THE CAPITALISM CANCER

by Jim Cleveland

(from ON TOP OF IT: Rising Above the Human Mind. Visit Jim at www.jimclevelandauthor.com)

There is an invisible God that rules over everything we do in the United States — Capitalism.

No one dare speak against it — no one in any American institution at all. It IS the institution.

There is complete belief in its towering superiority over any other economic system in the world. The profit incentive drives the world, we say. Free enterprise must be free and even enabled by government funding and action. The government must support and abet its expansion throughout the world, especially the undeveloped parts. We must not have taxes or regulations of any kind that slow its onslaught.

Colonialism is one part of the Capitalist story, the drive for world dominance financed by their own big banks and supported by the military of countries which they control, principally in the U.S., its primary anchor in the world.

Other stories run closer to home. It has resulted in wealth inequality which is staggering to behold, but swept under the rug by God Capitalism.

Capitalism creates and controls its own designated money and uses it to corrupt everything, all of our institutions. Capitalists are empowered and enforced by a phalanx of system- smothering lawyers, two-faced accountants and media-controlling advertising contracts to support them and retard any investigative reporting.

They buy political parties as best they can with steady contributions, subject to either grow or to dry up. The Republicans have a pedestal for these super-rich entities and their needs will always be met by their elected operatives as long as the money flows.

As usual, every bright eyed young idealistic politician we send to Washington gets dragged into the party’s political obligations before he even takes office. Don’t forget who got you here, they remind. The party backed you; now you back the party. The party must have its backers. Many candidates run for office in large part just to get on this gravy train. They can’t run at all unless one of the two parties takes them in, and then they have obligations to the powers that run the party.

So political parties can evolve into pressure groups for the rich, and they can carry that same stench with them into Congress as they get elected. Or maybe the party was created by the rich to begin with, or the representative organizations they have created. The arms industry has its National Rifle Association; the doctors have their American Medical Association; the Chambers of Commerce have far-reaching tentacles, and on and on. Political support is always for sale.

Even as they corrupt Congress and our governmental institutions with their money, they also work to silence the mainstream news media by either granting or withholding advertising contracts that can be important to the survival of the media itself.

If the media embarks on a conflicting line of investigative reporting, there is also a payroll force of lawyers to pull them into court battles that sap their resources. Once you get into court, they have ways to keep you there that are liable to leave you broke and battered.

And, of course, they just buy the media, and then editorial decisions come from businessmen who have no interest in some fantasy called journalism ethics. It’s a business. You can blanket the world with the bias of Fox News and call it “fair and reasonable” and too many are not the wiser.

Our society is basically anti-intellectual because open-minded learning takes real effort, and critical thinking is rarely promoted, even seriously discouraged. The clandestine powers seem to want to dumb us all down so that we will be debt-ridden, non-thinking, compulsive consumers. And they have grown to massive size and power. You can count the conglomerate companies who control world mainstream media on one hand. Special interests flood the world with their own brand of advocacy media, and facts don’t often stand in the way of the pitch. Ironically, they think like the communists they condemn — the end justifies the means. As long as you can make money on it.

So, with Capitalism perfect and sacrosanct no attack will be tolerated by the capitalist media. The Sacred Cow Oligarchy ever tightens its grip on intellectual thought. It leads to near complete control over what is termed the ‘traditional’ media.

MEDIA BLACKOUT ITEMS

Here is a list of important subjects which will either be ignored completely or downplayed from the usual public discussion as best the oligarchy can.

These subjects are vital to the nation and even the world but Capitalism doesn’t want to talk about them. So the corporate news media avoids them and so do the politicians running for office. The least said the better for …

* Fracking, rupturing the earth’s foundation with uncertain consequences to its stability and its water reservoirs, pressure injection of chemicals. No one in Congress or the media seems very interested.

* Bee population decimation, critical to eco-balance and food supply. Large fish and bird kills happen, but we never hear much about why. Just as does the subject matter, the story just dies off. How about considering …

* Contamination of earth water and soil, even California wines, by the pesticide Round-Up, one of Monsanto’s killing chemicals. The media didn’t expose it; the law did.

