Now that the Supreme Court has taken the capitalization of governing itself to its natural conclusion, I offer the following plan that will force the only hopeful outcome possible: one that entails utter hopelessness, until the process I suggest reaches its own natural conclusion.

So I say unto you, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do to your country.

My plan entails incorporating the Democratic and Republican parties, whose candidates would then be considered subcontractors in the manner of, say, Halliburton. The parties would then be listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and their candidates would be paid from the profits openly generated by corporate contributions, which would obviously dwarf whatever investments ordinary citizens might be stupid enough to contribute.

The result, as you guess and mistakenly fear, is a steady stream of Republican victories. This will lead to an absolutist capitalism, one unfettered by the slightest federal, state and local restraints. We will suffer, and we will suffer hard. And for what?

I say to you that the situation is hopeless but not hopeless. How can that be? Simple. There’s one way capitalism can be destroyed, and that’s to allow hyper-capitalists to destroy themselves and their own quasi-religious economic system. To do so requires giving them the freedom to drive like debauched train conductors the government and economy into the wall of capitalism’s underlying fallacy, which not even capitalists believe: that selfishness ultimately benefits all. If that were the case, capitalists would become fascists as opposed to the disguised fascists they now are. I call this process the capitalism-enabling theory.

Meanwhile, we plebs will no longer delude ourselves that we have any claim whatsoever as to how this nation’s business is conducted, much as we will not able to wrest free the hands of our future debauched train conductors. Never mind that. Let it go. It’s all going to be okay, once the last of the financiers leap from their office windowsills without need of terrorist attack.

It’s time to give capitalists exactly that which they unwittingly seek: the rope with which to hang themselves.

Furthermore, and heretofore, I state without irony that our nation must from this point forward vote Republican. Given that we cannot achieve change for the better, we must do that which we can, and that’s to make things worse. As Americans, we must get our hands dirty, the way our great-great-great-grandparents did. Every journey to hell begins with a single step. Let us take that step. The time has come for a delirious patriotism. If you want your vote to count for something, vote Republican. Vote for America’s future.

Why this opposition to corporatism when it’s far easier to supply free marketeers the Absolut deregulation they desire? It’s something a friend would do, and we’re nothing if not the friends of the sole remaining revolutionary force: the Republican party. Let them drink and be merry, for tomorrow, or many tomorrows but still a tomorrow, they die.

While it’s true the children are the future, until they become adults, many sacrifices will be asked of our children, and they will obey in the manner of good Nazis — I mean Americans. They shall not complain about the coming lack of preschool, daycare assistance, physical exercise, music lessons, sports, literature, the visual arts, and anything else besides math and science. They will do what they must for der Fatherland — I mean America.

As fascism — I mean capitalism — gains momentum, it will spiral in the bipolar manner towards its ultimate and final depression. For that, we shall have no antidepressants at hand, none strong enough to remedy the depression without upsetting the ever-growing tolerance for Absolut deregulation.

America shall lead the world to a new destiny. Stop thinking and start acting. Vote Republican. Make the world a worse place to live. That’s the least we can do, and I would never ask anything more of Americans.

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PAUL A. TOTH's Airplane Novel, already a Midwest Book Review Reviewer's Choice and the 9/11 novel, is available now. His other novels include Finale, Fishnet and Fizz. Click here to visit his sites.

24 responses to “Helping Capitalism Help Itself to Death”

  1. Tom Hansen says:

    Over the last forty years nothing has been able to stop or slow capitalism, not more poor people, not more sick people, not more prisoners, not the utterly obscene transfer of wealth, not Dem majority or Repub, so yeah, let’s help it reach its inevitable end. I think I’ll start a guillotine factory

  2. Irene Zion says:

    I love you, Paul.
    I just can’t read politics.
    Please forgive me.
    I’m damaged.

  3. Paul A. Toth says:

    Irene: We’re all damaged! You are not alone! Frankly, I can hardly bring myself to read about politics, either, but that doesn’t stop me from writing about it. You may have a few laughs reading the following exchanges between myself and Comcast’s “customer service” — yes, they’re real, copied and pasted into my blog. (Part 1): http://violentcontradiction.blogspot.com/2010/02/subverting-customer-service-englishman.html (Part 2): http://violentcontradiction.blogspot.com/2010/02/comcast-customer-service-part-ii-case.html

    Tom: I agree. We must secure guillotine.org immediately. I look forward to your service in the Sedentary Revolution. Viva Le Couch!

  4. Nice post. I’m about to watch Capitalism: A Love Story, so very apropos. Of what I’m not yet entirely sure, but I know this: as a broke-ass grad student trying to earn an MBA, I’m still waiting for my bailout.

    Which of course will never come.

