Shakespeare and the Undermining of the Social Compact

undoing all as all had never been“Undoing all, as all had never been!”

(King Henry VI, part 2, act 1, sc. 1)


Comment. And so it has come to this, after the ‘war on drugs’ and the ‘war on terror’ we have the ‘war on Social Security’ and the ‘war on Medicare’.
For the many (thank you) international friends of this website, Social Security is a state-sponsored, but employee-paid, retirement system. An employee is obliged by law to deduct a proportion of his income for his retirement. This proportion is tax-free and deposited into a federally-administered Social Security fund. On reaching retirement age worker will receive a monthly fixed sum proportional to how much he put into the fund.

President Roosevelt  set up the system in the 1930s during the Great Depression, when millions went hungry because they could not find a job.  The system was part of what came to be known as the “New Deal” – deal for the common man, more or less. There was also the impending danger of a social revolution. The measure was bitterly fought against and Roosevelt was even labeled as a ‘communist’.

Economists, as we know, like to state the obvious in terms of the incomprehensible. Besides, ask five economists and you’ll get five different answers – or more if any attended a so-called Ivy League university.  Still, it would seem that given the current rate of payments into the fund, future outlook, administration projections etc. there may be a shortfall in 2035. We are also told that, though the SS fund is earmarked for retirement, it has been used by the various administrations for other purposes.

Whatever the situation may be, Barack Obama unveiled a budget proposal Wednesday, calling for a historic attack on Medicare and Social Security.
Medicare is a partially state-funded system of Medical Insurance for retirees – to prevent them from physically dying on the street. Employees also must make a deposit into Medicare with each paycheck.

This move marks a new stage in the US ruling class’ offensive against the social rights of the rest of the population. And, by the way, it verifies the prediction by George Carlin, intelligent comedian and social critic, made in one of his show (to see the video go to the article of Feb 17, 2013, titled “ Shakespeare, Antony, the Roman Empire and the American Empire”.)

It is a quirk of fate that such socially-destructive proposal seems to embody the legacy of Margaret Thatcher, captured by her quote, “Society does not exist” (see the Apr 8 article, “Shakespeare, Thatcher and British Society”).

In the now conventional, Orwellian new-speak, the cuts are not called by their name. ““I am willing to make tough choices that may not be popular within my own party, because there can be no sacred cows for either party” – says the man who said “yes we can”.
As it was unclear what “yes we can” means, it is unclear who the ‘sacred cows’ are. Maybe Obama was referring to the almost 50 million people who rely on food-stamps to appease their hunger, or to the millions who lost their jobs. Certainly not to himself, who will retire on a 200,000 dollars/year pension plus benefits.

The objective of the cuts follows a pattern now very familiar.  Defund government programs, consequently they become inefficient. Then use the reason or excuse of their inefficiency to privatize them – a well tested mechanism to transfer wealth from the bottom to the top. Why? Because the resources are the same, but instead of being used by the community they are directed at the private party who gobbles up the greater share of the same resources.

The attack on Social Security is both symbolic and historic, as it is an attack on the social compact, attempting to undo all as all had never been. So much for the blind and misguided Obamanites. They had the incredible stupidity to believe that with Obama the winter of discontent would be made glorious by this sun of racial integration and that the dark cloud hanging on society would be in the deep bosom of the ocean buried.

User tip. Express your disapproval of a decision that you feel destructive.

In the play. The Duke of Gloucester, protector of King Henry VI, believes that the recent agreement between England and France will erase all the previous conquests of England in France (by merit of King Henry V).

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