“There’s a scene from John Steinbeck’s ‘The Pearl’ that’s been coming back to me over and over again ever since I started writing about US politics. ‘The Pearl’ is a short novel about a poor fisherman, Kino, who discovers the titular enormous gem in an oyster and goes to sell it to the pearl buyers in town. What he doesn’t know is that the buyers, while they have multiple offices and pretend to compete with each other, all actually work for the same owner. This is exactly how the two-headed one-party system works, in America and elsewhere. One party owned by one imperialist oligarchic class is placed in two separate offices ‘to give some semblance of competition,’ just like Steinbeck’s pearl buyers. And just like Steinbeck’s pearl buyers they work together to deceive the people into accepting the lowest possible bid, in their case meaning the acceptance of virtually no change at all from the imperialist oligarchic status quo. You see this kleptocratic dynamic at play regardless of who is in office. This pattern repeats over and over and over again, whether it’s the presidency or Congress, and the people never learn their lesson. They’re trained to think of the two parties as competing, when really they’re more like the left fist and the right fist on the same boxer. An orthodox-stance boxer uses the left jab and the right cross in conjunction with each other in one-two punch combinations to accomplish the same goal, namely to leave his opponent staring up at the arena lights and rethinking his life decisions. And in this case, the boxer’s opponent is you. This is the kind of clear seeing we all need to have. We need to not fall into the drama of the two-handed puppet show and mistake what we are seeing for two separate and competing entities. We need to see and be aware of the puppeteer at all times. Look past the ‘semblance of competition’ and watch what the pearl buyers are actually doing. Ignore their words. Ignore their fake pro-wrestling kayfabe combat over impeachment agendas they know will never bear fruit and their Russia conspiracies they know are pure nonsense. Watch their actual behaviors instead. Don’t fall for the illusion. Don’t get sucked into the drama of the two-handed puppet show. Don’t be deceived, Kino. Don’t sell your pearl.”
America’s Two-Headed One-Party System
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