Kirk to Enterprise, What Planet Are We On?
I listened to Eric Kirk’s radio show, this past Thursday night at 7pm on KMUD. I read a facebook post in which Eric let us know that he had invited Andy Stunich to talk about his fears that our elected officials might commit economic suicide by government.
As a financial advice columnist, (look for my column “On The Money; Financial Advice for the Working-Class” in the current issue of Fifth Estate Magazine) I like to entertain a diversity of opinion on economic issues, but I also tire quickly of listening to the same old conventional stupidity regurgitated and rehashed.
I know from listening to Eric’s show in the past, and from occasionally reading his blog, that he specializes in rehashing regurgitated stupidity, and Thursday night’s show found Eric practicing his specialty yet again. Why do you fill your head with this crap, Eric?
Every time I hear you on the radio, or visit your fetid little corner of cyberspace, I feel my soul being sucked into a vortex of empty rhetoric, going nowhere. Thursday night’s show provided a prime example.
This show reminded me that, while “people who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it”, people who study history don’t have a clue either. If, as Frank Zappa said, “Rock music journalism is people who can’t write, interviewing people who can’t talk, for people who can’t read”,
then the study of history is people who write too much about people who talk too much for people who read too much. While there’s always more that you can learn about history, there’s only so much that you can learn from history, especially if, by “history” you mean the history of our culture, from about 10,000 years ago to the present.
In reality, the ones who learn the most from “history” are the ones most eager to repeat it. Hitler learned how to engineer a genocidal holocaust by studying American history. Since the primary concern of “history” is the rise and fall of megalomaniacs, megalomaniacs can learn a lot from “history”, but what the rest of us learn from “history” is how to think like a megalomaniac.
We think like megalomaniacs when we imagine that we could solve the problems of society if we were in charge. Imagining that we could solve the world’s problems if we were in charge leads to pointless, inane discussions like the one I heard on KMUD Thursday night; armchair megalomaniacs endlessly debating economic policy in the most abstract terms, completely removed from the reality of life on planet Earth.
What do I mean by “armchair megalomaniacs”? Like I said, “history” is the story of the rise and fall of megalomaniacs. Historians endlessly examine the strategies, policies, and operational models of every megalomaniac that conquered and enslaved enough people to make the news, since written records began. On the other hand, “history” tells us almost nothing about the first three million years of the human experience, or about the thousands of tribal cultures, which survived for tens of thousands of years, until they were conquered, enslaved and annihilated by a megalomaniac and his minions.
Hence, American “history” begins with the “Discovery” of America by Christopher Columbus, and tends to gloss over the genocide, the slavery, the wholesale slaughter, the economic oppression and the environmental degradation, to instead focus on “The Constitution” the founding fascists, and “Democracy”. People who read too much of that crap start to believe that only megalomaniacs matter in life.
They start to speculate about how “history” might have gone differently if the megalomaniacs had made different decisions. For instance, they ask themselves, “What would have happened if Hitler decided not to attack Russia?” That’s what I mean by “armchair megalomaniacs”; people who aren’t particularly charismatic, or psychotically driven themselves, but like to imagine what they would do if they were Hitler, or Stalin, or Churchill, or Kennedy. As if fantasizing about being Hitler weren’t sick enough, “armchair megalomaniacs” also like to fantasize about ruling the contemporary world too.
“Armchair megalomaniacs” refer to their vast knowledge of “history” and “economics” (another crock of shit), and try to imagine what a megalomaniac could do to solve the world’s problems, and what kind of megalomaniac they’d like to see do it. Soon, they have pretty good idea of just what kind of megalomaniac we need in charge, and usually, its someone pretty much like them.
The problem with this whole line of thinking, is that “ruling the world” has been an unmitigated disaster right from the beginning, and its not getting any better. Megalomaniacs have done a terrible job of managing the Earth. The idea that we can solve the problems caused by unchecked megalomania, by putting a megalomaniac more like us in charge, is the founding fallacy of democracy, and it leads to pointless , arcane discussions about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, like we heard Thursday night. In the case of last night’s show, the dancing angel was “the economy”.
Didn’t Eric and his guest seem to know a lot about “the economy”. They talked about “the economy” like it was a sick friend, in desperate need of immediate attention. Neither of them seemed to have a clue about the state of the global ecosystem, or the scale of environmental devastation resultant from economic activity, let alone the incredible sacrifices we all make in our quality of life, just to support unbridled profit-taking by the insatiably greedy, nor did any of that seem to matter much to them.
In the eyes of our “armchair megalomaniacs” Eric and his guest, the real problem we face is not the dying oceans, the melting ice-caps and the destabilization of the Earth’s climate, it’s not the growing underclass of people denied access to the basic resources of survival, and cast aside like garbage while the opulent use their economic power and influence to exploit the rest of us. No, the real problem, is that their sick friend, “the economy” might stop growing.
What is “the economy” anyway? “The economy” doesn’t measure the quality of people’s lives, only how much money they spend. “The economy” doesn’t measure the wealth of the planet, it only tells us how much money we got for what we stole from mother Earth, and how much we spent trying to clean up our mess. “The economy” measures how fast we liquidate the planet and our lives. “The economy” tells us how much we got paid to sacrifice our children’s future. “The economy” is a measure of how much of our lives and our birthright will be sacrificed to keep megalomania alive and well.
Ultimately, “the economy” is nothing but an extremely abstract set of statistics that could hardly be more difficult to gather, and couldn’t be less relevant to our day to day lives. The only reason they gather statistics on “the economy” and promote its unbridled growth, is to help megalomaniacs exploit the rest of us.
When you look at it that way, you realize that “the economy” is not your friend. The economy is an out-of-control monster ruining more of our planet, and our lives, every day. The last thing any of us really want, is for “the economy” to grow any larger. We want “the economy” off our backs.
If we survive this century, as a species, it will only be because we dramatically reduced our economic activity. Yet, as if “the economy” hasn’t already consumed enough of the world’s resources, and, as if “the economy” doesn’t already consume enough of our lives, Eric Kirk used the community airwaves to present to us, Andy Stunich’s dire warning that our current crop of megalomaniacs might slow the growth of “the economy” by spending money we don’t have on the popular programs that only exist, not unlike “the economy” itself, to serve the interests, and insure the stability of, their own regime.
This is like being trapped in a car with no brakes, driven by a rabid monkey at 100mph on the Pacific Coast Highway, and being warned that we might not have enough gas to keep accelerating. Running out of gas would be a blessing, but we’re not running out of gas, we’ve gone over a cliff, so the amount of gas in the tank only matters in determining how big of a fireball it will make when we crash. It’s time to stop looking at the gas gauge, turn off that idiot on the radio, and look out the window.
What planet do these guys live on, anyway? Obviously Eric Kirk and his guest speak to us from a world inhabited by armchair megalomaniacs, who subsist on a diet of corporate exploitation and reside in a jungle of empty rhetoric. Please Scotty, beam them back.