All posts by History 101

The boomers are poisoning the wells!

history 101

This is the new plaint du jour of the 20 – 30 somethings

“The baby boomers are selfish and greedy and they’re spending our futures!

Actually, no.

There is no strategy, no conspiracy to screw over the “young” – or any other specific crop that comprises a generation – period.  There’s no grand plan.

What there is is the 45 – 70  demographic that was the result of soldiers coming home from the largest, most expensive war in history and screwing like rabbits. This made a lot of babies.

Then, all these factories were ramped up from the largest wartime industrial effort ever, and with nothing to do.  So the owners went back to peace time consumer goods manufacturing.

This created a lot of jobs, a newly minted working middle class and the whole “new model every year” mindset that defined America for about 25 years.  And  that was and is untenable, unsustainable and the crop of new jack robber barons that came up on Reagan’s “me me me” titty are just about done sending it to China.

That, oh disenfranchised X’ers, is what happened.  It’s called recent history and nobody is trying to bend you over the sink because of when they, or you, were born.  It’s just the flavor of scapegoat du jour for the 20 / early 30’s set.  And you’ve been conned.  But don’t expect people who can see the whole screen from their seat to agree with it.

Cause the fact of the matter is that the people spending your future are largely closer to your age and got one of those “good” Wall St. Jobs you covet and are in the process of helping their corporate owners fillet anything that will hold still long enough.  Cause profits.  And hey, sure they have ethics and stuff, but like, they also have car payments.

And the people feasting upon your future gladly make that trade every day.  So long as they get paid for it.

“Boomers” got bent over the same sink as you did.  And keeping everybody barking venom at “the other guy” is how they get away with it.

You’re welcome

The Importance of Overview

history 101

Lemme get everybody caught up on the facts of American history.

Our greedy forefathers, some of our greedy forefathers anyhoo, crafted a time bomb by deciding to get together and make America the last nation on earth to have full Monte, no bones about it, Egyptian style slavery. For profit. They crafted this social, economic and cultural time bomb when they decided to kidnap, purchase or otherwise obtain entire swaths of a race of people who did not look like them, think like them, speak like them, eat like them, worship like them or see the world through the same window.

A race from a relatively primitive continent, certainly, but nonetheless an alien and easily identifiable race of people. They have black skin.

And they took a whip to them and bought and sold them like chattel, used them for farm animals, beat, tortured and worked them until they would fall over and evacuate their bowels from exhaustion.

This was called “business as usual.”

Then when, much to their consternation, America started to develop a conscience, we went to war over the legality of this filthy idea and it’s commonality and brother against brother, man against man, we shot each other to pieces. One side fighting keep the lands of the south and its resources part of the American Union, one to be allowed to keep exploiting enslaved foreigners for the purpose of turning those resources into gold. So, like all wars, it was about money.

Then when the smoke cleared, the good guys won, the Union was secured and the timer switch was set on that time bomb as we, as a nation, released untold tens of thousands of people – who did not look, speak, think or act like us – wholesale into world that hated them. Shunned, excoriated, refused education, land, access to banking, libraries and restaurants. They were beaten, lynched, and rounded up and driven out of their homes for being to “uppity”, and that bomb started ticking.  And the very basis of what we think of as “America” and American culture was forever poisoned at the very well when it freed an entire, easy to identify sub group whom they reviled and ill treated into a culture that left them sitting in the rain.

And it ticked away as these people tried their damndest to get a foot into the door of their new freedom in a nation they were told was free. They dressed as well as they could. They tried to learn the customs and social norms that they had only seen through the open windows of rain rotted wood shacks from across a field of misery and they tried to play fair, fit in and get a come up.

As time went on they tried to get their kids into useful (white) schools, buy cars, pay rent and learn stuff, and to get decent jobs. They adjusted their speech patterns to be more “white”, although still heavily laced with the southern accent and drawl that was their introduction to English.

They tried.

And a man came forward. A man of the god they were taught to worship. The god who freed the Israelite peoples out of Egypt. Things were looking up. A man with a degree. A Reverend. A man of steady, precise and measured speech. And he said “non-violence is the answer. We SHALL overcome. Don’t show them your anger, show them your dignity.”

This started catching on.

And some jar headed, squinty cracker blew his brains out.

And these people, who were trying against hope –

Lost.

Their.

Goddamn.

Rag.

And 1968 was an ugly year. But a sadly overdue one.

And that bomb went off. And it was the first shock wave that still resonates across a country not only divided, but subdivided into more arbitrary factions and secondary factions than the Baptists and Presbyterians combined. Boom.

