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Tears of joy and relief were shed copiously around the world in November. The United States had redeemed itself. Finally and once again, the world was a safer place because unadulterated mediocrity and grinning idiocy had been selected to replace total incompetence and unrestrained malevolence. Blah days are here again! That’s what passes for success and progress in this almost most miserable of all miserable worlds, in these almost most miserable times of all possible miserable times.

Tears of joy, tears of relief, “normality” is restored; hello to you, the everyday, usual, normal, familiar, homey workings of advanced/superannuated, modern/decrepit, overproduced/underachieving capitalism.

We’ll all be so much better off with the kinder, gentler reproduction of poverty; when deportations are done in accordance with the grandeur of the office, when done presidentially; when drones rather than helicopters own the night because drones have others for targets. Mostly. We’ll be so much better off when a different style of grifter thoughtfully represents the system as it continues to shred through bone, and muscle, and gut on the up tempo.

Democracy is saved… kind of, sort of, maybe not right away, maybe not completely. The lame-duck arsonist occupying the executive mansion and representing the shredding class still had pallet-loads of matches in the basement bunker. Running his short fingers over his countersunk hair follicles, the Big Orange figured, schemed, that if god hadn’t want him to play with those matches, there wouldn’t be so much paper in the world….and shale gas in the markets.

Where we are today is where we were yesterday, is where we will be tomorrow. Capitalism establishes its perverse continuity in its oscillations of styles.

First, it turns out the late US Supreme Court justice Robert Jackson was dead wrong. The US Constitution actually is a suicide pact. For the first 70 odd years of its existence, the suicide in the pact was forestalled, suppressed with compromises, fugitive slave acts, seizures of territory from bordering and internal nations. Then, the death grapple was engaged.

The sacrifice of a half-million, more or less, and the destruction of the slaveholders’ rebellion, might have been just the thing to expunge the body politic of its death wish if the slaveholders had been deprived of their estates; if those estates had been confiscated, broken apart, and awarded to those freed by the war.

That was the course not taken. The impulse to the destruction of self and others accompanied the development of US capitalism like fleas accompany rats; like pestilence accompanies hunger. Like camouflage gear accompanies the AR-15 assault rifle (based on the design of Eugene Stoner).

Another justice of the court once argued that freedom of speech did not include the freedom to yell “fire” in a crowded theater. Maybe you can, maybe you can’t, but it’s for certain you can fill the theater, lock its doors, pump it full of a lethal virus. Then you can sit back and watch the show as long as the show includes sufficient crucifixes on the stage, the singing of hymns in unison, and/or the wedding of a very special rabbi’s very special offspring. Yarmulkes mandatory, masks not so much. Jehovah will take care of them. Really? How’s that worked out for the Jews over the last two thousand or so years? Good, you think? God’s done a bang-up job? Sure thing. Next year in Jerusalem.

You can’t yell fire in a crowded theater? Sure you can. Even better, you can drive your 4 wheel drive vehicle right into the crowd, and not even invalidate the warranty. Ain’t that American? Ain’t that America?

Where were we? In the midst of a plague.

Where are we? Here in the midst of a plague; with hunger at the door of those lucky enough to have doors and homes; and deep inside the shelters of those who don’t.

Where will we be tomorrow, next week, next month, this time next year? In the midst of a plague, with hunger, homelessness, and unemployment immune to the manipulations of the Federal Reserve and the “relief” programs. In the midst of the plague with state and cities bankrupted.

Trump didn’t create yesterday, today, or tomorrow. Those created Trump. The irrationality, dishonesty, disavowal of reality– mere personality disorders? Hell no, those are elements of a business plan, just as the threats against public health officials, election officials, are part of a business plan. Just as the wholesale junking of environmental protections, the gutting of public education, the sacrifice of workers to the virus are parts of a business plan. Capitalism is shambolic at its best, and that’s the plan.

Today, tomorrow, whenever, Trump’s here to stay. The thousand groupuscules, all imagining themselves the next Black Shirts following a hundred newly sprung Mussolini/Nathan Bedford Forrest hybrid recombinant DNA super-spreaders/terrorists can’t wait for 2024. And they won’t.

S.Artesian 12/6/20

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