Where have all the Flowers Gone?

Thinking through the binary oppositions of “have” and “have nots” is like segregating the homeless from the Paris Hiltons of the world in order to present a narrative that represents a ‘going America’s way’ kind of reality, a reality that uses finance, by way of speculation and specialisation, to foster advantages for elites and their hierarchical institutions for the sole purpose of amassing capital in order to leverage control of the social narrative through the commodification of culture itself.

With the advent of the consumerist economy, the hegemonic power of money soon became the ‘elephant in the room’… if not attaining the status of the mother of all existential battles to boot. In the scramble to have the commodities that gave our lives legitimacy, we mistakenly assumed that America’s can-do manufacturing bonanza of the 20th century, an adjunct to Henry Luce’s ‘American Century’ dream, to be the provider of the Panglossian prize ad infinitum. But did Luce ever take into account that the ‘haves’ never seem to have enough?

But capitalism’s relentless pursuit of cheap labour was forgotten while the liberal democracies paused a while to hone a template fit for exportation to the global marketplace. Believing themselves the exceptional people, America led the way in instructing the rest of the world on how they ought to act in order to catch up with the developed economies.

But Anglo-American insouciance is everywhere present in its relationships with the broader world. The West’s own progress brought about by colonial and imperial chicanery is conveniently obscured when it comes to the question of how the West established its own comparative advantages. Slavery and indentured labour and land theft, that liberal democracies imposed on their colonial subjects, were experienced as ruthless exploitation by their victims. As time passed, the realisation that catch-up was passé enabled some of the developing economies to organise their piecemeal efforts along lines that separated simulacrum and the template model from the smoke and mirrors of colonial catch-cry offerings.

Putting generalisations aside for a moment, it is incumbent to move on to the assholey way in which the current masters of the universe, the US of A, have so ignobly performed in the Middle East. Put simply, the US of A has ravished the Muslim world in its quest for dominance of the natural resources of that region…and it wasn’t ever asparagus they were after. What has transpired over the last four decades, is the apparent corruption of the American system by elites, hell-bent on acquiring, by brute force, the natural resources of lesser states. The push to build on the lies that constitute American Foreign Policy is nothing less than naked thuggery promoting the ‘going America’s way’ narrative.

Witness the language used when America addresses the issue of who is allowed to take power in any Middle Eastern state. Those states who do not submit to America’s will are subjected to threats, or worse. Witness the violence done to Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan etc. Specifically, witness the horrors of the birth defects visited upon the hapless mothers in Fallujah as a consequence of depleted uranium being used there… and you already know by whom?

Worst of all, is the realisation that the leadership of the USA is now devoid of honourable men and women. The American Congress, ever eager to wage wars in the name of humanitarian this or that, are nowadays seen by much of the world as hollow advocates of amoral expediency. Because they have forfeited all honour, they assume that others are without honour too, be they children, mothers, grandparents etc., and if they are Muslim…well really, you’re talking ‘collateral’ here. Furthermore, that the established media, that sorry excuser and enabler of corporate America’s bellicosity, remains mute in the face of this evildoing is unpardonable. It is to be assumed that the TV pundits and terrorism experts, dissemblers all, are part of the same fruit cake mess that disseminates official lies.

Where were the honourable men and women this time around, when the Senate voted, on mass, to endorse the actions of an equally dishonourable gaggle, the Israeli criminal elite, perpetrating genocide on the people of Gaza. Remarkably, the slaughter was hardly seen as a crime by these great buddies and most of the ‘civilised’ West. It was as if America and Israel,  steeped in their respective depravity, and their respective leadership being so obviously banal,  respect for human life unwittingly morphed into psychosis…as in having no real meaning for the ‘civilised’ elect. America, the leader of the so called free world, had become so decadent that it endorsed slaughter over life itself in callow remonstrance of the beset-upon Gazans. Was this the point where the credibility of the ‘West’ was finally lost?

Subsequently, the bugle-call response by countries like Australia and Canada to the great crusade in the Middle East left no doubt about those who were more than willing to blindly follow the ‘going America’s way’ money trail. The Anglo’s propensity to react with low key generic presumptive protestant civil/uncivil conviction — that cachet-lite secular gambit — seems to account for the willingness to access all those outside its known cultural template, as inferior. Stephen Harper of Canada, or Tony Abbott of Australia, conjoined inveterately at the cultural hip, might well suffer blind-spot cross-cultural amorphia when removed from their patch, making bad-ass alliances a foregone conclusion. Understanding Muslim culture and its sensibilities might be as remote as having an inkling of what life on Mars could be like for those autistic warriors. For them, the Middle East appears to be a series of debacles disconnected from the historic realities. Causation doesn’t even get a look in. ‘Going America’s way’ is now tantamount to paying protection money for the privilege of partaking of the swill. The creative imagination needed to craft a sovereign and independent state was shafted when subalterns took the helm in Australia and Canada.

Meanwhile the Generalissimos and Particularissimos keep droning on about the threats to our safety we ought to be aware of. Never a week passes without information from some government agency responsible for the collection, analysis, and exploitation of information and intelligence in support of law enforcement, national security, defence and foreign policy instrumentalities, is used to ratchet up the fear factor. All interpretations by the former, are played back into the security narrative to justify ‘big brothers’ continuing need to rummage around in other nations’ back yards for the purpose of plundering their assets.

So the behemoth that is America has become the old sow that eats her farrow. ‘Going America’s way’ is to hustle for ill-gotten gains at home and abroad. American might is thrown into the mix to assure job applicants that payola and profit are givens. Honourable men and women are not needed at this point in time; attack-dogs only will be considered for leadership positions in this ‘brave’ new world @humanitarian@intervention@neo-conningyou@don’tyoufeelsick.

So then, the American juggernaut rolls on, inflicting immeasurable harm on innocent people across the globe… but don’t hold your breath in expectation of a change of direction coming your way. ‘Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps…Greed For Lack of a Better Word, is Good’ …is where we are at. Regrettably, the Gorden Gekkos of the world are at the helm of the ship of state and Wall Street teleology reigns supreme. For the moment, the weeds sap the life blood of the nation and we bemoan the absence of honourable men and women. Parasites have purloined the melody that was once at the heart of the American Dream, leaving the enervated host without song or sangfroid. ‘Going America’s way’ has ushered in a culture of individual greed that has managed to siphon off public assets. What we have now is indisputably vampirish. To be left to lament the fact that mean-street can get away with sucking the life blood out of main-street with impunity, is unacceptable. Wall Street is the ‘gated community’ of the financial world deviously rorting the system. We need the return of the spirit of democracy as we do the return of the flowers…we need to sever the proboscis that sucks away the nation’s vitality. Apart from the parasites, who needs perpetual war and casino capitalism?

Denis Conroy is a retired businessman and journalist and a voracious follower of matters political outside of the mainstream arena. Read other articles by Denis A..