This kaboom got white people’s attention because black people essentially started breaking stuff that costs money to replace. And so began a program of placation, inclusion and “oops, I guess you guys WERE sort of PO’d, after all”.

And along the way, as the day to day brown people / pink people tensions carried on, oblivious to the changes that were happening, two things occurred. The brown people started teaching their kids that the pink people had had their foot up the collective brown people’s rear ends for 270 years and weren’t interested in removing it until things got seriously violent. And costly. And this was not forgotten.

So we now have this other nation that has set a trend of everybody who got screwed that WASN’T brown all dashing off to be some sort of vitim in need of reparation and redress. And, all in all, when you look at the money hungry morons who run this joint and how, probably has merit.

And the culture of violence, entitlement and victimhood that has seeped into the DNA of brown America is the second shockwave of that bomb. It’s the mushroom cloud after the 6 mile daisy cutter of moving, three million degree initial blast that was the summer of ’68.

And the people who dragged those brown people here and enslaved them, and turned them loose into a society that may as well have been on Epsilon Bootes for all the access that formerly enslaved, second American nation had to it, set that bomb off.

And around the late ’70s, noticing that they had so thoroughly screwed the pooch  that the dog that the dog wasn’t gonna make it, The People Who Own The Wealth™ started letting the other shoe drop and pulling up stakes and looking for a fresh pet store. And in 1980, they kicked America the business plan, v.2.0 into live code. And this has lead to the wholesale dismantling and exportation of the American wealth creation industries. Remember I said all wars are about money?

And they bought the legislation that would hand them the paint off the walls on a silver platter and the keys to the Gulfstream to take it to greener pastures. What happened was, essentially over the course of the last forty years is that people with the money realized that there was no patching up the inevitable dissolution into chaos, so they bailed. Slowly, but effectively.   And they set up a little fascism, cause “terrists” to keep people worried about complaining or hopefully, blaming each other, and they essentially moved the back forty to where there was a fresh batch of, forgive me but, to them it’s basically true, ni**ers, and they work for a ha’penny and rice.  And the oligarchy ain’t done moving shop yet, so be patient.

And this is pretty much just another day at the chess board for them.

And this country that made them rich, now too uppity for their expectations of return, is collateral damage.

And so are you.

Ta da.

See the proctor for you grade.

All these trees seem to turn into a forest

history 101

So, everybody in America seems to be a each others necks and bang and blame is the order of the day with a healthy dollop of endless entitlement for whatever given subgroup you have chosen to identify with.

We’ve been socioculturally divided and conquered and we’re all too busy chasing god money around – the ridiculously festooned bad IOUs that define our existence – to step back from the urgency being pumped at us every day, from every media source imaginable, reminding us that the sky is falling and the fault of those people up the road who, unlike you, are no good sneaky bastards, ruining everything.

Let’s bring in the final ingredient and take a good hard look at the two “parties that matter” that parade their most hopeful ponies out every election cycle from whom we seek remedy for all of this overwrought, stressful and so far, less than useful malarkey we seem to take home and nurture like a stray cat.

Well, let’s see.

So far, picking candidate A over candidate B has gotten us, precisely, here.  And here seems to be roundly perceived as problematic to say the least.

The wealthy continue to take everything, contribute nothing, avoid almost all taxes and the poor and working class are dunned silly to cover the costs of governance and infrastructure maintenance and services that we’re all paying for with bad checks backed by nothing but 17 trillion in unserviceable debt.

So, given that if America were a mom and pop bodega, it would be boarded up, let’s roll with the assumption that the above mentioned plan is sort of sucking wind.  Not feeding the dog..  At all

So, we’re broke.  The media assures us that this is because of tax and spend liberals / rethuglican toadies legislating all the money up chain, take your pick.

It’s getting rather plain that the “government” doesn’t represent anybody who doesn’t have enough bank to make Croesus blush.

No solutions there.

Is it really that sneaky, lazy person that we are assured is a mere four blocks over that is mooching food and rent money in an economy stripped of almost all gainful employment?

Not likely.

And we sit, wedged between two ostensibly different political factions all promising a return to greatness, neither delivering anything but more divisive rhetoric and nothing resembling results.

Why is that?

Here’s a notion.

politics1

What if I told you that this was pretty much the whole game plan from the get go?

What if I told you that the brief bubble of working and middle class prosperity that resulted from the post war manufacturing boom, between ’45 and ’65, was nothing more than a bubble and nobody who was cutting the paychecks had any interest in making it last?

