Thursday, August 1, 2013

Those Hard-Hearted, Charitable Americans: Keeping the Herd Bewildered (Thumbs Up For The Rich!)

(If throwing a contribution Pottersville2's way won't break your budget in these difficult financial times, I really need it, and would wholeheartedly appreciate it. Anything you can afford will make a huge difference in this blog's lifetime.)

Did you know that the reason that the Rethugs play the food card so hard is that it's really the race card?

Let's cut those food stamp benefits for those shiftless ungratefuls!

They just don't want to get a job and work hard like the rest of us!

Crowds are forming with pitchforks and blazing torches.

And these are the well-fed enemies of the poor.

You'd never know that the vast majority of food stamp recipients possess a white skin.

Tough to know the participants without a scorecard, isn't it?

In reference to the recently passed farm bill, Paul Krugman wrote in his July 14, 2013, post entitled, “Hunger Games, U.S.A:
Long ago, when subsidies helped many poor farmers, you could defend the whole package as a form of support for those in need. Over the years, however, the two pieces diverged. Farm subsidies became a fraud-ridden program that mainly benefits corporations and wealthy individuals. Meanwhile food stamps became a crucial part of the social safety net.
In an aside, Krugman speculates, “So what’s going on here? Is it just racism?” His speculation is valid. Why are we not collectively incensed that programs to aid those in need are continually cut? Our collective silence is emblematic of a systemic malady. We have been trained to look the other way—to dismiss those who struggle in lower economic brackets.

The poor are poor, after all, and if you ignore them and their problems, then we can disavow an entire economic underclass. The problem is that the numbers of poor and the “working poor” continue to escalate. The census bureau reports that nearly 48 million Americans live below the poverty level. Paul Buchheit of Alternet puts it in perspective:

“While food support was being targeted for cuts, just 20 rich Americans made as much from their 2012 investments as the entire 2013 SNAP (food assistance) budget, which serves 47 million.”
This, in the world’s richest nation. The media never reported on Ryan’s budget in 2011 —  certainly not to the extent that they cover murder trials or Hollywood deaths.

Yes, there are excellent online journals such as The 
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities that succinctly lay out Ryan’s cruel budgetsbut generally, the legislature of our government remains clandestine.
“Is it racism?” That is probably as close to an explanation as we’ll get. But the more frightening issue is that no one is actively protesting the draconian cuts. We have been programmed not to.
It is the acquiescence of a “bewildered herd” that governments depend on, and this acquiescence is a consummate threat as the gap widens between the very rich and the very poor. Like all good racist tenets, the mechanisms of “classism” remain covert. The semblance of an equal and “transparent” system is easily maintained by a finely crafted state/corporate iron triangle. Indoctrination of the masses is key, and for this, the government depends on the media, whose role in the information process is to act as a conduit for the propaganda that serves state and corporate agendas.

Yes, this in nothing new. But in light of the continuing downward economic spiral — beginning with the housing crisis and stock market crash in 2008, endemic job loss, stalled salaries, sequestration, and finally, cutting food stamps from the farm bill entirely—why are we not revolting in the streets?
The late Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States, pointed out that as the class divide between rich and poor exploded in colonial America, the most effective method of control was the creation of an ideology that appeared to include everyone equally: “This was to become a critically important rhetorical device for the rule of the few, who would speak to the many of ’our’ property, ‘our’ country.”
The rhetoric that swept the poor and middle classes into a mythical patriotic fervor during “our” country’s origin continues to be employed by those with the most to lose. Controlling the Bewildered Herd is no small feat and demands constant surveillance and strategy. We must not be allowed to feel allegiance to our poor and less entitled brethren.

Polarizing the classes is an effective tool for maintaining control, and apathy serves just as well as disdain when considering the fate of those less fortunate.
How many of us have been plunged to the brink of economic disaster where we have nowhere to turn and no options? It could happen quicker and easier than you think. Don’t think food riots could happen? Think again. Say and do nothing at your own peril.

But no one's worried in the USA! USA! USA!

As we're all rich now.


rubbell said...

Good insights. I am an outsider but on the same landmass. You all definitely are moving to a more dangerous society. Everybody is just itching to trip someone up and then pick their pocket. I will end by saying your new found fear has sent me to visit Europe. Entering the U.S.ofA. was a delight, now it is a bit like approaching the Munster's house. Bon Chance.

Capt. Fogg said...

"why are we not revolting in the streets?" Some of us are revolting in general, Tea Partisans, for instance, but it's not idle conjecture. Some European countries, Greece for instance, are in response to the austerity squeeze out in the streets every day, throwing things, burning things and blowing things up.

Unfortunately the ultra right, the fascists and neo-Nazis are seeing new converts. I think history shows too many examples of countries in economic collapse, with poverty and unemployment and hopelessness, turning to the far right. That's what the Republicans want, of course.

TONY said...

The general US populace have not yet moved on from the 'Age of Deference'. It frayed in the UK in the 1960s but there is too much of it left.

Cirze said...

Thanks, Rubbell,

Have a nice journey?

Capt. Fogg,

Completely agree. Thus the reason for the invention of Fox TV as a part of the Reagan "Revolution?"


Some revolution.

And, Tony, good one!

Age of Deference: letting the owners lie to us all they want.

And not whimpering too loudly.

Love you guys!