The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things: of shoes and ships and sealing wax and... NATIONALIZATION.
That word makes a lot of Joseph McCarthy's children see red -- but it's time to step out of the looking glass and put a little blush in our cheeks. The pallor of greed and elitism has done enough damage.
The most unsettling element of Obama's inauguration address wasn't Ricky Warren or Dopey Roberts-- it was the President's soft-pedal of our economic nightmare. He acted like what we're going through is a collective fuck-up -- we all done wrong -- and that everyone needs to admit their culpability.
Really? Just because the teacher says "Georgie stole the milk money," does EVERYONE have to stay after school?
In "This Great Mess," there are specific misdeeds and perps to be called on the carpet. There is a list, there are names. It's not "everyone" who's been at the wheel!
Paul Krugman wrote this weekend:
"Mr. Obama attributed the economic crisis in part to "our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age" -- but --this is, first and foremost, a crisis brought on by a runaway financial industry.
"If we failed to rein in that industry, it wasn't because Americans "collectively" refused to make hard choices; the American public had no idea what was going on, and the people who did know what was going on mostly thought deregulation was a great idea."
Krugman goes on to say that gurus of all persuasions want to see prudent nationalization moves in the financial sector.
Yet the number one reason we haven't nationalized the hopeless banks already, is because of Cold War Commie-phobia -- irrational superstition at its pinkest. The very word "nationalization" is considered risqué. The GOP has palpitations just thinking about it, and so do many Democrats. Alright, fine -- but how deep a rat-hole will this country sink into in order to hold onto its Commie Cootie Bugs?
I don't get it. If a nation haunted by colonial slavery can get over its own racism to elect a black President; if gay marriage rights can become as American as apple pie; then what is the big deal about addressing a modicum of public interest? Is class consciousness the last taboo?
Yes, nationalization will hurt a sliver of the American population, our aristocracy. But the 2-Percenters won't go hungry.
Take Arthur Levitt, the former chief of the Securities and Exchange Commission -- who was supposed to protect the American people from investment fraud. He says he has no problem sleeping at night, and I bet his health insurance plan is yummy. He was asked how he is changing his spending habits in the current crisis and he said: "I canceled a vacation to the Far East that I had planned for the spring. I don't feel right about spending large sums of money in this environment."
Save your tears, Alice. The crying shame is that many influential Americans still believe it's beneficial to bail out billionaires, handing them MORE billions to hoard -- while keeping the romance alive that Ponzi dreams do come true.
Isn't the Kool-Aid pitcher a little stinky at this point? The Mad Hatter is more believable than the crap we've swallowed over the recent years of deregulation and kleptocracy.
The notion that Obama is going to make everyone stand in a Soviet cheese line to pick up their crust of bread is ludicrous. I'm not interested in subsidizing "The Rush Limbaugh Mythology Series" any longer! The Bogeyman comes with too dear of a price tag.
Each character in the "Big Red Government Gallery" is stale. Nationalized healthcare cast as "The Crimson Satan" is a real knee-slapper until we take into account how many people are ill, ailing, and dying for no. good. reason. Talk about cutting off our noses to spite our faces... we've chopped off our heads entirely.
Why is getting our public investment back out of banks that robbed us blind considered a step too scarlet for common comprehension? Powerful players fleeced us with "imaginary instruments" in a style that makes stealing candy from babies look patriotic.
It is the fault of specific crooks; I don't need to make amends! It reminds me of when a vexed toddler kicks you in the shins and then expects you, the adult, to say you're sorry. No; I'm not!
My troll mail has been shifting in recent days. Instead of the usual: "You sick dyke, you stupid pornographer, you Jew-Nigger-Loving-Whore, blah blah blah"-- I've been seeing a new stripe: "Socialist Traitor." Some people got so mad about my smiling election portrait standing in front of the American flag, they wrote me rebukes: "You should be standing in front of a hammer and sickle."
Really! How quaint!
It's no secret that I'm much more of a fan of Marxist economics than Obama, or anyone in his cabinet. Duh! It was bittersweet for me when McCain indulged in red-baiting, because I could only wish Barack had the tiniest drop of socialist sympathy in his University of Chicago School of Economics heritage. No such luck!
But this is different. I'm a small part of a big spectrum on the reality side of the street. Nationalization of public interest utilities and assets? This is something capitalists and political leaders all over the world participate in, because it serves their collective survival and fortunes. Nationalization is normal. We can't go it alone; there is no sailing off to Richie Rich Island and leaving the rabble behind. The unadorned profit motive is suicidal ideation.
Before Reaganism, before the Moral Majority, there was awareness of the necessity for regulation, consideration of public interest. Even Nixon didn't try to sell Social Security off to a derivatives market!
Krugman asked in his editorial if Obama is "ready" to stop pussyfooting around, to stand up to the red-tin-foil hats. I think Paul, too, is over-polite. I am sick of babying the idol-worshippers: "Yes, honey, we all know you saw a Marxist Leninsist UFO in your backyard and he tried to take your diaper away."
If "putting away childish things" has one iota of signficance, it's to lay down the Red Rattle. It will take more than one hammer and a lot of nail-pounding to raise our house again. Hand over the bucket, and nationalize these suckers.
UPDATE: Here's a video
of George Stephanopoulos interviewing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and
you can see how she frets over the "term" nationalization, while
struggling to defend its intrinsic definition. Stephanopoulos should have followed up by asking, "Are you afraid of red-baiting; is that why you're so nervous about using the right word for what we're describing?" A spade is a spade is nationalization! Get up your nerve, Nancy!