Bureaucrats, Politicians and Cronies [Flash Fiction]

Here is an extract from a previously published critique of American Government by a man given to diatribes in his essay writing, but not incoherent rants, and of course you should be saying right now that there is a connotative difference between diatribe and rant, and the one given here is that diatribe has more organization and might even be longer . . .

Bureaucracy is not something apart from bureaucrats; that’s a sleight of hand bureaucrats perform more expertly than any dealer in a game of three-card-monty. Any magician would pay to perform with the straight face of your local bureaucrat, or our great and trusted President, whoever he or she might be when the consideration arises. The problem is no state can do without them; moreover, they can conform to any state.

Now, President Obama seems able to conform to any rhetorical posture, a master demagogue, yet one without the appropriate conviction to face down politics as usual, Washington style–or so too many of us might conclude. We could ask, and rightfully, what did he vote for however few years he did serve on Capitol Hill? And he did serve far too few years for him to have garnered any cache in the Washington arena-politcs (and I do not mean, political arena; I am aware of the connotations). How has President Obama handled the banks? This is a question that deserves asking and answering–the reflexive responses offered by one side or the other of our political extremes do not qualify for what I am naming as answers. Except by slapping wrists, and putting finance capitalists on the government dole, what was the response from the Oval Office?

At the same time, President Obama and our Governor (and Mayor Bloomberg when he was in office for longer than the law allowed [by bribing? by arm twisting? no, by buying concessions to furthering his Cronyism]) tell us that services need to be cut (and this from Mayor Bloomberg who filled city jobs with friends and family of friends and associates, a mayor whose personal wealth grew nine times while in office, a mayor whose evasion of EEoC guidelines and federal laws for employment go unexamined by a press in New York in league with our former mayor–what do the owners of New York’s media and Mayor Bloomberg have in common other than their attachment to their billions–a concerted effort to hide Bloomberg’s legacy of Cronyism?) Like values gravitate toward like interests; the monied elite and power elite and governmental authority do find the opportunity to cooperate; governmental authority only a mask that the State wears, temporary masquerades the State and Power and Money wear. Bloomburg was a mask of State in the way that Blankfein is a mask of Money, an extremely highly paid performer because in the back of every mind is the idea, ever hopefully kept remote from happening, that Blankfein is a sitting duck, the one that any revolution would seize, should everything go wrong.

What then must a People do, yes People with a capital ‘P?’ Money has gotten more monied, is getting more monied still as we speak; Power, more powerful, and that power in the hands of Power is disseminated among fewer and fewer, and will continue to do so as we languish in our economic malaise becoming ever more dependent on the State for the fewer and fewer crumbs off the table like the dogs we have become. Whenever a People abdicate their responsibility to themselves as a People in counterbalance of the weight of the State in favor of the more placid and less vigilant State serving Public, people do become dogs on their leashes.

Having five hundred articulate and intelligent words to say on most anything is a skill most have lost. But don’t let me prejudice you about the text contained herein; please draw your own conclusions. Do not let me sway your thinking about the text, allowing the writer the freedom and the space to express his opinions, however unpopular they may be, or unpopular-ly they may have been expressed. What then must we write, having lost the ability to do so. A quick turn to Ken Burns’s Civil War documentary while keeping an attentive ear tuned to the letters that are read in voice-over should show any of you the differences of what lirteracy is and was and how the literary, as a method of expression, can be used more effectively than what we have allowed ourselves to become.


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