Hola mi Gente,
I’m simply amazed by how many so-called progressives are now saying that single-payer healthcare — the proven and predominant health care model in almost all other advanced economies — cannot be implemented in these United States. It seems that the unspoken campaign motto for the establishment candidate is, “No we can’t!” And cowardly “liberals” are now seen running around repeating endlessly, “No we can’t. No we can’t!… ” In any case, Senator Sanders pulled off a victory of sorts last night in Iowa. He was 40 points behind at one time.
My experience has taught me that, more than anything else, prison is first a state of mind (or a set of government policies) and then a geographical location.
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The Psychological Plantation
I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.
— Harriet Tubman
It is said that when the slaves in the USA and the serfs in Russia were “freed,” the chains were laid out before them and the doors to the plantation were opened wide. Most slaves and serfs, however, chose to stay, not because they liked it but because they had been conditioned to believe that their very survival depended on their servitude. It is the same with some individuals who have experienced long periods of incarceration: they have become conditioned to being told what to do and when. Eating, showering, sleeping, or even shitting can become difficult when you have been forced to accept servitude.
Today the average working stiff accepts more hours at a lower wage, or fewer hours, which usually means the loss of health care and other benefits. All this in the name of profit. You can be assured that when a slave is freed it is because he or she will make more money for Boss Hawg as a free agent. When a worker is praised, you can be sure he is more than likely sweating gold.
Today we measure progress by increments in the margin of profit: how much is made from the sweat of others (whether the labor of an employee or the slave labor of some child in some far off country). success is measured by how much profit can be made off money in the bank, off the exchange of international currency — and how much one can stand to lose.
We are all governed by this margin. It is like a river we have come to depend on for our subsistence; a river that provides us life-giving water and news from upstream. It has been the major artery of human interaction for centuries, and most of us believe it is the only way that a nation can be great. If we fail at education, when our children cannot add or read, we can always import mathematicians from Russia or China, or engineers from India.
It is not even real profit but just the illusion or dream of a profit that holds millions of Americans and American wannabes in thrall. It is like an obsessive/ compulsive disorder — like gambling or drugs. But this over preoccupation with profit is far more harmful than any drug. This obsession with the margin of profit grinds everything that is good and human about us into the unnameable glob of by-products squeezed into synthetic cases that are sold by the pound and then forgotten.
Our values are turd-like products pounded out with assembly line-like efficiency and sealed in plastic — this is our identity. Truth has no value here. The cure for cancer is far less important than the commodified ideal of profit over people.
For the sake of profit we will overlook the needless deaths of tens of thousands of our fellow compatriots, we will ignore rape and genocide. For profit, we will accept and rationalize apartheid, slavery, and even lawlessness in isolated cases. For the margin of profit, we will enslave our own people. For even the hope of a profit, a worker will mangle her mind, soul, and body doing the work of two women or three.
And here we are — all of us — where profit is made on a grand scale in, but not all of us share in it. Most of us work for currencies that fluctuate in value, toil in workplaces that dehumanize us, are shackled to spaces where our hearts are destroyed. We — all of us — we live in the margin of profit. The money taken from labor is used to buy political power that does not represent us. Our taxes pay for federally licensed airwaves that we no longer control, for economic bailouts that are thinly disguised welfare handouts for the rich, for the millions of dollars it took to investigate Bill Clinton’s cock, and for a criminal justice system that cannot keep heroin out our children’s hands but incarcerates them in numbers unprecedented in the history of humankind.
Broken roads and schools, children who can’t read, and prisons that are traded on the Dow Jones — these are also the margins of profit. The verb then, is to marginalize. We are all marginalized by the dogma of Capitalism. We are mere entries in the ledgers of Citibank, Halliburton, and hedge fund managers. We are the skin that defines the monster that tells us He is the only way. God, this monster tells us, can only be defined by the margin of profit. We pray to it and even sacrifice our children to it.
Let us be clear: the world of profit is a world of plunder. Progress is defined by this margin but it says nothing of the quality of life and of goodness. Fair, defined by the margin, is what you can get away with.
If profit is the only way, then we have truly never left the inner plantation of our collective psychological enslavement. Like the poor souls whose minds have been broken, we can no longer envision a world without a master…
My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…