Full Count by G.M. Genett. Lumpen Vol.3, #2 (December 1994) Lumpen Times 2558 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago IL 60647, Ph. 312-227-2072, E-mail: Lumptime@mcs.com, http://www.interaccess.com/users/edmc/lumptime/
Power is for those who win it. Ignoring this obvious maxim, Democrats spent the past quarter centtury attacking their political base--workers, farmers, students, and the poor. And though the GOP does an ample job granting political expression to ruling class interests, the Democrats have fought like jealous drag queens for their place in the coporate brothel. Do they genuinely wonder why they now stand outside shivering, noses pressed against the glass?

Meanwhile, a few of their former collusionary comrades wander the proverbial halls of power, searching for players before whom they might assume the kneel they perfected during the Reagan years. Whether in power or out, the Democratic Party will continue to fellate the corporate phallus, the national security state. And with an occasional overblown nod to the managerial class' property rights, they will again mistake PAC contributions for electoral vitality. The Republicans may bbe lousy, but their way was paved by Democratic incompetence. As was clear two years ago, Clinton and his groupies have not a clue how to govern. From NAFTA to the punitive racial hatred of Clinton's crime bill, the Democrat's agenda has not veered an inch off the corporate path. According to Jesse Jackson, the Republicans campaign message went like this:[The Democrats] failed to deliver the change you voted for. Vote for us and, at the very least, we'll give you your money back. Trying his damnedest not to be out-Bubba-ed, Clinton's greatest legislateve achievement is largely a response to a bull market in the corrections industry. As the Clinton Crime Bill vastly expands the definition of criminality, (so that just being black is very nearly a federal offense), it also doles out billions to subsidize the privatization of punishment. The punishment boom is a gross testament to the vulgarity of market economy religion. Despite FBI statistics which argue that street crime has slowly but steadily decreased since J. Edgar Hoover's death, the corrections industry like its economic cousins - the military, the timber, and the oil and mineral industries - feeds at the public trough. Punishment is the boom market, and as usual, elites profit at the majority's expense. Crime is a function of desperation. Instead of addressing the despair, we punish. The rich find that making money punishing the poor beats spending money to help them.

Check this out. The bonds sold to finance the corporate welfare state are owned by 4.5% of the population. These elite bondholders make money off the interest the government pays to them with your taxes. So 95.5% of us pay the mortgage to 4.5% on the whole shebang. As desperation and paranoia increase, wealth is redistributed from taxpayers to shareholders, from the many to the few. While the bulk of government spending subsidizes the Fortune 500 and their shareholders, the 40 million citizens who live in poverty are under ruthless attack for absorbing their 1% of the federal budget. Aid to Families with Dependent Children, or AFDC. Subject to feral market discipline, 81% of us collect no welfare check from stock holdings. But while the welfare state for the rich grows like a weed, the rest of us are forced to run naked through a field of thistles. And those who can't compete find themselves closest to the whipping post.

Like any other public boondoggle, the corrections industry has its political stooges. In California, real estate hustler-turned Los Angeles mayor, Richard Riordan, threw his Republican support to Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein. Certainly Riordan was settling some old scores with her challenger, Republican Michael Huffington. But Riordan's endorsement of the liberal Feinstein says more about her than it does about either Republican. A few conuterfeit feminists have argued, for a host of socal and biological reasons, that putting women in power will make the world a better place. Feinstein is the best evidence yet against such a proposition. Like most Democrats, Feintein refuses to defend her supposed constituents against ruling class avarice. Because California claims bragging rights to having the highest prison population, Feinstein is pointman in the Senate for the corrections lobby. With all those disciplinary dollars bulging from her war chest, Feinstein is a wholesale madam in the retail subjugation trade. She's a prison whore who'll do well in Washington.

The next two years will be a circus. Newt Gingrich rules the House. The senator from Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, Jesse Helms, drives the Foreign Relations Committee. At age 92, Strom Thurmond, who in 1948 ran for president as a Nazi, commands Armed Services. Who has the longest rope? Whose neck will snap loudest when they hit end of it? My money's on Gingrich. On November 9, the day after the election, The Wall Street Journal led with a profile titled, "Newt on Top." Gingrich ran for Congress in both the 1974 and the '76 elections. Beaten twice in a row, he turned mean. According to his campaign treasurer, L.H. Carter, Newt met him a few weeks before the '78 election to tell him he was filing for divorce from his first wife, Jackie.whom Newt married in 1962 when he was nineteen. "The bottom line is, Jackie isn't young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of the President of the United States," Newt told Carter. "Besides, she's got cancer." Here's the authoritarian Newt, his family values saluting, front and center in the same Wall Street Journal article: She started treatments for uterine cancer during the 1978 race. Two years later, a day after cancer surgery, Mr. Gingrich came to her hospital room with a briefcase of papers to discuss divorce. She says she threw him out of the room. (WSJ, 11/9/94)

I read Pat Buchanan's infamous Republican Convention speech the other day. Newt shoud credit Buchanan because the speech was the blueprint for the Republican sweep in the recent election. Taking a cue from Buchanan, the Republicans ran as fascists and won. The Democrats' anemic response is enough reason to run them out on a rail. Democracy is a tricky thing. Supporting the lesser evil leads only to hell.

Chomsky in Chicago

Noam Chomsky strolled through town a few weeks ago. Here is real democracy in action. The first night he spoke, Chomsky packed a few thousand into the Illinois Room, a gigantic cafeteria on the UIC campus. As is unfortunate but common, Chomsky that night preached to the choir. After his spiel, Chomsky fielded the usual questions on GATT and Haiti. Then up to the microphone stepped a young fellow who introduced himself in clipped English as a medical student from abroad. From his accent and his face I guessed that he was from southern Asia, perhaps Pakistan or Afghanistan. He seemed a little young to be in med school. His age, the throung, and the microphone had him rattled. Neither the elders nor the freshly baptized were in a mood for any kid to waste Saint Noam's timewith a paranoid and motley ramble. Nevertheless, the kid forged one question from unlikely components including an AIDS conspiracy, blue-eyed devils, the Bosnian arms embargo, and a holocaust for Muslim babies. The moderator, previously seated at a table behind the lecturn, stood and stepped forward. Standing over Chomsky's shoulder, the MC scowled at the kid. Good liberals, the crowd wanted blood. But Chomsky took notes, and heard him out, and respnded: There is this story about the clash of civilizations, you know, and Christianity and Islam and so on. In my opinion, that's toatal nonsense. It happens to be the case that plenty of Muslims are getting it in the neck. But they're getting it in the neck because they're not under control....They're not [being attacked] because they're Muslims. [Elites] don't care if they're Martians. They can be anything. The question is, "Are they Obedient? Chomsky saw that the student was locked in a dark room, hearing the screams and smelling the rot. Where no light enters, terror and superstition rule. You can hear the eerie voice of the vampire, fundamentalism, mumbling something about the eye of Newt. Despite the impatient cackles from the crowd, Noam lit a candle, walked over to a light switch and turned it on. HE then circled the perimeter of the student's superstitious walls, and one by one, pushed them over until the student stood with us, in reason's light of day. The docent smiled and walked away, a full three inches taller than when he slouched before the microphen. The crowd forgot its lynching mood. In the cruel vulgarity that drapes our country, is it any wonder that the terrified and hopeless come under the spell of fundamentalism? Or theat after baging into the wall over and again, those in the dungeon lash out at those who promise lght? Who among the Democrats will even light a candle? Does it make sense to think that any of them have any interest in showing the way to the door? E-mail: slowburn@delphi.com