Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
HOW MODERN MONEY WORKS — Economist Alan Nasser presents a slashing indictment of the vicious nature of finance capitalism; The Bio-Social Facts of American Capitalism: David Price excavates the racist anthropology of Earnest Hooten and his government allies; Is Zero-Tolerance Policing Worth More Chokehold Deaths? Martha Rosenberg and Robert Wilbur assay the deadly legacy of the Broken Windows theory of criminology; Gaming the White Man’s Money: Louis Proyect offers a short history of tribal casinos; Death by Incarceration: Troy Thomas reports from inside prison on the cruelty of life without parole sentences. Plus: Jeffrey St. Clair on how the murder of Michael Brown got lost in the media coverage; JoAnn Wypijewski on class warfare from Martinsburg to Ferguson; Mike Whitney on the coming stock market crash; Chris Floyd on DC’s Insane Clown Posse; Lee Ballinger on the warped nostalgia for the Alamo; and Nathaniel St. Clair on “Boyhood.”
The Flag Wavers and the Little People

Dear Slaves

by JOE GIAMBRONE

Excuse me, not “slaves.”  How could I be so callously imprecise?  For slavery has long been outlawed.  I’d call you simply employees, but seeing how you aren’t likely employees of mine, that too would seem presumptuous. The public relations specialists will figure it all out later down the editing chain, anyway.  How about “little people?”

You, the little people of the world, good evening.  I know it seems like your political clowns are the bought and paid for employees of an extensive system of graft and corruption.  I know that the appearance of conflicts of interest, of sugar daddies funding political campaigns, of foreign interests subverting the will of the people and such may seep through between the lines of the feely goody propaganda in your various news rags.

We know well that you feel anxious, and so we seek to channel your anger into one of two possible directions.  You may direct your wrath at the Republican Party, or at the Democratic Party.  There.  Either choice is fine.  Please see additional rants and raves directed at your party of choice.  These should not be difficult to locate via the Internet.

Although your personal communications are under strict and total surveillance, you may vent and vomit with vociferous vituperations – as long as you don’t endorse violence.  For violence is what your betters exercise and they desire a tightly-controlled monopoly on the practice.

If you, as a little person, endorse violence, you are then officially designated a “terrorist.”  That is, unless you are connected to one of the dozens of military or intelligence organizations funded by your tax dollars.  Or if you are a congressman.  Or if you direct your violence at the correctly-designated foreigners.

Truly, it is only violence directed at the people in charge here that we find problematic, and we will haul you off and either torture and imprison you or bomb you into miniscule pieces with our impressive fleets of flying robots.  And you certainly don’t want either of those options, which we exercise daily.

So, scum, you don’t tell us.  We tell you.  Get it?

A great man, former president George Herbert Walker Bush once said, “What we say goes.”  A brilliant strategist, the senior Bush was head of the CIA for a spell, and his name curiously appeared in J.Edgar Hoover’s FBI memo concerning the John F. Kennedy assassination.  Great leader “Poppy” Bush told us all of the “New World Order,” and by that he meant: “What we say goes.”

So eloquent in its simplicity.  Every slave can comprehend it, even the dirty little slave children.  There is an authority, an unquestioned authority, an authority vested in the might and the wrath of the federal government of the United States.  Poppy showed us the way forward.  “I will never apologize for the United States of America,” said he, “I don’t care what the facts are.”

There you have it.  Facts have been quite irrelevant, at least since the 1980s.  Your tireless pursuit of them is as fruitless as are your calls for moral governance or – laughably – peace.  You may as well just watch professional sports.

The business of America is: What we say goes.

Our global military empire ensures that smaller nations are subordinated to the will of those doing the saying.  It’s an epic endeavor, the organization of the world around the will of those firmly entrenched in power, in Washington D.C.  Such an impressive and smoothly-functioning parasitic arrangement has never been seen throughout all of human history.

So where do you fit in?

Slaves are a dime a dozen.  Did you think you mattered more than that?  Overbreeding has supplied an excess of human labor, and now the main problem is how to feed and shelter the damned “excess population.”

Luckily, we have a plan.  The most desperate slaves are found in the most squalid conditions.  So, we simply moved our factories there to exploit their desperation and to keep costs unbelievably low.  Environmental regulations are nonexistent, so we can churn out anything we like in any quantities we can.  The slave labor force can be paid in dirt.  They can be worked to death and replaced easily by the oversupply lined up around the exterior of the factory.  Such a glorious economic reality, it harkens back to the good old days where capital reigned supreme and the rich white man wobbled across the earth as a god, cigar in mouth, his belly as round as a hippopotamus.

So where were we?  Yes, the big show.  Election 2012.  Romack Obamney vs. …. who was it?  Doesn’t matter.  A few percentage points in this column, or a few in that other offshore account.  Who has time for the accounting details these days?  That’s why we install Federal Reserve people.

The point is, we like happy slaves who believe they are actually doing something.  They think that by playing our video game that the outcome has something to do with the way they move the joystick.  It’s so adorable.  Like a big petting zoo.  The furry little slaves all jumping about thumping their chests.  One raises a flag with an elephant, the other a donkey.  How ridiculous these creatures are.  It’s too funny.

I’ll be on the yacht.  The situation here is well in hand.  So three cheers for you, good slaves.  You’re doing an outstanding job, those of you with jobs.  The others can die off peacefully; that’s noble too.  As long as you don’t rock the boat.  Ha ha.  I made a pun.  Good night, and wave that flag.  Wave it hard.  Oh yes.  You are so good at that.  Spectacular.

Joe Giambrone is a filmmaker and author of Hell of a Deal: A Supernatural Satire. He edits The Political Film Blog, which welcomes submissions. polfilmblog at gmail.