Saturday, May 10, 2008

Destroying the Family to Save America

Dear George,

If my letter seems a bit disjointed this morning, it is because I had a particularly stellar flight on the sacred smoke last night. That being the case let me digress.

If John Maynard Keynes was correct and the love of money is, indeed, a form of mental illness, then it explains how you and your cronies have ushered in a golden dawn of rampant greed. You have elevated greed from simple goodness to the level of erotic obsession.

A precondition for this rapacious eroticism to thrive is the destruction of the family. Family is the foundation of community and community is the foundation of class solidarity, which is a threat to social stability. People who are members of viable communities get together and talk. Talking leads to bitching; bitching leads to a search for solutions, and it is this search that gives rise to destabilizing influences such as unions and socialist parties.

Two elements are necessary to destroy both family and community: a pervasive atmosphere of paranoia and 24/7 cable news to fan it. Once a siege mentality is in place, people tend to retreat to the security of their houses and park themselves in front of the nearest screen, be it a TV or a computer. This retreat, coupled with the seductive power of dancing screens, reduces a family to a disparate collection of discrete individuals.

And the walls, George! Let us not forget the walls. What a miracle they are working. We have the wall across our southern border to protect us from the creeping socialism of Latin America, we have the walls around our communities to keep life at bay, and we have the walls around our souls to keep out compassion and solidarity.

I should warn you, though, that we face a rising threat, and we must gird our loins to deal with it. The fragmentation of family and community was a smoke screen to conceal from the public the fact that capital was slowly being sucked up the pyramid and coagulating around its apex like the bloody phlegm of a TB patient. The poor proles never noticed it because they were able to maintain an illusion of prosperity thanks to their debt-driven consumption.

Unfortunately, they are tapped out. Their credit lines are maxed and they have a negative equity in their house, if it isn’t already in foreclosure. The boat and trailer sits in the front yard with a “For Sale” sign on it, and they can’t afford to fill their above-ground swimming pool.

Not to worry, though. All of the security and surveillance measures your administration has put into place since 9/11 have nothing to do with the war against terrorism and everything to do with keeping the mob in line when it realizes how royally it’s been screwed.

There will be no New Deal when our economic house of cards finally collapses. And anyone who suggests it will find himself vacationing at a KBR rest camp somewhere in the Arizona desert.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

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