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What does the “Left” actually want?

9:48 am in Uncategorized by cmaukonen

The fairy tales of Charles Perrault - flickr

We already know what the right wants.  They have been quite clear about that.

They want to be able to rape and pillage and steal in the manner of Ivan The Terrible, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Hitler, Mussolini, Al Capone and General Franco. With an army of hoods, thugs, enforcers and henchmen to protect them and put down any resistance.

But what is that the left wants ?

Well I am going to take a guess here based on what I have read and heard of the the last 20 years or so.

Capitalism without the greed, corruption,  fraud, inhumanity, brutality, heartlessness and arrogance. All the traits that define capitalism.  

The trust busting of Teddy Roosevelt, the social programs of FDR,  the space programs of JFK, civil rights of LBJ, energy and ecological policies of Carter and technical savvy of Clinton.   But with out all that nasty militarism and corporatism and imperialism.

A congress that listens to people with no money more that those with all the money.   That put’s each member’s personal desires aside for the good of the citizens.

Business that puts the welfare of the workers and consumers and the planet ahead of any personal gain.

A society that is educated, informed, astute and involved. One that treats everyone equally. (More or less)

And economy that is just and fair and based on the needs of the people as a whole. Regards the planet and all its life as sacred.

Where The Lone Ranger, The Cisco Kid and Roy Rogers come galloping into town and “Clean it up” with little or no violence and certainly no bloodshed.

This list is obviously a fantasy and exits only in the minds of those who believe in such things or are on some kind of drugs since it ain’t no way gonna happen in reality.   A list of contradictions and incongruities.

In other words a world that is as unlikely to materialize for the left as much as for the right. Not and keep the current system/government/economy intact.

 

And they lived happily ever after to the end of their days…………

12:52 pm in Uncategorized by cmaukonen

Thanksgiving Table - flickr/KR Alliance

It’s in the very fabric of the American myth and culture. It has permeated it from the beginning. Our art and entertainment. From the early novels to the show girls. This fantasy land vision that that anyone can make it here.

It has drawn people from cultures far and near. People who left their countries behind to see a fresh start. All believing that they could make a much better life over here. Reflected in film and radio and television and on the stage.

With heroes and heroines too numerous to name. Played by John Wayne and Randolf Scott and Irene Dunn and James Stewart and Ginger Rogers and Linda Darnell. The beautiful people and the flappers of the 1920s. That all it takes is hard work and imagination and you too can live the Horatio Alger story. All the heroes wore white hats and were white christian protestant males. That if you were poor and could not make it, it was your choice. Your fault. After all this is the land of opportunity. Blacks and Latinos and Chinese and Native Americans should be grateful for what they have and being allowed to live here. And they obviously preferred to live with their own kind. Slums ? American does not have slums and ghettos, those that live there – live like that because they want to. If you were rich, well you obviously worked hard to get that way.

One did not speak of homosexuals and abortions. Girls and women who got pregnant were obviously of low moral character and at worst sluts. And to be married and not have a family was unheard of and the couple were inadequate in some way, to be pitied or suspect. All wars were right and just and all veterans were war heroes. After all this was America and we stood for freedom and justice and mom and apple pie.

All families were pure and well off. That’s what Hollywood says. Leave it to Beaver and My Three Sons and Make Room For Daddy and Dick Van Dyke and The Brady Bunch. Romance was boy meets girl in a Broadway Musical way like Micky Rooney and Judy Garland and nearly every popular song that made the Top 40. Anyone who could not find romance with a member of the opposite gender had to either ugly, uncouth or mentally disturbed in some way. Just not normal.

MGM and Warner Brothers musicals. Busby Berkley. Where even during the height of the Great Depression in the 1930s, people would flock to the movie houses to see this dream-scape life they still believed in, even in their darkest misery.

Bigger than life myths surrounded some of the cities as well. Chicago – Hog Butcher for the World, Tool maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with Railroads and the Nation’s Freight Handler, Detroit – The Motor City, NYC – Where The Boulevard of Broken Dreams Meets The Great White Way and Hollywood – where any boy or girl could make it big and become a star.

America – the land of innovation where everything from the combine harvester to television was invented.

But the facade is being slowly ripped away. Reality is intruding and causing people to see the truth. Like 1984 meets Brave New World. Disneyland with a dystopian underbelly provided by Fritz Lang. The Broadway Musical is no longer like 42 Street but now Urinetown. A Rod Serling version of Andy Hardy set in the dust bowl and Judge Hardy is on the take. Where the Horatio Alger character turns out to be no more than a two bit grifter and the presidential election like some black comedy written by Kurt Vonnegut.

All this…the unraveling of the American myth is making people crazy. Even those on the political left. And the world appears to be one gigantic study in cognitive dissonance.

But like the banker who kills himself when his money returns to being paper, these people refuse to accept that their whole view – their entire belief system was noting but a giant fantasy, a fairy tale. A lie perpetrated upon them that they swallowed hook, line and sinker. That it is not the fault of the kid who told them there is no Santa Claus, it was theirs entirely for refusing to accept the truth.

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

The American Fantasy Land

6:58 pm in Uncategorized by cmaukonen

Crossroads Fantasyland - dualdflipflop Flickr

One of the comments to a post by David Seaton was this quote by Bertrand Russell.

“In America everybody is of the opinion that he has no social superiors, since all men are equal, but he does not admit that he has no social inferiors, for, from the time of Jefferson onward, the doctrine that all men are equal applies only upwards, not downwards”.

We do not see ourselves in a realistic light but in the way we wish we were or hope to become.  This is true of racial relations, finances, politics…you name it. The so called American Exceptionalism.   This is evident int the tax proposal of the president to except the first $250,000.00 of income from the tax hike. To same the Middle Class. But as Ted Rall points out in this column,  this is hardly middle class. More like the top 2% of earners.  Especially since the median income is $49,000.00. Bit of a difference, wouldn’t you say.

The problem is that these people do not see themselves as rich or part of the top 2% partially because a good number of them live well above their means as was pointed out in a story a while back of a college professor who said he did not feel rich. Then is was pointed out that his expenses were well above his income.

There is also a kind of snobbery that plays here as well. My mother who was a teacher for many years would say how her fellow teachers would vote republican because they were “professionals” even though a teachers salary was well below that of a steel worker. But they were “professionals” and not blue collar.  Of course teacher’s unions have changed that at bit in recent years.

And as Chris Hedges says, Americans are notorious at turning a blind eye to uncomfortable truths.   Like our justification of military involvement in other countries and how they will love being liberated by us. That we live in some post racial society simply because you don’t here the “N” word much any more.

We try to hide all these uncomfortable realities, mostly from ourselves like the fake town in Blazing Saddles.   And worst of all a lot of Americans believe the town is real.  That we are what we tell ourselves we are.  Our politicians preach these illusions and the media and Madison Av. sell them.  We build freeways around the cities so you don’t have to see the decay and force the homeless out so we can tell ourselves how economically just we are. And we claim to have a free market economy even though companies get hand outs from government and go belly up the minute military contracts get cancelled.

But this is nothing really new. Europe believe the same caricature of themselves as well. It took a world war to change this view.