How broken? All the way broken.

The media — CNN, Fox News, New York Times and the rest — social studies in school and most of academia all conspire to tell the same lie: the economic and political system are flawed but somehow natural, like the weather, and democratic, meaning that we all have some kind of stake in this system. Science, elections, the constitution, the free press: somehow, through all the mistakes and problems, we are more or less on the right course for progress, or, indeed, on the only practical course. The same forces that will and have and are crushing, stomping and destroying alternatives tell you there is no alternative worth considering.

The story says the US Constitution is your friend, that extreme inequality is somehow natural, that a racial/class caste system doesn’t exist when it obviously does, that elections matter, that there is only one way to do proper economics, that the information and good evidence always comes from the official sources through sanctioned means of dissemination, and that surely in this system — our VERY SERIOUS system of checks and balances — we cannot drive the world over an environmental abyss into a death spiral. This story you hear every day in school and the media is about not telling 90% of the truth. Not only isn’t the story true, the official narrative doesn’t stand up to basic questioning. So they don’t take questions. Not from the likes of you, anyway. They take certified questions from certified questioners.

Yes, the loopy nonsense they feed us in school and in the media will admit (when not howling about some so-called scandal), it is true: six individuals own more wealth than 180 million people in the same country, but this kind of thing, the officials say, you know, the market, free trade, globalism, technology: it just happened. No one did it. Six guys owning so much is not a scandal? Yes, the serious ones will acknowledge when they can’t avoid the topic with distractions, the United States has military bases in 94 countries officially and probably more off the books, but if not for all that fantastic stability, policeman of the world there would be chaos, terrorism, Hitler, something bad not something good free trade, market forces, technology, science, elections, debates, everything is fine, and also who are you to ask? Wait, you call that an argument? Basically, you can boil the official narrative down to “Hey, you, shut up.”

You can’t seriously say the United States is not running an imperialism empire that has nothing to do with the needs and desires of the people of the United States. Also, shut up and support the troops. There is no way you can morally argue that people who are born rich should get medical care when people who are born poor have to die from the same afflictions. You can’t seriously argue that the insane inequality we have now is really due to globalization, natural market forces and technology. Any serious discussion will quickly show that the government decreed and manufactured the inequality through oligarchic manipulation of the law through bribery. And now our next story: Morgan Stanley presents the stock market report on NPR, and also an interview with Bill Gates about 10 things people can do to improve education in Africa.

The gap between the wealth of white and black households has been vast for 400 years without any pause but somehow racism is not a system and it’ll all work itself out if Obama could just do one more tango in Argentina. The Supreme Court has never sided with the weak or poor against the rich and powerful but somehow the only problem with the institution is this new guy is a rapist. No nation in the history of the world has become wealthy through free trade but we all have to be free traders or we’re CONSPIRACY THEORISTS. Barrett Brown, Gary Webb, John F. Kennedy, Fred Hampton, Julian Assange, Mohammad Mosaddegh, Salvador Allende, Martin Luther King, thousands of others: these guys just had bad luck.

You know what the alternative to this current system is? Change. Allow for real change. Let it happen. Don’t conspire with the enemies of your nation to overthrow the elected government of your country because it’s Jacobin in 1792 in France or socialist in 1972 in Chile. Play by the rules, you official narrative folks say, until all of a sudden, whoops, you change the rules. If the Black Panthers suck, let them suck, don’t shoot them or put them in jail of false charges. If the American Communist Party is a front for Stalin, okay, call them out on it. Don’t send in agents provocateurs, stop their printing presses, and put them in prison. If the Great War is good of the American people, then you don’t need to put Eugene Debs in jail. If Bernie Sanders is winning your primary, suck it up and let him win.

But no. No change. There is no alternative. This is the system. There is no other system. Now, where were we? Oh, yeah, Trump’s penis. Breaking news. Very serious.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Will Pflaum

Will Pflaum

Projects: The Fade Out, Juba, Under Two Maples, Dog Stories, MOGE, Bugs, Pound Flesh, Funky Record, Mutherplucker, Phlogiston, sunshineonthehudson