* Global Warming. Scientists agree. Major contributors to it don’t. Politicians have to check with the oil and gas lobby and the air and water-polluting industries to make sure they maintain their money channel. The collective power of industries that pollute the water, soil and air and don’t want to clean it up have some kind of control over the media. As long as they seed convenient confusion in science with studies they fund and interpret, and shroud all ideas in more questions, they will apparently not get a strong stand by the media on behalf of immediate corrective actions. Those things cost money and corporations will continue to scream how unnecessary they are and brand them as a governmental intrusion. Concerned scientists get little or no coverage in the mainstream media.

* GMO’s. Genetically modified crops are a major concern in much of the world, banned in some, but not here. This is never mentioned by the usual corporate media because the corporate oligarchy determines the news agenda.

* Homelessness. Hundreds of thousands are out there, getting sick and dying, but do we care enough to even talk about it? No presidential candidate will mention it. No one will discuss its implications in health care costs, crime and human survival.

* Wealth Inequality — no 1% or 99% mention at all. Those words are blacked out. The ‘system’ didn’t want to acknowledge the Occupy movement ever existed and hopes to make the subject disappear. Fortunately, Bernie Sanders preaches the message and millions are hearing it.

* Rural Economies in Collapse; towns drying up. All across America, the small town is dying. Wal-Mart commands the landscape where family merchants once survived, and they barely pay a living wage. Workers even qualify for food stamps. The taxpayer winds up subsidizing the obscenely rich Walton family in what has become known in underground circles as Corporate Welfare. That term is not mentioned in the corporate media.

* Export of Jobs Overseas. There should have been a full black- out of this subject but both Sanders and Trump have brought it up, the latter only briefly and to no consequence. Still, the corporate media won’t pursue the topic with investigation. We have been bleeding jobs to cheap, overseas labor for decades but it’s okay, it’s Capitalism. The people are supposed to support free enterprise, unrestricted capitalism, but it hasn’t supported us. It detests our labor unions and loves Asian sweat shops.

* Tax Havens Overseas. Another topic that would have been ignored by the media except for Sanders making it an issue — and Trump picking up the mention and then Clinton. The issue has promptly died and will stay dead.

* Trade Bill Impact on Jobs. There are those who now curse NAFTA and opposed the Trans-Atlantic Partnership, and most are without solid statistical information. The media does not pursue it, which leads one to believe that it actually does hurt the American worker. If these agreements actually helped workers, they would be extolling it, and they aren’t. Very likely such agreements benefit American business for certain, but not necessarily American workers … the help it might provide them is on a circuitous, speculative path filled with projections, suppositions and uncertainties. Some kinds of businesses are helped and some are hurt, not a uniform picture.

* Corporate Welfare — such as oil and gas subsidies, needing to supplement underpaid Wal-Mart employees with food stamps, businesses dumping full-time workers and hiring part-timers to avoid health care insurance. All those tax lawyers hired by corporate interests are busily finding and even promoting new loopholes which their companies can squirm through. Support the government as little as possible and find new ways to support it less. And their enabling media, owned by business, just shrugs off the ethics and honesty of it all by saying endlessly that “it’s just business” and lighting up with an enabling grin.

* Grow Social Security; return GOP borrowed war money: The media echo a story that social security is in financial trouble just by reporting that GOP leaders said it. They raided the fund to pay for the Iraq War and notoriously fought the whole thing ‘off budget.’ This is madness, but it has never been reported. Is it because war is great for our war industries? It certainly is. Business and industry powers have been egging on conflicts since the Spanish American War and the Mexican War at least. War is a money-maker for the military-industrial complex. There is an endless stream of military officers in the Pentagon going to work for defense contractors and everyone involved gets a real kick out of explosions and heavy armaments.

* Privatizing takeover attempts on Social Security, the post office, any government service they can assimilate and build in some profits. The media gives these sweet-talking capitalists much time and space to espouse their plans, but very little to those ‘socialists’ who want to maintain our public services. They wail that government programs are inefficient then strive to make them so and take them over.

