I am reading the book "Rising Tide" by John Barry, which is a small literary classic in these parts as it recounts the story of the 1927 Mississippi River flood, a natural disaster on par with Katrina in its mounmental scope, ravaging of life and property, and political impact.
In much of the book it profiles several powerful and illustrious men (and they were mostly men) who held and wielded great political and economic power over the people and cities of the Southland. Invariably they were heavily connected in personal and other ways to Washington politics, national leaders, and even Presidents. It makes your posterior squirm.
It makes me squirm even more to know that such a situation remains today.
When will the common folk realize that the entirety of the world in which they live is shaped completely to further the profits and positions of the politically connected elite economic and social interests? Large corporations, the banker/lawyer/bureaucrat dickheadery, the financial elite have all their hands in the till and the State has sold us out to become pawns of these interests as well as the State's own serfs.
In the face of this the common folk have little to no recourse. The success of the recent bailout bill demonstrates that when push comes to shove, power controls the strings and sees perfectly fit to fuck with the country's future and people's lives for their personal enrichment. Too many interlocking personal and economic relationships exist among those at the top of the hill that the views of the common individual should be considered.
The State is the great enabler of power. Without the State, the elites are impotent. Their own private reach can only stretch so far. One person cannot be God. Banded together in their elite social organizations, they may exert great influence, but without the backing of State guns there is nothing to enforce their total will. The common man may then laugh at the likes of the Pickwick or Boston Clubs. (True New Orleanians will understand the analogy made here.)
I hold no contempt for those men of ability who grow wealthy and influential by their own efforts and means. Ability should be rewarded - nay, even more so than today, in this age where real effort and competence is derided (for example, how many times have I heard Wal-Mart bashed nowadays?) and the producers are looted continuously by their erstwhile State masters.
Men who desire to wield power by political means are generally not producers. They have either inherited wealth or have gained position by non-wealth producing means (that means you, Wall Street). So beware their seeking of gifts, or their claims that their are the natural "elite"of society, and thus entitled to be its rulers. If that isn't a crock of shit, I don't know what is.
The Carnival krewes with their privileged elite memberships can aspire to faux royalty every year with their bullshit balls and parades. But to them I say:
LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE!!!!