New Year’s Resolutions
Along with eating healthier and getting more exercise, here are some of my New Year’s resolutions:
1) Stop being apocalyptic. Stop expecting America to experience a crisis that “wakes” people up and changes everything. The American capitalist class has steadily ground down the working class majority since the early 1970s with no meaningful resistance and there’s no apparent reason this can’t continue indefinitely. Things don’t magically get better just because they’ve been lousy for a long time.
Git along, little sheeples, nothing to see here: thirty million Americans under or unemployed, 50 million with no health insurance, 47 million on food stamps, declining real wages and leisure time for almost 40 years, full speed ahead with illegal wars and robotic warfare, the slow strangling of prudent savers to give money to speculators (through prolonged artificially low interest rates), indefinite detention and assassinations of American citizens, immunity from prosecution (or even any investigation) for government-approved criminals -- from CIA torturers to spying telecom companies to Wall Street fraudsters, and the ongoing flash crash back to feudalism from trillions of dollars stolen in tech, housing, commodity and credit bubbles. If it walks like a crisis and quacks like a crisis but people don’t treat it like it’s a crisis, then it’s not a crisis. Through it all, no one of any import stands up and screams, “That duck has no clothes!” And there’s still no Million Gun March on Washington.
2) Look on the bright side of America’s closeness to Israel. The Great and Little Satan are arm in arm and jumping off a cliff together -- they are happy and we should be happy for them. Clarity is always good. The latest outrageous act committed by an Israeli settler automatically becomes the baseline that will be defended by every American politician. Countries that confuse their interests with other nations are the Fool walking off the mountain in the Tarot card deck. Buh-bye! Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians also flushes out all those closet Custers on the American left. People who deny justice for victims of a land and water stealing ethnic cleansing project will always undermine (or walk away from) any movement for peace or justice -- they are neo-cons in waiting.
America’s right wing doesn’t see the Israeli/Palestinian “issue” through the Nazi genocide portal so much as through the Native American genocide portal: they are cheering on the cowboys and cavalry. While they are having their masturbatory massacre fantasies of dark-skinned people, it’s good that the rest of the world sees America’s first black president warmly embrace the Bull Conner of the Middle East -- it’s a reminder that America can never be trusted and that America’s foreign policy is mainly a play thing used by politicians to get elected. Support of Israel is America’s warning label, a skull and crossbones that says America doesn’t mean anything it says about freedom, equality, democracy, or one person one vote. “Separate and unequal, segregation now and forever!” says Barack Obama, where it concerns Palestinians.
3) Stop listening to people who talk about the “1% versus the 99%.” This phrase must have been thought up by someone who believes capitalism is basically good but some miscellaneous fiends just ruined it for everybody with their “cronyism” etc. They never tell us how the capitalist class got such a crushing financial advantage to begin with. Here’s the answer: They got all this money by stealing it from you at work each day where you are paid only a tiny fraction of the vast wealth that you help create. The capitalists siphon off the surplus booty for their opulent lifestyles plus assorted payoffs to the other purposeless parasites and anti-evolutionary freaks that comprise the tax, insurance, real estate, advertising and public relations industries. And don’t forget about the petty cash to bribe United States Senators. You work and pay for all of it, including your own enslavement. If you understand and believe this, you are now a Marxist -- that didn’t hurt, did it? The problem isn’t the 1%, it’s 100% the capitalist system because it’s based on theft.
Other reasons to reject the “1% versus the 99%”: First, if we look at the people who respond to the “bread” component of the American empire’s bread and circuses, we find that millions are doing perfectly fine and feel they have way too much to lose by any change in the current system. On the “circuses” side of the equation there are plenty of people content with blaming their problems on immigrants and minorities and glorying in the spectacle of killing the latest Muslim villain of the month. ( In Obamaville there are only two street signs and they both point in the same re-election direction: Dow Jones Green, Muslims Blood Red -- it’s kind of a Christmassy-type intersection.) And if we add in all the members of the working class who either are ignorant of their own class interests or actually aspire to be members of the capitalist class, we might find that the percentage of “us” versus “them” doesn’t look so favorable.
Instead, I urge a different kind of percentage to move the debate forward. I believe that America will start to turn around at the exact moment that the capitalist class becomes more afraid of the working class than we are of them. As soon as 51% of us performs this judo, America begins to get well. Working out the expression of losing our fear is the only real issue. The capitalist class hasn’t had to give back anything in nearly 40 years and nothing really significant since the Great Depression. The 1% versus 99% is meaningless -- 51% of the capitalist class being scared shitless for their lives is priceless.
4) Stay positive. No matter how bad things look for non-human animals and nature, one day Guyeah! (my version of Gaia) will prevail and that blight known as humanity will be gone or have to significantly (whimsically and ahimsacally) start over. O happy day!
If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to play a little Tetris. You don’t have any Tofutti Cuties on ya, do ya?
published 12/30/2011 at counterpunch.org