With all the closed door negotiations going on in Washington D.C. concerning the debt ceiling and the national budget, it's easy to side with your favorite political party of choice. As a matter of fact, it's easy simply because it's intentionally designed for you to do so. The co-mingling of terms, with divergent meaning, has purposely created confusion and anxiety within a population that looks for order and assurance and security. It's Sunday, two days before the presupposed deadline, and still no deal has been met with sufficient compromise. Each side has dug its heels into the ground, from what the media tell us, and it's going to be a fight to the finish.
But consider the possibility that this is all for show. Consider for a moment that this run to an eleventh-hour agreement, which I'm betting will be the outcome, is all grandstanding and political spectacle. Is this is all street theater -- Wall Street theater -- carefully choreographed and acted out in order to extract more blood from a turnip, as the saying goes? Will the perpetrators congratulate themselves in canned and unauthentic somber impromptu speeches late Monday night, and claim a bipartisan effort pulled us back from the precipice of economic chaos, while the true congratulatory champagne cork-popping will be out of camera range when, unbeknownst to the American public, they'll exult with glee that they've bamboozled and duped us again?
Naomi Klein, the author of The Shock Doctrine, premised that "[f]rom Chile in the 1970s onward...right-wing ideologues have exploited crises to push through an agenda that has nothing to do with resolving those crises, and everything to do with imposing their vision of a harsher, more unequal, less democratic society." It can be argued, and the evidence supports the idea, that the invasion and occupation of Iraq was, and is, the latest example of "shock doctrinism" in play -- that is, before the methodology was let loose on the American people. Are we the Chile of 1973? Are we witnessing a complete privatization like the crumbling Soviet empire did in the 1990s? And, was Iraq only a dress rehearsal to ensure that all the details of the performance were prepared, refined, and coordinated -- before commencing with the biggest and most elaborate attempt to exploit a perceived fiscal crisis in this country's history? Is our economy being held hostage -- in order to destroy the last major counterbalance to the political power of corporations and the wealthy? You tell me.
If you haven't read The Shock Doctrine, you owe it to yourself to do so. There are few books that really help us understand the present. The Shock Doctrine is definitely one of those books. Even if you have read it, watch this embedded video of the film based upon the bestseller. At almost an hour-and-twenty minutes, it's a film, remember, not a short skit or flash-video, so get comfy and be ready to explore how shock doctrinism works, how it was conceived, and how the resultant predatory and mutant malignancy of disaster capitalism has been used over and over again to impose privatization over the commons and the lives of millions already. After viewing, ask yourself whether The Shock Doctrine has been unleashed on this unwitting nation, bit by bit, and think about whether this perceived crisis is just another step toward total privatization of everything. Tuesday's only two days away. It's my guess we'll be less a pound of flesh, if not more, by then, although the exact details may not be forthcoming for several weeks. Let's see.