To say there is no more left and no more right might be a bit of an over simplification of a complex dynamic of political economy, but nonetheless is an accurate one given the utter and total takeover of government by moneyed, corporate interests. This modern corporatism has created a democratic system that serves only to divide and conquer. Rather than taking constructive and historically realistic views of the state of the two party system, the two camps, Liberal and Conservative (Democrat & Republican), are engaged in a constant reactionary state, disregarding material reality in order to claim the rightness of their actions. When W. Bush was blindly supported and cheered by the “right” for the dismantling of democracy for corporate interests, the so-called “left” spent a great deal of energy reacting to Bush’s actions and using charged hyperbole that did little, if anything to change perceptions of his administration’s actions. Likewise, as those on “the left,” or the Liberals, blindly cheer Obama as he dismantles our democracy for corporate interests, the “right” uses their energy to react by claiming “socialism”among other loaded terms that perpetuate the same divisiveness.
In Neil Postman’s book Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985), the concept of big brother is described through an analysis of Aldous Huxley’s 1932 classic Brave New World rather than the cliched totalitarianism of Orwell’s 1984. There is one particular passage that is quite profound in regard to the current climate of political, cultural and social discourse — or the lack thereof — that pervades every aspect of our current ability to disregard history for the immediate reactionary propagation of disinformation intended to keep us divided. When the term Big Brother is used and thrown around, its meaning is relegated to a very simplified notion of Government and/or corporate control of our lives. In this particular case, Big Brother is the Government and Corporate interests all in one package: a symbiotic assimilation of capitalist/corporate interests that control our democracy through our elected officials.
Spiritual devastation is more likely to come from an enemy with a smiling face than from one whose countenance exudes suspicion and hate. In the Huxleyan prophecy, Big Brother does not watch us, by his choice. We watch him, by ours. There is no need for wardens or gates or Ministries of Truth. When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk.
When Postman wrote this, the television was the instrument of Big Brother, as it still is to a great extent. But now, discourse has expanded through the internet and perhaps further muddied the waters of rational observation. Rather than sitting at the television and watching the two sides bicker and bemoan each other, we are now active participants in these mindless shouting matches. For instance, in the comment section below any article, both sides can have back and forth baby talk — as Postman calls it — declaring each side as completely wrong; with added insults, profanity and personal attacks that weren’t the norm on television not so long ago.
What we fail to realize, by and large, is that the “left” and the “right” is in essence cheering for the same team when they blindly support and defend the current administration that, in our minds, either represents our core values and beliefs, or is the antithesis of those values and beliefs. Disregarded is the reality that these two sides promote the exact same Corporatism that has relegated us to mindless drones using the same terms, phrases and charged hyperbole, almost verbatim, when we are perceived to be under attack from the “wrong” side of our beliefs — beliefs that have little to do with reality and much more to do with perpetuating division.
Let’s look at the Clinton Administration for example. Clinton continued the slow dismantling of social services — afforded us through years of struggle — that was started by Reagan. Clinton filled his cabinet with the same corporate and moneyed interests as Reagan and HW Bush and perpetuated the deregulation of the Banking Industry. These are just a couple instances among many, yet those on the “left” continue to defend and blindly assume that Clinton was looking out for our interests simply because he stated that he had our interests at heart, despite evidence to the contrary.
Much the same can be said of the “right” who blindly supported W. Bush and consider Reagan to be a true hero of the American ideal as they know it. By simply stating that they had the interests of good Americans who had “traditional” values at heart, they were able to perpetuate policy that has done nothing to advance our interests, but has only benefited the few wealthy corporations that control the majority of the earth’s resources. Those on the “right” are so easily duped by politicians who claim to be “pro family” and “pro-life” and for “traditional American values.” These same politicians often lead lives of immorality and just use the same cliched rhetoric that is not questioned by the duped masses.
So what exactly can be done to save Democracy and our Constitution? I wish I had the answer but I know that taking sides with the same side, engaging in “baby talk” to one another, and ignoring historical realities will not save us from what will be a continued degradation of our security, prosperity, humanity, dignity and promote catastrophic damage to the earth all in the name of Corporatism. There is no more left. There is no more right. There is a one party system that is gaining more and more control as we continue to divide ourselves.