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Everyone Says

December 5, 2010

Everyone says
what they do
is right,
and money is
a good thing
it can be
~John Giorno

Today I spent much of the day thinking of Lionel Goldbart, who died in a nursing home following a long physical incapacitation from a stroke. Lionel was a poet, a Freedom Rider, a junkie, a pain-in-the-ass, a Jeopardy champion and a first-rate mind.

Many years ago I disappointed him greatly when I refused to renounce violence. He told me it was an imperative. Violence exists everywhere, I told him. It is embedded in the fabric of the cosmos. What should I renounce? He asked me years later if I had changed my mind. I had not. I think it was for this reason that he was wary of me, even though he was very pleased when I publicly declared him to be the most concise of all the South Beach poets.

Nevertheless, thinking of him today I wondered why it is that poets, the most unwelcome of all artists, why it is that they ‘get it’ when others tend to be so myopic. It’s probably because lies are the raw material of their work. “I don’t want anybody telling me about solutions. They don’t work.” said Giorno.

What solutions do we expect to come from the political class? It is absurd to believe that ideas outside the realm of the status-quo will come from those whose job it is to protect and serve the status-quo. I say this not in a mean-spirited way, it’s just natural. When was the last time you challenged your boss, never mind challenging the corporate or government system, or the underlying justifications for that system that keep both you and your boss employed? Never; because “He who speaks the truth must keep his horse saddled.” (Andre Codrescu)

All the branches of knowledge, [in this case journalism] which continue to develop as the thought of the spectacle, have to justify a society without justification, and constitute a general science of false consciousness. This thought is completely conditioned by the fact that it cannot and will not investigate its own material basis in the spectacular system. ~ Debord Spectacle 194

Dems sputtering on Bush tax cuts, plus Obama’s dilemma” reads the headline from the excellent blog The Reid Report. The post goes on to cite others like Mark Halperin who at least understands the President lacks “[this same] mythical leverage to stand up to the GOP.”

Later in the story Reid rightly scoffs at Michael Lerner’s Washington Post column in which he proposes saving the Obama administration “by challenging him in the 2012 presidential primaries with a candidate who would unequivocally commit to a well-defined progressive agenda and contrast it with the Obama administration’s policies”, this in a strategy designed not to win, but to move Obama to the left. Destroy the village in order to save it, right?

Frank Rich in the New York Times says Mr Obama suffers from Stockholm Syndrome, yet he believes the captors are Republicans, not the titans of industry.

Continued speculation within the spectacle about the spectacle will amount to little or nothing except more spectacular business and a strengthening of the ruling narrative. While it’s true that the Democratic and Republican parties are different, and what party is in power does matter, they constitute a ruling coalition. The global economic apparatus makes it impossible for the idealistic movements of either the socialist left or libertarian right from actually moving toward their vision.

What we will see is what we have been seeing, an increase in State control of populations because the real enemy of global capitalism is anarchy, local empowerment, and semi-autonomy as social organization, and a taste of the vast invisible Tao, a knowing of the Dharma, the integrated Buddha minds of humanity.

The State exists for the defense of the economy, and it’s the economy that’s killing us and the planet. There will be No More Stalins, No More Hitlers, not even another Roosevelt.

What is it that Mr. Obama is expected to do that we don’t do ourselves?

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