Ghosts of the Republic

Posted on by paxilpaul and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

The media circus surrounding Trayvon Martin’s death has seemingly come to a close. The tents taken down, the elephants caged, the props placed back on the wagon to head off to a new old town aptly denoted “The Past.” For weeks, America stood up in arms over the legitimacy of statutory law, over the prudence of government bureaucracy, the racism of the right, the racism of the wrong. A grand brawl ensued inducing marches, petitions, admonitions, solidarity, divisiveness, hooting, and doubtless too some hollering. But now that George Zimmerman has been charged with a crime, America is back to work and back to the grind – back to the sounds of background noise sputtering “news” about Newts getting stepped on and Mitts changing masks.

What will be the next grand media extravaganza? One can only sit back and wonder, sit back and hope that it comes soon, because if we don’t get warm weather first, things could get very ugly, very fast.

Because that’s America. That’s Americans. We sit here and toil and stew over whatever the T.V. says we ought to. And then its off to work the next day – or the welfare office – or the classroom – or the bar – or wherever else American’s spend a typical day.

This week, during your runnings around and goings on, ask your fellow citizens of this great United States a question – (ask yourself the question first) – ask them: “Have you ever heard of the Citizens United Supreme Court case of 2010?” Doubtless, you will get looks of puzzlement – bemusement, and, bashfully, a coworker might change topics, start talking about “Brown v. Board” or “Roe v. Wade,” to assert some presence of knowledge over those two words hanging low in the dead air of your breathless conversation: “Supreme Court.”

In 2010 the Supreme Court of the United States gave political campaign speech the equivalent status of individual speech by offering to its purveyor’s constitutional protection over their contents thus being now declared “Free Speech.” In English, this means that Political Action Committees (created to promote politicians running for office) have free speech rights equal to those you and I possess, individually. In reality, this means P.A.C.’s and the donors thereto can spend limitless amounts of money promoting their respective candidates. In America, this means that the institutions with all the money will drive the political Buick from now until the end of the Republic. In prophecy, it saddens me to think this end to be in sight.

Because of Citizens United, our sound democratic principles of democracy (tautology!), principles dictating that the PEOPLE elect the politicians instead of some gargantuan conglomerate moneyed interest, will be drowned out by the noise of P.A.C. “donations.” No, from now on, the T.V. tells us who to vote for… and the T.V. gets to decide who we get to choose from. It is no mistake that the old republicans, those grand old individual Americans who support the Grand Old Party, far disgruntled and greatly disturbed by their lack of a worthy candidate — it is no mistake that they have no other choice in the coming election than to vote for ROMBOT or to stay at home. : (

The money has spoken. After this incumbent leaves office any politician with ideas, with independency, with polarization, with principles – such will become a thing of the past. In a post Citizens United world, our great democracy shall be ran by none other than the most powerfully wealthy, many of whom buried us into a four year recession because of their evisceration of efficient government oversight. Because that’s the problem with a nation controlled by only the wealthy – that nation falls out of democracy and into Oligarchy. The wealthy fight to eviscerate government oversight over their generation of wealth – that evisceration generates for them even greater wealth – (for a limited time only). But in a country where the wealthy can then play casino games with taxpayer dollars – where the taxpayer has to bailout “the wealthy” for their having placed ill advised bets with their oh so respectable and honorably earned “wealth,” shouldn’t it be the taxpayer who gets to decide who our political candidates should be?

Oh, but they already do, just turn on MSNBC and ask Chris Matthews or Fox News and ask Bill O’ Reilly: “They HAVE chosen, they chose to choose between Mitt Romney and the incumbent.”

No, in a post Citizens United world – they have not chosen. The T.V. chose for them, and ya know who chose for the T.V.? P.A.C.’s. And ya know who chose to fund the P.A.C.’s?

The high rollers – the private equity funds – the casino owners – Wallstreet.

Wallstreet doesn’t care if Mitt Romney is a pandering robot that speaks with two mouths and eats with two tongues. That’s because, if elected, he’ll need them in four years, and so they pull out the hot iron plate reading “PROPERTY,” they brand him, and send him to the podium.

“Hey, send the voters to Burger King and make sure they hit the polls up on the way back will ya?”

