Obama has been reelected and the Triumph of American Neoliberalism marches on. I recall 4 years ago when we thought that this time, things would be different. We finally had someone who would bring change to America. Obama was the Jesus of Politics in 2008, easily fending off a crotchety John McCain. But the more things change… I imagine that Obama fully intended to keep his promises, but probably when he sat down at his presidential-sized desk and was given “the real story” of the state of the world and our country, he had to think how much easier things would have been if he lost the election. He was told, in no uncertain terms, what to do and why. You might be wondering who would be able to give orders the most powerful man in the world. Welcome to the triumph of American Neoliberalism. Neoliberalism manifests itself within the spheres of politics and economics. Think of economic neoliberalism as the updated version of classical economic liberalism. Classical liberalism conceived of the free market, free trade, with as little of government intrusion as possible. The “free market” bit was amplified to glorify Individualism as it related to Capitalism. Neoliberalism goes further; it is now allowable to intervene into other markets, eradicate social welfare, deregulating business, forming stateless corporations which can move its properties, capital and resources freely across national boundaries. Sounds like an Ayn Rand libertarian wet dream, doesn’t it? The first observance of economic neoliberal shenanigans can be found in Major General Smedley D. Butler’s pamphlet, War is a Racket. At the beginning of War is a Racket, Butler says:
WAR is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside” group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.
General Butler goes on to say:
In the World War, we used propaganda to make the boys accept conscription. They were made to feel ashamed if they didn’t join the army.
So vicious was this war propaganda that even God was brought into it. With few exceptions our clergymen joined in the clamor to kill, kill, kill. To kill the Germans. God is on our side…it is His will that the Germans be killed. And in Germany, the good pastors called upon the Germans to kill the allies…to please the same God. That was a part of the general propaganda, built up to make people war conscious and murder conscious. Beautiful ideals were painted for our boys who were sent out to die. This was the “war to end all wars.” This was the “war to make the world safe for democracy.” No one mentioned to them, as they marched away, that their going and their dying would mean huge war profits. No one told these American soldiers that they might be shot down by bullets made by their own brothers here. No one told them that the ships on which they were going to cross might be torpedoed by submarines built with United States patents. They were just told it was to be a “glorious adventure.”
Butler’s book came out just before the commencement of World War 2. The pattern has held for all subsequent wars up to the present day. Propaganda is stilled used to further hypnotize Americans into an alternate reality where the myth of American Exceptionalism (another tendril of Neoliberalism, where the American Empire has a duty to liberate and install democracy the world over), is propagated through Hollywood and the mainstream media. This was how the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan were sold (propaganda is a commodity) and justified. Neoliberalism is a pervasive idea that has justified the toppling of duly elected heads of states, the appropriation of resources from sovereign countries and most of all, war (although there are voices who claim this gambit is in danger of failure in the future). I can’t imagine Barack Obama could have had any idea how much blood would be on his hands by simply winning an election. And now he’s won two. Apparently, Obama has grown into the job. I don’t expect much will change with a second term. That Obama the Drone Killer could win the Nobel Peace Prize while enacting military policies that reduces his stature to that of a war criminal shows that the triumph of American neoliberalism is secure for the moment. Another clue to the plutocratic domination of American Presidential politics occurred in the last debate between Obama and Romney where Romney agreed that he largely shared much of the president’s view on how to go ahead with U.S. international policy. Romney must have gotten the same message that Obama was given. Who gave the messages? Follow the money.
What do we do to become more cagey and advanced in sniffing out the brainwashing lies of the media? We start by realizing that most everything we see on the “news” is a manufactured reality who’s only purpose is to brainwash you with an irrelevant narrative of “news” today. “Oh, Romney lost the election because Latinos voted for Obana!” Realize that nobody asks the question why is it that neither candidate spoke about the growing poverty problem in America, or why nobody cared to ask why both candidates pretty much agreed on the status quo of bombing the shit out of people in far away countries?
Second, look for smaller independent sources to get your news, or at least learn to read between the lines and look for what is not being said. Second, understand your place. The elites control the media, but they can’t control everyone’s brainpan. The internet was the worse thing that happened to the plutocracy. Their machinations are a bit more visible now.
Third, goddamn it. EDUCATE YOURSELF. Read a good history book, expand beyond the subjects that you prefer to read and become aware what is happening around. That way, when Desteni talks about an equal money system, you won’t think it’s a communist plot.
Fourth, I know this will sound hilarious to some, but get out and vote. I know it seems inconsequential, tedious and self-defeating, but at least get involved in the community and vote on every local issue that comes up. Don’t ask me why, just do it.
The only thing that keeps me going is that American Neoliberalism is destined to fail. It is just too evil and greedy to last forever. The bottom is due to drop out.