Below is another piece written by DeAnander over at Moon of Alabama. It’s a small piece of fictitious (for the time being) news which encapsulates well where the “marketistas” will take us if we let them.
Coming soon: Santorum sponsors bill to close all public libraries, as they “unfairly compete with Borders and Barnes and Noble.” Shortly thereafter all public transit systems are forcibly shut down to end their “unfair” competition with taxi companies and private car ownership. The next bill prohibits spending tax dollars on police and fire services, as they compete with private security and alarm companies… and the post office is deemed illegal as it competes with Fed Ex and UPS.
But this will not be enough for the neocon cadres: they’ve tasted blood. Shortly thereafter, ideological warfare erupts w/in the wingnut party — as the hardline Marketistas try to pass legislation prohibiting home cooking, potlucks and church socials (competing unfairly with restaurants); campfire singalongs (competing unfairly with MTV); and consensual spontaneous sex in or out of marriage (competing unfairly with for-profit porno and prostitution).
The church/family ideologues put up a good fight, but after the Night of the Long Infomercials the battle is pretty much over. Do-gooders operating free walk-in clinics in poor areas are busted for competing unfairly with HMOs, and volunteering is generally criminalised. All churches are forced to incorporate as businesses and charge membership fees. Soup kitchens and charity bake sales become underground operations, organised by smart-mob text messaging on short notice. A new AATF (Anti-Altruism Task Force) is formed under the aegis of HSAcorp (the world’s largest private security contractor — now hiring!) to locate and disperse these subversive events.
NewsFlash April 2008: As elderly Hettie Mae is led away in plastic cuffs, the saucepan of chicken soup and plate of sandwiches she was carrying to a sick neighbour are photographed by private security personnel as evidence: by not charging for this service she was subverting the market paradigm, and will be remanded for re-education. Cut to stock footage of the magnificent new Charles Graner Memorial Re-Education Facility, co-sponsored by KlaxoSmithKlineKitchenSink and FoxDisneyNewsCorp….
Cut back to the AmericaMall NeighborGood (TM) commercial residence block where the arrest took place. Neighbour James Raleigh is receiving the fat book of discount coupons awarded by HSAcorp to citizens who report “suspicious altruistic behavior.”
“I started to suspect something when she went over there for the third day in a row,” he says. “But I’d had my eye on that old lady for a while. She offered my kid a glass of lemonade once when he had been cutting my lawn on a hot day, and she never charged him for it. I docked his lawn-cutting pay to teach him not to accept stuff from strangers without paying and getting a receipt. And from then on I kinda kept an eye on her. Can’t have that kind of thing going on in a decent neighbourhood. I’m not even sure it was even proper branded lemonade — she might have made it herself from her lemon tree. I noticed she never seemed to throw out the fruit from her trees like you’re supposed to.”
Raleigh gestures disapprovingly at the run-down corner lot with its old-fashioned productive fruit trees, where 85-year-old Hettie Mae has lived since long before the privatisation of this block of Liberal, Kansas. “Of course we all grow proper no-fruit, allergy-free ornamentals — only from Syngenta and Monsanto — like our contract says. Producing your own food is cheating the system. But the old lady wouldn’t listen. I hope they bulldoze that place. It sets a real bad example for the kids.”
Raleigh’s son Andy grins up at the camera impishly. “Eeee-yew!” he mugs for the cameraman, sticking his tongue out. “I can’t believe I mighta drank something that came right off a tree — gross!”