Almost five years after the 2008 crash and still not one person has been jailed for the massive and systemic fraud that was rampant among the big banks before things fell apart. Frontline is airing an episode about Obama's DOJ never even attempting to prosecute those responsible for the damage to the economy. Millions of families have lost their houses in the crash. Millions more stand to lose theirs in the future, despite meager assistance from the government.
While Europe is wracked with anti-austerity protests and widespread unrest in response to proposed cuts, pundits like Glenn Greenwald wonder why American's remain passive and apathetic in the face of such blatant corruption. The question perplexes the world: Why do Americans stand for such inhumane and degrading treatment by those in power?
Some feel that Americans have been made soft by a consumer culture that allows them to purchase their happiness, leaving them wanting nothing save for the next opportunity to score a sweet deal on a Slap-Chop©. Others suggest a national case of Stockholm Syndrome, where Americans have been held captive of a two party system for so long that they now willingly go along with the agendas of the duopoly despite neither party serving the interests of common people. Other crazies blame water fluoridation, flu shots, and measles vaccines.
To the world abroad, complicated conspiracy theories might seem like reasonable means to undo the knot of American apathy. But America is a simple country, and the roots of its dysfunctions are rarely complex. The simplest answer is usually the correct one, which is why Occam's razor is the preferred problem-solving tool, not just because of the mental clarity that comes from the sweet bite of the blade. America likes the abuse. Lady Liberty is a cutter.
Americans put up a public façade of indignation when news of these scandals hits. They play the part of shocked bystander as the depravity of the elite is laid bare. But behind closed doors they enjoy how little and weak they feel in the presence of such massive wealth. There exists an erotic thrill from knowing every man has his price, and it excites the mind knowing that if paid enough, it could be any of us wearing that gimp suit.
America didn't always harbor such kinks, she wasn't always such a wild-child. But after a stint as understudy to an empire, she decided to go it alone, declaring herself independent from the paternal bindings of Britain. In the intervening years America worked out her daddy issues by shaping her image to stand as a stark contrast to button-down and stodgy ol England. She was wild and free, ready for exploration and exploitation.
A national mythos was created around the ideal of a lawless new country where a man was only limited by his hard work, and possibly injuns, but never the meddling hand of the government. These views were meant distance America from England's influence, but early years spent in her father's church left her praying at the same altar as her European forebears. So she tithes to Mammon to bring success, and she works hard for her money.
In a society where the Calvinistic notion that only hard work leads to success combine with capitalistic definitions of success that are only measured by net worth, it makes sense to view the extremely rich as more than human. Their ivory tower lives are so far removed from our reality they might as well be gods, full of power and majesty. And fifteen car garages.
The American dream rests on the premise that we all have this latent power within us, and that with faith and dedication one day we be will rewarded for our hard work. We will receive the blessing of cash that will transform us from the filthy working poor to into rich super-humans, the pinnacle of our inhuman evolution.
But until that day comes, the rest of us are just alpha-primitives toiling in the substructure, our net worth and societal value totaling just above zero. Who are we to attempt to apply our fallible human laws to the actions of such supreme beings? Our justice system was never designed to subject our social betters to the same rules as the rest of us.
Besides, everybody loves a rebel. Americans like to dream of the day when it is them flouting international law. We all salivate over the idea of living on a stack of money so high, only God could judge us.
When the latest scandal breaks and international headlines are awash in the gory details there exists no pity, here in the US, for the rubes who got taken for a ride,! but only a hollow dissatisfaction that we ourselves were not involved in such a clever ploy. We do not begrudge the massively rich for being morally bankrupt, after all what purpose do morals serve when trying to make money? Instead we accept the current situation as the natural order of things. We smile as we smell the glove, and dream that one day it might be us getting our rocks off without recourse by slapping around the American public.
If God's vision for equality didn't intend a separate justice system for the powerful and wealthy, then why did He provided them the wealth to buy immunity from any wrong-doings, real or imagined? And if the markets were crashed by a bunch of rich bastards on a mean dollar kick, can we really blame them? Don't we want that hit in the wallet just as bad? Isn't that what they tell us?