The Decline of Myopicacy?
October 28, 2011
An excellent way to characterize the vision of modern conservative right-wing Republican Tea-Party corporate-think is that it is lethally myopic. It will raise any action, any policy, any wacky or diabolical idea to the level of the holy as long as it serves the short-term purpose of generating more profit and personal wealth for the benefit of those who already have plenty.
As David Atkins at Hullabaloo puts it:
“The notion that one should do everything one can to win in the short-term with no thought for the morrow is central to the conservative free market mentality in both business and politics. But for the “Greenspan Put,” almost all of Wall Street would be out of business right now due to short-sighted bets. The idea that we can invade other countries at will and worry about blowback later is a short-sighted bet. The notion that big business can ignore climate change today and just deal with the effects later is a shortsighted bet being proven wrong even today as the Thai floods disrupt industrial supply chains. The idea that a country can run up massive income inequality and massive deficits through tax cuts on the rich while imposing austerity, without fostering revolutionary sentiment, is a short-sighted bet that elites have come to rue time and again.”
This is the vision of the 1% as codified in law by the congress of the 1%, upheld by the courts of the 1%, hyped by the media of the 1% and enforced by the police of the 1% (In the case of the police of the 1% there is a poignant tragedy because the police of the 1%, though sworn to uphold the laws of the 1% at the expense of the 99%, are very much members of the 99% —which is a sad case of shooting yourself in the foot).
But codified or not, upheld by courts or not, hyped by Fox or not, enforced by swat teams or not, the trail of history is amply littered with the remnants of systems that were destroyed by myopic vision. But the pull of greed is deep and strong and as alluring as the Siren’s call that drove brave Ulysses nuts. As Homer tells it, if hapless Ulysses had not been tied to his ship’s mast he would have driven it into the rocks to answer that call. He would have sacrificed his crew to answer it. And, as Republican leadership is doing with its chronic No! and titans of the fossil fuel industry are doing, spewing carbon into the atmosphere at the mesmerizing call of profit and large compensation packages, Ulysses would have sacrificed himself as well.
This is the present state of the ruling class in the USA and their muppets in government. They are so nearsighted they can’t see with their mind’s eye the typhoon on the horizon that may just flatten them too.
There is a profound scene in the film Doctor Zhivago in which the Russian ruling elite are literally having a ball. In a grand, crystal-chandeliered hall they sip champagne, dance, munch cuisine punctuated with caviar, laugh and chat oblivious of their immanent end while outside in alternating shots the Bolsheviks are coming, fired-up and pissed off.
Didn’t the Romans perceive their decay? Didn’t the French aristocracy imagine the storming of the Bastille? Didn’t Mubarak ever have a clue he’d gone too far for too long? Was Gaddafi really that blind?
In a society as technologically advanced as ours you have wonder how it is that the 1%, weighted as they are with wealth, cannot read the writing on the wall for want of a cheap pair of glasses. It’s as if their good sense is being crushed by their dollars and cents —while for the 99% it seems the scales have dropped from our eyes so we can finally read a simple graph exposing the enormous and growing gap of wealth disparity not only in the USA but around the globe. The irony is that Occupy Everything and The 99% are not just the creations of disaffected youth (as the right has spun it), but have flowered from the manure of misappropriated wealth.
He who has eyes to see, let him see … short of that take thyself to a competent optometrist before your eyes bleed.