* Jobs to rebuild infrastructure with money saved from corporate welfare. The media makes no linkage here and is not looking for one. If need be, they stand ready to launch the GOP’s ‘liberal tax and spend agenda’ counter-attack. It holds no water; it doesn’t matter since the media is a sieve, rambling from one catchy topic to another, day by day, polluting the air with trivia and blown-up molehill to mountain issues.

* Veteran Services. Targeted for private takeover by underfunding and then blaming current administration when it can’t do the job.

* Public education deficiencies. It doesn’t sound good for politicians to talk about this so they generally don’t. The Capitalists had just as soon let the public schools sink and turn to a private, for-profit school system for children — if you can afford it. Weaken the public schools to feed the profit schools. Cloak themselves in Christianity in the South by flocking to build private academies for their bigotry, starve the public schools and then complain that they are failing.

* Education that works at all levels and makes us leaders in the world. No one wants to talk about our fast-falling statistical standings in the world. We are far from being the best educated people in the world. We lag in health care and solar energy development. No one wants to hear that.

* Earthquake and seismic dangers to nuclear facilities, tens of thousands of oil rigs and an outdated power grid. Don’t wave that red flag. All of these are businesses; don’t be anti- business. One hates to imagine an earthquake that ruptures a major fault and lays open nuclear power plants and bursts open a dozen or more oil rigs and shuts down major power grids and sets off uncontrollable fires. When you do imagine this, you see a modern-day chain-reaction apocalypse of catastrophic proportions.

* Wind, water and solar energy development. Neither the media nor the politicians will be champions for this because of the extraction industry influences. Fortunately for our money- driven system, other businessmen want to provide these energy sources for whatever profits they can get out of it — solar panels, wind turbines, and hydrology systems. It’s all coming; the media will follow along, as usual, with their day by day headlines and sound bytes which quickly evaporate to nothing. Their owners say that they exist because they sell advertising to all kinds of capitalistic corporations.

* Medical Marijuana is a miracle medicine. Legalize it, promote it, and market it to the world. It’s an opportunity, a bandwagon to leap upon. But image is everything to a politician and a news network, even if its blatantly false, so they follow along. But those who see a multi-billion dollar business opportunity will be producing cannabis products for medicine and recreation for millions of consumers in a growing market.

* Breaking the Big Pharma grip on prices. Our drug prices are among the highest in the world, kept that way by the drug oligarchy. Making medicines shouldn’t make a corporation a sacred cow, untouchable while they foster a near epidemic of opioid addictions and take excessive profits on new formulas simply because they can ram through beneficial legislation silently through a pliant and complicit Congress.

They can do such things as double the numbers of years they can charge proprietary prices for a drug before it becomes generic — from 10 years to 20. Congress passed it. Who noticed? The federal government is not even allowed to negotiate the price of pharmaceuticals that it purchases for its welfare programs.

For an important diabetes and fibromyology drug named Lyrica, they can simply reclassify it on January 1 to ram up the price. Even with insurance, it goes up suddenly from $80 to $150 on your monthly budget — an annual $1,120 hit. They only explain that it was ‘reclassified’ as if this explained something. It’s all a matter of them charging the maximum penny that the market will allow based on whether they face any price-influencing competition. The ability of many sick people to pay the price is irrelevant to their bottom line. If they are called out for their callousness, they fabricate discount programs for the poor, whereby they get all they can at any rate while feigning generosity.

* Health Care — real solutions that curb the massive inflation in prices that are required from having to care for millions of people who are not in the system but still get sick, get hurt and die. The system has been turned into a business; it is broken and no one wants to deal seriously with it. Any attempt at any resolution runs head-on into organizations that are driven by their own profits. That’s what you get when you make health care a business. All of the issues become business issues, instead of health, security, living and dying issues.

