By Thomas Neuburger, who writes regularly at God’s Spies
This is my pitch for your contribution to the Naked Capitalism tip jar, my personal strongest argument. If today is the day you’ve decided to read less words, congratulations — just click the link and contribute, then spend the next ten minutes on the article you really want to get to.
If you doubt the importance of your contribution, however, or if you simply want to see what “my personal strongest argument” turns out to be, read on, and if you’re convinced, then please contribute.
At This Place, In This Time, All Mankind Is Us
Let us not waste our time in idle discourse! Let us do something, while we have the chance….at this place, at this moment of time, all mankind is us, whether we like it or not. Let us make the most of it before it is too late! Let us represent worthily for once the foul brood to which a cruel fate consigned us! What do you say?
We see it with our eyes. It’s in front of our faces. The twin demons we knew were approaching — the on-the-ground fact of climate change; the chaotic national rebellion against national asset stripping — have approached at last. And America still is trying to avert its eyes, partly from fear, partly from disbelief, and partly because their thoughts are drowned by media that’s averted their own eyes, slave as they are to the asset strippers themselves.
We, people like us, have been forced to the front of a fight none of us wanted to be in charge of. If you’re like me, you wanted others to lead this war, with your support. You wanted those more capable, those better positioned, those whose job it is to protect the nation and its people, to take the lead in protecting the nation and its people. You wanted to fight beside them — you sure as hell didn’t want to find yourself leaderless at the front, with no real battle plan and not much army to enact it with.
If you’re like me, you wanted the next Lincoln to lead the charge, the next Teddy Roosevelt to bust the balls of the billionaires taking us down. Instead we watch as the billionaires bust their own balls to put themselves into space, or otherwise spend their “control fraud”–accumulated wealth to paint themselves as seers, people who deserve to lead our species to the glorious appropriated future of their design. They bust each of their own balls daily to keep us from seeing who they truly are — rapists and plunderers, butchers and thieves, pirates who stole our past-created wealth and plot to steal more.
If you’re like me, you waited and watched for someone to raise the banner you would gladly follow. I’ve personally waited since Reagan Days to see that banner. It has not appeared. The next Lincoln, sadly, has not emerged, at least not yet. The next FDR, the one who welcomes the hatred of America’s true enemies — and is positioned to defeat them — is nowhere to be found.
There have been pretenders (more on that elsewhere), but they either lied to us outright, knowing we wanted to like them; or fought to near the end, then laid down their sword to serve the god Comity Politics; or started strong, then settled for the role of ineffective bit-player foil to the real stars of the piece, the neoliberal masters of what used to be the people’s party.
Which means it’s finally us, standing alone, standing in the first battle rank of an army that doesn’t exist, waiting for the spark, the coalescing voice (Mario Savio is a good example) that makes a fist of the nation’s individual fingers of anger and pain.
Do we despair while we wait for the army that hasn’t shown up? Does Godot never come?
Perhaps. But as badly as we perceive the spotted past, the future is a spotless empty space on which anything at all could be written. Will we wake tomorrow? We think we know we will, but only because we woke up yesterday.
When we die, will we turn to angels or to dust? We think we know, at least a few of us do, but really, if you woke from death’s deep sleep and found you were a tree, or a blade of grass, would it surprise you more than if you didn’t wake at all, or woke to the sound of harps and eternal gates?
If we have no army (yet) to face what we know is coming, we still have ourselves and each other. If the world goes to actual hell in a climate-fueled dystopia, fine. But it hasn’t yet. If America becomes the world of Dover Beach, swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, where ignorant armies fight in a wealth-seeded war, an actual bloody battle against each other, let it be so when it’s so. It isn’t so yet.
All of this is to say, whatever we lack, we who watch as these devils make their approach, we have each other and that’s quite a lot. Whether we like it or not, as Becket said, at this place, in this time, all mankind is us. We breathe today. The eruption has yet to occur. We should celebrate, while we can, ourselves and the places we gather for ideas and comfort, visions and hopes and fears.
We should celebrate, in other words — and support — Naked Capitalism. One, because you’re already here, for reasons which I suspect I’ve just described. And two, because there are so few places to go to find this company.
And who knows? Just because Godot hasn’t arrived, doesn’t mean he won’t. America was blessed with three Godots so far. Who’s to say a fourth won’t raise his head? Besides, even if he doesn’t show up, each of us has shown up, and that’s worth celebrating too.