As a kid, I grew up believing in two core principles: (1) In America, everyone has a right to their opinion, and (2) everyone has the right to vote. Eventually, as reality wore me down, I learned that my opinions didn’t matter, and my vote never changed anything. As time went on, I experienced the psychological uncertainty of permanent war. This was like general anesthesia, a shot of Propofol that numbed me to war, some were wars in name only, for example, the “War on Terror”, the “War on Drugs”, the “War on Poverty”. Uncertainty was made even more egregious by wars that never ended in victory, wars that never ended in defeat, and wars that never ended at all, because they lasted indefinitely with no end in sight. This was a principle of capitalism: if you’re making a profit, why stop? War is no different.
Uncertainty is a commodity, just like corn or potatoes, soy beans or cattle. Uncertainty offers value-added incentives as insider intel secretly running in the background, underneath, and behind every other calculation society makes, like computer code, manipulating opinion and “strongly held convictions”. It has the ring of “truthiness”. These transactions happen in milliseconds, using algorithms like poker chips, enabling operators in dark pools of broker-owned gambling houses to claim tax credits for loses from being a propaganda venue or a Washington D.C. law firm.
High-speed frequency “trading” casinos trade in new commodities: public opinion and votes. Casino managers predict percentages, betting on social unrest, opposition or resistance to leaked disclosures and, of course, emotional depression that may affect corporate profits negatively. Cigar-smoking, scotch-drinking, all-night back-room games of chance allow the Investor-Class to play their own version of “21” by placing bets on the “Fiscal Cliff”, over which public opinion and any ideological absurdity can be pushed over the side to its death. And just like Mike Ehrmantraut, Saul Goodman’s “Cleaner” in the hit TV series Breaking Bad, the Investor-Class has congress to clean up its crime scene, ensuring that the next election will hide the fact that a “suicide” was really a murder.
As the country continues to divide itself, ideologically, further and further into left and right sides of every issue, I noticed that it looked too familiar and too easy. Where have I seen this picture before? And then it hit me: in recent memory, it looks like the “housing bubble”. Fueled by huge commission fees and bonuses for the Investor-Class, the housing bubble was a man-made crisis shaped in the image of a gambling casino with a roulette wheel of subprime mortgages bundled and sold as prime investment properties. This led to home foreclosures and joblessness. Next came the collapse of AIG, the insurance industry as a whole, the cancellation of construction projects, duplicitous banking credit ratings and the implosion of Lehman Brothers and Citibank. Next came massive corporate welfare bailouts and government handouts of free money to the rich in the form of bigger bonuses, more exorbitant fees, unlimited government warranties, newly-printed interest-free money, dubious triple-A bond credit ratings for bank lenders and fortunes in lobbying connections for anyone who can stand the smell of shit on their shoes as they walk through the halls of government. Who can argue that power and privilege doesn’t make gambling at the public’s casino a risk-free criminal activity? The house never uses its own money, and it never loses.
The same thing is happening again. But this time it’s not a housing bubble, it's not a dot com bubble, but it is a bubble! In this case, the asset price of public opinion and free elections is based intentionally on implausible and inconsistent lies about the future, “lies” that are mostly manufactured for public consumption by distorting the truth. Think of it as the “America Bubble”. The America Bubble is such that the value of “public opinion” and “free elections” is inflated and overvalued. By using a “spread” as leverage between differences of opinions and their political consequences, the widening gap of inequality and inequity between groups of people grow wider everyday, like a wedge. This spikes the overvaluation of opinions and pushes ideology-driven schemata even further apart, which increases the monetary value of disparity as if it was a stock for sale on the black market. The more risky opinions can be wedged to widen the breach between groups of people who may, actually, have more in common with each other than they’ve been led to believe.
It goes without saying that it makes no difference to the Investor-Class if conflicting opinions have any merit. The Investor-Class is not interested in the outcome of one opinion-dominated social issue over another. The value, the profit, and the glory of the new America Casino is in the ever-widening disparity between wealth-inequality and social-injustice itself! It’s the gap, itself -- the disparity of unequal wealth distribution -- that is the product for consumption! And America is nothing if not a nation of consumers. The cavity of hostility between ideologues is not occurring in a vacuum; it doesn’t need to be straightened out like bad teeth. Indeed, the disparity gap between rich and poor is the source of wealth utilizing carefully crafted principles of class warfare. In the meantime, empty bank vaults sit off-shore, ready for untraceable cyber bank deposits to dump billions of dollars of tax-free capital income into invisible gaming accounts.
According to historians, the first three words of the preamble to the Constitution, “We the People”, identify the sovereign power of the nation as articulated by the founding fathers. But the Supreme Court ruled in the Citizen’s United decision in 2010 that the three words, “Corporations are People”, have supplanted the intent of the framers of the Constitution. This cannot be overstressed: the transformation of America from a “democracy” to a “corporation” cannot be explained without understanding how these three words express openly the reality of a coup d'état that occurred secretly.
This explains how, and why, congress, both political parties, the office of the President, the Joint Chiefs, the US Supreme Court, the twenty-four hour News and Disinformation Metropolis, the Project for a New American Century and American Exceptionalism, Christian Reconstructionism, Christian Zionism and the Christian Dominion Now movement has transformed the America we thought existed into the America that really does exist. This explains why politicians are ineffectual and appear dysfunctional (which makes it easy to hate them, and hate is a strong vindictive). The body politic is a made-for-TV entertainment product, and the job of congress and the president is not to resolve issues or look for common ground to improve the quality of life for the public; that’s absurd! Politicians have dedicated their career paths to radicalize and polarize widely divergent groups, to expand the inequality and inequity gap of injustice between compromise and agreement, between rationality and extremism. This is the difference between magical thinking and empirical thinking. Brokerage speculators are betting that the public will rely on magical explanations more than empirical evidence. To give themselves an edge, News Monopolists ramp up every wild conspiracy, accusation and allegation to nurse the confused masses on beer and red meat from both ends of the political rectum!
Like a bottomless pit filled with compassionate pessimism, the American people will never run out of opinions and they will insist on defending their “right” to vote to the bitter end. To support this kind of malignant tumor, a new industry has formed: The Manufacturing Investment-Power Industry. It is dedicated to the idea that controlling the “fissure” between classes of people and their opposing opinions by deceit and obstruction will pump “no-hope” into the fracture of American life by widening it further and further until it splits into even more divisions, sort of like the earthquakes caused by “fracking”.
The America Corporation is not limited only to America. When it comes to business, there is no “national pride”, no boundaries, nothing more important than profit-loss statements, mergers, acquisitions, options, deferred prosecutions, pardons and elite preferential treatments for white collar criminals. For the rest of us at the lower end of the food chain, blue collar “criminals” guilty of the “crime” of insufficiency, we have a future of poverty and incarceration to look forward to.
The Corporation is healthy, but the People are on life-support, assuming we can pay for health care. In the end, The Corporation is more than a utility, but that's just fine for now until something better comes along, because, if organized crime syndicate families have taught us anything it’s that there is no loyalty among thieves, pimps and gambling cartels.