Saturday, December 13, 2008

How to Control a Politician

As I write this, the news media are a-buzz with the scandal surrounding Illinois governor, Rod Blagojevich. He’s accused of using the power of his office to wangle himself lucrative payoffs and a cushy union job, attempting to bludgeon the Chicago Tribune into firing editors critical of his administration and, most shocking of all, conspiring to sell the senate seat vacated by Barack Obama.

But you know all that. The news media and punditocracy are reeling over the allegations and the news reports have been virtually nonstop. I doubt there’s anybody—save for a handful of hermits and hard core survivalists—who hasn’t heard about this terrible affront to our nation’s political integrity.

But I’ll let you in on a little secret. The corruption of high elected officials isn’t an occasional aberration, it’s a job requirement. In the two-party system in the U.S., you don’t get a chance to run for a high office like a governorship or congressional seat unless you’ve already demonstrated that you’re willing to ‘play ball.’

In other words, before you can rise in the Republican or Democrat parties, you have to show that you’re willing to represent the interests of our real masters, the rich and powerful; the Big Shots. True, you’ll be allowed to mouth the words and ideals of the common folk, even badmouthing the people who are holding your puppet strings. But if you don’t show the proper compliance when you’re at the lower levels, you’ll never get the chance to run for governor.

But what of those who only pretend to play the game until they can rise to the level of governor, senator or president, so that they can have the power to curtail the abuses of the rich and powerful?” you ask.

Well, the Big Shots have an answer for that too.

If we look at how spy agencies like the CIA operate, we see two things: First, most of the actual spying isn’t done by agents themselves, but by insiders hired (or bribed or blackmailed) by the agents to do the dirty work.

Second, the way they ensure that these hired spies and traitors don’t betray their employers is by finding out some dirty little secret about them and using it to blackmail them into continued service. It’s a much more effective tool for control than merely relying on the agents’ good intentions or sympathy with the mission.

The most common threat is simply to expose what they’ve been doing for their handlers, to show that they’ve been spying for a foreign government. Another is to corrupt them with bribes and payoffs that, if revealed, would destroy the operative. Another biggie for them are the many sexual kinks not currently sanctioned by society.

This method is so effective that, in the unlikely event a potential operative is squeaky clean—with no skeletons in the closet and nothing to use against him—he’ll be rejected as unreliable.

This is also, I propose, the method used by political parties in vetting people for candidacy to high office. If they don’t take bribes, participate in pay-for-play, mess around with prostitutes or bugger little boys, they’ll never be allowed to get anywhere because they can’t be controlled.

So what was Blagojevich’s sin? There’s no telling for sure, but it’s interesting that immediately before the charges were announced, he’d threatened to withdraw the state of Illinois from all dealings with the Bank of America in support of the sit-down strike at Republic Windows & Doors.

That’s a strike that is, I suspect, really giving the willies to the Big Shots. I mean, in the current dire economic climate, factory occupations and takeovers could become widespread, like they have in Argentina in recent years. In the excellent documentary on Argentine factory takeovers, The Take, we see worker-occupied factories where the occupiers get their work done without bosses and supervisors.

Occupiers realized that, as equal co-owners of the business, working for their own benefit instead of toiling to support the people who held the whips at their backs, they didn’t need the whole layer of people at the top, the “command structure.” (Whose main function was to get more work for less money from the employees, so there would be more dough pumped upstairs to the Big Shots.)

And that’s what terrifies the ruling elite in the U.S. If this sort of idea caught on here, the Billionaire Gravy Train would be over and they’d have to go out and get real jobs. So they must nip this sort of thing in the bud and slap down anyone who supports the strikers.

A similar thing happened to former Governor of New York, Elliott Spitzer. As Attorney General, he went after Big Shot criminals on Wall Street, many of whom were the very people and corporations responsible for the current economic collapse. So what happened? He was outed for his proclivity for prostitutes and forced to resign in disgrace.

See the pattern?

So you can rest assured the media and ruling elites will continue to express shock at the corruption and call for Gov. Blagojevich’s immediate resignation and prosecution. You can also be sure that whoever replaces him will be another willing tool, whose own corruption will be ignored unless he steps out of line.

That’s how you control a politician.




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