  • Elimination of campaign spending by providing free and live media to candidates — doing away with influence peddling, insider trading, inner-party extortion, bribery and the other putrid results of a system built around people trying to get rich. This topic is not on that amorphous, capitalist-driven list of approved subjects for public discussion. And free media to candidates means somebody is not making a profit out of every candidate’s every move. Election season is when the media makes its biggest advertising profits. It is highly advantageous to both politicians and their donors to keep the money channel flowing with contributions and to minimize or eliminate any thought that those contributions would influence bad policies. In reality, the corporations draft much of the legislation themselves. They argue that they know much more about their business and its needs than do the elected officials. They are correct in that respect but their motives are invariably one-sided.

* Gang violence: Our cities are washed in violence and gangs are breeding grounds for criminals. Don’t we need stronger families, more community values? But this is not really a topic for the news or the politicians. Capitalism doesn’t want to spend money to build families and communities; they want to fill the jails, privatize those jails for profit, and build more, with corruption-laden contracts.

* Military suicides. American soldiers are killing themselves at a rate faster than the enemy. Post traumatic syndrome afflicts many veterans; others come to use it an excuse to get drugs. While they use drugs to deal with their problems, they get hooked on the drugs and run out of money before they can pay their bills. Why so many suicides? Our military is obviously doing something wrong but certainly doesn’t want to talk about it in public. Why aren’t our young men prepared for the savagery of this war? Why are we sending them there? Is it really necessary? No comments forthcoming.

*Opioid and alcohol addictions, which are claiming many lives and bringing suffering to millions of families, has not been a topic of discussion. Politicians won’t talk much about it, and the media will likely be subdued as well — it reflects badly on our pharmaceutical champions who are developing medicines to save lives. They preach the best and ignore the rest. Recently, however, as various parties see money and profits in it, the Congress wants to throw money at the opioid addiction scourge. I expect to see new and profitable pharmaceuticals that battle these addictions, and a new wave of profitable drugs that promise better.

*Charitable organizations and progressive social movements get little coverage of their activities in the media. Their causes invariably stack up against corporate interests and powers, which will not allow the mainstream media to give much voice to them. The media doesn’t much care; they follow the money. They won’t be getting a dime from good cause demonstrators but their corporate advertising contracts start in six figures. Occupy was condemned as ‘socialist’ and they raised the corporate anti-communism flag they love to wave.

*Huge dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico caused primarily by run-off of soil and chemical fertilizers starting up in Iowa and the midwest. They suck oxygen out of the water, depriving sea life over thousands of miles. You don’t hear about it much. In Florida, algae blooms, also mostly due to sugar industry crop run-offs, often kill river life and block oxygen. It’s bad “public relations” for the state’s important tourism industry and so gets little media. Dying coral reefs up and down Florida and the problem of garbage dumping into the waters are all issues of serious contention that get swept under the rug. Minimize this and maximize tourist dollars.

* Corruption. This is the overriding issue in all of the world’s countries. Most governments and institutions have levels of thieving corruption that cripples their effectiveness. But this endemic condition will not be recognized by the media because it is a totally unflattering picture of our societies.

The Money Trail

From this list, I see little or nothing that was discussed during the recent presidential election. The reason is that Capitalism is God, and you don’t question it. If you do question it then Capitalism rears its head against you.

They control the courts because money controls the courts. They can run you out of money with endless delays, jamming up the legal system, and pressure you at every turn to sell out and take a pay-off and shut the hell up about any injustice you happen to know about. It is often protected as ‘proprietary’ information.

Pharmaceutical and agricultural chemical companies have lots of money and perks to woo academic professors and researchers, and dangle big research grants and speaking honorariums in front of them. Tenure and academic standing is based on how many research dollars you attract and the number of academic papers you publish. The research projects have their desired conclusions or the money dries up. Then the professors can’t generate a paper at all.

These people have used money pressure to pollute research, thereby twisting the truth in formerly well-respected academic journals. The past editor of the New England Journal of Medicine says that its content is now contaminated with corporatized conclusions. When will their incessant corruption of our institutions end?

The GOP has been their traditional party — developed to represent Wall Street and business interests, and to fight against any excess in governmental regulations and taxations, while worshipping Capitalist values of competition, profit incentive, and get-rich potential.

