WITHER HUMANITY: THE INCREASINGLY PATHOLOGICALLY CONSANGUINEOUS NATURE OF THE DOMINANT HEGEMONIC SOCIO-ECONOMIC, SOCIO-POLITICAL AND SOCIO-RELIGIOUS DISCOURSE IN WESTERN SOCIETY
Boy am I relieved, but boy am I ever equally if not more than ever equally perturbed by what I see out there in society and amongst the members of my immediate entourage of kinfolk and friends and acquaintances in today’s Postmodern and Postindustrial world here in the West.
I just finished my second semester of my first year of Community College at Niagara College Canada in Welland Ontario, and by all accounts, although not all my final marks have been posted yet, I anticipate maintaining my cumulative GPA of roughly 93% overall. Pretty good if you ask me, considering that I’m now 51 years old, am a recovered Psychiatric Survivor and addict/alcoholic, and live alone with no dependents to potentially do stuff for me if I need them.
I look after my own cooking, groceries, cleaning, laundry, dishes, getting the car fixed, getting all my electrical appliances and electronics serviced, and dealing with such things as ant and mice infestations on a periodic basis. I am also active in my Church as a Lector as well as in the Knights of Columbus and will soon be going for my 4th Degree Exemplification, the highest one can go in the K of C.
I volunteer my time for people in my class as a tutor when they need help with their courses and assignments and am always ready to supply my classmates with school supplies such as pens, pencils, a stapler, pencil sharpeners, paper, forms (which they are supposed to bring to class, but 50-65% of them don’t, so I do it for them), and donate as generously as I can to a whole host of worthy charitable causes which are fighting for various forms of social justice in Canada, such as protecting public medicine, water, public broadcasting, promoting peaceful resolution to armed struggle, and providing money to emerging world farmers to better their lives.
There seems to be no end to the increasing number of organizations who are soliciting me for their support in their fight for one thing or another, usually to defend such causes as I mentioned above, or conversely, causes at the other end of the ideological spectrum such as Pro-Life organizations and anti-Euthanasia groups, both of which I support.
What astounds me, though, is the increasingly pathologically consanguineous nature of the dominant hegemonic discourse which I hear coming out of the mouths of people in the media, especially corporate stakeholders, and other sundry putatively right wing types who seem to be merrily hopping on the bandwagon of bad mouthing unions, or actively union bashing or union busting, blaming the poor for their problems, questioning the work ethic of working people in a socio-economic climate where there is little or no well-paid work to be had for the average working person, especially a man with a basic High School education or less, and generally lambasting and denigrating the most vulnerable elements of today’s Postindustrial and Postmodern society as being essentially lazy, unworthy of consideration and morally and constitutionally unfit to participate fully and completely in the process of democratic citizenship, as was often the case with the elites in western society in the Pre-WWII era.
These same people of the then socio-economic, socio-political, socio-cultural and socio-religious elites, subscribed to such ideas as Social Darwinism and Eugenics, which purported to declare that there were ‘superior’ and ‘inferior’ races of humans, and that the White Anglo-Saxon race had a natural advantage over all others. The war disproved this categorically, as Hitler’s Final Solution was stopped dead in its tracks, but not before millions of lives were sacrificed at the altar of the Master Race and of corporately-sponsored fascist tyranny.
Now we seem to have come full circle. Like Carole Pope sang in her song ‘What’s the furor about the Fuhrer?’, when she was with the Canadian pop/synth band Rough Trade: ‘we’re just slipping right back into it. Every one of us is a Neo-Nazi, living in a so-called democracy.’ Pope was at the time bemoaning the then recent arrival on the scene of Ronald Reagan in America and the ushering in of the now familiar and increasingly entrenched and ubiquitous ideology of neo-conservatism, which at the time had summarily swept the Post WWII liberal order off the stage in what seemed like one fell swoop.
Ronald Reagan (or ‘Ray Gun’ as his detractors at Woodstock called him at the time), had been planning his shot for the White House for many decades. Practically since he was involved in anti-Communist activities in Hollywood in the McCarthy era did he harbor a deep-seated antipathy towards anything which smacked of liberalism or state-centric politics which involved raising taxes on people so as to provide publically-funded and delivered government services to the average citizen.
