The Emperor Has No Clothes

May 28, 2013

It seems that the less the Democratic and Republican politicians have to say about solving the real problems facing our country, the more they condemn the people for lacking "American values."

Such propaganda is used by the government politicians to slander and blame the people for the oppression imposed on them by the capitalist system and the anti-social offensive of the big monopolies. While the government slashes income-support programs, our "moral" politicians declare that the unemployed and low-wage workers "lack the work ethic." While the government herds the youth into overcrowded classrooms and militarizes the schools, the youth are slandered as "violent." While police violence and national oppression are intensified in the minority communities, the oppressed peoples are labelled as "criminals" and "drug addicts."

Indeed, today's Democratic and Republican politicians sound like the grand inquisitors of Medievalism. "Poverty and suffering are the wages of sin," they pontificate. "Dissatisfaction with the status quo is the work of the devil," they warn.

In the Medieval period, official state religion and morality were part of the ideological apparatus used to enforce the absolute and arbitrary power of the Kings, who were said to rule by hereditary and divine "right.” Today, the increasingly virulent and increasingly official propaganda about "American values," reflects the fact that the monopoly capitalist class is turning backwards towards Medievalism. The real driving forces behind this propaganda are the anti-social agenda of monopoly capital and the arbitrary, violent power of the capitalist state.

But the criticism and repudiation of Medieval ideology began several hundred years ago. From the days of the Enlightenment, people fought not only to assert that all human beings have the right to think and to act on the basis of their human values but also against the usurpation of political power by a few. The demand for the separation of Church and State was part of the movement of people to claim their sovereign right to rule themselves and to demand that government be subordinate to the people and responsible to them. Today, in carrying this struggle through to the end we must focus on developing a genuinely pro-social agenda which again opens the path for the progress of our country, in opposition to the "divine" rule of monopoly capital.