But going back as far as Eisenhower, the Republican Party platform had planks that directly affected the working middle class, the voters they wanted to win from the Democrats, and did. These planks advocated a living wage, safe and healthy work conditions, the right to join unions, unemployment benefits, health care, support for social security. They wanted to appeal to everyone.

In stark contrast, the Republicans of today make no pretense of going after the middle class vote with promises of social and economic assistance. This has all disappeared from the party’s facade, just as businessman candidate Trump has ripped off the party’s House of Wax mask and revealed a monster.

Eisenhower ’s party for Everyman has become a charade of mishmash and no hope at all, unless voters would somehow elect a blowhard with no record of service, no real program, no service to the party in all of history, and so petty that he has infantile Twitter brawls. The party has evolved from seeking everyone’s votes to a party of Alienation and White Nationalism. Day by day, the alienations continue since his poorly received convention and his canned doom and despair and ‘I alone can fix it’ speech.

And yet for all the stark differences we saw in the presidential campaign, we can also see the near absence of our earlier list of important topics. They are still off-the table because the corporate agenda controls everything, both party’s platforms, and is driving the Capitalism God down our throats. Both candidates, all candidates, must be worshipful of Capitalism and never, ever suggest something else might be better.. They have defined socialism as evil and liberals as dupes. Somehow, we have to gag and spit this up and stand up for Liberalism.

We must face up to the honest fact that unchecked Capitalism has driven our economy to ruin numbers of times over history, even recently, and can always amass the power to do it again by building paper castles for us, luring us inside, and then pulling them down. We must not worship this economic system as being godlike and not to be questioned at all. Its excesses can destroy us.

We must surely remember the total collapse of the economy called the Great Depression, and the four administrations of President Franklin J. Roosevelt whose policies drove us to recovery and provided a plethora of safeguards so that the rich would never again take everything of value and leave a worthless trail of over-hyped paper in its wake.

He was reviled as a Socialist and some still wail that at Bernie Sanders today, but we have a strong and stable federal government since the New Deal and it’s here to stay, fighting tooth and nail with the Capitalists who still want it all — and in recent years have made no bones about hollering ‘socialist’ in our faces. I’m happy to own that title as I can relate it to every progressive liberal president in our history.

I support every Liberal president that we have ever had. Lincoln was very liberal, even freed the slaves. Teddy Roosevelt, who bolted from the GOP corruption. FDR was a great and capable liberal. Truman, Kennedy, Carter, Clinton were all presidents who cared about people, even though they and all liberals have had to either fight or compromise with vote-controlling big money interests for their whole careers, often as a minority in an obstinate Congress.

They’ve rescued us time and again from reckless GOP spending for corporate welfare and war profiteering, which has led to economic depressions and recessions time and again. The GOP is fiscally irresponsible for America because they give everything to the rich. We were literally bankrupt when Obama took over and they still today put up a wall of obstruction to any government program designed to help things. They must castrate government programs, make them ineffective so they can replace them with private businesses for profit.

But this truth has now been unleashed despite the conspiracy of traditional media black-out. There are new media, on the Internet, and even progressive socialist ideas.

With their new blatant trumpery, the GOP is just about dead nationally — suicide by cancer and from a foolish welcoming mat for anti-government kooks. The whole thing blew up from within. Who did it?

* Segregationists: They flocked over from their ‘courthouse gang’ bases all across the South when the Lyndon Johnson era Democrats seated black ‘freedom’ delegates instead of their usual white groups. For years in the South, many people in the enormous voting bloc we can call White Backlash were required to vote for the Republican candidate for president and then switch over to vote for the old gang (white) on the local and state Democratic ballots. Over the years, many old guard white Democrats just changed over to the more friendly confines.

* Libertarians: They’ve had a token voice in the GOP for years, with Ron Paul, son Rand Paul and the overriding and controversial philosophy of Ayn Rand whose body of work, including The Art of Selfishness fuels the thought that all of our overseas military bases should be closed, national parks are not necessary and private businesses should be able to serve who they want and discriminate against whomever they want as well. These believers have never had a legitimate place in the GOP but it has given them a sounding board and tied up a place on the debate stage. They could never be nominated; the GOP donor base would not allow it.

