The Democratic Party and the Infantile Omnipotence of The Ruling Class

Within the Architecture of Denial and Duplicity

Why did the Democratic Congress betray the voting public?

Betrayal is often a consequence of wishful thinking. It’s the world’s way of delivering the life lesson that it’s time to shed the vanity of one’s innocence and grow-the-hell-up. Apropos, here’s lesson number one for political innocents: Power serves the perpetuation of power. In an era of runaway corporate capitalism, the political elite exist to serve the corporate elite. It’s that simple.

Why do the elites lie so brazenly? Ironically, because they believe they’re entitled to, by virtue of their superior sense of morality. How did they come to this arrogant conclusion? Because they think they’re better than us. If they believe in anything at all, it is this: They view us as a reeking collection of wretched, baseborn rabble, who are, on an individual level, a few billion neurons short of being governable by honest means.

Yes, you read that correctly: They believe they’re better than you. When they lie and flout the rules and assert that the rule of law doesn’t apply to them or refuse to impeach fellow members of their political and social class who break the law — it is because they have convinced themselves it is best for society as a whole.

How did they come by such self-serving convictions? The massive extent of their privilege has convinced them that they’re the quintessence of human virtue, that they’re the most gifted of all golden children ever kissed by the radiant light of the sun. In other words, they’re the worst sort of emotionally arrested brats — spoiled children inhabiting adult bodies who mistake their feelings of infantile omnipotence for the benediction of superior ability: “I’m so special that what’s good for me is good for the world,” amounts to the sum total of their childish creed. In the case of narcissists such as these, over time, self-interest and systems of belief grow intertwined. Hence, within their warped, self-justifying belief systems, their actions, however mercenary, become acts of altruism.

The elites don’t exactly believe their own lies; rather, they proceed from the neo-con guru, Leo Strauss’ dictum (the modus operandi of the ruling classes) that it is necessary to promulgate “noble lies” to society’s lower orders. This sort of virtuous mendacity must be practiced, because those varieties of upright apes (you and I) must be spared the complexities of the truth; otherwise, it will cause us to grow dangerously agitated — will cause us to rattle the bars of our cages and fling poop at our betters. They believe it’s better to ply us with lies because it’s less trouble then having to hose us down in our filthy cages. In this way, they believe, all naked apes will have a more agreeable existence within the hierarchy-bound monkeyhouse of capitalism.

This may help to better understand the Washington establishment and its courtesan punditry who serve to reinforce their ceaseless narrative of exceptionalism. This is why they’ve disingenuously covered up the infantilism of George W. Bush for so long: Little Dubya is the id of the ruling class made manifest — he’s their troubled child, who, by his destructive actions, cracks the deceptively normal veneer of a miserable family and reveals the rot within. At a certain level, it’s damn entertaining: his instability so shakes the foundation of the house that it causes the skeletons in its closets to dance.

By engaging in a mode of being so careless it amounts to public immolation, these corrupt elitists are bringing the empire down. There is nothing new in this: Such recklessness is the method by which cunning strivers commit suicide.

Those who take the trouble to look will apprehend the disastrous results of the ruling elites’ pathology: wars of choice sold to a credulous citizenry by public relations confidence artists; a predatory economy that benefits one percent of the population; a demoralized, deeply ignorant populace who are either unaware of or indifferent to the difference between the virtues and vicissitudes of the electoral processes of a democratic republic, in contrast to the schlock circus, financed by big money corporatist, being inflicted upon us, at present.

Moreover, the elitist’s barriers of isolation and exclusion play out among the classes below as an idiot’s mimicry of soulless gated “communities” and the pernicious craving for a vast border wall — all an imitation of the ruling classes’ paranoia-driven compulsion for isolation and their narcissistic obsession with exclusivity.

Perhaps, we should cover the country in an enormous sheet of cellophane and place a zip-lock seal at its southern border, or, better yet — in the interest of being more metaphorically accurate — let’s simply zip the entire land mass of the U.S. into a body bag and be done with it.