So there’s democracy for ya – we got George Zimmerman charged. Justice for Trayvon Martin. Yay. Meanwhile, the rest of America with a hoodie on and less than a couple thou in their checking accounts continue stumbling into one and other. Aloof. Alone. Alloted. Getting paid off to sit in the ghetto and kill each other over who gets control over the lifeblood of ghettos, the cheap drugs and pussy — or going to work and having their checks garnished through taxes that get recycled to fund the submission of the impoverished by pumping out the lifeblood of ghettos, the money that pays for the cheap drugs and pussy.

It is a sad, shameful reality that we can get an entire country to stir and protest over the death of one young man and yet be so willing to sit idly and ignorantly by while we watch before our very eyes unfold the death of our democracy.

Occupy Wallstreet, Tea Party Protestors, where is your bully pulpit now? Why do your phantasms continue slowly to tread the country’s grounds, shamefully, lonely, shallowed, and shackled? Why is it that Jacob Marley is ALIVE, alive and well, laughing, laughing hysterically with a cigar in his mouth at the top of a bank in New York?

How is it that we have become the ghosts of the Republic?

It is so because the money controlled sociopolitical media machine has long ago drained, embalmed, and buried the body of true democracy in a damp and dumpy bone-yard off some interstate somewhere in a state no one has ever bothered to have ever even driven through.

The reason you have never heard of the Citizens United case is because it is not a big deal to the average citizen given the average citizen has never heard of the Citizens United case. The reason the average citizen has never heard of Citizens United is because they have never been told that it exists let alone that it might be something worth hearing about.

They have never been told it is exists because, well…. Because, because they have FAR more important and pressing concerns at the moment… Because they don’t need to worry. Because they can still wake up and go to work tomorrow and nothing will be any different than it was today. Because everything is fine as long as no one makes a fuss. Because some kid got shot in Florida and now, well now we need to focus in on injustice.
Because the Citizens… have never been so United.

“George Orwell Continues Spinning Wildly In His Grave…. George Zimmerman Today Was Charged With….”


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22 Responses to Ghosts of the Republic

  1. merope says:

    Trayvon Martin is who?

  2. DataShade says:

    OK, but Citizens United is only a few years old. You’re obviously not saying that all the problems started then, so you’re not even dealing with root causes.

    Besides, as mad as I was about CU when it happened – does it really matter? Look at SOPA/PIPA: it’s not like any amount of paid-for speech was able to garner public support for SOPA – any support for outside the halls of power – and, now that it was defeated, it’s not like the people who pushed it are going to give up even tho’ it’s obvious their constituents don’t want it.

    In other words: these strategies don’t work on a sane and rational public in a healthy representative democracy. In fact, they should be so disastrously ineffective in those conditions that no one would even attempt to use them. Yet, they are used, and are successful.

    So maybe we’re already a little too far gone to worry about patching CU. Maybe we should start paying down the cost of the crumbling infrastructure or get off the road.

    (I’m pretty sure “Michelle Remembers” was the point where America crossed the Rubicon. BUT a “biography” can only have that much power over the minds of its audience if they’re intently looking for a narrative structure.)

  3. JohnJ says:

    America did pretty well in the 150 years or so prior to the law that Citizens United overturned. Americans aren’t as stupid as people like you worry they are.

    It was never the PAC’s who were the problem anyways. Political activists disguised as journalists wield far more power in the realm of public debate than PAC’s ever did.

    Contra Alone, advertising isn’t mind control. Advertisers only wish it were that easy.

  4. adbc says:

    -1 flamebait

  5. Guy Fox says:

    Citizens United was a terrible idea, and Martin and Zimmerman are just proxy poster children for sides that had been opposed since Taft was a boy. Fair enough. You also get +2 for literary presentation.
    The nostalgia for a simpler, better time when right and wrong were clear as black and white and people sought and found Truth, which they then used to shape Destiny is the problem. Your Brave New Past never existed. Was it in the ’90s when your compatriots were so busy with Babewatch and Hell Rose Place to ignore atrocities in N. Korea and Afghanistan and getting involved in Somalia only until they discovered that black people can shoot back? Was it in the ’80s when they were selling arms to dictators to help them eradicate the supporters of other wannabe dictators? Was it in the ’70s? (’nuff said) Was it in the ’60s (Vietnam), the ’50s (McCarthy), the ’40s (Uncle Joe and obliterating entire cities)? We can go all the way back to the country being founded by slave owners, if you like.
    But let’s not. Let’s do something else. Instead of looking back at what never was, let’s be conscious of what was and concentrate on what is and what will be. Things like the choice between Kang and Kodos, between grape soda and diet grape soda. Things like how the next generation is screwed as soon as the Chinese and Japanese middle classes retire and start drawing down their savings, which are currently paying for everything America thinks it is. Things like how the US is the criminal for even trying to help a blind guy hide from his oppressors, but its hands are tied because it won’t ratify this among other things.
    These are all things that exist but can be changed (insh’Allah). Reminiscing about the good ol’ days that never were won’t get you any closer to a future that sucks less. Your actions can help; your reconstituted memories not so much.

