Where else among the advanced nations can a man easily work for fifty years at jobs that callously exploit him for the betterment of the wealthy and be subjected to such indignity in the endgame?
The bastards who rule this farce are propped up by politicians who are bought and paid for like a bag of groceries at the local supermarket.
In return, the politicians are allowed to return again and again to the halls of power to defend and perpetuate the crimes of the few against the majority, who only want to be left alone and not be bugged by the fear, foibles, and fantasia of the ruling class and its perception that there is something more to be taken from this world than a last breath.
To the rulers I say no thanks, I have my own trio of ghosts, and my class consciousness is equal to yours.
The perception might be worth a plug-nickle if it accounted for the poor elderly, the mad, the neglected, the unemployed, the underemployed, the children who are piling up at the edges like so many trinkets in a Goodwill store.
Those Americans who have a piece of the pie laud the rulers and think they're great, or bitch about an opposition manufactured from the residue of a dissimilar ideology, which upon closer examination is not much different at all because its weight is measured by money, money, money.
"Let us now praise famous men," indeed.
If the politics become too heavy, the money too fleeting, the unwashed forgive the politicians and turn to a God who will save them in the end, Amen, joining hands with the very provocateurs who abuse them--and the myths are drawn out further and coveted.
The myths of American exceptionalism and America as world savior. The denial of history itself makes these myths possible and obscene. America is exceptional all right--for its growing disparity of wealth, its weaponry poised for annihilation, its record of genocide, and its burgeoning secret agents and police.
You can have your exceptionalism--just don't expect me to buy your mythology or even like you, for I truly am free of your hubris.
I received a letter in the mail yesterday, a good letter, one I have hoped for off and on with regularity since first I entered adulthood. The letter says that beginning January 1, 2014 I will have health care. I am happy. I am an American, I believe I deserve this.
I labored for fifty years, like the vast majority of Americans in my working-class cohort. In all that time I had a grand total of two jobs, short-term as it happened, that offered health care. But most of the people I worked for in all likelihood couldn't afford the larceny of the insurers and in some cases couldn't even afford me. I recognized that boat when we were oaring it together, which was fine.
To you this might be a record of failure. To me it is simply what happened.
But I cannot help but reflect on all the tax money I paid out in my working life--yes, I paid my share Thurston--that went not for a decent worker-oriented nationalized health care system in this country but rather for a chain of inept wars fought to extend empire. A legacy of waste created by the very hubris that controls us even now.
The first in my memory was Vietnam, and of course it led to a disaster from which the powerful learned nothing.
I and millions of other workers from that era paid for that war and subsequent disasters that did not buy us an ounce of freedom, which was the avowed intent at the time, but which we soon learned was a crock of shit--another myth.
Now such wars are fought not for our freedom, but rather for our "national interests," i.e., the interests of multinational corporations and their followers. Nobody in power bothers to make bones about it now. Freedom is the right to own and invest in a big bank now, a shiny beacon on a hill of beans.
So other wars have and will follow in abundance.
The Vietnam War was fought for money, money, money, and the aggrandizement of the few, whose real intent was profit and exploitation.
Believe it or not.
I would have rather my taxes bought health coverage and a few other more noble accouterments at the time, but then I had no real choice in the matter.
With health care reform we have taken one small, albeit overly compromised/bureaucratized step forward, but it is a worthwhile step nonetheless.
Now to stop the greedy bastards who would have it otherwise. You know who they are, because they don't really discuss health care as much as they do the biggest myth of all--which is that the poor deserve their scorn and there is nothing to be done about poverty that markets cannot avail.
When in history has that utopia ever proved correct?