Sadism for the weak, mercy for the powerful

Americans discover hopelessness in the country's economic decline

While most war-profiteers and banksters continue to live large, lesser mortals, those individuals who lack access to capital, credit and political power, find themselves at wits' end. Capitalism is truly an economic system without a shred of pity and it proves especially merciless during a crisis. Nick Turse recently authored a concise report on the carnage brought about by the current economic crisis. It makes for grim but predictable reading. He concludes it with the following:

Across the United States, people have been reacting to dire circumstances with extreme acts, including murder, suicide and suicide attempts, self-inflicted injury, bank robberies, flights from the law, and arson, as well as resistance to eviction and armed self-defense. And yet, while various bailout schemes have been introduced and implemented for banks and giant corporations, no significant plans have been outlined or introduced into public debate, let alone implemented by Washington, to take strong measures to combat the dire circumstances affecting ordinary Americans.

There has been next to no talk of debt or mortgage forgiveness, or of an enhanced and massively bulked-up version of the Nixonian guaranteed income plan (which would pay stipends to the neediest), or of buying up and handing over the glut of homes on the market, with adequate fix-up funds, to the homeless, or of any significant gesture toward even the most modest redistributions of wealth. Until then, for many, hope will be nothing but a slogan, the body count will rise, and Americans will undoubtedly continue going to extremes [emphasis added].

American citizens can expect this class-based prejudice to thrive as long as the country's political and economic elite lack a capable opponent based in civil society, an opponent that targets concentrated political and economic power.

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