As far back as his time in State politics in California in the 1960s, he loathed the tax and spend policies of successive California administrations which built up a significant state structure of public services and regulations to govern private sector corporate activity. He vowed that if ever elected President of the United States of America, that he would dismantle that very fiscal framework which had been responsible in large part for America’s growth and prosperity and social peace and stability in the Post War era, and turn back the clock to what he considered to be a ‘better’, ‘simpler’ and ‘freer’ America with fewer rules and regulations to restrict the creation of wealth for its citizens, which in his rose-colored world, was all it took for a country to be universally prosperous, was to let men of money, power, property, prestige and personalities create more wealth for themselves and miraculously, the fruits of such a libertarian process of arrogation and aggregation of wealth would ‘trickle down’ to the unwashed masses of hoi polloi in the ‘lower orders’ who would benefit from such ‘best forms of enlightened self-interest’ by virtue of being employed in one of the millions of new jobs which would supposedly be created by this virtuous and magnanimously prosperous plutocracy, who would undoubtedly have the interests and temporal and spiritual well being of their compatriots in the lower orders at heart when executing their master plan for the socio-economic re-engineering of western civilization, which undoubtedly was to be carried out with the best interests of the common good and the world wide fellowship of humanity at the top of their list of considerations in the discharge of their sacred and sanctified duties as the moral vanguard of western civilization.
Well ho hum, I guess something funny happened on the way to the forum, because what has transpired is exactly the opposite. The gap between the haves and the have nots just seems to be getting wider and wider every year, and as John Mellencamp sang as far back as 1987 off the ‘Lonesome Jubilee’ album it’s ‘Hard times for an honest man.’ Our jobs keep getting exported oversees or to Mexico, and the elites keep spewing forth a discourse of wanting to lower wages, get rid of pension plans, eliminate benefits and paid vacations, even going so far as to virulently oppose such measures as minimum wage legislation as an ‘undue interference in the free market.’
This calls to the heart of the matter as laid out in the title of this piece. As the discourse gets more and more market oriented, the elites keep insisting that everything and everybody be governed by the purest form of ‘market imperative.’ That all time and space, people, places and things be reduced to some equation of commoditization, of either being reduced to a tangible or intangible good or service, which can be commoditized for money and which can be exchanged through some sort of monetized transaction involving a buyer and a seller, a producer and consumer, as if the totality of all human existence, both temporal and spiritual could be and should be commoditized for temporal gain, ideally of a maximized nature.
Such a discourse is so pervasively insidious and pernicious in today’s society that it risks engulfing the entirety of all planetary civilization in its diabolical grip and its thrall of social, economic, moral and spiritual tyranny and enslavement to Mammon, which St. Paul warned us against when he said that the ‘Love of money was the root of all evil.’ Money, as Fr. Murphy used to say in his Homily at Church in Quebec City back in the day, was like all material things, neither constitutionally good or evil, but took on whatever moral value we chose to ascribe to it, based on whether we wanted to use it to glorify God and to come to the aid of our fellow creatures, or to glorify ourselves in the vain pursuit of self-willed, and self-seeking aggrandizement.
What I see and hear nowadays from the media is a discourse which is being shaped by people in Washington DC, New York and other places which essentially has begun to resemble the proverbial consanguineous creature such as a pure bred dog, an inbred member of an ethnic community in certain parts of North America, as well as similar forms of socio-economic and/or ethno-linguistic or socio-religious or socio-cultural forms of fundamentalism, all of which are similar in their inherent structural and constitutional deficiencies and flaws: They all tend towards a certain form of ideological ‘purity’ or ‘fundamentalism’, which for the advocates of said ideology, can never be ‘pure’ enough, and much hand wringing and infighting often results amongst such people, be they American Evangelical Christian Republicans or Libertarians or Tea Party types, as to who exactly is truly got the ‘real’ or ‘pure’ conservative credentials, and who does not, and usually the ‘purer’ the candidates’ form of conservatism, the farthest is he or she usually from the mainstream reality of Mr. and Mrs. John and Jane Q. Public. Usually, their ideas come across as being so ‘fundamentalist’ or ‘pure’ that one often immediately begins to draw a parallel between such a political creature and the aforementioned ‘pure-bred’ dog, which has been so consanguineously reduced in its variety and multiplicity of genetic composition, that it now finds itself to be structurally and constitutionally flawed in many ways, often having congenital malformations in its musculo-skeletal structure, and especially, cognitive deficits which lead it to behave in a very deplorable, even instinctively pathologically aggressive manner towards its fellow creatures and others around it, to the point whereby the master of such a beast is often compelled to euthanize such a poor creature to put it out of its misery and to protect others against its constitutional defects of nature and nurture.
Unfortunately, in this case, I do not believe in euthanasia for humans, but do believe that such people, if given free reign in society, will surely destroy it by virtue of their advocacy of a constitutionally flawed fundamentalist ideology, which, just as fundamentalist ‘progressive’ secularism is flawed, this ideology of right wing evangelical Christian based neo-conservative socio-economic ideology and socio-political ideology is potentially the most structurally flawed and ultimately fatal element within American society which could, if left unchecked and unchallenged in the halls of corporate, religious, military and political power, shall surely spell the downfall of the Great Republic as we know it, or should I say, as we once knew it or grew to know it at a certain point in time and space.