What will be at the root of the empire’s demise? It seems the elite of the nation will succumb to “Small World Syndrome” — that malady borne of incurable careerism, a form of self-induced cretinism that reduces the vast and intricate world to only those things that advance the goals of its egoist sufferers. It is an degenerative disease that winnows down the consciousness of those afflicted to a banal nub of awareness, engendering the shallowness of character on display in the corporate media and the arrogance and cluelessness of the empire’s business and political classes. It possesses a love of little but mammon; it is the myth of Midas, manifested in the hoarding of hedge funds; it is the tale of an idiot gibbering over his collection of used string.

What can be done? In these dangerous times, credulousness to party dogma is as dangerous as a fundamentalist Christian’s literal interpretation of The Bible: There is no need to squander the hours searching for an “intelligent design” within the architecture of denial and duplicity built into this claptrap system — a system that we have collaborated in constructing by our loyalty to political parties that are, in return, neither loyal to us nor any idea, policy nor principle that doesn’t maintain the corporate status quo.

Accordingly, we must make the elites of the Democratic Party accountable for their betrayal — or we ourselves will become complicit. The faith of Democratic partisans in their degraded party is analogous to Bush and his loyalist still believing they can achieve victory in Iraq and the delusion-based wing of the Republican Party who, a few years ago, clung to the belief, regardless of facts, that Terri Schiavo’s brain was not irreparably damaged and she would someday rise from her hospital bed and bless the heavens for them and their unwavering devotion to her cause.

Faith-based Democrats are equally as delusional. Only their fantasies don’t flow from the belief in a mythical father figure, existing somewhere in the boundless sky, who scripture proclaims has a deep concern for the fate of all things, from fallen sparrows to medically manipulated stem cells; rather, their beliefs are based on the bughouse crazy notion that the elites of the Democratic Party could give a fallen sparrow’s ass about the circumstances of their lives.

In the same manner, I could never reconcile myself with the Judea/Christian/Islamic conception of god — some strange, invisible, “who’s-your-daddy-in-the-sky,” sadist — who wants me on my knees (as if I’m a performer in some kind of cosmic porno movie) to show my belief in and devotion to him — I can’t delude myself into feeling any sense of devotion to the present day Democratic Party.

Long ago, reason and common sense caused me to renounce the toxic tenets of organized religion. At present, I feel compelled to apply the same principles to the Democratic Party, leading me to conclude, as did Voltaire regarding the unchecked power of The Church in his day, that we must, “crush the infamous thing.”

Freedom begins when we free ourselves from as many illusions as possible — including dogma, clichés, cant, magical thinking, as well as blind devotion to a corrupt political class.

I wrote the following, before the 2006 mid-term election: “[...] I believe, at this late hour, the second best thing that could come to pass in our crumbling republic is for the total destruction of the Democratic Party — and then from its ashes to rise a party of true progressives.

“[...] I believe the best thing that could happen for our country would be for the leaders of The Republican Party — out of a deep sense of shame (as if they even possessed the capacity for such a thing) regarding the manner they have disgrace their country and themselves — to commit seppuku (the act of ritual suicide practiced by disgraced leaders in feudalist Japan) on national television.

“Because there’s no chance of that event coming to pass, I believe the dismantling of the Democratic Party, as we know it, is in order. It is our moribund republic’s last, best hope — if any is still possible.”

I received quite a bit of flack from party loyalist and netroots activists that my pronouncement was premature and we should wait and see.

We’ve waited and we’ve seen. Consequently, since the Republican leadership have not taken ceremonial swords in hand and disemboweled themselves on nationwide TV, it’s time we pulled the plug on the Democratic Party, an entity that has only been kept alive by a corporately inserted food-tube. In my opinion, this remains the last, best hope for the living ideals of progressive governance to become part of the body politic.

Phil Rockstroh is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living in New York City. He may be contacted at phil@philrockstroh.com and FaceBook. Read other articles by Phil, or visit Phil's website.

