Monday, June 27, 2011

Commonist Nostalgia

Michael Parenti’s book Superpatriotism is an excellent deconstruction of “free market” ideology. He claims that the people of Eastern Europe and Russia had guaranteed jobs, health care, housing, education etc; With the fall of the USSR they entertained visions of suburban McMansion, two car garage etc; but what they got is shit and corruption: gangsters running things in collaboration with dictators, no real political input, more or less fake elections like here, malnutrition, no work, no food, no suburbia.... they become third world… and they wish they had back what they had before the fall. They aren’t idealizing it, they definitely lacked political freedom, due process etc; but they had the basics and the basics are pretty important – try going without’em. The comparison isn't of "freedom and tyranny but of having the basics and of not.

Noam Chomsky has also pointed out, in his curtain-lifting books, that in the Soviet domains of Cold War days the people had the bare necessities - even high government officials lived in modest apartments - whereas in the U.S. domains, Central and South America, Indonesia, etc; a tiny wealthy elite were maintained (so long as they served U.S. corporate interests) while the majority population endured deprivation, malnutrition, poverty and were threatened by accusations of "Communist!", which made them targets of death squads, if they tried to organize to improve their lot. The U.S. provided much of the means for this oppression via “foreign aid”, CIA intervention, military training and arms – funded by U.S. taxpayers of course. So the bottom people of an affluent nation fund the oppression of bottomers of another nation. As the observation goes, the wealth is created by the workers and divided among the owners. The owners own/control the media so we get ministers of misinformation like Rush Limbo, O’reilly etc; keeping us distracted from the exquisite scam by demonizing immigrants, Islam, the homeless, dark-skinned people, gays, women… whatever works. This history is shameless and disturbing enough but as the logic of the elite notion of globalization plays out our capacity to rationalize injustice will be challenged as it encroaches upon our personal space.

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