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Electing Canada as President

by Marc Batko Monday, Jan. 21, 2008 at 3:34 PM

Ours is a brave new world where countries don't need dollars as in the past. Maybe we could accept our unparalleled life-and-death crisis from endless wars and melting dollar and affirm partnership and exchanging roles as we affirmed the total and absolute market



By Marc Batko, Portland, OR

The anti-social offensive, the capital offensive, is based on the worship of profit, the myth of the self-healing market, the myth of beneficent corporations, the myth of nature as a free good, external and sink and the normalization of speculation, making more money out of money as the most noble and top-paid pursuit.

The trickle down myth is a reconfiguration of John Kenneth Galbraith’s horse-sparrow theory. According to the theory, the horses must be fed so the sparrows can live. Higher profits were to lead to greater investments and more jobs. In truth in Germany and the US, profits soar, investments fall and wages stagnate.

Corporations repress weak purchasing power and the weak domestic economy through takeovers, mergers and currency speculation. The state refuses to intrude since campaigns depend on corporate contributions. Universities have lost their critical independent nature since they have been downsized in the age of military Keynesianism and also depend on corporate financing.

Language and community fall into crisis when offense and defense, surplus and deficit, public and private, real and imaginary and ultimate and penultimate are confused. The church, unions, universities and the media are independent greatnesses that have gradually lost their independence.

As Noam Chomsky explains, 90% of US investment is speculative and 10% productive. Investing in education, technology and the infrastructure is crucial, along with repealing the trillion-dollar tax cuts to the super-rich.

Hire and fire, winner takes all and the right of the stronger are characteristics of Anglo-Saxon labor market policy. The remedy lies in the European social market policy where social logic counters profit logic. In the Anglo-Saxon capital offensive, workers are stylized as cost factors and CEOs job creators. Justice is reduced to equal opportunity or rewarding achievers.

The US has long trusted in double standards, free trade for the rest of the world and protectionism for itself. Imports are almost exactly double exports. Might makes right, normalization of war and militarization of foreign policy have made the US into a rogue nation, not a source of hope and inspiration.

Like removing Bush and Cheney from office for high crimes and misdemeanors, contempt for the constitution, lying to Congress and the American people, cooking intelligence and inflating the Saddam threat, electing Canada as president would be a remedy for system failure.

We could see this period as a “readjustment time.” For 8 years or 32 years, all presidential authority would be delegated to Canada. The US, now a threat to world peace and the future of the planet, would be a protectorate of the world community.

The prodigal son squandered his inheritance in riotous living and was given new life by the Father of infinite love. The demon-possessed was given new life.

Life is a fragment where the community of God is a model of human community. The penultimate moves to the ultimate without pretending to be ultimate (cf. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ethics and Letters and Papers from Prison).

As humility is the foundation of all virtue, grace, love and conversion are the foundations to life in the world of nations.

In a time when economics, nature and the future are threatened and distorted by market fundamentalism, enforced political and economic conformity, communities selling the family silver and compliant media and universities. We could paradoxically find our lives by losing our lives. The ego must die for the self to be born. The Sabbath was made for humankind, not humankind for the Sabbath.

The child enamored of the moment lives in unalloyed joy, happiness and wonder. The adult caught in shareholder value capitalism is often swallowed by credit-bubble prosperity. We are called to become children, to see ourselves as part of a greater unfolding reality. Imagining ourselves to be the source of life is anthropocentric and pretending that self-referential complex system can heal themselves is delusional. When the market elixir fails, market radicals insist more market medicine is necessary.

Among the vast prima facia evidence of system dystopia are the criminalization of dissent and criticism. Confusing short-term constraints with long-term necessities, criticism is decried as negativism or childishness. Witho9ut criticism, myopia, ethnocentrism, jingoism, greed, narcissism are described as natural laws. Lemonade, affability and upbeat attitudes supplant principle, reverence for life and love of the future.

Other prima facia evidence of system collapse include: (1) the December 2007 refusal of the FCC to set public welfare over corporate profit in the media consolidation hearing in Seattle, (2) the occupation and seizure of Iraqi oil, (3) invading a country Iraq that posed no threat to our country, (4) the justification of the invasion of Iraq with lies, cooked intelligence and inflated threats, (5) the end of cheap oil and the refusal of the system to reduce its footprint, mend its own pockets or balance its national and trade deficit, (6) a trade policy that in NAFTA, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the WTO enforces a race to the bottom as a natural law without alternative and (7) the melting of the dollar.

Ours is a brave new world where countries no longer need dollars to buy oil. The United States should be zealously reducing its national and trade deficits to keep the trust of China and Japan. A Technology Assessment office could encourage investment in future-friendly and environmentally-friendly areas, housing, health care, education, conservation and renewable energy. If Europe has reduced its energy consumption 40% since the 1970s, the US can reverse the disastrous explosion of inequality and implosion of public spirit by creating community centers and investing in the infrastructure, discovering the stories in ourselves instead of admiring the stories of office buildings.

Electing Canada as president is a radical possibility. Refusing a radical solution is like treating cancer with an aspirin or systemic collapse with improved packaging. The ethics of resistance and solidarity could lead us to be “internationalistas,” seeing life as gift and time as borrowed from the future. In this readjustment period of 8 or 32 years, we could remove the power of big money from political campaigns, democratize the media by reversing media consolidation and devise investment, labor market, taxation and distribution policies that set people over profit.

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