I must confess to getting a key point completely wrong.
Last week I claimed that we’ve had an unbroken string of elite failure, but that’s not correct.
Their failure only effects us. For them, it’s so much winning.
Allow me to explain.
The crucial thing to understand is that our elites are predators. They are taught that they have no obligation to other people. Their operating principles are the same basic neoliberal ones that Maggie Thatcher articulated: There is no such thing as society. Greed is good. There is no alternative (TINA). This is the most important thing you can understand about our country today. You can’t count on US elites to care about you at all. If it is in their best financial interest to impoverish you, or make you homeless, or even kill you, they will do so.
This is where neoliberalism leads, It’s what its internal logic demands.
Meanwhile, because our society has become bifurcated between the feral elite and everyone else, there are two outcomes. They win, we lose. Indeed, the salient question is why shouldn’t our country just get worse and worse, if making it worse will only cause the people who worsen it to grow wealthier and wealthier?
The vaunted US military is a great example of how it works. Since 9/11 we’ve been at war continuously but have a series of failed or at best inconclusive military campaigns to show for it. Meanwhile we been told repeatedly that we’ve got the best military in the history of the world, certainly the most expensive, and yet we can see with our own eyes that it’s not actually doing a lot of winning. Except, even while the US military has lost our elite, who own the defense corporations that construct the high-tech weapons systems that a modern military depends on, have been reaping a fortune.
So much winning.
You can see something similar by looking at the actions of our elite during the pandemic. For instance, billionaires have seen their collective wealth increase by nearly $700 billion while ordinary Americans face increasing economic insecurity amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The impending evictions may soon kick 28 million people/families out of their homes. At the end of this, US elites will control a larger percentage of the US economy than before. They will be wealthier and more powerful. And if that means tens of millions of Americans are homeless and hungry, then that is a price US elites are willing for you to pay.
They are just not that into you.
And it’s not just the Trump administration though they deserve plenty of blame. Without a huge supporting cast, including Congress, Trump could not have done what he did (and didn’t). If his incompetence had been affecting elites negatively and not making them richer, you can be damn sure the pandemic would have been dealt with forthrightly. It wasn’t because it was making them richer and furthering their plans.
Despite everything else the real outrage should be over the fact that our political and business elite have massively prospered even as they’ve presided over a stunning level of national decline, degradation and loss. An elite that grows richer and more powerful by the day while our government declines to the status of a banana republic amid the gradual collapse of public infrastructure.
This should be the headline news every-single-fucking-day.