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Within the long history of human usage of other animals as a means of overpowering our own frailties (and each other) there are few, if any other, animals which has been used as a method, symbol, and in the creation of words employed in order to lift us out of our prosaic condition more than the horse. Yet, as we hear these words which derive from the usage of horses, the extent of our awareness relating to the attributions of power seems to be reduced and reduced into what might be called an imaginary aura. This supposed aura is not anything which has to do with the reality of the nature of horses so much as it has everything to do with how we want to believe that our natures are more noble and powerful than we really are.
In previous times – not so very long ago – a person might use one horse for transport or, in more extreme cases, “teams” of horses of variable numbers might be used in order to try to lift ourselves into a more powerful position within the economic framework of the social orders of capitalism. For the majority of people the ownership of these animals and their possible power was until recent times directly related to our more personal interaction and participation in the feeding, sheltering, grooming, breeding, and training of these power sources.
Since the advent of metal machinery becoming the replacement tools of choice over the power of horses, we have been gradually losing our sense of responsibility and connectedness to our usage of power. We have reached a point where it is now commonplace for us to use the impression that our methods of travel and our movements of resources all rely on the use of the equations of hundreds of horses’ power.
While these assessments of “horsepower” are variable from machine to machine and I certainly have no way of comprehending whether such assessments of so many hundreds of horses’ power in any given vehicle have any relation to what the real power may be within any vehicle – the fact remains that, on any given day and at any given time, it is too, too common to see a parking lot filled with so many claims of horses’ power that the mountainous piles of subsequent horse manure which would be accumulating daily (had such an assessment of the thousands of horses in any given parking lot been real) that the filth and odor of our existence would be inescapably at the forefront in our lives. The horses’ metalized petroleum-dependent replacements in our lives deceive us into believing that we have escaped the filth and drudgery of previous times for what looks like a cleaner advancement of our own personal agency within the same old structure of economic climbing.
Do any of us really need 300 horses worth of power to pick up our groceries, go to the gym, go to school, …..or whatever other venture and is the impression that the lack of seeing subsequent enormous piles of molding manure really proof that we have advanced beyond a state of relying upon filthy effects or are we so meanly desperate in our need to escape our handiwork and our responsibility that we cannot allow ourselves to comprehend the toxicity of our new pseudo-equine machinery?
This questioning came into my mind when, at a recent family gathering, the awareness that some of my father’s fathers and mothers were farmers who raised horses and the related stories about how those men and women were intimately involved in all of the aspects of breeding and maintaining horses.
Among the stories is my father’s memory of my grandmother guiding a stallion’s penis during breeding because it would have been irresponsible for her to watch as the horse violently flailed about in an effort to procreate.
It is not that I believe my ancestors were wonderfully responsible people. There are other stories.
I have framed this article in this way because all of this relates to how we tend to use and even worship capitalism without thinking about how it is a vehicle of enormous power and how so many of us rarely allow ourselves to see the connected toxic effects which are often deliberately hidden by blinders we either seek out and/or allow to be put upon our minds.
Those people who trumpet the glorification of so-called “Free Market” economics are the worst kind of horse-traders. The fact that they try to lead people into believing that reducing controls over their ability to ride roughshod over those with less money and power will somehow result in everyone benefitting is their chief fraudulence. Just as all men are not created equal, the insistence that the power of money will inexplicably respond beneficially as long as it can run rampant is the same as saying that horses will train themselves to become our servants as long as you allow enough of them loose upon the commons. These power-hungry deceivers who worship at the altar of unrestrained capital also tend to insist that with the accumulation of more economic power comes a greater sense of responsibility and nobility while covering up the willful use of violence in the destruction of lives and livelihoods which they cause around the planet and by which they accumulate more money and power. It is hugely misguided to equate the schemes of today’s economic bandits with any other kind of manure produced by nature because the corporatized hucksters of today have no intention of replenishing the land after their horses are unleashed to devour and destroy.
Manure can be amazingly beneficial when it is handled responsibly. The scarcity of real beneficial manure from the preferred mechanical horses of today’s societies is an indicator of the fallowness and desperation upon which we have been led to depend.
The key words here are responsible and irresponsible. Any source of power must be handled responsibly. Clearly, those who have achieved the greatest amounts of power in this ever more capitalized world are those who must be subjected to the most oversight and control. If for no other reason than to protect them from themselves. The less we demand the revelation of their actions, the more we allow our being subjected to their abusive tendencies. If we do not keep an eye on their movements, if we do not require more responsibility from them, and if we allow ourselves to imagine that they are trustworthy, then we are not trustworthy or responsible and the planet is reduced to a plantation full of pseudo-cowboys who are determined to keep riding upon the backs of those who they see as being their lessers.
At this time in the descent of our species, the agents of the vile delusion of the Free Market deception are abundant throughout the planet. Their machinations depend upon and insist upon maintaining heightened feelings of insecurity and upon limiting all of our possibly imagined futures to the bondage of relying upon the machinery which feeds upon the flesh of all life forms for their privatized profits. Everything imaginable is up for sale. The carbonic-petro-economy is their contemporary fetishized obsession and the private accumulation of money and power over other lifeforms is their perversely delusional proof of divinity.
The integrity of horse shit has greater benefits.