  6. SeanM says:

    TV has been picking presidents for a long time. You cannot pinpoint the death of a country or political system in one event, like Citizens United or NDAA or Patriot Act or SOPA. These laws may be authoritarian, deliberately spreading inequality, but the history behind the laws that enabled them to come into existence matters.

    We can wonder what the world would be like now if 9/11 had never happened. Or if muslim scapegoating hadn’t been so effective (ie what would have happened if the label “terrorist” hadn’t stuck so well, or applied in the first place).

    This late in the game, the only thing that could conceivably help, is probably fighting back. And by fighting I mean fighting. Which is risky, and whenever there is the destruction of property or violence, some people have a tendency to listen to the Glenn Beck. And it is entirely possible that a demagogue could come to power, when presumably movements like OWS and anarchists and socialists are pushing for a stateless, or almost stateless, socialist society. But any way you look at it, protesting will not accomplish anything against the fundamental structure of the US, of the corporate state.

    Some guy named William Gillis wrote a little bit about the destruction of property strategy:

  7. Red says:

    You imply that everything was alright BEFORE Citizens United, that there wasn’t moneyed interests in politics, that citizens’ votes actually mattered before before 2010. The principles of social democracy, as the United States has been practicing it since its inception, were not in any way altered by the Citizens United decision. The ruling merely codifies 216 years of precedent.

  8. paxilpaul says:

    Wrong Red. I suggest you stick to what you know — being the guy that gets things for people in prison. For you and your comrades above who lack any critical reading skills I motion you to recognize I am not suggesting the imperfect nature of the Republic of the pre CU world. To the contrary I am suggesting a viscious pounce on the gas pedal toward legal guarantee of cementing a self-contradicting democracy. And your suggestion “the principles of social democracy were not in any way altered by CU.” You are a fool. And a buffoon. I am not making the argument that the “Grand Old Americans,” were superior, only that the basis they predicate their beliefs on, the democratic basis as guaranteed via the U.S. Constitution, the one that elected FDR, JFK, and other notable acronyms has now been faced with unprecedented roadblock. One that didn’t exist prior to CU, despite the “moneyed-interests” involved. The end of the proverbial “slippery-slope”

    Not that I’d expect you to understand that, I wouldn’t think it takes nine years of higher ed and working with constitutional authorities in a major city to grasp these concepts,

    but maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it does. Maybe the “we’ve been screwed forever anyway” attitude is problem, and such is actually protecting the Court, and recent efforts, to drive the money drunk car into the tree.


    • Red says:

      What’s with the ad hominem? It’s not helping your argument.
      There is the belief that the United States was not always the way it is, serving corporate and business interests the way it does. I disagree, but I don’t have any hard, substantive evidence pointing either way. Nor would I want to do the research to prove my disagreement. Why? Because it doesn’t matter.
      The fact is that a vast majority of Americans today are happy with their situation. They aren’t rioting, protesting, or voting for a reason – and it doesn’t have a whole lot to do with Orwellian brainwashing. Citizens United was ignored because it does not affect what most Americans find important and desirable. Americans like their political system, even though it is about as real as a reality TV show and lobbyists make the real decisions. Americans like their lives – their HD tvs and nice cars and cloths. And CU will not get in the way of these things, so why should they care?
      You find undesirable what many other Americans find unimportant, that being the fusion of money and politics. Just because many Americans don’t care doesn’t mean that they are stupid, ignorant, or lazy. They just don’t care about the same things that you do. Your desirable version of America, if it ever existed, may have been destroyed by CU. But the fact is that you are not the majority, and the majority of Americans did not find their desirable version of America to be under assault by CU.
      You are a great writer, by the way. And although I disagreed with your piece, it was well written and formulated; creative too.

