As Severe Weather Pounds The US, Government Focus Is Entirely Elsewhere
As the climate changes and we witness extreme weather more frequently, whether in the form of hurricanes, tornadoes, extreme heat or extreme cold, it’s time to ask ourselves: is our government, in its current form and function, set up or designed to do what a government is supposed to do, which is help those affected by these extremes and hardships?
The answer should be clear, by now. The US government’s sole focus has, for many decades – at least since the end of WWII – been world domination for one and one purpose only: ensuring maximum profits for US corporations which, collectively, control and dictate US policies – domestic and foreign – and through both political parties – Democratic and Republican.
Such world domination, of course, does not come cheap; it’s, by far, the biggest part of the annual budget of the nation, leaving little for anything else. In fact, US spends almost as much on its military, as all the other countries of the world, combined, some of which have much larger population than the US. And, make no mistake: such militarization, including some several hundred military bases throughout the world and tens of thousands of marines, stationed in various countries, isn’t for entertainment. They’re to be used to wage wars when other methods of ensuring and increasing those profits prove to be insufficient.
Having said all that, we must also understand it in its correct context: the wars are not so much against hostile and threatening foreign governments – who could pose any threat to such military power? – or some ragtag terrorist group which in the last 12 years has managed to send in couple of underwear bombers, but, against the people of the world. This is important to grasp because to wage war, the corporate empire needs at least some level of acquiescence from its people, which it usually gets by whipping up nationalism and a we-against-them or us-against-Muslims mentality, pointing fingers at “rogue” nations (defined and identified by them and advertised by their media), which takes the focus away from real people who stand to be slaughtered and suffer, and makes it more abstract and acceptable.
Such empire building also has its domestic front: making sure the population doesn’t revolt against a government whose focus is on maintaining and raising profits for corporations, rather than the needs of its people. So, the other part of its war budget, which isn’t even classified as military and is instead presented as “homeland security”, is in fact for war on its own people: to contain and extinguish dissent. A most glaring example of this is the massive and expansive spy program conducted by the NSA, among others.
With such focus on profits, wars and containment of dissent, taking care of the needs of the people, including during national disasters, is indeed very low on their agenda. This attitude should not come as a surprise since the government in a capitalist country is not there to help people or meet their needs, but to ensure smooth functioning of the system; i.e.: create suitable conditions for corporations to function and produce expected profit to investors. That’s where their allegiance lies, and that’s what their mission and reason for existence is. There is nothing unusual or surprising about this. In a class society, the government can only represent and be accountable to one class, the one which has all the power. People in capitalist societies are viewed as tools or source of profits, not the end point or beneficiaries of its policies (target yes, beneficiary, no). That’s why when workers revolt, they’re quickly attacked, beaten, dispersed, arrested, jailed and even killed. Their revolts or even demands are “bad for business”.
While episodes of severe and catastrophic weather, which each time takes dozens of lives, become more frequent, as well as, more intense, the whole focus and priority of the corporate government remains entirely on protecting the interests and profitability of corporations. Had there been profit in aiding affected people and helping them recover, they would do that, but, there isn’t; so, there is not much incentive for them to. And, the little aid that’s extended – and sometimes promised, but never actually given – continues to shrink, even while profits continue rising.
As we face more severe weather in coming years, it’s helpful to know and understand what we can and cannot expect from the corporate government – under Democrats or Republican. Until and unless people organize and build a popular movement and wrest the power of the state from corporations and replace the profit-based system with one that puts people and their needs first, we will continue to die and suffer in the face of natural disasters which are coming at us with more and more frequency.
The two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost American taxpayers about $6 trillion, according to latest reports. Just think what could have been done with that money.