Norman Pollack – Privatization: National Descent into Hell

One does not have to be a Marxist to say that property in our times, i.e., in a system of modern capitalism, is a curse on human intelligence and the endeavor to lead a meaningful life when it has been set against the concept, practice, and reality of the PUBLIC realm as such, whether the moral obligation of government to provide for the general welfare or, as immediately before us now, the nation’s public lands, reserved as the heritage for all the people symbolizing freedom and common purpose, no longer capitalism trumping the principle of democracy, exploitation trumping the natural wealth of present and future generations, raw greed trumping the sense and sensibility of a living culture fulfilled through social cooperation and altruism. That the US has already fallen well below the standard of democracy, conservation, altruism helps explain the systemic pickle America is in, when among its most precious possessions, the LAND itself, is subject to the venomous thirst of a depredatory political culture consonant with the existence of massive wealth differentials and the ideological enshrinement of wealth as self-justifying, protected by while remaining above the law. In fact, what LAW, when society’s unifying act is ownership conferring absolute rights of usage and, as wealth increases, shaping institutions and laws alike, with ruling groups forming the chief beneficiaries of this privatized structure which is heavily dependent on human separation and indifference to the needs of community. In short, America 2016, a continuity of societal process in its present form since at least the latter 19th century, exemplified by the plebeian fascism of armed insurrectionary ranchers in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge as mere shock troops for the more basic corporate fascist takeover of America requiring symbols to justify and legitimate what, under the heading of antigovernment protest, is in reality the seizure of national wealth, the little guys cut in for the crumbs, by the militarized oligarchy of financial-industrial capitalism.

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