Food Line - flickr

Another election is about to come to a close. A long, mean, bloody period that will be replace by an even longer bloodier, meaner and more retched period. Two self described diametrically apposed camps both convinced that only their way will save a country that has been terminal for over 30 years.

Two sides of the same double headed coin who are convinced that the other is the devil incarnate and they themselves are divine. Both blindly and with a death’s grip holding onto an ideal that was never valid in the first place.

One camp insisting on returning to a time that never existed – one of free market prosperity. Refusing to accept that this prosperity only existed for those of the Caucasian race and only because the rest of the world was in ashes and America had free reign over it’s remaining resources.

The other camp insisting that the greed and selfishness of the opposing camp is the reason for the countries troubles and forcing them to release their grip on their avarice is what’s needed. Neither side will accept that it’s each camp’s blind belief in capitalism at any cost is what is killing the country.

A country that is crumbling before their very eyes as this essay in Der Spiegel examines.

After a brilliant century and a terrible decade, the United States, in this important election year, has reached a point in its history when the obvious can no longer be denied: The reality of life in America so greatly contradicts the claim — albeit one that has always been exaggerated — to be the “greatest nation on earth,” that even the most ardent patriots must be overcome with doubt.

This realization became only too apparent during and after Hurricane Sandy, the monster storm that ravaged America’s East Coast last week, its effects made all the more devastating by the fact that its winds were whipping across an already weakened country. The infrastructure in New York, New Jersey and New England was already in trouble long before the storm made landfall near Atlantic City. The power lines in Brooklyn and Queens, on Long Island and in New Jersey, in one of the world’s largest metropolitan areas, are not underground, but are still installed along a fragile and confusing above-ground network supported by utility poles, the way they are in developing countries.

Both camps blindly and completely championing a country formed by those who wanted to pursue personal gain and wealth without any consequences, without any social responsibility, without any interference by some inconvenient government. Where ones social and political status is based solely on ones economic status and how one gained this was inconsequential to it.

The only recognizable basis for moral and political authority, in the eyes of the elite, is the attainment of material success and power. It does not matter how it is gotten. The role of education, the elites believe, is to train us vocationally for our allotted positions and assure proper deference to the wealthy. Disciplines that prod us to think are—and the sneering elites are not wrong about this—“political,” “leftist,” “liberal” or “subversive.” And schools and universities across the country are effectively stomping out these disciplines. The elites know, as Canetti wrote, that once we stop thinking we become a herd. We react to every new stimulus as if we were rats crammed into a cage. When the elites push the button, we jump. It is collective sadomasochism.Chris Hedges, Truth Dig

It’s this false religion that everyone is entitled to become a millionaire or billionaire that drives the American psyche. That hard word and dedication will always pay off in the end – remnants of the Puritan work ethic that is killing this country and it’s people. Still both camps believe we are still number 1 in the world even though that data says otherwise.

We’re 7th in literacy, 27th in math, 22nd in science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, third in median household income, number four in labor force and number four in exports.

We lead the world in only three categories. Number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real and defense spending where we spend more than the next 26 countries combined 25 of whom are allies.Aaron Sorkin, Business Insider

And yet both camps insist that all will be well if you would just follow their religious denomination. Pray to their golden idol and sacrifice to their monetary gods. All the while the country’s infrastructure crumbles, educational system becomes a third rate joke, their health care becomes the property of only the very rich and the people become more impoverished while still worshiping their dream of eventual riches. Through a system that has thrown them overboard long ago.

When the inevitable finally happens will the American people finally wake up and realize that they have been believing a lie and a fairy story – a dream that cannot and will not possibly come true ?

Or will they simply sit wringing their hands and gnaw on their resentments like Gollum. Holding on the the ring of capitalism and refusing to let go of it.

“What had it got in its pocketses?” he said. “It wouldn’t say, no precious. Little cheat. Not a fair question. It cheated first, it did. It broke the rules. We ought to have squeezed it, yes precious. And we will, precious!”