26 May 2020http://www.humanthoughts.org/wealth2.htm© Huw Powell
Relative to: the mass media's sudden discovery that popular music understands the tragedies of our society, better than the politicians who pretend to run it. In 1987 Skinny Puppy let it be known that "Saddam is as unpredictable as he is ruthless". Over a decade before the L.A. Riots (of the nineties...) the Clash were warning that "you don't need no silicone/ to calculate poverty/watch when Watts town burns again/the bus goes to Montgomery" These are but two examples of the detail available.

But what does this have to do with national government, anyway? I get the sense that, overriding every other issue in a wealthy republic such as ours (and most Americans are incredibly wealthy compared to every person that ever lived) is Order. As the "consumer" of a minor burglary recently, I can attest to the instant desire for retribution, however "just" and bureaucratic. The majority of our population would prefer to see their small pile of wealth and economic security protected, over any abstract constitutional values, and, in parallel, would prefer that we use our might to preserve the barrier to other poorer (LDC) nations sharing the planet's wealth rather than accept a decline in standard of living (read: rate of irreplaceable consumption).

Most people are not vested in the need for freedom of speech, religion, opinion, or pursuit of happiness (lifestyle). They are not members of the several five to fifteen percent minorities which have to fight not to be segregated and ignored - the queers, the atheists (and other non Judeo-Christians living in the U.S.), the communists and anarchists, the outrageous, the artists, the pacifists, the convicted and the accused. These people are all routinely cast as Un-American when it serves the needs of the political leadership or the blind, deaf, and dumb majority of this country. This in spite of the appearance that this country was founded on the powerful belief that not all men are alike in all ways, and the freedom to express oneself as oneself is often more important than pleasant homogeniety.

G.H.W. Bush has run on this platform, and governed with it. All that matters is preserving wealth and its growth - not the human cost. An honest evaluation of values - capital, moral, ethical, political, and so on, has no place in his presidency as it operates. Which is a shame for a man who wanted the job for what many see as the highest moral purpose of the 20th century - to defeat Communism and spread democracy (and, more important, capitalism!), to more and more corners of the earth.

Ross Perot is a paranoid billionaire. He lives in a compound which keeps him safe and remote. His law and order ideas are fine, providing we all agree that the Constitution might just be an unnecessary impediment to keeping the peace.

8/3/92 note:

Re: Cop Killer, the heavy metal music of Ice T. Where was the law and order outcry when Eric Clapton released Bob Marley's classic I Shot the Sheriff?

The entertainment industry is the only career path consistently accepted by the white wealthy elite and their blind followers for blacks in America... much the same fate the children of Israel once suffered? I think I stole that one from an old Lenny Bruce routine.