Tuesday, September 3, 2019

As Free as a Cow

Many hyper-conservatives (who used to be the extreme fringe of the Republican Party but are now its mainstream) like to think they are defending freedom against tyranny (for example, the tyranny of the metric system, as in the rant by Tucker Carlson; see a previous essay). They think they are “free as a bird.”

But these hyper-conservatives are not free as a bird. They are as free as a cow. The hyper-conservatives believe whatever the NRA and Trump tell them, without questioning it. They will go wherever their idols lead them. They are like cows walking up the ramp into the truck, then down the ramp into the slaughterhouse, without questioning the motives of the humans who prod them.

Even worse, most rich people (not just rich hyper-conservatives) are only as free as a bacterium. Bacteria have no brains, no awareness. All they know how to do is to metabolize, reproduce, and fill their environment with toxins that may suppress the growth of other bacteria. In most cases, a corporation exists to do just one thing—to grow and to force other corporations out of the marketplace. A corporation then becomes like a bacterial infection in the nation and society. The rich people who own or manage these corporations, likewise, simply want to get more money, even if their greed kills the corporation, the society, the country. They are like a bacterial infection that kills the host animal.

This would seem to be a bad idea for bacteria, and natural selection should cause such ultimately self-destructive bacteria to go extinct. And, in many cases, this is just what happens. But if the bacteria are able to launch themselves onto another host, they will continue to survive on the new animal even as the previous one dies. The situation with rich people is similar. If they can get their money out of the corporation they are killing in time to invest it in a secret overseas bank account, they can continue to enjoy their wealth even after the demise of their corporation. The only victims are the employees of the corporation, and the small investors, and the customers. Right at this moment, there are thousands of wealthy people who never have to work again because they have fortunes that they took from corporations that they helped to kill.

And hyper-conservatives think that this is a good system. They want the very, very rich people to be as free as a cow, or as free as a bacterium, rather than free as a bird. A bird can see danger ahead and fly in another direction. Birds usually do not blindly follow a leader. Each bird makes its own decision about what to do and when to do it. Even migrating flocks of birds have no real leader, but respond to cues from one another about when to take flight and where to go.

Hyper-conservatives are leading our country toward the slaughterhouse. They have already infected us, and our death is imminent unless their strangle-hold on American minds is broken.

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