Some political commentators in the US – all predictably on the left – noting the wave of revolution sweeping the Mid East, have wondered about the possibility of similar upheavals in the U.S., which could challenge the control of the country by its corporate oligarchy.
Happily, this will never happen. Here in the U.S., the unemployed poor, working poor and soon-to-be poor – aka the middle-class - who constitute some 85% of its population, have been successfully convinced by the oligarchy’s messengers in the media – primarily on television and radio, but also in ‘news’ operations such as this one - that they too can become millionaires and multi-millionaires on the same order as the oligarchs. Therefore – because they hope to avail themselves of it in the future - they support the admittedly corrupt system by which the oligarchy continues to enrich itself. Enriching it still further, the lower classes support policies to reduce or eliminate the – let’s be frank - minimal taxes paid by the oligarchy’s members. They even support moves by the oligarchy’s handpicked political representatives to eliminate government programs that might relieve them of their poverty, misery and chronic stress by ensuring them jobs, homes, education and healthcare. Instead they accept as their lot in life all-consuming worry about jobs, homes, education and healthcare, leaving them no time or energy to investigate or fight for, alternative ways of living. We call this system Freedom. Through incessant sentimental appeals to bogus patriotism and militarism – which the oligarchy neither feels nor believes in – they have even convinced the poor that it is worth dying for.
In short, the poor and ‘middle-class,’ rather than rebelling against the oligarchy which – let’s continue being frank and open here – is ultimately responsible for impoverishing them, cling to the cretinous fantasy that people who regard as their right amassing as much of the nation’s wealth as they possibly can, will somehow allow them to acquire wealth commensurate with their own. We call this massive delusion the American Dream.
Freedom and The American Dream ensure that the ever-poorer working and middle-classes will never feel anger against our oligarchy but instead blame one another for their ever-increasing misery and poverty. They are encouraged in this collective error by our aforementioned handpicked political representatives and messengers in the media, dissipating into futile infighting and finger-pointing the righteous rage which is a prerequisite of violent revolution. Revolution which could transform their lives, strip us of our admittedly ridiculous wealth, perhaps even imprison some of us, is thus not only impossible in our system, but as the popular saying goes who needs it? We’ve already had our revolution. And it didn’t work.
Here in America all is well.
David Koch is a corporate executive and owner of the David Koch Theater at Lincoln Center (formerly New York State Theater).