A Statement of the Problem

From The Divide, by Matt Taibbi (Buy it here)


“It turns out that we’re too lazy to govern ourselves, so we’ve put society on bureaucratic autopilot – and autopilot turns out to be a steel trap for losers and a greased pipeline to money, power, and impunity for winners.

“This goes far beyond the of-quoted liberal cliche about how we now have ‘two Americas,’ one for the rich and one for the poor, with different sets of laws and different levels of punishment (or more to the point, nonpunishment) for each.  The rich have always gotten breaks and the poor have always had to swim upstream.  The new truth is infinitely darker and more twisted.

“The new truth is a sci-fi movie, a dystopia.  And in this sci-fi world the issues aren’t justice and injustice, but biology and mortality.  We have a giant, meat-grinding bureaucracy that literally alters the physical makeup of its citizens, systematically grinding down the losers into a smaller, meeker, lower race of animal while aggrandizing the winners, making them bigger than life, impervious, super-people.

“Again, the poor have always faced the sharp end of the stick.  And the rich have always fought ferociously to protect their privilege, not just in America but everywhere.

“What’s different now is that these quaint old inequities have become internalized in that ‘second government’ – a vast system of increasingly unmanageable bureaucracies, spanning both the public and private sectors.  These inscrutable, irrational structures, crisscrossing back and forth between the worlds of debt and banking and law enforcement, are growing up organically around the pounding twin impulses that drive modern America: burning hatred of all losers and the poor, and breathless, abject worship of the rich, even the talentless and undeserving rich.

“No one is managing these bureaucracies anymore.  They are managing us.  Just as corporations are brainless machines for making profits, this sweepingly complex system of public-private bureaucracies that constitutes our modern politics is just a giant, brainless machine for creating social inequity.

“It mechanically, automatically keeps the poor poor, devours money from the middle class, and sends it upward.  And because it’s fueled by the irrepressibly rising vapor of our darkest hidden values, it attacks people without money, particularly nonwhite people, with a weirdly venomous kind of hatred, treating them like they’re already guilty of something, which of course they are – namely, being that which we’re all afraid of becoming.”


The only thing I can think finishing this book is this: We have to start voting for real representatives.  We have to vote for new leadership.  We have to see through the nonsense of the Republican v Democrat playfight, the MSNBC v FOX bullshit that fosters this nightmare. We need some real citizens in congress.


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