Vengeance instead of justice
Monday, November 30, 2009
In a year of disasters, 2001 remains fixed in my mind as one of the best and worst years of my life with five events marking it in my life forever: Robert Janiszewski being named as a corruption official, 9/11, my mother’s death, the death of George Harrison and my being named Journalist of the Year for stories I wrote during that year.
The combination left me with a kind of post traumatic stress I’m just now recovering from, scars that took years to heal, and left me a bit less confident in the fate of the world – but especially the virtues of common man.
Plato was right in distrusting public opinion. It is usually mean-spirited and petty, and changes as frequently as the weather.
Yesterday, I had to tell one source in Bayonne that I could not cover a story because I felt too strongly against her position on the detention of terrorism suspects.
Too many people seek vengeance instead of justice, and this has always been a problem, and partly the reason why mankind developed the concept of government or state – to get around the tribal retribution that perpetuates violence.
The NY Times ran an opinion piece that declared that recessions lead to support for Democrats, if the recession is handled correctly. This piece was written in a vacuum, failing to understand the massive manipulation that both sides employ in their effort to sway a largely unthinking but overreacting public.
Recessions and depressions strip the paint off capitalism, showing just how ugly greed is, and how people suffer at the hands of unscrupulous corporate entities who look, act, smell and do business like stereotypical mobsters.
But it is a confusing lesson for a public which has its own issues with greed. Most Americans want to be boss, want to be included in the inner circle, and the right wing wins them over in good times by suggesting they could join the exclusive club, when they are only being taken for a ride. These characters behind the curtain of corporate oz make tons of promises, stringing people along on an extensive ponzie scheme only a recession unveils.
Back when I lived in Hoboken, two plumbing companies did most of the business there. Both were crooks, doing just enough to fix a problem so that it would last two years until the plumbing broke down. The average stay of residents in those days was two years. The new owner seeing the sticker from the one plumber called the other plumber to fix what the first plumber did not. This fix lasted about two years by which time a new owner called the first plumber again.
This is capitalism.
I don’t know where things will end up, but I suspect, the outcome will be bad, part of the declining American Empire, and a frustrated American public seeking to return to the glory of years that were never really glorious in the first place.
I feel like the Hoboken property owner who is wise to the problem, but can’t find a plumber who can fix the nation since the last group of plumbers did a terrible job.
Obama is trying to appease the public and his opposition, which means he will find himself back on the unemployment line in three years when the public decides they want to go back to the crooks who messed up the economy in the first place.
Unlike Hoboken, however, we’re stuck with the two groups of crooked plumbers – Republicans and Democrats – neither of which can fix the problem, neither of which has a clue as to what we want – largely because even Six Pack Joe doesn’t know.
We are setting the stage for a decisive dictator – if not Hitler, then another Ronald Reagan, someone, anyone, who can make a decision without seeking poll numbers first.