Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Lively Swamp

The swamp is active. Bubbles of methane float to the surface and pause before popping to release their rankness into the air. There’s the Afghanistan bubble, the bailout bubble, the healthcare non-reform bubble.

And now, a shiny new bubble, the torture bubble. That one is still floating on the surface, but when it finally pops it promises to be the foulest of all. I mean, what’s a nation to do with its torturers? Attorney General Eric Holder finally decides to investigate the worst abusers (low level, as always, the bad apples, the exceptions to the rule) when it suddenly turns out that the whole torture thing was being monitored and controlled by soulless bureaucrats. Soulless bureaucrats are an excellent choice to monitor atrocities. In their minds they are not causing undue suffering and death, they are simply implementing policies, which is what they are paid to do.

Though, in their defense, it must be said that they insisted the torture be humane. For example, a prisoner could only be stuffed in a small box for two hours or a big box for eight hours. I’m sure knowing they wouldn’t be crammed into those boxes forever was a comfort to the prisoners.

However, this bureaucratic oversight presents a dilemma for the Obama administration. Obama has said he didn’t want to investigate Bush’s war crimes because instead of obsessing over the past, he wanted to look forward to the future. This desire to forget the past is the fervent wish of every criminal who has ever stood in every docket in every criminal court in world.

Obama has also said he doesn’t think it fair to prosecute torturers who were, in good faith, only following White House directives. It’s the classic Nuremburg defense, “I was only following orders.” I guess this means we have to go back and pardon all those Nazis. It’s only fair.

So, what is Holder to do? It seems this bureaucratic supervision came right from the White House. What would it do to America’s pristine image if we were to prosecute a former president and vice president? How would our high school history books deal with this stain upon our national honor? Drop the whole incident down Orwell’s memory hole?

But I digress. Back to the swamp.

Progressives circle the swamp crying in alarm and calling attention to each bubble as it surfaces. But no matter how loud their cries, the bubbles still pop and their stench still fill the air. This is because the bubbles are only a symptom. Nobody has thought to dive beneath the surface of the swamp to destroy the beast that is blowing the farts.

The beast is corporatism. Corporatism is capitalism in the advanced stages of syphilis.

Capitalism is dead; it’s been dead for over a century. Old line capitalists were money-grubbing, ruthless sons of bitches who amassed personal fortunes on the backs of workers by kicking ass and busting skulls.

Corporatism is politer. It is the product of soulless bureaucrats who never dirty their hands or get blood under their fingernails. Where the capitalist was driven by greed, the corporatist is driven by policy. Bean counters lay off tens of thousands just to add a half point profit to the bottom line, all to pump up the bonuses of senior managers.

Unless the beast is dragged from its swamp and domesticated, it will continue to fart with impunity, and the tragedy is that no matter how foul the stench, the public will get use to it.

In short, it is time to decorporatize America. Corporations served their purpose; they dd their thing by raising our standard of living. Unfortunately, in the process, they could well wipe us out. So it is time to retire them, and turn them loose in the back forty to wander around the pasture while they clip their cupons.

To paraphrase Michael Ledeen, every seventy years, or so, the American public has to grab big business by the throat, slam it against the wall and teach it some manners.

It’s a pity Obama’s such a nice guy.

2 comments:

Suzan said...

Agreed, but I don't believe that Obama is such a nice guy.

Let's start with that beast Bernanke (and that's just a start!).

S

This is because the bubbles are only a symptom. Nobody has thought to dive beneath the surface of the swamp to destroy the beast that is blowing the farts.

Bean counters lay off tens of thousands just to add a half point profit to the bottom line, all to pump up the bonuses of senior managers.

To paraphrase Michael Ledeen, every seventy years, or so, the American public has to grab big business by the throat, slam it against the wall and teach it some manners.

Case Wagenvoord said...

He's pragmatic, and for the pragmatic, I guess there really isn't any "nice." There's only results.