Bread and Circuses at the State of the Union

15/02/2013 06:54
by NORMAN POLLACK

The 2008 hoax has been repeated, successfully it would appear (given the sanctification bestowed on Obama’s performance last night by the New York Times), despite a four-year record, ranging from zero to absolute negation, on every policy approach raised by the speech.  The friend of government?  Yes, in its militaristic dimensions; yes, in its protection of major corporations, banks, hedge funds, etc., from its supposed charge of regulation; yes, in its pursuit of international (but not American) reputation for moral turpitude—how else characterize assassination?

But government as dedicated to the public welfare,  government, embodiment of the principle of equality, government, vehicle for and guardian of societal democratization affecting class structure, distribution of wealth and power, business regulation, not on your life; quite the opposite, government, under Obama, as the public teat for corporate wealth, an image from the Gilded Age brought back to life, more blatant than ever.

Blatant, objectively, disguised beyond recognition, subjectively, so great the persuasiveness of liberal rhetoric in a society based on the destruction of political consciousness and critical awareness.  Obama, publicist for the spoliation of America on behalf of its ruling groups extraordinaire.

What did the speech offer?  A tribute to the “Middle Class” which, by its very designation, obfuscates the political-economic landscape of, first, an actual working, not middle, class, assuming its members are lucky enough to have jobs, second, structural poverty, from long-term unemployment to stagnant wages to first-timers seeking to enter the labor force to no avail, and third, even for those previously in the middle class, a decline of living standards via loss of home, equity therein, and savings, again when un- and under-employment hits—all of the above, as the incomes of the wealthiest skyrocket out of the picture.  The State of the Union is really, the State of the (Bifurcated) Union, not Republican, Democrat, not red states, blue states, but, simply, the union of great wealth and the societal remainder, gradations here a matter of statistical convenience, but concentration at the top—hence the accuracy of the phrase “ruling groups”—at what is surely at or near an all-time high.

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