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The Who's-Your-Daddy Nation PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 02 October 2007 13:23

Q and A for the People of a Forsaken Republic
Addressing the Origins of the Who's-Your-Daddy Nation

PEJ News - Phil Rockstroh -
Over the last three decades, the authoritarian right has risen to create the nation they have been longing for since their humbling by the Watergate scandal. After being subdued and humiliated by the mechanisms of a free republic, the right has turned the tables -- and subdued and humiliated the republic. If the trend continues, all but unchallenged and unabated, we might as well replace the torch held aloft by Lady Liberty with a taser.


"We must become the change we want to see."
-- Mahatma Gandhi

"In any case, I hate all Iranians."
--Debra Cagan, Deputy Assistant Secretary to Defense
Secretary, Robert Gates

How many times do we, the people of the US, have to go
around on this queasy-making merry-go-round of
propaganda and militarism before we shout -- enough!
-- then shutdown the whole cut-rate carnival and run
the scheming carnies who operate it out of town? It is
imperative the nation's citizens begin to apprehend
the patterns present in this ceaseless cycle of
official deceit and collective pathology. This
republic, or any other, cannot survive, inhabited by a
populace with such a slow learning curve.

Over the last three decades, the authoritarian right
has risen to create the nation they have been longing
for since their humbling by the Watergate scandal.
After being subdued and humiliated by the mechanisms
of a free republic, the right has turned the tables --
and subdued and humiliated the republic. If the trend
continues, all but unchallenged and unabated, we might
as well replace the torch held aloft by Lady Liberty
with a taser.

How could it come to this? How did so many US citizens
grow so apathetic, oblivious, if not flat-out hostile
to the tenets of a free republic?

The authoritarianism inherent to the structure of
multi-conglomerate corporatism is antithetical to the
concept of the rights and liberties of the individual.
Most individuals -- bound by a corporation's
secrecy-prone, hierarchical values -- will, over time,
lose the ability to display free thinking, engage in
civic discourse, and even be able to envisage the
notion of freedom.

This is true, from the florescent light-flooded aisles
of Wal*Mart to the insular executive offices of
Haliburton to the sound stages of CNN and Fox News.
Under the prevailing order, reality, for the laboring
class of the corporate state, has become debt slavery;
in contrast, the simulacrum of reality, in which, the
striver class exists, is a milieu defined by obsessive
careerism. Under the hegemony of corporatism, freedom
might as well be fairy dust. It only exists in an
imaginary land, not the places one arrives by way of
one's morning and evening commute.

In addition, economically, by way of decades of
financial chicanery, perpetrated by the nation's
business and political elite, we are eating our seed
crop, and the consequences of this harvest of deceit
have left the people of the US, intellectually and
spiritually malnourished.

As a result, many attempt to sate the keening
emptiness and mitigate the chronic unease by gorging
themselves on the Junk Food Jesus of End Time
mythology, which is a belief system wherein corporeal
events and actions (personal and collective) have no
lasting consequence because even the human body is to
be cast aside, like a junk food wrapper, when the
cosmic CEO decides to make the earth a part of his
heavenly franchise.

Accordingly, the corporate state requires modes of
being that evince obliviousness and obedience (the
defining traits of the US consumer) on the part of the
majority of the populace. Ergo, the rise of both
Christian consumerists and the vast apparatus of the
right-wing propaganda matrix that dominates news
cycles via the electronic mass media.

All coming to pass, as George W. Bush -- the reigning
mascot of this fantasyland of infantile omnipotence
and instant gratification  -- is rocked to sleep by
his handlers cooing preposterous tales of how history
will place him in the pantheon of those men whose
greatness was unrecognized by the shallow and petty
minds of their own era.

When, in fact, Bush, whose ruinous wars of aggression,
deficit-ballooning tax breaks for the wealthy, and
policies of crony capitalism (that enabled the
economy-decimating, easy credit banking scams of the
present) displays the character traits of a man ridden
with severe psychological trauma; his attempts to tamp
down immense inner turmoil, by means of his grandiose
bearing, his absolute certitude regarding his own
infallibility, and his bullying behavior, have
resulted in an exteriorizing of his pathologies on a
global scale, and this is playing out ugly, for all

Why do the people of the nation (for the most part)
slouch, slack-jawed and passive, before this assault
upon their collective integrity and personal dignity?

For generations, the ephemeral dazzle of pop culture
paternalism and tabloid Manichaeism, as confabulated
by advertising and public relations hacks and
corporate news courtesans, has overwhelmed gravitas,
history, even self-awareness. As all the while,
shallow opportunists have been elevated to the status
of pundits, experts and sages. Withal, the present
system generously rewards those individuals who have
mastered the art of impersonating human traits and
responses in utterly contrived environments. As a
whole, the majority of the populi have come to garner
information about the world at large, and, worse,
their own self-image, from a medium where phoniness is
a treasured commodity, while authentic human traits
and responses are banished to a beggar's road.

Is it any wonder that the media types who thrive in
these artificial settings have come to define
authenticity as being only those attributes that
appear authentic on television? Apropos, if you ask
these "media personalities" about the shortcomings and
corruption of the present system, they will plead the
careerist's Nuremberg Defense ... of only being a
stormtrooper obeisant to the "bottom line."