      • Ed S. says:


        A little evidence it wasn’t always this way (off of the top of my head and IANAL):

        Sherman Antitrust Act (1890)
        Pure Foods and Drugs Act (1906)
        Clayton Antitrust Act (1914)
        Railway Labor Act (1926)
        Securities Acts (1933 & 1934)
        Wagner Act (1935)
        Fair Labor Standards Act (1938)
        Taft-Hartley Act (1947)
        Clean Air Act (1972)
        Clean Water Act (1972)

        Don’t think that the big corps were in favor of any of these……………….

        In the last 40 years, well, not so much. But it wasn’t always the way it is — and my particular favorite on the list are the 1972 Air/Water Act — signed by Richard M. Nixon (how about them apples! — arguably our last liberal president).

  9. qubitman says:

    You’ve made a speech. This is not an analysis or deconstruction of something, this is you grandstanding about what you think is important. This article is way off track of what I think this website is about. You might not like to hear this criticism, but it seems like you’re too busy playing with rhetoric to produce a proper deconstruction of anything. This is not a criticism against you, just the way in which this particular article is written. More hard work in media analysis would make this a much more valuable piece. No sources were cited, and the few quotes you included didn’t seem substantial.

    I’m against grading other people’s work, so instead I will just say that I can’t endorse the spirit of your writing as it currently stands. As a suggestion, try doing a deconstruction of your experience of the things you recieve through internet, newspaper, and television.

  10. paxilpaul says:

    Ok Qbert way to pick up on “Grandstanding,” that’s a fast eye you got. Youre not much for “grading” you say? Hm, maybe because you’re not much for writing from what I’ve ever seen — and that goes for retort and reading as well. You want stats , quotes, hard facts? Blow me. I’m not writing a legal brief or an investigative journalism piece — I am writing rhetoric, good eye again hot shot, rhetoric founded in logic founded in fact for anyone with a google bar and a brain.

    Deconstruct this — say we were kids and this were lord of the flies, you would be Piggy, and I would be “deconstructing” your life. Aren’t literary references fun? No? Too much “grandstanding?”

    Grab a pen sometime broloff cuz I can tell you your deconstruction of my deconstruction is a deconstruction of what you, yourself alone, considers to be some relevant articulation.

    Ps. Suck my balls.

    • Guy Fox says:

      Relax, man. Red and qubitman were attacking the ideas presented, which is totally legit; they weren’t attacking the person/dog/chatbot behind the ideas, which would not have been.

      This writing in and for a public forum including Wotan-knows-who as readers is a tricky business. They’re used to reading professional writers, most of whom will probably echo the readers’ own dispositions anyway (who’re you all lookin’ at?), and they’re a sharp bunch. Coming in here as an amateur is tough. Readers critique/criticize even the ideas they like and agree with. This has its benefits: it can help you sharpen the ideas and impressions you express. It makes you up your game. It’s also kinda brutal if you’re not used to the exercise. You clearly put some thought and work into this text, and it’s easy to identify with it. But you don’t have to.

      Take a boxing analogy: if you only ever fight against sparring partners 2 weight classes down from you, you’ll never get any better. Go 8 rounds against a guy with a longer reach and 20 lbs. on you, and you’ll get your a$$ kicked, but you’ll learn something and can improve. And don’t get stuck thinking that you’re only as good as your last fight, which you might have lost. You take the experience and get stronger for it. In Truth, you’re only as good as what you’re doing right now. If you’re working the speed bag, work it! If you’re running up those stairs, try two at a time until your lungs explode. What you did constitutes what you were, but not what you are. What you’re doing is what you are. So whatcha gonna do?

      And as for the text, the most important assessment of your work is your own. If you’re proud of it, you know why, and that’s enough, isn’t it? As literary as it was, I’m looking forward your next one, even if I’m probably gonna find a nit or two to pick. May I suggest a Paxil? :)

    • qubitman says:

      I’m trying to help you, and you’re being extremely rude. Please try to be more respectful. People tend to take you seriously when you use respect and restraint, especially if you don’t have to.

      As I said before, we don’t do rhetoric here. We do critical analysis. If I were talking about your subject matter the first thing you would have is a link to the bill. Then a link to some people’s reactions to this bill, including some quotes from different people. While doing this research my question would always be “What am I missing?” What is the part of the story I’m hiding from myself? What part of the story is being obfuscated by the us and them debate? Why have I read about this news?

