Empathy for James Carville and Mary Matalin

These last few days CNN and others have carried heartfelt, impassioned pleas from James Carville and Mary Matalin for the government to step up and take over the huge disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. i especially liked Carville's comment today that it's the government's, the Obama administration's, job it is to defend the US's territory from ecological disaster not BP's. James and Mary are watching the things they love die, they are honest witnesses to a fundamental weakness in a structure that allows corporations to serve only shareholder profits, to have no social responsibility and that allows governments to so easily become corrupted by corporate money.

BP's executives have one and only one goal, the corporate adgenda, maximizing profits for their shareholders. BP, like all corporations, is mandated by law to never put aside one penny it could be paying out to shareholders, to never pay a cost it can avoid, to never take an action that will cause stock prices [and thereby the net worth of her shareholders] to drop. It's BP's job to minimize/lie about the flow rates, about their chances of succss with each attempt at a solution. BP has insurance, just like in the case of Katrina victims, the insurance companies will go bankrupt long before any cleanup can happen. BP will walk away and hand the libility to their insurance agents, after they go tits up the government will be left holding the bag. Oh well guess they can always borrow another trillion from the Chinese.

James and Mary have stirred up emotions, stirred up the pot, and good on 'em or it. Somebody needs to be a voice of the food chain, the real wealth of a sustainble fishery, the ecology of land and sea. But what if James and Mary started to rain on the parade of causes that led us here. What if James broadsides and Mary's tears were aimed at the corporate control of their own regulators, the government's bypassing its own enviromental laws to grease the wheels of our present disaster. Or the general question of corporate rights and the rights of the commons.

The commons, that's us, all of us, "we're all in this together" as Red Green says each week. To me it looks obvious, this horrendous disaster in the Gulf will lead, like Santa Barbara once did, to a huge awakening, a population wide upheaval against the corporate state. A new paradigm of anti-consumerism, of small local organic agriculture, of appropriate technology, of wanting less.

But i've been wrong before.