Fantasy alert: One would hope that if one were to
descend down a ladder constructed of these layers upon
layers of bottom lines, one would arrive in a Hell
reserved for those possessed with such shameless

Reality redux: Yet as much as the human heart might
yearn for such outcomes, there will never arrive the
terrible majesty and bitter reckoning of anything
resembling Judgement Day, heralded by celestial
trumpets and legions of naked and cowering sinners;
instead, in human affairs, there arises dire
exigencies that can no longer be ignored nor explained
away. The arrival of such a moment for the US is
nearly at hand.

When a nation manifests a mixture of mass ignorance
and official mendacity, in combination with uncheck
power emanating from an insular and arrogant elite, a
golden age of peace and plenty is as possible as
holding a tea dance in a tsunami. As sure as a village
of desperate fools who devour their seed crop, a
nation that refuses universal health care to its
children -- yet rushes to the aid of its parasitic
class of wealthy "speculators" and "investors" from
the consequences of their own greed-besotted, fiscal
debacles -- is doomed.

This is the classic pattern of collective immolation
experienced by a nation when power and privilege is
increasingly consolidated in fewer and fewer hands. In
essence, this is the key to the conundrum paralyzing
the leadership of the Democratic Party: In a culture
in which an individual's worth is determined by the
degree one can be exploited by the corrupt interests
that control both the private and public sector, the
public at large has little value to the political
establishment ... That is: other than, every few
years, being bamboozled for their votes in the sham
spectacles known as the US electoral process, a scam
mostly financed, hence controlled, by the
aforementioned big money interests.

In sum, this is the reason the Democratic Party feels
little allegiance to their base. In turn, the
political classes themselves are only of value to the
big money corporate elite, because, by their delivery
of staggering amounts of pork, massive tax cuts, and
the passage of desired anti-regulatory legislation,
they serve as their errand boys.

Moreover, the corporate control of congress is a
microcosm of US society as a whole. Accordingly, the
increasingly corporatized, ever more submissive people
of the US should be termed, the Whose-Your-Daddy

Yet, since life does not exist in stasis, within this
hierarchy of deceivers and dupes, we will gnaw at one
another's ankles until the whole pathetic pyramid

All around us, we can feel the shoddy structure
starting to sway and buckle. Axiomatically, the value
of the dollar is collapsing like the smooth facade of
a con man called-out by a group of wised-up marks. At
present, in the wake of the bust in the housing
market, repo men are retracing the tracks of real
estate grifters who fleeced legions of wishful
thinkers who brought the American dream and now only
possess the misery of debt slavery.

One would think the time for insurrection has arrived
-- that, at long last, an awakened and enraged public
would rise up and foreclose on these reprobates and
ne'er-do-wells squatting in the White House and
skulking through Congress. The power and privilege of
the corporately controlled elite of Washington should
be repossessed like the Lexises of Atlanta real estate
agents and the oversized pickup trucks of Tucson
contractors, confiscated in the wake of the collapse
of the housing market. Foreclosure signs and
repossession notices should festoon the whole of
official Washington.

Turn about would be fair play. Since, the rise of
Reaganism, the financial sector has been engaged in
selling off the assets of the nation's public sector
to the highest bidders. It is amazing that, at this
point, this klavern of kleptocrats haven't yet torn
from the walls and absconded with all the copper
plumbing fixtures and fittings on Capitol Hill.

Is a turnaround possible?

If we wake-up and smell the jackboot. From the miasma
of right-wing media propaganda, to the proliferation
of predatory capitalism, to the corruption and
cupidity of the prison industrial complex, to the
pandemic of police brutality and the trampling of the
rights of the accused, to perennial civilian shooting
sprees, to the muzzling of descent, to the rise of the
national surveillance state, to the use and acceptance
of torture as state policy, to the adoption of an
unlawful, immoral foreign policy doctrine that
promotes policies of perpetual war, one is forced to
conclude that bullying, and deferring to bullies, has
become the dominate mode of being in the US.

Remedy: In order to turn this trend around, the people
of the US must begin to acquire the anti-authoritarian
traits of empathy and engagement. The gaining of
empathy alleviates the pathological need to be a
bully, while social and political engagement mitigates
feelings of powerlessness that authoritarian
bully-boys, such as Bush, Cheney, Giuliani, et al.,

In short, remedial human lessons for the US
population, in general, and for the corporate and
political classes, in particular.

Let us start the process by having a period of grief
and repentance for the death and suffering that our
government, in our name, has inflicted on the people
of Iraq. This should be done as the US begins the
process of a complete military withdrawal from their
decimated nation, and the bestowing of economic
reparations upon the millions of Iraqis who have
suffered under the brutal machinations and murderous
mayhem unloosed by our country's contemptible invasion
and occupation.

To do so, might save the people of our next target,
Iran (as well as ourselves) a world of grief.

Phil Rockstroh, a self-described, auto-didactic,
gasbag monologist, is a poet, lyricist and philosopher
bard living in New York City. He may be contacted at
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Visit Phil's website, http://philrockstroh.com/

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 October 2007 13:23

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