The Great Regression: Ponderings from the United States of Terrorism

The Great Regression: Ponderings from the United States of Terrorism

Jonathan Gillis

19 March – 5 April 2013

When every aspect of a way of life is managed, a way of life which itself is, or rather was, engineered before the individual was even born, much like a mass product to be sold to mass consumers, the genuine article of freedom becomes a derisory and fleeting notion, if even conveyed at all; perhaps mostly, if not exclusively, relegated to the cinematic work of Hollywood propagandists or any number of cultural emotive dictators broadcast on commercial media. There is a gulf of difference, and distance, between the connotations of freedom held by a cultural mogul and that of someone scraping by on a pittance and supporting their family on scraps. The same might be said of a woman living in a patriarchal culture and that of, say, a white man who leads a comfortable lifestyle while being employed at an institution, for example a university or a bank of said culture. Or of a family in Afghanistan or Iraq living under the constant threat of the worst and most bloody kinds of violence unleashed by, and directly or indirectly resultant from, an occupying global imperial power––and the continuing perils in the aftermath of the destruction thereof, for instance with the effects of depleted uranium or white phosphorous munitions, or weapons of mass destruction if you like––and that of a middle class family residing in the suburbs of the east coast of that imperial power. Or of dissidents or peasants in Turkey, Columbia, or Palestine, constantly threatened by the highly repressive regime they live under, which is fully supported by the most powerful empire the world has ever endured, namely the United States, and that of voters or privileged white students from middle class families that regularly drink beer and watch football games, celebrate displays of fireworks once a year and otherwise amass as spectators of other nationalistic devices––ignorant of the many horrid realities their, and their parents tax dollars pay for. Or of a jingoistic citizen who hoists an American flag in his yard, a flag that was quite probably made, like most everything else he buys, in a slave-sweatshop-factory in China or elsewhere, and that of the disillusioned veteran who contemplates suicide, who will suffer for the rest of his life from wounds inflicted during his participation in a campaign of imperial aggression, namely “preventive war”, the same kind of war Hitler and his Nazi party initiated a mere handful of generations ago.

All for one and none for all, to invert the motto from the popularized historic novel by Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers. The opinion of the ruled, matters not in the least to the ruling class, beyond the point of which public opinion is commoditized and otherwise managed. Real political decision-making serves the only citizens that matter, namely corporations. “The public must be put in its place, so that it may exercise its own powers, but no less and perhaps even more, so that [the rich] may live free of the trampling and the roar of a bewildered herd.”[1]

The rich enjoy a freedom few of us of modest means could fathom, a freedom enjoined to a legal system of “justice” quite distinct from the one which us proletariats and poor would be obliged to appreciate. The owners are free to own everything, and manage culture accordingly, and be idolized and praised while, if not for, doing so, notwithstanding the fact that many, if not most of the ruling class are patently criminals who routinely engage in outright criminality and criminal conspiracy. With regards to high level political positions of power alone, arguably some of those guilty of war crimes include, Bush, Bush II, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Kissinger, Rice, Wolfowitz, Negroponte, Steele, Powell, Yoo, Gonzalez, Bremmer, Obama, Brennen, Biden, Holder, Clinton, and so forth and so on. We, the “bewildered herd” are free to unthinkingly consume, everything from unhealthy fast-food––an entire industry predicated on the exploitation of an army of drably low-wage service sector workers, the degradation and polluting of the environment, the factory torture and slaughter of countless cows, pigs, chickens and other nonhuman domesticated animals––to intellectually cheap and exploitative entertainment; “the subtext of most movies is that we're all working and shopping in this beautiful, multicultural America together. It's the suppression of racial conflict through easy images of pluralist capitalism.”[2]

For all we need concern ourselves with is the plethora of consumer choices at our discretion. Billions upon billions of dollars are spent every year to distract us, and the investment is well worth it to those that own and control the imperial capitalistic system. When it comes to purchasing an item, product, or experience for our egocentric and ethnocentric gorging, we patriotically binge frequently. To even raise the point that there is a very real ongoing class war, as there has been for as long as any could remember, is to invite invective of the sort denouncing socialism, as if the genuine pursuit and arrival thereof would be such a bad thing. What’s so terrible about workers "owning" the means of their own production? Capitalist owners don’t produce anything at all, save for conditions favorable to exploitation, that is to say, horrid conditions endured by the inculcated peasantry, and the complete destruction and alteration of the natural, that is, real world. Furthermore, what's so terrible about being instead of having, truly living instead of "working" or struggling to "make a living?" The implication is that the dominant commercial system and its dominant paradigm of profit above all else, is inherently resistant to pervasive and sustainable reformation. One fails to see what is so beneficent and wonderful about the division of labor, and the division of mass society (not too mention mass society itself) into classes, and defined and identifiable class and gender roles, the destruction of countless cultures and species of human and nonhuman life, the poisoning of every region on earth, the threat of annihilation by mode of nuclear or ecological holocaust. Quite the contrary, a causal glimpse (let alone a lifetime of experience), behind the curtains of engineered delusion, reveals stark inequality and an inherent institutional cruelty which ensures a grim present and future for those on whose backs the institution of patriarchal imperial capitalism rests and whence it is exerted; that would seem to be most of us.     

That we freely pay to be routinely manipulated, and worship the high priests and priestesses of our devout manipulation and their lifestyles of gross opulence, is very telling indeed. Namely of our consent to be controlled by the centers of corporate power, which of course have only one pathological concern and legal obligation, making the most money possible so as to maintain and expand their levers of power as much as imaginable. And so it is that we, flesh and blood citizens of empire, from the upper class echelons down to the bottom of the imperial hierarchy, live in a manufactured world, within a manufactured reality, work (or hustle or otherwise scratch out a "living") for the corporate citizens of empire––the conglomerate corporations and conglomerate industries––to make as much money as we can, in microcosmic mimicry, to spend at the troughs of corporate citizens of empire, while the mass majority of the world’s population endures the brunt of the social and monetary costs associated with the exploitation thereof, and the imperial militarism which is prerequisite to imperium policy which enables dominant mass consumer lifestyle, not too even mention the environmental destruction, degradation, and permanent anthropogenesis which continues apace, without so much more as a symbolic grovel at the white house gates from the Mainstream Political Left. This never-ending global war, this imperial campaign of terrorism, is waged for, fought in the name of, amassed wealth, to ensure the freedoms of imperial corporations to destroy and exploit unhindered.

In this colossal command-economy, more specifically, in this fractional reserve banking system, money, which is digital, which is fiat, which is to say, the value of which is derived from the arbitrary decree of illegitimate authority, is created out of debt, a commodity, through credit, another commodity, which is based on a bank’s reserves. Reserves are derivative from bank deposits. Because of the nominal fractional reserve appropriated from the original amount of a deposit, any given bank deposit can create some 9 times its original value. Essentially, money is created from nothing. This creation of money from nothing, a cycle which repeats indefinitely, debases the existing money supply which raises prices in society; this is what’s known as inflation. As the money supply increases, as inflation increases, the value of money is matched to a period of time prior, which in essence, equates to the devaluation of money. Since all this money is created out of debt and circulated randomly

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