In the second Lethal Weapon movie, the bad guys, who were guilty of money laundering and drug running, almost always had a "Get Out Of Jail Card Free" regardless of what the police could cite them with. That card was called Diplomatic Immunity. For the bad guys worked out of the Union of South Africa's embassy in California.
A new kind of "Get Out Of Jail Card Free" immunity has been created particularly for the 21st century. Its use was in effect albeit hidden after the 2008 financial collapse. But those using that immunity, thanks to the Obama Administration's decision not to prosecute HSBC, have been forced out of the closet. Yes, those whose possible loss of services due to a jail sentence is projected be too catastrophic to the financial sector can now proudly claim "Economic Immunity" regardless of their crime.
And if we have a class of people who have Economic Immunity, it is not a logical leap at all to conclude that there could be those who have political immunity. And this is why nobody from the Bush Administration was indicted or even investigated for crimes during the Bush Presidency.
It matters not whether having political immunity preceded the existence of economic immunity. That we have any group of Americans who are above the law proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are no longer a nation that is under the rule of law; rather, we are now under the rule of wealth, power, and force. And we should have seen this coming because for a long time, our nation's leaders have assumed that America is above all international law, a "City On The Hill Immunity," if you will. This is what made America the "King Of The World," to borrow the words of Muhammad Ali, and the forever oxymoronic "Leader of the Free World."
That the rich powerful have excused themselves any legal accountability is not the only way in which money rules. As Howard Zinn often pointed out that those in power become powerless when enough people withdraw their obedience. The corollary to this is that the refusal of the general public to withdraw their obedience from those with wealth and power means that they enable those in control to continue their crimes. This is what makes us complicit in the crimes of our leaders whether they be from the public or private sectors. And why we choose to remain involved here is that money rules over us as well as our laws.
Why we let money rule over us might be because some of use confuse freedom with privilege. Freedom and liberty are based on principles that are not a respecter of persons. That is tenets that make us free apply equally to all or they apply to none. Privilege is different. In today's world, privilege is based on one's prosperity and power. Because there is wealth disparity, privilege is applied unequally. And since most of America's wars have been waged to control prosperity and power, we must realize that our troops have not been fighting for our freedoms; rather, they have been fighting to maintain our privileged status.
So when the masses continue to obey in order to maintain the status quo, they are doing this to either maintain or gain a privileged status. Conserving the status quo is not an exercise in being faithful to absolute moral values, it is done for the sake of one's self-esteem. However, it must become morally marketable. Thus, we tell ourselves a multitude of myths in order to anesthetize our consciences over our elevated state. Two such myths are that we are the leaders and preservers of the free world and that we are a city on the hill.
However, the worst is yet to come. If what the Bible says is true in I Timothy 6:10, that the "love of money is the root of all evil," and if money rules, then so does evil. And by this we know the mark of all who are antihuman. Where profit is king, death and oppression reign. And since we live in a system that commands us to maximize profits, we live in an environment that minimizes life and instigates conflicts and wars.
The tenet of maximizing profits is a black hole that swallows all moral values. And the fewer such values recognized, the less intrinsic value each person has. Thus, my fellow fundamentalists are wrong when they attribute the decline of our society to kicking God out of our schools. There are plenty of God-believing people whose canon is the financial bottom line. Their only disagreement with the financial world is in how one produces the largest profit despite the fact that it is this relentless search for the largest profit that is tearing our society and world from limb to limb. In contrast, there are unbelievers who are far exceeding many Christians in sharing and holding to moral values. How is it that their unbelief has not turned them over to the dark side of valuing profits over people?
If money rules and from money springs evil, then evil rules. And the only way to combat evil is a call to share and cooperate. This is what the Declaration Of The Occupation Of New York City
is based on. The question is will we use this document and likeminded works to overthrow the Almighty Dollar or will we roll the dice with our future where the odds continue to grow against us?
|The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author
and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.