* Tea Party. These noisy hybrids showed their colors early on and have established their champion within the party — Ted Cruz, who ran remarkable interference between Trump and legitimate Republican candidates. They claim Christianity but also bigotry. They hate big government but not a word about big business. They rage against Obama as a dictator and their own horrible fate of having to pay taxes. Soon taken over by right wing kooks with organizing and fund-raising abilities, they are mostly forgotten but Cruz remains, hoping to pick up the pieces of the Trump rubble left after the election.

The old South confederacy white backlash ‘Southern strategy” helped the GOP get the presidency several times but it has anchored a growth in the angry white man constituency that now has given birth to a primary electorate that openly embraces arrogance and acrimony and a blatant bigotry that more fully identifies the new Republican Party every day.

So it ultimately blew into smithereens in the presidential election and the GOP will have to re-build with a positive program, not negative fear mongering, and offer actual proposals to build Main Street and the engine-driving middle class. As in nature itself, we see disintegration and then regrowth.

Should we expect our political parties to ever question the corruption and waste embodied in corporations today — obscene millions in dollars and perks for the corporate elite, the hidden machinations of price fixing, bribery, and hostile takeovers?

No. These powerful entities have a Godfather deal over the heads of every politician. Take the money and represent us well or reap the whirlwind because we will become enemies. Such is often called “The System.”

I am hoping that our ongoing system of business-financed government and its charade game of politics can improve the quality of life for everyone. The rich and powerful must surely realize, by now, that all the people within an economy need to do well to make the system work well.

Without some kind of system, there is chaos; so make it a better one. Without an international banking system, often derided as the Dark Cabal and the Illuminati, humankind would be obligated to develop an international banking system. The best idea is not to destroy a vital institution, but to make it work well for our societies and our communities.

We can’t demonize Capitalism and get anywhere. It is our core of being in the U.S. and we must work within it to make it serve the people well. Capitalists must learn to co-exist with progressive social programs for the millions of citizens who want government to protect them from excessive profit-taking.

Is there Goodness in the hearts of Capitalists? Can a new generation show us some more of it? Look around today and we see great service being provided to the world by any number of millionaires, all of whom want to see a strong nation and a stable economy.

Can the GOP gravitate back to its Chamber of Commerce, Main Street, decent and religious people roots? Has it been totally ripped away by a demagogue who represents none of those things? Has it been lured away by a global philosophy that allows them to hoard their money overseas and provide their jobs to third world sweat shops?

What about the 2016 election? Before the November vote, I wrote the following:

It hardly matters this year to the nation’s wealthy, and to our largest corporations. In lieu of the arrogant blathering of Trump and his total lack of a plan of any kind, they will be going to the Democratic standard bearer with every dollar and every bit of influence they can provide. It’s over. The Democrats are, at this writing, hoping for some control of Congress since it has obstinately and effectively blocked the previous administration at every turn.

Trump will be gone from the GOP but will continue to be a noisy carnival barker for years to come, increasingly being marginalized and scrutinized, the butt of jokes. The Trump name he used to license will mean something else entirely. The Trump University scam will crash all over him. Ironically, in the beginning, he sought to build a brand; turns out he is destroying it.

But I didn’t count on a surging dislike for Hillary Clinton, large-scale belief in lies about her, and the Trump wave capturing Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan by a narrow 1%. No wonder Trump wound up two million votes behind in his winning campaign but used the outsider influences in the rich man’s GOP to pull off a victory. Those voters in the states which knew Trump the very least carried him to victory. He won Wyoming and Mississippi but couldn’t be elected anything his home state of New York which knows him well.

The GOP got hijacked. The Donald made mince-meat out of their other candidates just by being non-political and outspoken. What he said to many voters was less important than his attitude. Now the GOP suffers through him in Congress, as do the Democrats and all other Americans.

— Jim Cleveland in 2020.

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