You Can Have Single-Payer When You Pry It From The Oligarchy’s Cold, Dead Hands
One of the saddest things that I have ever seen is America applauding at drama queen/warmongering psychopath John McCain’s vote against the “skinny repeal” of a corporatist Heritage Foundation health insurance program. To see so many people so desperate that they were relieved they’d get to keep something that will kill slightly fewer of them in the wealthiest nation on the planet is heartbreaking.
I mean, how bad does your system have to be to make John “Bomb Iran” McCain look like the good guy in the room?
The final vote tally in the Senate was 51–49, but the grim layout on Capitol Hill hasn’t prevented a large and growing majority of the population from wanting, and increasingly demanding, single-payer healthcare. Smelling what’s in the air and looking to pre-empt the pitchforks and torches, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has said that public buy-ins to Medicare and Medicaid are on the table for Democratic lawmakers.
He is lying. This will not happen. If Democrats are able to stop babbling about Russia long enough to form a viable political party by 2018 and keep it up through 2020 and do exceptionally well in the House and the Senate in both of those elections, nothing even remotely resembling universal healthcare will come to pass. At best, Democrats will monopolize the issue, get everyone’s hopes up, string them along and come up with another obscenely expensive program that leaves ordinary Americans stuck in jobs they hate toiling away to pay for it and still struggling to make ends meet. The plutocrats who own America’s government will make sure of that.
As we’ve discussed before, America has been transformed into a corporatist oligarchy wherein the wealthiest of the wealthy are able to buy up political power, while ordinary Americans have functionally zero influence over their nation’s policy and behavior. Rulers historically do not cede power voluntarily, and in a system where money equals power, remaining in power necessarily means keeping the masses deprived of money. Ensuring that Americans remain desperately beholden to low-paying jobs with expensive health insurance benefits keeps people from becoming entrepreneurs and breaking out of their financial cages. More importantly, making sure that Americans pay more in healthcare-related taxes than anyone else on earth before you even factor in copays, premiums, and the price of insurance itself for a system that costs twice as much per capita as other developed nations is one of the many ways these plutocrats have found to choke people off from money.
These plutocrats are not going to just hand rank-and-file America a bunch of political power by putting more money in the pockets of the masses. They’re not going to hand you a weapon of leverage that you can use against them to take power away from them and give it to yourselves. To paraphrase the National Rifle Association, you can have single-payer when you pry it from the oligarchy’s cold, dead hands
This is not a call to violence; America’s unelected power establishment can be shrugged off like a heavy coat on a warm day without anyone ever firing a shot. The oligarchs are more vulnerable than ever before because the consolidated mass media construct that they use to manipulate the way Americans think and vote is becoming increasingly hamstrung by the democratization of information afforded by increasing internet access. Gaining access to economic justice is as simple as waking mainstream America up to the manipulations of the ruling elites who benefit from preventing economic justice. Killing the power of the oligarchs is more possible than ever before.
This is also not to say that Americans should stop directly demanding single-payer healthcare and all other forms of economic justice, like the fight for a living wage. The existing government will not give it to you, ever, but pushing for it will wake more and more people up to the fact that all efforts to obtain a reasonable amount of security for everyone in the nation are being actively sabotaged by people who purport to be on their side. When — not if — doors get slammed in your face in the fight for economic justice, point and make lots of noise, and follow the money back to the billionaire donors you will find pulling the strings behind every act of sabotage. Start taking down the names of these plutocrats and naming them publicly. They are the ones who are doing this to you.
This is the most subversive discussion that any American can possibly have, but it can be had openly, without any fear of reprisal from the nation’s true rulers. By making themselves hidden lords and using the mass media to perpetuate the illusion of freedom and democracy, the oligarchs have relinquished the ability that other tyrants have to punish and silence dissidents, as doing so would shatter the illusion. This is why I speak of these things with no fear; I know that I can openly say that I want to help kill the mass media, but the media cannot openly say it wants to kill alternative media. I can openly say that I want to see America’s oligarchy overthrown, and it cannot touch me without revealing its tyranny
For all his apparent flaws, Bernie Sanders did us all a great service by injecting into mainstream consciousness the awareness that the US is the only major country on earth without healthcare as a right for every citizen. Now more and more people as asking, why can’t we have that? We’re much richer than those other countries, why can’t we have what they have?
Why indeed? Could it have something to do with the fact that America is also the owner of the most powerful military force in the history of civilization, and the fact that it uses that military force to manipulate world affairs? What would happen to that military force in a nation where money equals political power if ordinary Americans suddenly found themselves with more money? Do you expect that ordinary Americans would be terribly interested in pouring their hard-earned cash into regime change interventions overseas? This nation with more than twice as many billionaires as the next-highest nation would suddenly start selecting leaders who would enact policy more in alignment with keeping ordinary Americans happy instead of the billionaires whose wealth is propped up with the barrel of US military might.
This is why ordinary Americans must be deliberately deprived of economic justice. So many power structures throughout the world depend on America being able to use its military might in accordance with the will of the oligarchs; if it suddenly starts moving in accordance with the will of the people instead those power structures necessarily fall apart. This is why woke folks are pointing more and more at Saudi Arabia as a highly suspicious ally for the United States, for example; such a depraved dictatorship would never be propped up by a government that was in any way answerable to John Q Public. But the oil-rich nation makes some billionaires happy, so this bizarre alliance persists.
Essentially, America plays far too important a role on this planet for the oligarchs to risk allowing its affairs to be governed by Americans
This is why I’m so dismissive of arguments for incrementalism instead of revolution in America. As long as there’s an extremely powerful governing force with a vested interest in depriving Americans of economic justice, all efforts toward economic justice will be thwarted. They might string you along, they might pretend to be your friend, they might play good cop/bad cop with the other political party, but in the end your efforts to find economic justice through incrementalist political activism will be sabotaged by forces beyond your influence. The fact that the ruling elites are pushing us toward climate chaos and escalating cold war tensions with a nuclear superpower is just gravy on top of the desperate need for the swift overthrow of the oligarchs.
The billionaire class does not pour its financial might into perpetuating economic injustice because their mothers never taught them to share. It’s not because giving Americans the same social safety nets accorded to everyone else in every other major country will drive up taxes and deprive them of one more private jet. It’s because their ability to remain wealthy while keeping you poor allows them to be kings and queens. It’s not about the money, it’s about power. You will get economic justice when you take their power.