does it make.

Okay, it’s unfortunate that you are going to snuff a lot of Americans. But as the Big Dick said, they are all volunteers. Every noble cause needs its martyrs.

Great powers feed on blood. A rousing war with Iran would keep our Corporatist State sated for a good decade or two. By the time the country collapsed, you would be sequestered in your library still trying to work your way through “My Pet Goat.”

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

6 comments:

thepoetryman said...

Great powers feed on blood. A rousing war with Iran would keep our Corporatist State sated for a good decade or two. By the time the country collapsed, you would be sequestered in your library still trying to work your way through “My Pet Goat.”

Ha!

I was under the impression that your Green Zone scenario was already under way?

thepoetryman said...

Thanks for the economics lessons and for all the wonderful writing. I laughed (no coffee while I read), I did eject something from my nose once or twice, but it beats the hell out of scalding java!

Peace, my friend. It is always a pleasure to come here and catch up on the world.

Case Wagenvoord said...

Thanks, and good to hear from you.

thepoetryman said...

My pleasure.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing! Some relief is felt by these words to know that I'm not the only one. I'm not insane! Our Leaders Are! Our World Is!

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