June 28, 2012

The State of Things

A few days ago, I suggested a general rule for predicting Supreme Court decisions:
In light of the above examples and the Court's generally odious history, and if one must engage in fruitless speculation, I suppose one might adopt this rule of thumb: with the subject and questions of the particular case in mind, what is the worst way the Supreme Court can fuck you? Answer that, and you should at least be in the right ballpark.
In this case, the worst way the Supreme Court can fuck each and every one of us is to find the individual mandate constitutional -- which is precisely what the Court did.

Since I long ago dubbed the health insurance bill The Fuck You Act, it all fits together very neatly.

For the moment, I'll leave the lengthy exercises in sadomasochism, otherwise known as legal analysis, to others. For those of us favored by Providence to live in the freest, noblest, bestest ever country in this best of all possible worlds, here is how things stand. The following summary rests on a charmingly out of date notion -- namely, that once a principle has been established, the rest is only a matter of time and degree. And this principle was not proclaimed for the first time today, although today's decision states the principle in stark terms which cannot be avoided or minimized.

The State has announced:
You will do exactly as we tell you in every area of your life. You will work as and when we allow you to work, you will spend what little money we allow you to keep as and when we tell you to spend it, you will say what we tell you to say -- and if you disagree with us about any of this, you will indicate your disagreement as and when we allow you to. In brief: you will follow orders. Please don't be tiresome and petulant, telling us this isn't what you want. We've been systematically approaching this end for well over a century. You can hardly claim this is surprising, not if you wish to avoid ridicule. And you might have stopped these developments much earlier -- if you'd wanted to. You didn't want to.

Aw, you're upset. What are ya gonna do? Not vote? Not pay taxes? Not buy health insurance? Hahahahaha. A few Americans have responded that way in the past when the State acted in ways they viewed as deeply evil. One of your great heroes did. But you don't want to do that, do you? Of course you don't. Inconvenient. Might cause trouble. Oh, a few of you respond that way today, but not enough to make a difference. And we know who you are. If we allow you to get away with it, that's only because you amuse us. And when a few of you object in ways that might actually matter and we let you get away with it (at least temporarily), it allows the rest of you to continue to believe you're "free." We love that shit.

So understand this:
The Constitution created a government of, by and for the most wealthy and powerful Americans -- and it made certain (insofar as men can make such things certain) that their rule would never be seriously threatened. The most wealthy and powerful Americans were the ones who wrote it, after all.
We emphasize: that is what the Constitution itself accomplished. And you say you're surprised by subsequent events? You're making this much too easy. You could at least make it more interesting for us.

Yes, it's all about us. We talk about how much we care about "ordinary" Americans, and constantly proclaim that everything we do is for their benefit -- and some of you actually believe that crap. Christ, you're funny, in a sickeningly pathetic kind of way.

So you'll do exactly what we tell you to do, with regard to everything that matters to us. We're giving you exactly what many of you said you wanted. So shut up and stop being annoying about it.

Oh, there is one more thing. It's a little thing, and almost none of you seem to have even noticed it. Even after you do everything we tell you to do in every area that we care about, there is something else we still might do. We might do it because we're in a rotten mood, or because we're bored, or because we just feel like it. We won't announce our decision, or tell you anything about how we made the decision. What? You think you have a "right" to know such things? God, you are so funny.

So one day, when you're going to the job we allow you to keep, or buying something we tell you to buy, or minding your own business in the home we permit you to live in, we might decide to give the order. Maybe just because we feel like it, or because you pissed off the friend of our sister's husband's father. For some reason, or for no reason at all, we'll decide to give the order.

And you'll be murdered.

There now. Is it all finally clear to you? Now do what we tell you, follow orders -- and shut the fuck up.

UPDATE: More about today's decision, here.