10 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. rosemarie jackowski said on June 21st, 2007 at 2:51pm #

    Phil…Thank you for this great article. I agreed with most of it but have an opposing view about the value of life. I disagree with your view about Terry Schiavo. Most of my friends disagree with me. That’s OK. When it comes to pulling the plug on anyone, well I think that should never happen unless the person who is “plugged in” has left very specific instructions. That’s just not the kind of a decision that anyone should make for someone else.
    I have heard all of the arguments about the cost of keeping people alive. In my view, if this country can spend billions to kill people all around the world, we should spend a little to keep people alive.
    A frightening scenario played out in a hospital a while back. A transient was hospitalized. The secret “Ethics Committee” of the hospital decided to pull the plug. A local clergy man somehow found out about it and intervened. The man’s life was saved and he went on to live in another area.
    I agree that the plug should be pulled on both political parties.

  2. George Thompson said on June 22nd, 2007 at 9:56am #

    This is a great article, not because it is so articulate and well written. It is simply because it is so true. What else thinking people need to know escapes me but that is the problem indeed. Works of art are only recognized as such by those capable of that recognition. The average man is trapped within the cocoon of his own limited mental sphere which makes him and her completely vulnerable to the ploys and malefactions of the fooling class, pun intended. Race, religion and the rat race are so perfectly intertwined against the common man that they actually perceive them as distinct entities. Americans spend so much time trying to entertain themselves and protect their own interests that many could care less about any of this breakdown of their republic. I speak to people everyday that scorn the very existence of politics because it is boring and they want to be entertained or they say it is too complicated buying into the “we’re too stupid so please lie to us” argument above. When it comes down to it we will not be undone by the idiots nor the geniuses of this world. We will be undone by the apathy of the common man and woman’s infantile, incessant craving for amusement and distraction. Rampant individualism, no less, will bring us to our knees. Actually we are well past the kneeling phase and well on our way to final repose.

  3. s h a r o n said on June 23rd, 2007 at 1:05pm #

    Not to deflect the attention (and well-deserved praise for Phil’s article here), but I have a question for George:

    “We will be undone by the apathy of the common man and woman’s infantile, incessant craving for amusement and distraction. Rampant individualism, no less, will bring us to our knees.”

    Actually, it seems to me that these assertions “beg” the question: that is, why? Why or what is the origin of this attitude, these preferences, this rampant individualism?

    Obviously, for some, these characteristics/attitudes/infantile cravings in many are recognizable as egregious by other, more highly evolved representatives of our species–such as George. [I feel exactly the same, and yes, sometimes, I feel I am more highly evolved; but I want to exert significant checks on this tendency...]

    Can anyone help? Why? What impels/draws so many toward these attitudes and preferences and individualism?

    [awaiting breathlessly and anxiously for enlightenment...]

  4. BRUCE TYLER WICK said on June 23rd, 2007 at 3:47pm #

    As Franklin feared would one day occur, the rot has spread far beyond our professional politicians. Corruption now infects a sizable proportion of the voting age population. Who rigged the voting in Ohio in 2004, utilizing every means of electoral fraud known to humankind? There must have been THOUSANDS involved in voter suppression efforts, alone. Sad to say, but there is now a massive Fifth Column in the US, who do NOT believe in free and fair elections and an honest count–which is to say, they do NOT believe in democracy. How then, can citizens possibly sustain a government which depends upon elections, if MILLIONS no longer believe in elections; that is, no longer believe in free and fair elections and an honest count.?

  5. Bobby said on June 23rd, 2007 at 8:54pm #

    Amen, brother.

  6. Gary Corseri said on June 23rd, 2007 at 9:37pm #

    Our elite’s belief in their superiority is at least as old as the Hebrews’ “Chosen People” myth, and, more pertinently for this Republic-cum-Empire, Calvinism’s Prelapsarian doctrine of selected salvation. These nonsensical notions are deeply ingrained in our conquistador-DNA: they help elucidate the elite’s attitude to the “groundlings” and the groundlings’ disposition to bear their “fate.”

