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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/24/11

Paint it Black

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Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli
Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli
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We look towards the morning with hope and we look upon the evening dusk with regret. Optimism and pessimism can be internal mechanisms directing the way in which we view the world. As we look back at the campaign of Barack Obama we see now the side effects of offering hope and happy talk. Hope and change, words parsed, sliced, distressed and dissected with the skill of a coroner's knife. Words designed to stir the emotions of hope and promise but with every phrase an escape clause and a doorway to despair.

"You know, there is a tendency in Washington to believe our job description, of elected officials, is to get re-elected. That's not our job description," Obama said. "Our job description is to solve problems and to help people."

Notice how Barack Obama said "help people" and not to help "the" people generally but to help people singular and corporate.

"I will not slow down in terms of going after the big problems that this country faces," he (Obama) said. "The easiest thing for me to do, Diane, would be to go small bore, avoid controversy, just make sure that everybody's comfortable and we only propose things that don't threaten any special interests in Washington. If you do that, then you can get a boost in the poll numbers."

RENO, Nev. -- "President Barack Obama said Thursday that the Justice Department will try to "root out" cases of fraud or manipulation in oil markets, even as Attorney General Eric Holder suggested a variety of legal reasons may be behind gasoline's surge to $4 a gallon." If my face appears blue it is because I'll be holding my breath.

Machiavelli wrote, "Whenever those states which have been acquired as stated have been accustomed to live under their own laws and in freedom, there are three courses for those who wish to hold them: the first is to ruin them, the next is to reside there in person, the third is to permit them to live under their own laws, drawing a tribute, and establishing within it an oligarchy which will keep it friendly to you."

 "They wished to hold Greece as the Spartans held it, making it free and permitting its laws, and did not succeed. So to hold it they were compelled to dismantle many cities in the country, for in truth there is no safe way to retain them otherwise than by ruining them. And he who becomes master of a city accustomed to freedom and does not destroy it, may expect to be destroyed by it, for in rebellion it has always the watch-word of liberty and its ancient privileges as a rallying point, which neither time nor benefits will ever cause it to forget. And what ever you may do or provide against, they never forget that name or their privileges unless they are disunited or dispersed but at every chance they immediately rally to them."

If we consider what Machiavelli is trying to tell us across the centuries then we can begin to understand all that is going on around us today. If you sought to destroy a free society you would first stifle incomes of its workers. Poor people working longer hours and earning less money have little time to organize resistance. Next you would destroy their cities and disperse them across large geographical areas without a city center. A poor mass transit system would assist the oligarchy in isolating the people.

Free Trade and the outsourcing of jobs accomplish several of these tasks while enriching the corporations at the same time. Yet most importantly is a program of constant demoralization of the people. To attempt to destroy their faith and their beliefs and so to instill in them a feeling of hopelessness and inevitability. So if corporate sources promote a political candidate whose platform is based upon hope and change then his failure will by itself demoralize his supporters.

What of his opponents, you might ask, won't they become encouraged by his failure? They might, if not for a steady stream of nonsense issues which make it appear as if the candidate or office holder is unjust or unqualified and flaunting or abusing his power. Actual crimes and abuses become hidden by faux issues disseminated by a complicit corporate media. A birth certificate becomes more important than the indefinite detention of a whistle blower.

A huge artificial deficit amassed through tax cuts for the oligarchy and huge military budgets leave the wealthy safe and comfortable while deficits and unemployment leave workers and their families fearful about their futures. Wall Street recovers as Main Street languishes and the federal government offers to its struggling people, little, less and nothing.

The deficit is then proclaimed by all political parties as the cause of all suffering and only the gutting of those social programs for the poor and middle class will save us from ultimate doom and destruction. Warnings from Wall Street funded bonding agencies are used to heighten the tension.

Remember that when George W. Bush left office many Republicans were demoralized yet to the oligarchy George W. Bush was the most successful Republican President since Ronald Reagan. He bankrupted the treasury with two phony wars and initiated a massive tax reduction scheme for the wealthy. The idea of being greeted in Iraq with flowers and candy was purely a child like scenario. It was already known to be false by all military doctrines; it instead served the oligarchy by a long protracted struggle based on a phony national security issue.

Look back at the last ten years from the standpoint of the oligarchy.

Increased corporate profits with lower tax rates for corporations and the wealthy.

Weakened labor unions with smaller membership numbers.

Bank borrowing interest rates from the Federal Reserve near zero while lending interest rates to the public remain high.

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I who am I? Born at the pinnacle of American prosperity to parents raised during the last great depression. I was the youngest child of the youngest children born almost between the generations and that in fact clouds and obscures who it is that (more...)

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