Any farmer, dog breeder, or politician will tell you that hybrid strains of crops are the best for cultivation and the best tasting as well as the most pest resistant and disease resistant. Same goes for dog breeds. A good hybrid dog breed which has several breeds blended into it, is usually better at being able to be trained, resisting congenital illnesses, and usually lives longer than purebreds.
Why is it, then that ideologically we seem to be increasingly drifting towards polarization of public opinion towards increasingly radical and intolerant or ‘pure bred’ political ideologies, which advocate for such simplistic and all-purpose solutions such as ‘cut taxes’, or ‘reduce or eliminate regulations.’ Are we not living in a very technologically and scientifically complex society? Does not that society require complex and varied and in-depth rules, regulations and laws to govern the interactions between individuals and organizations through space and time? Is not our population aging and our birthrate stagnant? Does this not therefore require a significant level of taxation from the already insufficient existing population cohort so as to support the massive number of Baby Boomers and those older than them who are currently requiring or soon to require medical care? Do we not need to shore up our existing array of publicly funded and delivered government services through greater public contributions at all level of society through fair and equitable taxation of all socio-economic strata so as to guarantee the survival and future of our publicly funded and delivered government services?
Or do we, as the Canadian Taxpayers Federation would have us believe through their relentless campaigns of disinformation and misinformation want ‘tax cuts’, while still ‘reinvesting in health care and education and social services and building new infrastructure.’ Duh!!!! Just gag me with a spoon somebody! Somebody had better come onto the scene pretty soon and set the record straight and change the tone, texture and substance of the dominant hegemonic discourse in Canada and America or we will all soon surely perish under the weight of our own self-inflicted economic and political consanguineous discourse, which is dumbing down wages to well below subsistence levels, ratcheting up consumer debt to unprecedented levels, all the while demanding of the average citizen that he or she have access to a computer, a modem, and a high-speed internet connection so as to avail themselves of job opportunities which are often so poorly paid that some server’s jobs in America are now going for $2.50/hr plus tips, or $9.50/hr for an Administrative Assistant, or $11.00-12.50/hr in Canada for a call centre job, which, in my case, even with 37.5 hrs/week of work at $12.50/hr (that included a $2.00/hr ‘bonus’ for speaking a second language!), left me bereft of roughly $600.00/month in income necessary to make ends meet, because my monthly expenses living in Ontario for a single person with a used vehicle, which I have to insure, license, and maintain, and pay for parking, as well as pay for life insurance, home insurance and supplemental health insurance, plus all my other expense, leaves me unable to live on , much less be married and raise a family on such a pittance.
And some people would have the ‘free market’ determine the ‘real’ cost of labour, ‘free’ of any government ‘interference’ in the ‘free market?’ Well I’ve got news for you. The minute such ‘freedom’ would ever be granted by the government to men of money, power, property, prestige and personalities, would be the day that a whole new era of corporate feudalism and economic slavery, peonage and tyranny would be unleashed upon the people of Canada as wages would drop down, according to the ‘iron law of wages’, as per the economic theory in economic history, to a subsistence level, and individuals and families would be forced into an even greater level of debt servitude and peonage than they are faced with now.
The expected level of consumption for which the elites are expecting the ‘consumer’ to sustain, as compared to the real level of wages that working people are being paid, is egregiously obscene. We live in a world of $100.00+ hockey tickets, some as high as $1000.00, $10.00+ beers at sports events, outrageous prices at the concession stands at the cinema, and $1000.00 smart phones produced in China by worker drones earning probably between $0.04-$0.10/hr with suicide nets outside the windows of the factory to prevent the poor overworked and underpaid Chinese worker drones from throwing themselves to their death from the inner sanctum of the temple of a Communist-controlled/Apple subcontractor factory producing techno-trash gadgets for pimply pre-pubescent postmodern, postindustrial over-entitled North American children, whose idea of self-sacrifice and self-discipline is being coerced into putting said piece of techno trash down long enough to inhale some pre-cooked agro-industrial comestibles derived from the three essential food groups of western civilization (fat, sugar and salt), before returning once again to the self-seeking and self-centred pursuit of his or her techno defilement/interface with their piece of techno trash.
