So, if you follow me on any of the social medias, you might have noticed I occasionally like to write in my favorite bar in Knoxville, Green’s Tavern.
I’ve written a few short stories there and edited a few more.
I wrote parts of The Hungry Dark, snuggly ensconced in one of its booths.
I’ve even written a few of these posts from the comfortable confines of the only geek bar in town.
And it is with a heavy heart, and a burning anger, that I come to tell you of its demise.
Green’s Tavern had to shut down, permanently.
One might be quick to blame the pandemic.
But COVID-19 is a mindless evil.
It makes no choices.
It takes no sides.
And I’ll not blame the mechanics of the trigger over the villain that pulls it.
The villain, in this case, is capitalism.
More specifically, how our government has rigged the system.
The System? Rigged? The hell you say?!
Yes, fellow travelers, the hell I say.
I know people will want to argue that the government provided loans to small businesses.
And those are the types of idiots you don’t even want to bother arguing with. They obviously didn’t watch or read any news or even commentary regarding the subject. And while I am not a stickler for the rules, I’m loath to waste my time on someone who refuses to do even the barest amount of homework on a matter of this level of importance.
(A little gossip cum back-channel info: my favorite tavern has fekkin’ smart owners. I am told, unofficially, that they did indeed apply for a small business loan under the CARES ACT program. I am also told that after 7 weeks, they were finally approved for 1/10th of what they applied for. 1/10th. Imagine a small business, in good standing for 10 fucking years. Now imagine what amount they might have applied for. The actual amount is likely lower than you’re thinking. Then imagine, if you were them, and instead of receiving this reasonable loan, the bank told you all they had for you was 10 percent. After almost 2 months. Well, dear readers, not only wasn’t that amount sufficient to keep the place open, it was low enough to be insulting.)
Everybody knows what happened to that small business loan money.
And if you don’t know, the majority did not, in fact, go to small businesses.
That was our government’s doing.
They set it up. They rigged the system for their rich, corporate friends.
That’s how national chains got small business funds.
(And the only reason any of them gave it back was because of intense social pressure. Take a second and imagine what would have happened if there had been no pressure. Now imagine how many other large companies took funds meant for small businesses but were not caught out by the public. Then take a minute to let your blood pressure drop back down. Go ahead. I’ll wait…)
The law could’ve have been written in such a manner as to preclude large/ national chains. It wasn’t.
And I’ll bet every dime I ever make – less the money for my cremation – that it wasn’t an accident the law was constructed the way it was.
The system is rigged for the rich, because, as Rousseau wrote, the rich write the laws.
What does this have to do with Capitalism?
Why is it not just inept and corrupt governance?
Because Capitalism is what drives the government, and those in control of it, to create the framework of laws that benefit the capitalist – ie: the holder of capital. The rich.
Poor people don’t have capital.
The working class has only the worth of their labor, which Capitalism is geared to exploit.
The nature of capitalism is to drive for profit above all else.
It is only when capitalism is effectively regulated, and its worst tendencies strictly curtailed – as it was in FDR’s New Deal – that it can function for the benefit of the society as a whole, and not just for the few.
And the COVID-19 crisis has shown us that Capitalism run amok is not equipped to deal with anything even resembling an existential threat to humanity.
Capitalism, un-restrained, corrupts the government to its own, profit-seeking purposes.
A government twisted by capitalism neglects the needs of its people.
And my favorite bar is forced to close.
In some other post, I’ll tell you more about Green’s. It deserves a better eulogy than this.
But just now, I’m too fucking angry. So it’ll have to wait.
Until next time…