What if I told you that the preponderance of what you have been told is the American way is largely a bunch of PR designed to make you feel unpatriotic unless you’re working to make other people wealthy?

This country wasn’t founded by pilgrims who held a bake sale to buy ships, seeds, tools, supplies, food and water so they could sail to freedom.

The economic constructs in play and the players had their tents firmly staked way before we discovered all these pesky red people squatting on our land.

If you’re mumbling “bankers?” to yourself, congratulations,  You win the toaster. 

What’s All This I Hear About Money?

history 101

A lot.

It is the grease in the wheels of every faction of our lives.

And one upon a time, it was a very good idea.  Good ideas are often subverted by disingenuous men who, for whatever reasons, can’t sleep soundly knowing that somebody, somewhere might have more wealth, power, access or more of ANYthing, really, than they do.

That’s called avarice.  Short form, greed.

In 1980, a failed B actor  rose up and smiled and in his well known avuncular manner said that greed was good.

So we made him king.  Because, hey, if some famous guy says it’s OK to be a greedy, grasping, covetous old sinner, that guy should be king.  Cause then it’s REALLY OK!

It doesn’t seem to have gone perfectly.

Allow me to toss up a simple graphic representation of what can happen when money is the only thing that matters and the only thing that directs or mitigates the law, power, access to needs or justice.

 dupont

The headline is self explanatory.  He raped, that is had forced sexual relations with his own daughter.  She was three years old.  He also, apparently, enjoyed molesting his son.

Here’s another headline.

hot sauce

Is any of this stating to make you curious about this apparent   disparity?  It does me.

Let’s strip it down to the fundamentals.

One man is white.  Yeah, and.. well, frankly, so what?

The other man is black.  Ditto.

Wait, I think I have it.

The white man is from a filthy rich family of robber barons and the black guy is just some.. guy.

I see a pattern emerging, here.

And the problem isn’t money, it’s what we have decided money is for.

Because most of what we have decided are some of the worst ideas imaginable.

We’re gonna discuss this sort of thing in a historical  perspective to see if there were any other eras  wherein this sort of vomit inducing behavior on the part of the monied and power elite ended badly.

I don’t think I’ll need to look too far back. 

 

Veneers, Misdirection and Manipulations

history 101

 

There are many ways to describe any given thing.  The way in which one chooses to view or attempts to create a common view upon something or somebody has a lot to do with how we perceive its history.

F’rinstance, I suppose you could describe Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most memorable character, Sherlock Homes, as a well dressed crackhead musician with a pretty nifty day job who didn’t like girls.

He injected cocaine, played the violin and was a snappy dresser.  But is the that the central truth of his character?  No.  A man given to sketchy habits, certainly, but with a genius for deductive reasoning, and therein lies the crux of his character and its popularity.  He also never existed.

The point of all this being that, if you peel back some of the veneers of what we accept as historical fact about a lot of people and places, what they got up to, why, and the results, you are like to find a lot of cognitive dissonance.  Some purposefully constructed, some simply a matter of a tale told often enough to be accepted as fact.

Goebbels knew all about that.  It was his stock in trade.

goebbels

“If you repeat a lie often enough,people will believe it, and you will even come to believe it yourself.”

The present day zeitgeist of “yuh HUH!”, “nuh UH!” isn’t as new as it seems.  The notion of dividing a people against themselves in order to distract them from shenanigans, malarkey and out and out buncombe is as old as governance itself.  However, that doesn’t make it a good idea.

So why do we put up with it?  Because we have accepted that other glossy, oversold notion that, at some point, we are simply obliged to shrug, shift our heads to one side say “That’s just the way things are.”

This is a very valuable toolkit for the people dismantling this country and several others before it to keep people barking at each other instead of them.

The overtly fragmented culture we are presently living in is not without purpose or profit.  And a few posts in, we’re going to take a hard look at some very widely accepted notions that are nothing more than really good PR, designed to keep you well certain that the people who are keeping you lashed to Queen Victoria’s dusty old apron strings, socially and economically and culturally, are the people up the street wearing the same chains.

There’s more to “the way it is” than happenstance and a couple of 8th grade history books, y’all.

Seriously. 

 

 

The One True Way!

history 101

_______________________________________________________________________________There is a very distinct form of con / idiocy that has been extant worldwide for many a century and has done little good for the most part unless you happen to be greedy or power hungry.

This is called “The One True Way™” method of ideological governance.  It’s simple.

Capitalism asserts that the profit motive is the über alles, clear and only useful method of a free and productive society.  Period.  To divert from this shining path of profit and more profit as the only useful approach to societal management will have Kruschev and Stalin resurrected and eating kittens and beating respectable church going folk on the town square.

