We approach a new year with the problems of the old one
looming larger, even as the dark age of the Bush era is ending. Reality is
causing more pain and anguish as we try to celebrate the holidays and begin a
more positive chapter in our history.
The season of massive consumption has not been what the
commercial community needs, with many dependent on the annual shopping frenzy
to show a profit for the year. The frenzy revealed itself in a tragedy that saw
a mob stampede a corporate employee to death in the rush for bargains that have
made shopping possible for many who face a survival crisis more than one of
gift giving. But what�s needed for the real economy in which people produce
material goods and services -- not the financial fiasco that produces
immaterial gambling and theft -- hasn�t been there and may not be for some
time, if ever again.
We�ve heard the present problems compared with the past
Great Depression and Roosevelt�s New Deal solution, but we may be facing a
combination of those terms. For all the rhetoric about change and notions that
an African American president will automatically bring about something
radically different, we face a crisis that could produce a New Depression.
We�re deeply immersed in the same old political economy,
with new people appointed supposedly for change, but really dedicated to
maintaining that system. Despite high-flown rhetoric to the contrary, that
means it, the system of private profit, comes before us, the public who create
In a form of relatively polite national socialism, public
funds are being shoveled by the trillions into the coffers of private financial
corporations, with the rationale that these entities are too big to be allowed
to fail. But are taxpayers too small to be allowed to succeed? With almost no
questions asked, finance capital gets hundreds of billions, but when industry
asks for a fraction of that aid, controversy and congressional hearings decide
whether we might be better off if millions of jobs should simply be allowed to
Capital is being placed under government control, but this
�friendly fascism� without any nationalization is at the expense of a public
which, so far, is exercising no control at all. And we face total public
failure if we do not act to transform the system that profits a minority by
inflicting ever greater loss on the majority. If such economics are the result
of a political democracy, then terminal cancer is the result of a healthy
The incredible debt we are incurring to bail out finance
capital could make us all wealthy if we used those trillions to create
employment, education and health care for the entire population, and to achieve
social peace and environmental balance. We will see some new policies of public
spending to rebuild infrastructure and stimulate consumption, but what we
really need and can well afford is full security guaranteed to all our people.
That�s the way a rich society like our own should conduct itself, but it must
first be removed from minority control and placed under the rule of a
The thought that such a situation prevailed with the last
election is a dream worthy of a nation in deep slumber. Given our dreadful
history of slavery and racism, there is genuine pleasure to be found in the
election of Obama, but carrying that symbolic joy too far indicates a society
still not facing a harsh reality. And it will get worse, until we demand that
the economy works for the greater good of all the people, and not simply for
the benefit of a chosen few.
Continued dedication to preserving capitalism and America�s
world domination spells future disaster. And if you think Obama is a socialist
or mankind�s salvation because he�s indicated a willingness to talk to our
alleged enemies, I�ve got a bridge I�d like to sell you. That might seem like
progress after the Bush experience, but masters always talked to their slaves,
and that did nothing to change the relationship. We have to not only talk but
act as if we understand a reality in which we don�t own or control the world,
and our power and wealth do not make us chosen people of the planet. Obama�s
foreign policy appointments have shown no relationship to such thinking, which
is what we must have to reach a future that gets us out of the present dilemma
by transforming our society and its role in the world.
Real democracy in the USA could help achieve real democracy
in other places, especially by not interfering in their political economies.
Ending our foreign meddling will help bring international peace and a stop to
what is called global terrorism. That is simply the bloody action taken by
native amateur killers to defend their nations and cultures from the bloody action
of foreign professional killers, and when those foreigners back off, terrorism
will end. Then and only then will there be a chance for real peace in places
like the Middle East, where apartheid Israel can become democratic Palestine,
with immigrants and natives living as equals and not as colonial superiors and
None of that can happen without an active population that is
ready to agitate, educate and organize its citizenry to pressure the new
president to do its bidding, and not continue the old order under the cover of
And so: Merry Christmas to all who celebrate, but please
don�t just wish or pray for a better future. Demand it as well, take action to
get it, and make the future a newer and better reality, rather than a newer and
more deadly depression.
Copyright � 2008
Frank Scott. All rights reserved.
Scott writes political commentary which appears in the Coastal Post, a monthly
publication from Marin County, California, and on numerous web sites, and on
his shared blog at legalienate.blogspot.com.
Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.