L, L, and the P of H: 2015 Edition
Fri, 4 Sep 2015 13:00:00
We, in America, were always taught to revere the Founding Fathers. They had the wisdom and strength to not only conceive of the Great Democratic Experiment, but to see it all the way through to fruition. And they did so in the face of a mighty empire and its king who oppressed them all with unfair taxation. What wise and brave men they were!
So, wise that for the past two-and-a-half centuries, we have looked at the words they wrote and the system that put in place as almost sacrosanct. On more than one occasion, regarding more than a few issues, our leaders, our news media, our idiot Television pundits have asked "what were the intentions of the founding fathers?"
As though, it's not fairly obvious when you consider the context of the Founding Fathers and the men themselves.
As though, culture hasn't changed dramatically since 1776.
As though, the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, and the Bill of Rights were not written in English as a set of instructions to run a government.
As though, these documents were holy writ, words of deities written in another language and handed down to us, through millennia.
The irony is that, as good a system as ours is, it is very far from perfect and the people who created it and have run it, to this day, are really very corrupt. Which makes sense if you think of the Founding Fathers not as the gods we Americans like to think of them as but as shills for a system that is so corrupt it inspires wars to be fought for it. No, I don't mean the American democratic system. I mean Capitalism.
It’s my theory that “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” is by far the most successful propaganda slogan ever devised. Of course, you’re probably having one of two reactions to that statement.
1) Of course it was propaganda, you idiot!What’s so funny is that neither reaction really applies to where I’m coming from. See, the idea is not that the founding fathers were bullshit artists or that they were PR agents hired by the real founding fathers who remain obscured by history to this day. No, this isn't some Illuminati-esque conspiracy, either--these men were Implementing a system that would give them so much power that they had to come up with plenty of rhetoric to convince Americans that the Revolution was about freedom for all, not just freedom for businessmen (which is what they all were).
2) Wow, that’s pretty cynical, don’t you think?
That was the reality, after all. Sure, the DoI says "all men are created equal" but they'd go on to contradict that by not prohibiting slavery, and only allowing land owners to vote. This meant that women could not vote since women generally did not own land.
So, out of the gate, America was not the "land of the free" but, in fact "the land of the rich & free and their employees* (*pay optional in some states)."
Now, if they had admitted all that in our beloved Founding Documents, how do you think the average colonist schmuck would react? I doubt they'd be into it and I'm pretty sure the FF knew this, too.
Like the Republicans of today, the Founding Fathers used phrases like “Give me liberty or give me death.” and “L, L, and the P of H” as a way to con everyone into thinking what they were trying to do would benefit all of them. The catch was, they knew it wouldn’t benefit most of them. Likewise, the GOP and even the donkey Democrats use similar rhetoric to keep us afraid and on guard. The Republicans like to cut educational programs, social services, and women's rights. Grand Old Partiers also like to wage wars. Who do all of those things benefit? The Rich.
Educational programs get cut and so to get better education, we go to private schools owned by rich folks. When social services get cut, we have to pay for insurance or directly for healthcare (owned by rich folks). When women can't get abortions or equal pay to men, well, a tiny handful of men (rich, white men) get to control the bodies of half the population (aka women) and make said-women beholden more to men, effectively subjugating them.
Oh and war, well, that benefits all the rich folks invested in the military/industrial complex.
Cutting education harms the poor by (duh) limiting education, cutting social services harms the poor by limiting the help they can get from the government to survive (literally) or better themselves (educationally), and when women's rights are cut, the wills and progression of half the population of America is subverted, sometimes completely and that hurts all of us. I mean, what if it's a woman who could cure cancer? We might never know because they were poor or raped and couldn't get an abortion so they had to have the child and get an not-equal-paying job, rather than go to school.
Meanwhile the Democrats aren't much better. In fact, really they're worse. They're like the wife who does nothing to stop her husband from abusing her children. She just stands idly by, in eithe willful ignorance or fear, and lets the people she is partially responsible for get beaten (or worse). The difference with the Democrats is that they are not submissive wives and actually have tools for exercising their will. In fact, they serve as a check/balance against the Republicans. The problem is, the Dems are just as corrupt as the Republicans. They are largely rich, male and white, too. They are a little smarter about things, though. They never confront anyone. Confrontations create too much attention. So, they keep their machinations on the down-low. They don't call Republicans on their corruption and war-mongering because they are doing the same thing. They're in the back pocket of their donors and they like to wage wars (they just keep the wars unofficial like with Obama's drone wars).
Now, with all of this blatant abuse and corruption, imagine how you'd set up a new system like this today. You'd have to hide all of this bad stuff and distract people with things like enemies and enticements. Today we have the Muslim extremist threat and gays to hate on--er, I mean--focus on. Back in 1776, we had blacks to enslave and King George to focus on. Notice how they handled the issue of King George's taxes, though. They completely played down why those taxes were unfair to colonial businesses and completely played up the idea that they were an affront to human freedom.
Suddenly being free from a government that could tax you was made to look like the most important issue since Moses came up with those ten rules he thought everyone should follow. ;)
And, like a modern day American being distracted by the latest iPhone, or a new season of HOUSE OF CARDS on Netflix, or the latest cat video, colonists were hypnotized by the prospect of being out from under a monarch. Not only that, the FF assured them--American citizens would have the freedom to farm the way they wanted to farm, the freedom to sell what they wanted to sell, and freedom to own who they wanted to own. Of course, the reality, was probably darker. What the founding fathers really wanted was freedom to victimize, freedom to take advantage of, freedom to lie.
Ever notice how lying in general isn’t a crime? Sure, committing fraud is, but how often to fraud cases actually happen? Did George W. Bush or any of his cabinet get in trouble for claiming they had evidence of WMD in Iraq when they had none? Nope.
Do pharmaceutical companies get in trouble for claiming that taking their drugs will make you feel like you're wind-surfing across a field of wheat? How many bankers were locked up or even brought up on charges for packaging up bad debts with good ones and then telling investors that they were buying into something safe and great? The number is in the single digits despite this practice being one of many tactics that helped almost murder the American economy in 2008.
The Founding Fathers wanted to create a place where “Caveat Emptor” (Latin for “buyer beware”) was the perpetual rule of thumb. The US Constitution says nothing about consumer protections or truth in advertising and while we have a few laws promising both on the books as of this writing, we all know the reality. That reality is that it's Caveat Emptor 24/7/365.
This brings us to where the Founding Fathers wanted us to end up--at a corporate feudal state where the rich could be infinitely rich. The FF wanted no ceiling on this. They also wanted to make sure the government would protect the rich's ability to stay rich. In short, what they were creating was a country that exists to prop up the rich--the ultimate pyramid scheme. We all support the rich by working long hours for low pay and then we spend our money on things that make them rich again. Hell, the Founding Fathers built this system and our country on the backs of slaves.
This was never the "Land of the Free." It was always the "Land of the 1%" and anyone who says otherwise is selling you something.