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Golden Means
Toward "truthfulness, compassion, tolerance"...
by Gerhard A. Fuerst

Posted by the Coffee Coaster with the author's permission

The following thoughts from Mr. Fuerst are posted unedited, and uncommented, except for this: most libertarians do not view the alternatives for political systems to be exhausted by various combinations of democratic socialism and warlord corporatism.
A society without coercion is quite different: voluntary, cooperative, community- and neighborhood-friendly. I hope readers will post
and comment on the column in my Coffee Coaster Blog.

"Well, here goes my beef for today!"

"Socialism," they allege,  shouting in dismay and disgust, and then they scream in fiercely fiery fury: "Fascism!"  Accordingly, it is suggested that Obama represents both sides of these ideologically extreme opposites. 

Obama is being shown in degradingly grotesque cartoons to be either a belligerent "joker," or depicted as dangerous dictator, not unlike "Hitler?" Clearly, there is a deliberate agenda of ridiculing and vindictiveness. Do the shouters know of what they "speak" so loudly, so vehemently with such venom and hatred? 

What about the preceding regime, which had foisted absolute chaos on us, which had plunged us into a "wag the dog" war of corporate opportunism for purely partisan political purposes. They were and still are responsible for the most horrifying and devastating economic collapse in US history, with disastrous effects for the entire world.  This regime had created the largest deficit and indebtedness in all of US history.

It had spied upon the population, and began dismantling and threatening to destroy and disembowel vital civil liberties and constitutionally guaranteed personal protections?  They rationalized terror and torture as "legitimate" political options and tools. That is something to cheer about? That is something to feel glad about? 

The war profiteers and their corporate cohorts co-opted, corrupted, and seized control of government in a virtual coup d'etat by their largesse of campaign "contributions," thus securing and  assuring unlimited access to and influence over decision making in the legislative process. The pilfering billion-dollar-bail-out profiteers, are  they the folk heroes of the conservatives, being worthy of cheering and adulation?

Those who caused the disaster had the affront to demand even more public funds, (funded by even more borrowed money from foreign sources, to be repaid by future generations) to keep the privileged and coddled in corporate comfort with executive jets, executive suites and executive bathrooms? ...and the masses are screaming about "Socialism?"  I suppose they had never heard of totally entrenched and highly profitable corporate welfare. Apparently that is something worthy of maintenance and expansion?

"Socialism," they claim? "No public option!" they scream? What are they advocating instead? A perpetuation of the rip-off system it has been for many people, who had virtually been bankrupted by skyrocketing health care costs? The fact that nearly 50 million Americans cannot even afford the most basic health insurance is of no concern to the shouters.

What do they want instead? A perpetuation and expansion, and institutionalization of what has been in existence, where millions of previous health-insurance policy holders had been very conspicuously and deliberately dumped by companies, because they muddied the waters of profitability for corporate executives and for high stake stock holders?

Devil's advocacy

Well, just for a bit of reflective tease, let me be "the devil's advocate!"  Let me suggest the following.  Let's give a little added (but purely speculative) push to the full court press and shove which is already in play. Let us eliminate and close all things public:

Public libraries, public museums, public art galleries, public parks, anything for public convenience, including even public bathrooms. There are no more public shelters. Let us close and board up all public schools, public colleges, public universities. Let us do away with all public streets, by converting them into toll roads.  Let us eliminate all modes of public transportation: buses, street cars, mass transit systems, even the Amtrak railroad system (which had to be created, because private railroad companies had mismanaged and wasted their (supposedly superior) private ownership option and potential.

Let us eliminate all rules and regulations which spell out a degree of public protection. There are from now on no unions, no service associations, designed to guarantee varying degrees of personal protection. In so doing, let us dispense with all public services: police and fire protection. If you want protection, then you had better hire a private security firm.  It is now protection for profit only. Call this a protection racket.  You are on your own from now on folks. Better get out those M-1 rifles and join the pistol-packing Palin Commandos, and get yourself garbed in protective combat gear and spit-polished combat boots. 

Dig a moat around your property, and hide yourself behind fortified walls topped with barbed wires and protective glass shards embedded in concrete. Wow, what a life in supposed liberty, where you have to hide in fortified bunkers for your own protection and preservation? Now, let me warn you: you are now entering the "free-for-all" warlord and warthog system of dog-eat-dog competitive and completely privatized world. There are no rules and regulations. There are no protections, there are no safety guarantees. You are on your own.  There is no minimum wage. there is no social security system, no Medicare, no Medicaid. You are entirely on your own. 

Government as we knew it had ceased to exist: because all public services had been dispensed and discontinued. Government, which at all levels, national, state and local, had been the biggest public employer at one time, had been absorbed by privatization of everything in sight. From now on It is a fee for all system Therefore, there are no public employees anywhere. It is government "on the cheap" as far as what is being provided, and it has been converted to government for profit by the powerful and privileged.

Communities have become cordoned and corralled  territories and turfs of privateers and profiteers, patrolled by gun-toting private police forces and paramilitary units and private militias, and you have to pay, pay, pay, or you will be visited by goon squads for a bit of convincing, persuasion and mind-bending if you should dare to hesitate complying with their demands.  "Private" corporations are now in charge of everything, and they own practically or virtually everything in sight. Erstwhile Public land has become private property for private4 profit.

You have to pay to use previously public sidewalks. You cannot move anywhere without being bilked out of your pennies paid as a pittance. There are no public bridges to cross, only toll bridges which are private domain, etc...etc...  So, when you feel constrained, fenced in or walled in, restricted, inhibited and exploited enough under such a system of total "private" control  could we again talk about some other options, possibly some based on reason, mutual respect, rationality and reasonability?  

So, when you see the numbers of unemployed, the hungry, the homeless, the destitute increase to become virtual armies of the exploited, with a distinct prospect of a direct threat to what is left of any sense of safety and security, will you still feel right in the perpetuation and maintenance of sanctimonious and self-righteously ("self-made") posturing of pompous selfishness?

Let's use common sense...

Possibly a system based on sociability, social concerns, and shared social responsibility, one of fairness, equity, truth and justice, a system which however also needs monitoring by democratic means,  justifiable supervision and management by people who are absolutely honest, as required in public service? 

Mind you, I am not an advocate of "socialism" carried to the absolute extreme of "communism," which is nothing more than the corporate state owning and controlling everything at the other end of the spectrum of extremism.  By the same token, I am also not an advocate of "capitalism" in its most brutal and blatant form. I am an advocate of a system which is based on common sense. I am an advocate of a mixed economy based on public and private cooperation and collaboration, one based on the "Golden Rule" which provides for a system which lies safely, half way between the extremes of the abusive of petty tyranny of "the revolutionary left" or "the radical right!" I am a man of the middle, an advocate of fairness and justice.

Therefore, let there be: truthfulness, compassion (benevolence), and forbearance (tolerance).

Gerhard A. Fuerst



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