The Politics of Capitalism Revisited on Local Residents

By: Bill Whaley
12 January, 2018

Editor’s Note: Today’s public meeting for the Abeyta signatories has been moved to Santa Fe. Why? Attorneys for Abeyta have turned the historic customs of sharing and fighting over water into a complex capitalization, bureaucratic in nature, which seems to undermine the concrete act of cleaning an acequia. You might say the Attorneys are cleansing the acequias and mutual domestics of self-determination. In order to save the acequias or mutual domestics, the attorneys are killing off  public participation. Only El Prado Water and Sanitation District has refused to participate in the out-of-of town meeting today. The next scheduled public meeting for Taos is Feb. 15.

Trumpism: A Prologue

“Trumpism is a religion founded on patriarchy and white supremacy.” Charles Blow, NYT.

“Trump has turned the White House into an outhouse,” Flavio, the Custodian

As President Lyndon B. Johnson said in the 1960s to a young Bill Moyers: “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”

Political Commentator and author Thomas Frank in “What’s the Matter with Kansas” caught the drift of Republican “white is might” in his analysis of why Kansas voted against economic self-interest due to social issues. The Clintons deserted the Democratic Party base (unions and African Americans back in the 90s) for Wall St. White demos, who voted for Obama, fled to Trumpism in hopes of a better deal for mainstreet. Cornel West, one of the few public intellectuals, recognizes the overpowering “divide and conquer” propaganda techniques of wealthy elites, whether as individuals or corporate capitalists and their CEOs.

The “reality show” TV host, represented by a simple-minded real estate developer, who is unfamiliar with political governance, can be thought of as a representative figure of the quest for “deregulating” finance per ethics and morality. He is supported by politicians, paid for by the wealthy elite. As Paul Krugman in this morning’s New York Times points out, the narrow minded and exclusionary right wing republicans represent the sadistic forces of Capitalist culture. Make the sick people work for their medical access.

As individual strivers in capitalist culture rise up the ladders of financial success, regardless of ethnic background, the formerly deprived and currently aspiring tend to internalize the views of the dominant culture. Both James Baldwin and Alice Walker have written insightful essays about their own family members and how the insidious invasion of the dominant white culture—one size fits all—infects minority communities and local culture.

Local Effects

Recently, protesters objected to the Town’s social engineering and restrictions on democratic participation, as illustrated by objections to “back-door” real estate (high-rise Hotels, a sprawling Smiths’s) deals. This decade’s notion of Angloism or reinvention of “Manifest Destiny” ignores the historic culture as a living attraction. Terms like “Arts and Culture District,” and “Mainstreet” refer to “museum culture” and suggest segmentation and segregation, not the incorporation and integration of a vital living history. By restricting the culture of the automobile and associated pedestrian traffic, the Town ignores the rural culture and adaptation. The Horseless carriages have been parking on and touring the Plaza for nigh on 90 years.

The REA depression era New Deal Coop has diversified and lost money on side ventures, undermining its historic mission of distributing inexpensive electricity. Currently the Coop is engaged in centralizing, privatizing, and distributing the transformative effects of sunshine as a profitable commodity with help from the Town, an agenda, supported by those who believe the ends justify the means.

But the cost of solar arrays and privatizing sunschine is being paid for and socialized by lower income Coop members, who serve Trustees and the Wonder Boy. While these ventures may pay off some day, the next generation, today’s millennials, will be saddled with debt due to mismanagement, just as college students today have become the indentured servants of capitalism.

Per the Town elections, the Coop is pushing two candidates, strivers and employees, Andrew Gonzales and Michael Santistevan, in an effort to take control of the community. The Coop seems poised to win regardless: the Mayor’s Christmas light extravaganza, refusal to protest Coop peccadilloes, and recent agreement to provide a solar array at the Waster Water Treatment Plant cedes more financial control to the Coop CEO. Due to federal loans, CEO Reyes has succeeded in eating up Coop equity.

Instead of honoring the natural relationship of human beings, creatures, and vegetation, community leaders tend today to cede stewardship to managers, CEOs, attorneys. And so they subvert the relationship of Taosenos to culture, nature, and the cosmos. The land and people will survive. But survival will be more difficult as the price of water, sunshine, and enjoying local culture rises.

The poet once said, “O Wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?” But what if there’s no winter? When will spring come?

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