    I think one reason we can’t do better is because we don’t have the stones/will to do so at this point. I like Obama a lot, actually, but as a president, he’s nearly exactly the opposite of Bush: very smart but seemingly unable to get a whole lot done (Bush was an idiot who managed to do a lot, in my book. I mean, it was all bad, but he still got stuff done). Some days I empathize with Bill Maher’s suggestion for Obama to just turn around and say to the people, “Look, you elected me. So sit back and stop arguing. I got this, and I don’t care what News Corp thinks about it. While Beck cries, I’m gonna get some shit done. trust me, we’ll be better for it. You might not understand everything I’m about to do, but guess what: I have a JD and probably more education than you, and you don’t really need to understand what I’m about to do to benefit from it–you don’t understand how your car works but it still gets you to work, right?”

  5. Paul A. Toth says:

    Will:

    I like Obama, too, but the way I see it, he or any Democrat (even the few remaining self-professed liberals) merely forestalls, perhaps permanently, solving the real problem, and that’s the idea that pursuing self-interest benefits all. No, it benefits those who understand how to best pursue self-interest at any and all costs…and then “keep it in the family.”

    Since no one can be elected without massive corporate support, especially following the recent Supreme Court ruling (which just about renders the Constitution meaningless), then we can hardly expect even those who want to be liberal or leftist to achieve their goals (whether or not they ever intended to do so in the first place) because they have too many “debts” to repay those who financed their election.

    Thanks for the post!

    • Anon says:

      “It benefits those who understand how to best pursue self-interest at any and all costs…and then ‘keep it in the family.’” You say this like it’s a bad thing. 🙂

  6. Gloria says:

    My suspicion is that you didn’t intend this as satire, but as satire it’s hilarious. As literal advice it’s upsetting. Either way it’s smart stuff.

  7. Paul A. Toth says:

    Anon: If you consider 1% of the population controlling 95% of the wealth a good thing, then keep on keepin’ it in the family, which I doubt is yours or you would be investing in stocks rather than reading this post. I really don’t care myself, because I, as a sovereign nation known as Tothotropolis, live on school debt I cannot possibly live long enough to repay…so enjoy keeping .0000000000000000000000000000000000001% of U.S. wealth in my family! : )

    Gloria: It began as satire, and then I realized that my point was unfortunately beginning to seem the only real solution, i.e., not that I wish things had degenerated to this point, but that they nonetheless have. However, I encourage all to choose the amusing/enlightening/baffling/angering approach they best enjoy!

  8. John says:

    There’s this great part in (I think) God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by good ol’ Vonnegut about the “money river” which only the rich know how to drink from, and then they pay people to teach them how to drink more effectively and use buckets, and the people they pay to teach them become rich themselves, etc. Rich getting richer, in short. For some reason that came to my mind.

    I’m currently in the military, work military acquisitions. It’s amazing how much of your (and my) money is spent on absolutely nothing. Millions renovating a building that will be knocked down just a few months afterwards. It’s frightening. I was talking about that with my best friend, who is a right-wing radio talk show host (we have a weird and constantly contentious friendship) and we started talking about big W War. The why’s etc. There is so much money for rich people in War. Everything is contracted out to private companies who are now going to be paying for political campaigns. Billions of dollars to be made in War for private contractors. Hundreds of billions. You hear it’s about oil (which I’m sure it is to some extent) but so much of our tax dollars go to private companies to do other things– make the weapons, fix the planes, build the buildings, everything. We’ll never see the end of it. Ever. And it’s not the rich people dying for the money, it’s the kids who think they are doing something “good” but don’t understand the why. Or not many of them do.

    But I’ve been drinking a little. I do that so I don’t have to think about that kind of thing.

    Great post. Thought provoking and sad. Sorry I ranted a bit.

  9. Anon says:

    Stocks? Silly commoner. Filthy-rich hyper-capitalists such as myself know the real money is in…. Oh, damn! Almost slipped there. Now – back to the mines, prole!

  10. Paul A. Toth says:

    Anon: Wait, where’s that real money?

    John: It so happens that I was reading McNamara’s autobiography today and discovered that the kind of thing you mention occurred under JFK’s administration, too, without his even knowing it (or so McNamara claims). I also saw in a related article on today’s The New York Times that it continues, as you say. Rant away, especially in favor of the post’s point! Many thanks for your comments. Very enlightening and certainly cause for a drink or ten, if only I could drink.

