The Worm & The Peacock
Evidently the established media is unaware that American democracy is as dead as the proverbial dodo. Political commentators like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly and the rest of the gaggle representing values dear to the beltway, come across (ever more) as mere salespeople…of mighty mouth… purveying myths of American supremacy to a vast public mesmerised-by-their-own-status and faux notion of democracy. Not surprisingly, those dead-wood-people, possessed of the idea that democracy is about organising the world in an American way, show little sympathy for those who resist the imperial behemoth. This unhealthy process is supported by the media in order to reassure us that the phenomenon known as militarism has still got ‘balls’ and America’s alpha-male-style-patriotism is cock of the walk…our bombs are bigger than theirs, our depleted uranium will break down all resistance. That the chunky presence and banal doctrines…neo-con-one-fit-promotion-of-democracy-fits-everybody-everywhere…could somehow make the world go round more salubriously, has got to be the delusion to end all delusions. That the Pogo-moment…canary in the coalmine, if you wish, is simply ignored and … ‘we have met the enemy and he is us’…fails to penetrate the propaganda machine that protects the status quo via established media, indicates how non porous the system has become. It also shows how successful the PR machine is in marketing testosterone hyped mythology as neocon-democracy speaking to us from within a ‘classified’ reality.
However, as we become more inflexible and incapable of realistically understanding our place in the world, we can be said to be in deep shit. To lose sight of what cultural biodegradability might mean in its primary relationship to sustainability, is akin to courting disaster. When corporate capitalism succeeded in arm-wrestling the political narrative into submission to a wholly owned subsidiary. Wall Street, oxygen was denied the body politic and the health of the system commenced to flounder from that point in time. At this point American democracy was rendered wan. The primary and secondary aspects of the system we needed to understand…tensions that exist between economics and politics for example…became lost in propaganda-speak, and with the aid of the PR and the lobbying industries, achieved a level of sophistication that succeeded in consigning matters of public interest to the back-burner.
The usurpation of the welfare state has been relentless and mean-spirited, creating an urgent need for fresh appraisals of the realities before us. A start…by way of reality check… might be to try to understand the relationship between the earth worm and the peacock. The earth worm appears to perform two ambassadorship roles simultaneously. The first one, signifying the health of the soil, requires maintaining a context fit for organic life. The earth worms…unlike human beings…systematically improve the condition of their habitat as they pass through it. The second function is implicit in the first, protecting its domain as the harbinger of all things secondary. The function of the earth worm is to work toward maintaining the porosity of the elemental context through oxygenation parse. Marvellously and mysteriously, this little creature becomes an adjunct to the respiratory process that is fundamental to the maternal dimensions of the planet, forever birthing the secondary in all its myriad incarnations. So the porosity of the underworld…where restoration actually happens…requires constant ventilation of the base region in order for secondary phenomena to emerge from that cauldron of miracles and from whence peacocks (for instance) arise to strut their stuff in the realm of the sublime.
So what part of the word ‘insanity’ do the producers of toxic munitions, ‘frackers’, polluters, war-mongers, torturers etc., fail to understand. America has adopted a culture of expediency that runs on the concealment of facts, distortion of truth for the purpose of advancing the interests of the corporate sector, black-site evils, dissemination of propaganda that manufactures fear, plus a litany of other ills that operate to advance self aggrandisement. When we pause to examine the character of our allies, we discover that in foreign policy matters alone, the lobbyists who urge us to war in the Middle East are but the tip of a fifth-column iceberg that parasitically dishonours the spirit of the American dream.
So what happened in the not-so-sublime secondary world of American democracy that saw it disappear up its own asshole and become a pariah state? Did hubris arise within the alpha male world as a consequence of a lurch into major world wars, thus giving it a blood lust of vast proportions that resulted in the poisoning of its own narrative and credibility? Kill lists/remote-controlled drone strikes/revoking of due process/black sites/extraordinary rendition become accepted norms and soon reveal how deeply America has become trapped in a psychosis of permanent war of its own making.
How then did American democracy become so venal and so many of its citizenry lose contact with fundamental reality? The rapacity of the system has become ever more evident to those who suffer its wantonness at home…and abroad, the smugness of its assumptions become ever more threatening. The notion that ‘democracy’ in America is sustainable in its present form, is a gigantic furphy. So what to do? For one thing, we can rummage around in alternative media in the hope that appellate tastes may careen toward the low hanging fruits on offer there and provide an alternative perspective. But don’t hold your breath. In our wildest imaginings we tend to the belief that crop rotations…as in new ideas… come from beyond the pale…maybe they do! Nevertheless, the oxygenated perspectives circulating in alternative fora contain ideas that resonate well for those thirsty for relief from the old dry lies.
But revolution is what is required. What we all learn most acutely from the experience is that each of us start out with an inner empty space, one which can be furnished with whatever things of value take our fancy. But the inner space is our primary space and may not require furnishing as such. The inner space is best served when it can remain relatively free of cant, ideology, propaganda and the quirky ‘fromage’ of in-house specialisations that trap its citizens in exercises that are in perpetual need of kneading…the need to finger the latest gadget, etc?
It is the creative mind that best understands empty space, sensing that voice and thought need to circulate through the porous entrails of the system we call society…observe how Edward Said, Jimmy Joyce, Will Shakespeare, or the founding fathers of the American Republic, so wonderfully filled their inner spaces with ‘voices’ that served the linking of the primary with the secondary for the purpose of attaining harmony through illumination. It doesn’t matter what name we give the political system, but it matters very much whom the system serves. Crafting institutions that work inclusively for the public good is paramount if we intend to master the science of equitable distribution. Truth is primary and has to be shared; without this touchstone, nothing is truly shared…the very idea that multi-billions of taxpayer dollars disappear annually into the catacombs of secret service enclaves running covert programmes for the elites who govern us, is tantamount to hosting a fifth column that supplants the function of the primary state…the primary state being the people.
So the earth worms that secure the health of the mother lode are now called upon to nudge the system along a little further and assist in the birthing of a phoenix. The corporate monkey wrenches anything and everything from mother earth so that it can turn everything to profit. The alpha-male culture we call free enterprise, relentlessly converts all before it to its own ends, in order to furnish its capacious inner warehouse-space with goodies looted from all quarters of the world.
As of now we are faced with death by a thousand venal cuts unless we find ways of promoting the return of those honourable representative/candidates whose modus operandi might well be the meme that means egalitarianism, government free from special interest groups, freedom from fifth column activity within the financial church, deployment of resources in a manner that restores the virility of the public purse…in other words, the election of new brooms that would clear away the climate of venality, now pervading the hallowed halls of progressive thinking, under siege from regressive warlords and money-lords, hell-bent on extorting from the public purse the very hard fought achievements of workers. The bang for your buck attitude that underscores the dog-eat-dog culture we now have has degenerated into a free-for-all melee that favours the moneyed-milieu by virtue of their ability to buy politicians. Egalitarianism has become as rare as hen’s teeth…nowhere to be found! The political process itself has become a national embarrassment…everywhere to be found… wanting.
So now our individual voices have become separated from the mother lode, and the ‘voice-of-the-people’ has gone underground. Maybe from this lowly perspective with the worms, we will rediscover that our polity would be better served without the interference of self serving elites. Our honourable ancestors would be aghast if they knew that the ship of state, had the Machiavellian hand of AIPAC on the tiller, to navigate a passage through whose-foreign-policy-is-it-anyway’ territory…our individual and collective voice need an awakening experience…and a shot of digitalis for American democracy.
Denis A. Conroy is a retired journalist and a voracious follower of matters political outside of the mainstream arena.
Image credit: Jason Samfield