Thursday, March 30, 2006
The other thing that occurred to me this morning was that as a nation, we learned how to control masses of people for the good of very few people during the 19th century, and frankly we have turned it into a science. Economics. It should be worth noting but it isn't really noted that our country operates on a principle of free trade that is based upon the unimpeachable ideal that your markets (your being anyone else but us) should be open to us so that we can exploit them to the fullest extent of our ability. Not everything is exploitation, but in the main, the momentum of our trade and economic policies is not to provide more liberty and freedom for our trading partners but simply to provide more opportunity for our corporations to make shitloads of money. And if we can make money by using your labor (which is literally slave labor in some cases) then we are all for it. We love making money, and drinking mint juleps whilst resting our feet upon street urchins we brought in from the cold. The idea of making money off of slaves did not go away after the Civil War. It just evolved into something less crass.
Woke up this morning with the clear thought that all those things I have taught my class about the nature of American chattel slavery apply in a real sense to our modern condtions. I wouldn't try to tell you simply that we are slaves as we go to our fine cubicles and earn huge dollars so we can be the consumers we always wanted to be. That would be an affront to the slaves of the 19th century. We have a lot of advantages, which we tend to self-identify under our definition of freedom, such as we can't be whipped (with leather or wood) by our bosses nor do we have to work on Saturdays (all Saturdays anyway) or have our wives screwed by the master, or our children sold away from us or live in leaky shakes with no decent medicine. Then again, all of these things do apply to some degree and it would behoove us to start opening our eyes and hearts up to the idea that we are slaves of a different sort. Last night on the TV show "The Evidence" Orlando Bloom's character pointed out to his cop partner (Shawn Estes) that he was "pre-pissed." I see a lot of that pre-pissed behavior in myself and fellow man, but what I don't see is an analogous understanding that we are "pre-beaten." We don't even try to fight back anymore. The man still exists. Fight back you pussies.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
There was an article in the NYT today that occasioned a lot of intelligent whining from that selfish bunch of isolated whites about what to do about the black boys who don't want what white boys want. It seems to me that not wanting what white boys want shows yet another example of how black boys know something that all the kings sociologists and all the kings educators don't know or won't accept: the game is rigged so that liberty is never the reward. I teach history and it seems like when people read the Declaration of Independence they forget that liberty is not necessarily something that goes along with equality. And it just pisses the people who make a living off of analyzing the "dysfunction" of black society crazy to think that there is something superior (however marginal or isolated) about black culture even at its lowest ebb to just giving in and working to bring the GNP to an ever higher level of accomplishment. Going along is "a white thing" and a lot of education and success is sold out crap. And it kills as surely as a drive-by. White folks so uppity these days we want to make sure that the black folks die for things we approve of.
Posted by Po at 29.3.06