We are expected to own a cell phone, web-enabled of course, be hooked up to Facebook and Twitter, have either cable TV or satellite TV with some sort of PVR or DVR system with wide screen TV which seem to be getting wider and wider and being installed in more and more rooms in the house (can you say the word ‘telescreen’, Comrade? Remember, Big Brother is watching you!!! Oh Ford!!!). We are expected to own a microwave oven, a car, fridge, stove, washer, dryer, computer, printer, scanner, wireless phone in every room, a laptop, an I Pad, an I phone, one of those thingies to listen to your music in public and not talk to anybody, (remember, we’re living in a society of COMMUNICATION folks!!!), a paper shredder, speakers for your computer, a microphone, a webcam, all so that we can apply for jobs that pay barely minimum wage and for which there are NO benefits, NO paid vacations, NO pension plan, NO full time positions, and for which we are no longer permitted to submit our application through the postal service (which we are told is under relentless attack from both the US and Canadian governments to be eliminated or at least drastically scaled back in a further tyrannical move against our rights as citizens).
So I’m wondering, who’s in charge here? What’s the agenda? Why are working people being denigrated so severely and so virulently with such mean-spirited aggression and violence? Why are we waging a relentless war on the poor again? What do we get out of it? What does society gain by incarcerating more of its citizens and having more of its cities and towns fall into disrepair and disrepute and chaos? Who exactly is winning in all of this? Are they deriving pleasure from seeing their fellow citizens suffer? If so, do they not fear for the fate of their immortal soul? Are they not concerned with the fate of the common citizen of this nation and that to the south of us? Do they not have any concern for the common good or the collective good of humanity or at the very least of their country? Where are the virtuous men and women of good moral predisposition of conscience and belief? Hath they gone the way of the Dinosaurs? We may very well do as they did if we don’t smarten up. As John Mellencamp sang, ‘we’d better start respecting this world, or it’s going to stand up, and bite off our face! You’d better stand for something, or you’re gonna fall for anything.’ Or as Sting sang when he was with the Police ‘hey there mighty brontosaurus, don’t you have a lesson for us.. walking in your footsteps.. they say the meek shall inherit the earth…’
I can’t understand why are men of money, power, property, prestige and personalities, who were already wealthy to begin with, permitting the middle class to disappear, for working people to lose their livelihoods, their sense of purpose and their moral worth and to devastate entire sections of an entire continent, simply so as to better make themselves wealthier? It appears to me to be a form of incarnate evil which is so willfully perpetrated and perpetuated that only humans could permit such evil to be unleashed upon their fellow creatures. Animals don’t kill or maim or cause suffering solely for personal material gain or aggrandizement of temporal prestige. The closest thing in the animal kingdom that I can think of which resembles such a thing are male lions, who are known to kill a rival mate’s cubs so that his rival’s mate will more quickly go into heat again so that he may impregnate her so as to perpetuate his own bloodline as opposed to that of his rival’s. Or in the case of some male primates, they are sometimes known to utilize sodomy against their rivals as a form of domination so as to subdue and dominate or subjugate a potential rival who is challenging his dominant position in the community of primates.
Apart from these two examples, I cannot think of any other creature apart from the human who seems to derive such cruel pleasure or gratification from imposing his or her dominion over their compatriots and Lording it over them in such unholy thrall. It is therefore all that more ironic to know that the word ‘Lord’ has originally a far more benevolent etymology than the meaning it grew to have throughout Medieval times. ‘Lord’ essentially means ‘Loaf keeper’, as in ‘one who feeds dependents.’ I’m assuming from this sense given from the Webster’s New World Dictionary, that the ‘loaf keeper’ originally, being the owner of the land and probably the owner of the barns where the grain was stored, had a great responsibility to feed many dependents on his estates, seeing that they tilled his fields and harvested his crops, he ostensibly owed them a certain portion of the fruits of their labours in return for their subjection to his authority.
The fact that so many Lords did not live up to their obligations as ‘loaf keepers’ by acting with any sort of benevolent magnanimity is a testament to the fallen nature of humanity and our ongoing exile East of Eden, for which only a personal as well as collective relationship with our One True Lord Jesus Christ can truly redeem us. He is the One True Loaf Keeper, who feeds us with the true and real presence of His body and blood in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar. He is truly the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. Happy are we who are called to the supper of the Lamb.
Our world truly needs more men and women who live their lives in the image of the One True Loaf keeper, to feed his dependents as a True Lord should and must, if he is to have any hope of ever knowing his eternal reward in the hereafter. Let us therefore go forth not as consanguineous ideologues of a social, economic, political, cultural and religious system which is so narrowly inbred as to be constitutionally and tragically flawed, but rather let us be standard bearers of the One True Loaf keeper, always ready, willing and able to feed our dependents, who after all, are Children of the Light as we are, and seek, as we do, the everlasting repose of an eternal reward, so justly merited that we as Loaf Keepers must strive to emulate, not subjugate, the salt of the earth, which giveth taste and flavour to all who dwelleth in God’s earthly realm. Amen.