    • John says:

      I read David Halberstam’s “The Fifties” and learned a ton about the beginnings of the gigantic military-industrial complex– about Eisenhower really kicking it all off to keep the war with the Russians a “cold” one, but hoping that whoever came after him would have the brains to realize the huge ramp-up was for a specific purpose. That didn’t happen. At all. But it is much much worse now with the current conflicts (as it is no longer a “War on Terrorism” but a “Global Conflict” or something of the sort– different name, same great taste) than it ever has been, and now with the new Supreme Court ruling, it will only be worse. We will never know “peace” again, ever. Not in our lifetimes. I know I sound like a paranoid crackpot, but I’m seeing this first-hand, and it is terrifying. Why should it ever stop? People are making money hands over fist, so much that they don’t even know what to do with it. And now these companies that profit so incredibly much on War will be contributing ever-increasing dollars to political campaigns, and will be owed favors, and will have an ever-increasing say on foreign relations. Great. And the contracts that are awarded overseas don’t even have to follow the same rules as the contracts awarded in-country. Everything can be considered “unusual and compelling urgency” so all competition for the contracts goes right out the window. It’s just a magical coincidence that Halliburton got most of the major contracts in Iraq, right? Terrifying, and nobody even seems to care. This is our money. Somewhere close to forty percent of every dollar you spend in federal taxes goes straight into this thing, this monstrosity. And, like I alluded to previously, not a single CEO is going to get killed by an IED. We are at War and will be for as long as I draw breath, and the only real reason is so that the extremely rich can get extremely richer while people who make less money in a year than the extremely rich’s suit costs die needlessly. Gotta love this shit.

      I should have just finished college and taught high school like I wanted. I’m too old and too tired to deal with this, and I’m not yet thirty.

  11. Tom Hansen says:

    Will and Paul. There is a solution for overwhelming student loan debt. After you graduate, chop off your leg. Then apply for a permanent and total disability debt cancellation. Think I’m kidding? I’m not.

  12. Paul A. Toth says:

    John: Let me suggest to you a fantastic documentary directed by the brilliant Adam Curtis, entitled, “The Power of Nightmares.” This film surgically dissects the way the “war on terrorism” has been used to manipulate and control us, along with other culture wars, etc. See: http://www.amazon.com/Power-Nightmares-ADAM-CURTIS/dp/B002M3ZLX4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1267537455&sr=1-2

    Tom: Well, I’d never thought of that. My last bid to delay forever the repaying of my loans was to attend a Ph.D program, which would either kill me itself or continue well past my downfall. However, the amputation of a leg seems far less painful. Thank you for the reasonable answer I’ve been seeking for so long. Can you suggest an amputist?

    Thanks for your comments.

    ~ Paul

  13. Becky says:

    Seems to me there was a pseudo-vision of this in “Idiocracy.” It’s a stupid movie at face, but some of the underlying ideas are interesting.

    Like, for example, in his dystopia–in order for it to have come about–all the citizens have to be complete morons.

    This the hitch in the get up with your plan. There has to be some dismantling of the election system because otherwise, people will, as they traditionally have, simply refuse to vote for the party they hold responsible for their misfortune, regardless of the plan. Widespread discontent, as long as there is a election system in place, tends to inspire retribution voting, the threat of which alone can, to an extent, cause tacks in politicians’ stances. So even if people largely stuck to the plan, there’s no guarantee it would work.

    In order for the Republicans to feel at liberty to totally deregulate everything (which, incidentally, I think they would find not to be in their own best interests as “the government” and would not be something they’d do, so the plan might be moot right there), they’d have to feel guaranteed that there was no possibility that they would be challenged by anyone. Which either means a country full of idiots (certifiable idiots, not just ignoramuses) or no way for the non-idiots to vote. I mean, there’s a conflict inherent in the plan. Elections are necessary, according to your plan, but elections, presuming they are reasonably fair, relatively speaking, would prove a deterrent to the ends you’re hoping for.

    I will also point out that this problem has presented itself in other ruling party situations, where elections must be shams or opposing parties banned from running in order for the dominant party to exact their extremist agenda. It’s sort of a piece of the puzzle. Fair elections (I qualify this with a +/- to deter those seeking a semantic argument about the word “fair”) are inherently incompatible with this scenario. Which is sort of what the constitution intended.

    For my part, I think the ruination of the country (and capitalism for that matter) could be exacted by putting either party in unchallenged power. The notion that it has to be Republicans is overly hopeful (potentially delusional), in my opinion, with regard to the motivations and intentions of Democrats and the differences (if there are many at all) between the two parties.

    It’s early. I feel like I repeated myself a lot. I hope this made at least a little sense.

  14. Paul A. Toth says:

    Becky:

    You scored several good points. My response…

    First, as a side note, I haven’t watched Idiocracy, so I can’t comment. I wasn’t aware this film was directed by Mike Judge. Given the title, I had assumed it was a lame semi-leftist documentary with which I would lukewarmly agree. I may give it a viewing.

    The NY Stock Exchange business was satirical; however, I feel it’s analogous to the recent Supreme Court ruling. There’s little doubt that advertising provides the golden key to election victories, with manipulation used by both parties. Corporate contributions equal increased advertising. The party with the most money will likely win the most elections by being better-enabled to manipulate voters, and the party that will now accrue by far the lion’s share of unlimited corporate campaign contribution is beyond question the GOP. As proof of my theory, I present to you the absolutely-irrational reelection of President -X in 2004. So, in other words, the campaign financing system will of course not be transferred to the New York Stock Exchange, but it might as well have been.

