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Capitalist Society

Each week, LA Progressive’s editors pick what they regard as a particularly insightful comment from one of our readers, both to draw attention to one particular reader’s thoughts and to encourage more readers to weigh in with their opinions. This week’s pithy "Feedback Friday" response comes from Joe Mitchell, who commented on the article by Paul Haeder, "Capitalist Society Under the One Party of Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum .

Sorry it took so long to get back with you. I have a family member that lost everything in the Camp Fire. Not only did it take everything he owned but also his future plans of finishing college as a disabled 52 year old. As for myself I’ve been struggling with breathing and sinus problems as a result of breathing air from that fire for the last two weeks. Many schools, due to the horrendous air quality in our area, shut down a couple of days before Thanksgiving week and stayed closed until the Monday after Thanksgiving. For people like myself that have no choice but to continue working through the worst air quality this area has seen, we didn’t have the luxury of sitting indoors an weathering out the bad air.

The thing I can never get my head around is how these people think they got any spoils? Most of them that harbor this belief are at the bottom of the economic ladder.

I read your essay the day it was published. I agree with everything you pointed out concerning your charges and the system, made up of the economic, educational, military, justice, political and media propaganda institutions that preys on them. It’s a rigged system that exploits everything and everyone. It’s a system that must have broken people to exploit and resources that can be stolen. Your observation about the vets you work with who stated that, “to the victors go the spoils,” is something I have heard not only from veterans. The thing I can never get my head around is how these people think they got any spoils? Most of them that harbor this belief are at the bottom of the economic ladder. They didn’t get any spoils from their blind patriotism and allegiance to the war profiteers. Many of them are living on the street and are emotionally non functioning. They can’t put it together that they were used by politicians and their Oligarch owners to advance the profits of a few. They can’t put it together that the military takes the major share of the budget for war profiteering and leaves them out on the street.

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The thing that provides the best explanation for me on how people develop and maintain these cognitive dissonant views (not just veterans or military people, I’ve heard many Obama democrats spout the same bullshit, these ideas are spread across a wide swath of the population). The explanation was from an interview I listened to with Studs Terkle. Studs was talking about the conditions during the great depression. Then like now there was tremendous wealth captured by the few and massive poverty by the many. Studs was asked by the interviewer why more people didn’t focus their anger on the wealthy people that collapsed the economic system in the 20’s and 30’s? Studs reply gave a deep insight into the minds and thinking of the broken people of that time. Studs said the people standing in lines at the soup kitchens and bread lines didn’t know any of the Oligarchs that created the situation they were in. They compared their situation to the people around them that they could see. Someone with new shoes was who they compared themselves with. People with better clothes than them were who they compared their predicament to because they were obviously better off. It made sense what Terkel said. Humans are tribal. What Terkel was describing was the epitome of tribalism, the us vs. them mentality. The idea that because someone looks different they must be the enemy.

The powers at the top of this shithole, banana republic country have used the us vs. them mentality to keep people separated and at at each others throats forever. Hell if you look at military training, that is what it’s all about, stripping the humanity from the individual and replacing it with the us vs. them doctrine that so many soldiers never get over. “Semper Fi.” It’s the insanity of the masses at a football game cheering their gladiators against the other teams gladiators. That’s why the military spends big money with the NFL, to tap into that mentality with huge football field sized flags and military jet flyovers. It’s good for recruiting. Indoctrinate them young.

As I’ve told you before Paul, I don’t see any of this changing. The Orange Buffoon in the oval office is creating the conditions for corporate fascism to thrive. He has tapped into and is exploiting his forehead shaving, knuckle dragging base very effectively. The Democrats are going right along with him. They all believe in neoliberalism with every fiber of their being. It’s exactly as you say with your heading, “The party of tweedle dee and tweedle dumb.”

It’s going to go on until it can’t. Man is it going to get ugly at the end.

Joe