Tuesday, November 30, 2004

GOP, Corporatism, WORSP and Sorelian myth

Corporate PAC spending in the 2004 cycle favored GOP candidates 10:1. You hardly need further proof of the absolute capture of the GOP by corporate interests. In America, unfortunately, money equates quite conveniently with political power. Such close alignment and cooperation between corporations and government as has been demonstrated by this Administration and the GOP in Congress is called Corporatism, which is what Mussolini called his spiffy new politico-administrative invention in the 1920s and 1930s.

You need only study the second Italo-Ethiopian war to see the parallels between its function for Italian fantasy ideology and Iraq's function for American fantasy ideology. Both deadly pageants are products of fantasy ideology meant to demonstrate certain core Sorelian myths, not wars in the Clausewitzian sense. For Italy, the Ethiopian invasion celebrated the myth that Mussolini's Italy was founding the Second Roman Empire. For America, the Iraq invasion is a celebration of the myth of the World's Only Remaining Super Power (WORSP). The myth of the WORSP requires that America be able to strike anywhere in the world and accomplish even nonsensical military missions, and that our armed forces be able to forestall any threat and eliminate all resistance. In short, Iraq is supposed to demonstrate to the world, and most importantly to ourselves, that no events are beyond our control. Iraq is overcompensation for the extreme insecurity induced by Al Qaeda's mythic attack upon us on 9/11. The shock of 9/11 called into question the central fantasies of the WORSP, requiring a mythic pageant to reassure us of our fantastical beliefs.

Of course, the Sorelian myth of WORSP is just fantasy. The brag by Administration insiders that they consider 'reality-based thinking' outmoded highlights the fantasy component of Administration decision- making. Bush, despite his electoral victory, is as disconnected from reality as Hitler in his bunker. We should all be very afraid of what new demonstrations the WORSP fantasy will require over the next four years to validate the fantasies of the true believers in Bush's inner circle and electoral base. So, too, should the stolid bankers and reality-dependent businesspersons of corporate America worry, but apparently they could not resist the temptation presented by the Federal cookie jar being wholly entrusted to their care. It is the same Faustian bargain the industrialists of Italy and Germany made in the late 1920s that brought Corporatist regimes to power in those societies, and which ultimately resulted in the complete ruination of their fortunes.

The limits those societies ran up against were different than those we face today. They faced the greater demographic and industrial potential of the United States as the ultimate reality check. We face reality checks in the form of the ecological limits of our planetary environment, our increasingly precarious position in the world's financial system, the overwhelming demographic advantages of the less-developed world, the disapproval of nearly every other industrialized nation for our acting out of the WORSP myth, and the intuitive fact that all military power, even ours, has limits as to the political goals it can accomplish. These limits will pull more and more Americans back into the reality-based community as we grind up against them. Hopefully, the consequences for our nation and the world will not become too grave before sufficient numbers re-awaken to reality and dislodge the Corporatists and WORSP fantasy ideologues from control of our government.

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