    I agree that the Democrats pose no solutions to the underlying problem, which is why I suggested that leftists vote Republican. If you can’t fix it, break it into something new.

    While Republicans may very well reveal that they don’t believe in the absolutist version of capitalism anywhere near the extent to which they claim, they will still pass enough legislation deregulating corporations, banking and financial institutions, etc., as well as dismantling what social programs remain, to create a far worse economic situation than what we’ve already seen and continue seeing occur (except for the cash happy, predictably the first to “recover” from the recession, as if it affected them in any real sense).

    Elections will never solve the essential problem for the very reasons you mention. It doesn’t matter to me whether the Democrats or Republicans achieve overwhelming power. Until now, I’ve voted against stupidity, and as the almost-sure next GOP nominee Sarah Palin proves, along with President -X and Ronald Reagan, the GOP has a propensity for selecting imbeciles as their presidential candidates. Of course, this makes it all the easier for “invisible” forces such as the neoconservatives to exert their influence on those presidents. With the inability of Democrats to achieve anything even when granted power, I now see that I must vote for stupidity; stupid people love breaking things…when they’re not blowing them up.

    I believe the Republicans will much more rapidly encourage capitalism’s suicide, partly because of their soon-to-be increased capital, for which we can thank the Supreme Court. Additionally, due to the Democrats drifting away in the gulf between the financial contributions that they will receive and those the GOP will receive, the Democrats will become ever-more reliant on their base, which will demand some regulation, as well as protection of social programs that address their issues, tempering the negative->positive movement that provides our final hope.

    Thus, while I agree with you on every other point, I continue to believe that Republicans will best serve our interests by not serving our interests.

    Many thanks for your insights and, yes, you made plenty of sense!

    ~ Paul

    • Becky says:

      I’m not sure about Mike Judge being semi-leftist.

      He keeps me guessing about his leanings. I could solve the mystery, probably, with a Google search, but having no idea, my general impression, both in general and in the case of this movie, is that he takes out fairly equally after some of the more ridiculous habits/underlying assumptions of both sides.

      He makes fun of everyone people pretty equally. Case in point, among those who appreciate low-brow enough to tolerate the sort of absurdist slapstick of it, this movie seems to be equally as popular with my conservative friends as my liberal ones.

      Mike Judge. Building bridges.

      Don’t go in looking for intellectual humor. That’s one caution. Make no mistake. It’s silly. But like I said, the ideas underlying it are interesting.

  15. Paul A. Toth says:

    Becky:

    Thanks for that. I definitely wasn’t aware of any political leanings; his animated work seemed to take shots at everyone, too. I might watch this one only because I enjoyed Office Space, though I’m not expecting that level of quality. But I like aburdist comedy, when I’m not burning my bridges!

    Best,

    Paul

  16. Tom Hansen says:

    I have recently heard from some people have attended Tea Party meetings, some simply to see what was going on, and they have reported that the lunatic fringe element was actually quite small. I mention this simply to report that the general impression of them being major wackos from the left side of the MSM is validation of my theory that both sides of the MSM (capitalists) have the same agenda, to keep the left and the right squabbling, when there’s no diff between them. Joe Stack’s rebellion is incompatible with the right’s rebellion. If they united under their real enemy (capitalism) something could happen.

  17. Paul A. Toth says:

    Tom:

    Thanks for the info. I’ve not been closely following the Tea Party phenomena. However, assuming MSM = mainstream media, I think what we have is a barely left and limp-wristed liberal team facing a mostly far right conservative side. In other words, at least the right has mavericks, while the “left” mainly consists of candidates who consistently want to “build bridges.” The last thing we need is bridges. What we need is collapsing bridges.

    In other words, the Democrats generally want a somewhat-regulated economy, while the Republicans want a mostly-deregulated economy. For the majority of voters, the difference hardly matters. Now that I think of it, the answer to the perennial survey question of, “Which candidate would you rather share a barbecue with?” is as good a means of selecting a nominee as any other.

    In electoral politics, we debate whether to fuel corporate capitalism with matches or blowtorches. I say provide the side most willing to use nuclear devices, and that’s the GOP. However, I would also support a Democrat willing to create utter economic ruination.

    Best,

    Paul

  18. Simon Smithson says:

    Damn it Paul! Let me read some economics tracts before posting more of these! I want to sound educated and informed!

  19. Paul A. Toth says:

    Dear Simon:

    Economics, shneconomics. Why bother? I’ve never let that stop me!

    Yours in economic ignorance,

    Paul

  20. joanothinghear says:

    read this piece of shit, freaking clueless, what is this about again?

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