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Thursday, 18 October 2018 07:39

The Confirmation of Kavanaugh Exemplifies Inequality in the US

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no Lorie Shaull / Flickr

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." —John F. Kennedy.

We are living in a very important revolutionary moment. The disastrous lie of the economic and political experiment that cravenly attempted to construct human behavior around the diabolical dictates of global free trade has failed. The promised prosperity of trickle-down, supply-side economics has been exposed as a fraud. A minute global oligarchy has amassed obscene wealth, while the illicitly-greased wheels of unfettered corporate capitalism plunders resources, exploits unorganized wage labor and creates easily-manipulated and corrupt governments that disregard the common good to serve only corporate profit. 

No mechanism seems to exist to institute genuine reform or halt the corporate assault. We are left with the structures of power and the courts that have surrendered to corporate control. The citizen, as witnessed now by Christine Blasey Ford's brave testimony during the Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearings, has become irrelevant. We can participate in creatively choreographed elections, but the depraved demands of corporations and banks take precedence. 

History has clearly shown that the seizure of power by small groups, whether a political party or a group of oligarchs, leads to despotism. Governments that fall prey exclusively to narrow interest groups and oblige the state in furthering the wants of those interest groups are no longer capable of responding rationally in a time of crisis. Once oligarchs attain unchecked economic and political power, as they have in the United States, the citizens become disposable. In the eyes of the elite, that is what we are: disposable. Ford's under-oath testimony and the fact that she passed a lie detector test and had been in therapy for years, becomes meaningless when truth can be usurped by power. 

The courts and legislative bodies of the corporate state now routinely invert our most basic rights to justify corporate pillage and repression. They state that huge secret campaign donations, which are a form of legalized bribery, are protected speech under the First Amendment. They interpret corporate lobbying, in which corporations lavish money on elected officials and write legislation, as the citizen's right to petition the government. The US Constitution has not been rewritten, but constantly weakened by a dirty system of judicial and legislative reinterpretation. We have been given a fictitious shell of democracy with a totalitarian core. 

Aristotle states in Politicsthat extreme inequality is the ultimate sign of democratic decline, and that the rise of the oligarchic state leads to either the underclass revolting and overthrowing the oligarchs, or submitting to the tyranny of oligarchic rule. "Those who have too much of the goods of fortune, strength, wealth, friends and the like, are neither willing nor able to submit to the authority of the people," he writes. "The evil (arrogance, intolerance entitlement) begins at home; for when they are boys, by reason of luxury in which they are brought up, they never learn even at school, the habit of obedience to mankind."

It was Socrates who saw the political system in Athens, Greece, as weak, ignorant, profligate and morally bankrupt. He said that it was impossible for a good person to participate in the charade of justice it perpetrated. For speaking this truth, for challenging the legitimacy of a corrupt system, he was sentenced to die. He was charged with corrupting the morals of Athenian youth. 

We have a court system and a government system that does not respect or represent us. They attempt to make us abide to laws that protect criminals like Wall Street thieves while leaving the rest of us exposed to injustice and abuse. We cannot continue to put our trust in structures of power that deny our most basic rights and civil liberties. We must fight the impoverishment we suffer that allows big-bank profiteers, corporations and hedge funds to criminally prosper. 

The preconditions for revolution in the English, French, American and Russian Revolutions were a discontent that affected nearly all the social classes and included economic grievances on the part of groups whose opportunity for advancing in the world became limited by the depravity of political machinations. A sense of entrapment and despair combine with unfulfilled expectations to become a catalyst of crisis.  

Today, the key component of revolution, the gap between what the people want and expect, and what they get has been brazenly played out in the Kavanaugh hearings. In this discovery, in this understanding that "We the People" will never get what we expect, lays our revolutionary fodder.