Dispersants: An Extended Metaphor for Disaster Capitalism

As gravely disturbing as the use of dispersants is in its own right, it has frequently struck me that the situation is also an overarching metaphor for what is happening to all of our public and private institutions today. Instead of cleaning up the war machine’s mess, the healthcare mess, the financial mess, the environmental mess, etc… instead of anything like that, we get disaster capitalism and half-assed “solutions” meant to open up the door to more and more privatization. The very corporate influences that made all the bad decisions, cut all the corners, obstructed all the regulation, and created all the mess in the first place then “disperse” the mess, cover it up, profit off of it, and manage to turn it into an excuse to cut more corners and create more regulatory loopholes… all in the name of “reform” and “clean-up.” Maybe I am just too jaded, but it really seems like this is all by design.

  • There is leaving Afghanistan, but we won’t discuss that in any serious way.
  • There is Medicare for All, but we can’t even discuss that.
  • There is Breaking up the Big Banks, but we can’t discuss that either.
  • There is Freaking Hay, which bitter clingy oil will stick to, but we really can’t discuss that.
  • There’s alternative energy, but we’re only allowed to talk about it as a supplement to crude.

No, instead we will stay the course in Afghanistan, force people to buy junk insurance, let the big banks get bigger, pour 2 million gallons of toxic dispersant on top of four million barrels of toxic crude, and keep on letting ourselves be controlled by oil even as it destroys us.

Bizarrely enough, I am suddenly reminded of this line from the X-Files pilot (bear with me here for a second… I know it’s a frivolous and dated television reference with a seemingly anti-science bias):

When convention and science offer us no answers, might we not finally turn to the fantastic as a plausibility?

Again, admittedly it is a super silly thing to be reminded of in the middle of seriously contemplating what’s going on with our government and corporate influence today. But, my memory jogged back to it because of the way the question was phrased. I feel like paraphrasing it to ask the elites the following: When all of your insular and ridiculous decision-making fails, might we finally not turn to the will of the people as a plausibility?

  • Bring our troops home.
  • Medicare for All.
  • Break up the Big Banks.
  • Give hay a chance before toxic dispersant.
  • Let’s talk about ways to phase out our dependence on oil.

Mind you, I’m not saying hay is a magical solution or that the other things can happen just like that with a snap of the fingers, but I just wish we could have a fair hearing on these ideas in the public square. It’s not like what the people in charge are doing is so great that we can’t possibly consider what anyone else has to say. Enough with the recommendations from all the “experts” who stank up the joint in the first place. Let’s hear from the independent professionals in each area who actually sounded the alarm when no one would listen. Shouldn’t they have dibs on recommending where to go from here?

Let’s also talk about ways to actually achieve what the American people want. We don’t want to be in Afghanistan, and we do not want wars fought in our name when nearly a decade later our leaders still cannot tell us why they went there, why we are still there, or how we will get out. We do not want to be serfs to the for-profit health insurance industry. We do not want to keep bailing out too-greedy-to-fail Wall Street only to then have their mouthpieces out there calling Main Street too lazy every time it comes to their turn for a workout. We don’t want crude and corexit in our environment and food supply. We want to see FDR’s economic bill of rights become a reality. We want our troops taken care of and for someone to actually care about when, where, why, and how they are being put in harm’s way. We want public officials who care about our safety and won’t put profit before people in times of natural and manmade disaster.

In 2007, I had plenty of hope that the empty suits would soon be leaving and America could get back to business and the American middle and working class would finally get the help they need to pull themselves back up. Then the faux Hopester and his Wall Street backers railroaded Hillary.

Everything that happened during the Bush years is becoming the “new normal” under Obama. All of the mess left by Bush-Cheney isn’t being cleaned up–it’s being dispersed. So that it’s harder and harder to fight back any of it.

Is this the change people voted for in 2008? Soylent-hope is people.

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2 Responses

  1. Capitalism is an unmitigated evil. It is an insane worldview, the same one that convinced people on Easter Island that cutting down all the trees made sense. The psychotic leaders of capitalist corporations, banks, et al, are like the kahunas on Easter Island, who utterly destroyed their home and cast their people into ruin. Only an all-out, no-holds barred revolution against the capitalists will save us.

  2. […] Dispersants: Disaster capitalism at its most refined. […]

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