Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Money-Changer State

As the bailouts of the bankers recently proved, even Barack Obama, who descended to earth from Chicago with 10 gilded seraphim holding up his balls, doesn't screw with the corporate money changers. Or the banking corporations, or the insurance corporations, or the medical corporations, or the defense corporations ...

Corporations are now, for all practical purposes, the only way anything can get done, made or distributed, or even imagined as a way of anything coming into being (except babies). Look around you. Is there anything, from the food in the fridge to the fridge itself, from the furniture to the very varnish on the floors or the clothes we wear that was not delivered unto us by corporations?
The fact that even babies are often conceived, and usually delivered in CorpoRat surroundings notwithstanding, the author of the foregoing diatribe --Joe Bageant, at Alternet-- has a terriffic, if obvious, point. The CorpoRat State is no longer speculative, but is in fact the dominant and persistent form of USer governance, now and likely forever. Bageant asserts, with considerable heat, that:
Consciousness Capitalism: Corporations Are Now After Our Very Beings

Capitalism has raped the resources of the world. Now corporations are left to strip human experience from life, then rent it back to us.
As anyone who has paid the remotest amount of attention to the unfolding of the CorpoRat narrative throughout the USer social structure, he's not exaggerating.
Corporatism's rituals are as reverentially and unquestionably observed in daily behavior as those of ancient Egypt's theocracy or the blood sacrifice of the Aztecs. The Aztecs thoroughly believed their world would end if the gods were not fed enough still-beating human hearts. We believe that the world turns on employment figures, stock prices, our jobs, productivity and consumption. Hourly, we receive reports from the media priesthood on the health of an aggregate god known as the economy. The masses pause to listen, then ask inside their heads, "Will my job, my only source of family sustenance, disappear? I must try harder."

And so, fearfully, we render tribute to Moloch in the form of increased toil, more sheaves of what they alone produced (for it is labor that produces all authentic wealth) in the form of bailouts and sons children sacrificed on the altar of war.
He comes finally to the conclusion that anyone who has been paying attention all along must have arrived at on their own: Nobody--no member of the 95% of americans scrabbling over the 10 or 15% of wealth that the top 5% do NOT now own or control--owns ANYTHING. It's all a scam. Unless you pay cash, everything you own is essentially leased from the Owners. And they're going now, not only for the rest of it, but for all the non-material wealth they had previously granted free.
After a rather short stint in "the ownership society," material products are now increasingly replaced by immaterial licensed experiences. We will no longer "own" anything, much less attempt to own everything we can lay hands on. Which is good. But the bastards will finally own everything. Which is bad.

Certainly cognitive capitalism will relieve stress on the world's resources to some degree. A nation of cyber-vegetables trying to get laid or get rich in a Second Life-type experience may be easier on poor old Mother Earth, though she's probably be gagging at the thought of what we'll have become.
We are, to repeat an old adage, as botrh a cuulture and as 'individuals' inside that culture, totally, overwhelmingly, unmeasurably, utterly FUCKED!

I'm glad Joe Bageant finally noticed...

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