Sunday, June 22, 2008

Systemic Stupidity and the Corporatist State

Dear George,

The Corporatist State flourishes because it is populated by spectators instead of citizens, spectators whose idea of political prticipation is to be entertained by the antics of their leaders and celebrities.

A basic right of every free person is the right to piss away their freedom, not deliberately, but passively through their silence and apathy.

The greatest danger the Corporatist State faces is that its spectators will morph back into citizens. But this will only happene when they rediscover the poetry of democracy as in the poetry of a Whitman, a Guthrie or a Seeger. Fortunately, all of our contemporary minstrels are capable of little more than inarticulate screams, so there’s little danger of that happening.

Ours is a new-age democracy described by one writer[1] as:

[A] new type of political system, seemingly one driven by abstract totalizing power, not by personal rule, one that succeeds by encouraging political disengagement rather than mass mobilization, that relies more on “private” media than on public agencies to disseminate propaganda reinforcing the official version of events…[It] is largely independent of any particular leader and requires no personal charisma to survive: its model is the corporate “head,” the corporation’s public representative…In the inverted system the leader is a product of the system, not its architect; it will survive him.

It is a system that is a serendipitous aggregate of forces and events that represent, not a conspiracy, but a blind momentum driven by ego, greed and stupidity.

Its entertainment value lies in its stupidity. What other than an exceedingly stupid hierarchy would spend $100 billion on a missile defense shield that one commentator described as “a system that won’t work, against a threat that doesn’t exist, paid for by money we don’t have.”

Lord Acton didn't get it entirely right. Powerdoesn’t just corrupt; it rots the brain.

Your admirer,
Belacqua Jones

[1] Wolin, Sheldon S. Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 2008.