Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What Social Contract?

I love Matt Taibbi. Usually, the Rolling Stone writer is right on. However, he missed the target in a recent piece when he wrote:

The Social contract has to be considered broken when some dumb schmuck can go to jail for five real years for selling a bag of weed while a guy who went to Harvard and Wharton and had all possible advantages gets nothing but a bailout and a temporarily lowered bonus regime for destroying billions of public wealth.

Social contract? You mean there’s a social contract? Then where in the fuck is it? In what dusty bin of our national archives is it being stored? Was it shredded with the Big Dick’s documents, or with the Constitution and the Geneva Conventions?

Have we ever had a social contract? You know, that mythical document praised by Hume, Locke and Rousseau, the contract in which the public agrees to be governed in exchange for certain civil liberties that are guaranteed by the state.

Whoops! Silly me. A social contract is normally found in democratic republics that exist by the consent of the governed. The first thing a plutocracy does when it achieves power is to burn the damn thing.

Plutocrats can do that because they have the money and the spin to dumb down the public until it votes for a branded image instead of a platform. We saw this with Obama’s election as he rode into the White House on a political platform that consisted of five words: "Change you can believe in," with change being defined as no change other than the public being screwed with a smile instead of a sneer.

Medieval peasants had a social contract that consisted of mutual obligation between peasant and lord. The peasants had the sense to revolt when the lord failed to meet his obligations. We’re too damn polite to do the same.

There are no peasants in the corporate state because there are no reciprocal obligations between the rulers and the ruled. The Beltway and Wall Street are fortified castles surrounded by the grass huts of a public that is sinking slowly into despair and impoverishment.

Nowadays, the lords’ retainers wear suits instead of ermine and armor, and they carry leather shoulder bags instead of swords. Had they lived in medieval times, they would have been called brigands; now they head up the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve.

--Case Wagenvoord


Anonymous said...

Our rulers do abide a social contract: "We employ Game Theory. You employ laws."
It's the nature of fleecers. Its mostly uunnatural to fleecees.

Case Wagenvoord said...

Well put. I guess it's Social Contract v1.b