Communism is sort of the same thing only they promise that to deviate from the great and endless loop of a struggle of serving the worker above all else will bring whores and three card Monte dealers selling decadence from make shift tents on the steps of the Kremlins.

Socialism has this idiot idea that the very purpose of any form of governance is to serve the population it governs.  Heresy, to be sure, boyo.

The main problems with this little three way fandango of One True Ways are, simply, these.

NONE of ANY of these methods is in use in its actual, stated form anywhere on earth, but I digress.  The biggest problem is that they all work great.  They do.  But they are not monothematic ideologies wherein one band aid covers all booboos and they were never designed to be.  They’re pieces parts.  They’re LEGO.  You use the one that’s needed to meet the situation at hand.  They’re tools.  Not obsidian monoliths of rectitude.

And they work like a Swiss watch when utilized as stated on the label and in concert with the other.

Pure capitalism doesn’t exist because the end game of that is three people eating gold bar and caviar sandwiches and the rest of the population making mining gold, roe fishing and growing wheat in exchange for a dirt floor shack with a bread oven.  Because profit!!  Pure socialism cannot and doesn’t try to exist without a robust capitalist engine.  But they are still convinced that regulating serves everybody better than opening Gold Bar and Caviar Huts throughout the country.

Communism is essentially a safety net.  It says that the people who create the wealth aren’t out planting food for a straw hut and some crumbs.  Or at least if they are out planting wheat, this is viewed as respectable and the point is to feed people, not make people rich.

So they all work fine.

They are all brilliant.

They also are basic horse sense about what life and a society is for.  And they are  widely and constantly gerrymandered, subverted and screwed into little balloon animal parodies of their purpose and design by people who want to dance on the backs of the bruised after their gold bar and caviar gala luncheon.

So, am I a socialist?  Of course.  And a staunch capitalist and  I dabble in communism when necessary.  And so do you.  What I don’t do is piss my pants with urgency when the oh by jingo urgency farmers come around barking about the One True Way.

And neither should you.

“Because we said so” economics

history 101

Congressman Bob Ross (R-FL) recently vehemently defended keeping the minimum wage at it’s present level in a public meeting.  When a young lady who works at an Arbys franchise restaurant asked him, since the people at the bottom of the ladder are keeping the economy afloat and cycling the money – a fair point sincet he only useful thing money DOES is move around – if he would change places with her, he demurred.

“If we’re actually doing the work for the people that are just throwing the [profits] money around, why wouldn’t you support it?”

He answered, in a gush of economics wisdom heretofore unmatched since Greenspan tripped over his dick and said “oops” after fufilling his mission as chief 1% shill, thusly – “Cause it ain’t tight, it just ain’t right.”

ross

Brilliant work there, Demosthenes.

Slavery, you see, and I don’t mean American slavery or Roman Slavery or Egyptian slavery, I mean as a construct in and of itself, has never gone away.

It just keeps jumping down the dirty clothes chute and emerging in a new clown suit.

“I just said it won’t work and it’s bad and that’s all you need to know.”

I see, Mr. Ross.  Brilliant.

And as far as it encouraging people to stay in minimum wage jobs and not opening up these “entry positions” to teenagers, that sort of shit the bed about 35 years ago.  There are no non-entry level positions to matriculate to in an economy that manufactures nothing but coders, cheeseburgers, attorneys and debt.  Try telling a 20 year old with $45,000.00 in tuition debt that “this is the sort of job you should have, for now” when it wont get him or her anywhere but resented by the working class at the low end of the chain who resent them being there because that job could go to a mother of two trying to make ends meet.

The people stuck in these minimum wage jobs don’t necessarily have anything tomove up TO.  The other problem is that even if they did, they would have to come up with the money to apply to Cash Cow University Inc. in order to acquire the necessary skills.

At the end of the day, the oligarchy pays the serfs in bread crusts and keeps the fatted calf.

T’was ever thus.

And it has never worked.

There is a very vehemently defended idiocy in our culture that states that those who have should always get more and those that have not should provide it.  At the expense of economically and socially static lives with no opportunities open to them other than subsistence.

Well, I hate to piss in your petunias, Mr. Ross, but $7.20 isn’t subsitance anymore.  And if you want to keep shilling for the people who are convinced that the economy will survive them constantly demanding more at the expense of the people who are told to make do with less, you’re gonna have to tell them to start feeding the back forty kneegrahs better.

You can’t just hand people bullshit forever.  Not even if you have a nice suit.  Look into it.  It’s called History 101.