American Serfdom

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The future composition of the Supreme Court is the most important civil rights cause of our time.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/cafe/scalia-death-2016-implications

In the times of Nikolai Gogol, one could work for the State and by doing such become eligible for hereditary nobility. I want you to imagine being a serf then, in Russia, around 1835. Be a serf and imagine you had a voice, and with that voice, imagine that you could bring about change in the way the Regime worked. Imagine that you and other serfs, all of you together, could with your collective voices change the way the Tsar went about affairs of the State. Imagine all of you felt you had had a say in that.

When I read articles such as the one forwarded to me by a dear friend of mine—(see above)—all I hear is an all too familiar bout of petty narcissism—the delusion of a human being who actually believes he (or she) has a voice that matters in the affairs of the State. It’s a benign narcissism—not a malevolent or a malignant one by any means. And all I mean by this petty, benign narcissism is that it is the voice of a human being who falsely believes in the importance over both his place and his effect in and on the world. The reality is this man, this voice, this human being has no more effect in and on the world about him than did a serf over the Regime in the early 1800’s in Russia.

What, however, is particular and even perhaps singular about this American version of serfdom is the fatuous and altogether narcissistic belief that one has, that one is a “stakeholder” in the play of power—be it legislative, executive, or, as in this article, if but once-removed, judicial. And it is this con that keeps down, keeps away any real threat of any real revolt of any kind. So long as people in the United States feel that they have a voice, or a vote, or a measure of selfhood that matters elsewhere—and by ‘elsewhere’ I mean the government or the State that ‘governs’ them—any possible sense of revolt or rebellion is quelled ipso facto. It is that feeling of ‘having power’ versus that feeling of ‘feeling powerless’ that keeps the gristmill going. Really, it’s like gossip—possibly true, but so what? Possibly false, but so what, too? So this guy has loosened his belt a notch, or tightened it up a notch, so what?

The effect is that this man is quieted down, and everybody reading it nodding their heads up and down is likewise quieted down, likewise shut up. Who cares that the peasants, the serfs, the “yeoman farmers” as Jefferson so elegantly put it, grumble? Let ’em grumble and mumble all they want. What matters is that the serfs and peasants, the slaves and servants keep on working; and, moreover, believe in this System, which except for a few who do turn rank and begin—let’s say like Cruz or Obama or Rubio, as well as Clinton 1.3 or Clinton 2.7 (no matter which)—to work now for the State, (and thus become eligible for this inheritance of nobility which they will under no terms ever forsake), are for the foreseeable future permanently kept in their places by. And it is this extant or consequent ‘nobility’ which the Supreme Court, as it pores through any number of pages of any numbers of cases and causes brought before the Bench, will jealously guard and preserve like a dragon in its lair overlooking its treasure.

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