      So corporations get unlimited campaign contributions, and? Keep in mind this process was probably just a formality. They’ve had ways of funneling money to whoever they want the whole time, this just streamlines the process. No, the problem isn’t campaign contributions. ___ _______ __ ___

      Why did you read about it? Why are you so worked up about it? Are you a lobbyist? Is there a politician in your area that’s trying to pass a law so he can come to your house and rape your mother?

      Investigate your emotional reactions. Look into them deeply. Question everything.

  11. Zarathustra says:

    “Many people throw a piece of their personality after their bad arguments, as though this will make them run a straighter course and transform them into good arguments; just as even after he has thrown the ball the bowler continues to try to direct its course with gestures and hand-waving” -

  12. paxilpaul says:

    Ok show of hands how many of you tool boxes have ever written a script that became a major motion picture?

    Show of hands. No? Well, I did, its called “Where the Red fern Grows” and it was a novel I wrote in middle school and now they turned it into a full blown motion picture based off an adapted screenplay wherein the only changes you might notice will be the main character is now a lizard named Rango — and the backdrop of the story is the old west.

    Qbert bit man or whatever drastically underestimates the impact of social distinctions predicated upon wealth, especially inherited wealth.’ You got that from Vickers, ‘Work in Essex County,’ page 98, right? Yeah, I read that too. Were you gonna plagiarize the whole thing for us? Do you have any thoughts of your own on this matter? Or do you…is that your thing? You come into a bar. You read some obscure passage and then pretend…you pawn it off as your own idea just to impress some girls and embarrass my friend? See the sad thing about a guy like you is in 50 years you’re gonna start doin’ some thinkin’ on your own and you’re gonna come up with the fact that there are two certainties in life. One: don’t do that. And two: You dropped a hundred and fifty grand on a f—-n’ education you coulda’ got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library.

    How about them apples “professionals?”

    Go drink some more lame-onade. Ya lames.

    • Guy Fox says:

      Okay, so ‘Where the Red Fern Grows’ was written in 1961, and I read it in school, and it was schmaltzy. John Logan, the screenwriter of Rango, was born in 1961, so he couldn’t have written the novel in middle school at the age of 0. And Logan has written enough big budget Hollywood movies that, unless he’s got a major problem with gambling or blow, he wouldn’t have been taking a bar exam last summer, nor would he have had the time. And I haven’t seen it, but my friend the internet tells me that Rango has nothing to do with the novel.

      Man, I kinda liked the literary aspect of your post, but what is this crap? You’re trolling your own post? Are you okay, amigo?

  13. paxilpaul says:

    na but for real you guys are cool i just like to get drunk and throw shit at people — its better than pushing my glasses up my nose and sayin :

    “Um, well, yes, I agree their is indeed a lack of critical analysis as indicated by the conclusory argument that y and z follow x, such becomes a device for promotion, hollowed and lacking any numerical…”

    But check it yall, you guys like research, i like writing, but you dont always have to combine the two — William Faulkner said that.

  14. paxilpaul says:

    He never said that. I got you you fuckers, Faulkner never said that.

    PS you all suck except the last psychiatrist.

    Every. Single. One of you. Sucks. You suck. There will be no more writing from me when the readers are turds and the forum a bowl.

    P.s. please purchase a blue ray copy of my film adaptation “Rango.”

  15. JonnyVelocity says:

    ‘Rango’ sucked.

    No, to be honest I never watched Rango because I thought it looked a little lame. But I hear it got nominated for some awards n’ stuff for best animated movie or something during the sycophant season. So congrats.

    The problem with you piece, and the general attitude you have expressed at the criticism is you. You don’t care enough about the substance of the piece, you care too much about the style of its presentation and hope that gets you through. That doesn’t convince people here, in fact it insults their intelligence, then they say mean things, and so forth… It’s all emotional, which it seems you are, which may work for most arguments on the news (which is your problem?) but it doesn’t work here. You’re embodying the very same character as your enemy.

    You might want to ask yourself why you don’t like CU, and whether it’s a truly ethical objection or something closer to envy.

    P.S. keep arguing against critiques with ‘my dad (work) is bigger than yours’ or ‘suck my balls’, it makes those who disagree with you all warm inside.

  16. paxilpaul says:

    don’t hold out,

    hold in,

    hold in a Caul Field.