Monday, September 4, 2023

Evil Geniuses Then And Now: A Pirate Looks At Eighty Two

 Here is a quote from Kurt Andersen which appears on the prime fold of the dustcover of his new book, Evil Geniuses, published in 2020.

"During the twentieth century, America managed to make its economic and social systems both more and more fair and more prosperous. A huge, secure, and contented middle class emerged. Incomes rose in sync. But then the New Deal gave way to the Raw Deal. Beginning in the early 1970s, by means of a long war conceived of and executed by a confederacy of big business CEOs, the superrich, and right wing zealots, the rules and norms that made America's middle class possible were undermined and dismantled. The clock was turned back on a century of economic progress, making greed good, workers powerless, and the market all powerful while weaponizing nostalgia, lifting up an oligarchy that served only its own interests, and leaving the huge majority of Americans with dwindling economic prospects and hopes."

Here is a quote from Arthur Schlesinger Jr from his book The Age of Jackson, which he published in 1941.

"... since this is a capitalistic society, the class most interested in its security and prosperity is the capitalist class, which thus should have the most power. The theory has survived every test but experience. It simply has not worked. Since the Federalist party the American business community appears to have lost its political capacity; it has not been, in the strict sense, a ruling class. In placid days power naturally gravitates to it as the strongest group in the state; but through American history it has been unable to use that power very long for national purposes. Moved typically by personal and class, rarely by public, considerations, the business community has invariably brought national affairs to a state of crisis and exasperated the rest of society into dissatisfaction bordering on revolt. "

These two quotes, if you think about them for a moment, tell the tale of our future.

We had a life, created for us by FDR, and improved and updated by every president since, through and including Nixon. Then we chose Reagan and we have had it snatched away. Reagan was a useful idiot for the "confederacy of big business CEOs, the superrich, and right wing zealots". 

And we have had prosperity, and hope, and even our futures snatched away from us.

Not only do we have a "business community {that} has ... brought national affairs to a state of crisis and exasperated the rest of society into dissatisfaction bordering on revolt" we also have as a likely presidential candidate, because of that "bordering on revolt", a crazed, criminal, and crazy, sociopath, shrieking treason, hate and mayhem, indiscriminately dished out, and we have a political apparatus supplemental to and in support of that candidate, that is roughly fifty percent of our governing structure, (measured by holding office headcount) made up of nuts, criminals and leftovers from the Civil War, all of whom endorse the criminal shrieker.

We are, in a word, fucked.

Anybody that thinks that the horror of Sudan is and will remain "over there" hasn't read any history.

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