    Belligerence from those who questioned Rockstroh’s stance on the 06 election should not surprise. Back in 04, I concluded it was useless, senseless to vote in a rigged election from which the only real candidate for change and anti-corporatism–Ralph Nader–had been systematically neutered. I committed my convictions to sterling prose and was metaphorically torn limb from limb by lambasting, true-believer apologists. Worst, of course, were the Democrats, who will maintain until the Apocalypse that they are a viable, opposition party, unsullied by our lobby-driven politics, sordidly distorted economic system, and mass-media mayhem.

    Rockstroh’s point about freedom being the awakening from illusions shows he is already thinking beyond the political hackery of these later days, that he is reaching deeper than the horse-race touts. He is a man of gravitas, worth heeding in this errant, heedless land.

  7. Worst. President. Ever. said on June 25th, 2007 at 3:36pm #

    Goddamit, I usually love your columns, Phil, but I hate this let’s-all-go-slash-our-wrists type stuff, no matter who writes it.

    Look, I have no illusions that the Dems aren’t a fully-funded corporate sockpuppet, and often not a hell of a lot better than the opposition corporate sockpuppets, but at least progressives do have SOME kind of influence over the Dems, and NO influence over the wingnut maniacs.

    We owe it to ourselves to keep positive about the future…and we owe it to past and future generations of progressives. We’ve got to keep the Dems’ ass over the fire. If they figure we’ve already checked out, they’ll be even less likely to do anything worth a damn.

    Although I am still a US citizen, I live in Canada and am also a Canadian citizen. For the past 25 years, I’ve been active as a supporter, election volunteer and ten years ago, even a candidate for the NDP, Canada’s leftwing party.

    Believe me, having your own progressive party is no panacea either. And in the US, I’m afraid it would be even less effective than it is here.

    Have no illusions about the Dems, yes, but don’t totally give up on them either.

  8. Wally Petrovich said on June 27th, 2007 at 9:28am #

    The Corporate autocrats who rule both the polituical government and the our places of work…, are also victims of the market system (capitalism) and their actions are of self preservation in a system that rules Profits as the only goal…, no matter at whose expense…, the individual, the society, the Ceo, the corporation…, all expendable in the quest for private profits…, all at the expense of the majority, working class electorate whose labaor power is both essential and expendable, whataever suits the immediate conditions in the pursuit of private profits.

    We need a new system, a democracy in both our government and in our economy…, an ECONOMIC DEMOCRACY…, in which We, the People, have a direct voice and vote in ALL matters which affect our lives…., which includes all aspects of civics as well as all aspects of our industrial institutions.

    Anything less is not in keeping with how we know DEMOCRACY can be
    practiced.

    Check out this model as a real democratic alternative to this present corporatocracy… http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NewSystem/

  9. rockpicker said on June 28th, 2007 at 5:08pm #

    I’m 1oo% in agreement with you Phil. Both parties have now proven themselves irrelevant to the masses. Their single-digit salute of arrogance will surely close into the fist of tyranny if we continue to ignore this abuse.

    I say let the Dems and the Repubs hang together. Or hang them seperately!

    Until we break the iron grip of the Corporate State, we are really little more than consumer market share and cannon fodder.

  10. Useless said on July 3rd, 2007 at 12:28pm #

    Pulling plugs on democrats? Wishing for mass suicide on national TV? Such negativity… After all, who cares about these ‘elites’? Let them choke on their used string collections… I’m afraid change comes from the bottom up, my friend… Rebuild it, first, within our own communities… Perhaps the ‘elites’ would not be neccessary if we could take care of our own… And if you are truely righteous, then lead, my friend… Because if there was ever a problem with our beautiful nation, it is the lack thereof… Where are our leaders?… Undermined by the brazen ‘Elites’? Conspired against by the their underlings? I fear not… I fear there are none… None true to their word. None truely selfless enough, with a vision broad enough, a heart strong enough or the gut needed to make the sacrifices for the greater good… Or perhaps the environment through which such people are created truely has been irraticated through the ‘evolution’ of man… Either way, be that man and stop the incessant bitching… Forget the democrates, forget the republican… As far as I can see, they’ve already forgotten us…