By Gregory John Campbell
Capitalism is now “The law of the jungle,” because it won’t regulate itself. And like all systems (cultures) of absolute power, such an absolute power (culture) will corrupt itself absolutely, until it reaches its logical conclusion — a “dog eat dog,” “survival of the fittest” flight to Darwinian economic determinism — “jungle” capitalism. This is what America’s become.
Nothing is getting done in Washington, because nothing will be done, until Americans realize the parties serve capital, not us. And those believing “the market” will solve all our problems need only remember what short-term “jungle” capitalism did to our nation in the 2008 financial collapse — further destroy the long-term economic base and social contract of the American people.
There is no left or right with “jungle” capitalism, nor right or wrong, but only might, which is why there is only one political direction in Washington — jungle greed. There is nothing new about “jungle” capitalism, for without moral restraint, capitalism is what it is — a system designed to extract resources, covet wealth and eliminate others through natural attrition or economic deprivation, whichever comes first, like a jungle.
“Jungle” capitalism places companies over families, profit over human safety and ecology and money before morality, because it can do no other. Once capitalism was based on a “share the wealth” economic philosophy, not a “take-holder” greed mentality, because it was believed the more wealth was shared, the more we would all benefit. No more.
There is no fairness in “jungle” (ultra-conservative) capitalism, because the jungle of wealth and politics is greed. And as George Lakoff writes in a CounterPunch.org article, “… progressives believe … the private depends on the public, that without those public provisions Americans cannot be free to live reasonable lives and … thrive in private business.” He adds, “Ultra-conservatives … believe that Democracy gives them the liberty to seek their own self-interests … without having responsibility for anyone else. … They see the social responsibility to provide for the common good as an immoral imposition on their liberty.” Further, “… ultra-conservatives do not see all the ways in which they … rely all day every day on what other Americans have supplied for them. They actually believe that they built it all by themselves.” And finally, he iterates what ultra-conservatives see as the proper course of our nation, “… maximal elimination of the public sphere.”
To describe this as unconscionable is hardly adequate; sociopathic is more accurate, because such is what “jungle” conservatism (neoliberalism) is — without moral conscience, restraint or accountability to anything but greed. This is why conservatism as a traditional philosophy is now bankrupt and worthless — it has lost the common moral responsibility men must share in a free democratic society to remain men, be free and behave democratically. For without such a common moral vision, a nation becomes a jungle.
This is the distortion Paul Ryan proposes as the best direction for our country — as a jungle — where the strong thrive, the poor and weak perish and the commons is destroyed. Such “jungle” conservatives don’t see that the tax revenues of “the people” — through the government — built our railroads, highways, utilities and schools; they didn’t. And then he suggests they, using these common benefits, owe nothing to others at all. Nothing could be more un-American, un-Christian, immoral or inhuman epitomizing a jungle, “the heart of darkness.”
His take: they do not give, they extract; they do not invest, and they war because war diverts us to a false “enemy,” depleting our nation, when they’re the real enemy we should fear. No one gets sick, injured, diseased, destitute or old in their jungle, because nothing human exists in their jungle. And if we succumb to their “jungle,” our civil nation is doomed. Thank you.
 Hence: “jungle” whatever’s. C-PAC denounces “secular socialism,” but it embodies “jungle” capitalism, because the social contract of “secular socialism” isn’t Godless, “jungle” capitalism is.
 Taxes are the dues we pay for civilization, i.e., a “civil nation.” Jungle capitalism destroys civilization.
Gregory John Campbell is a Rockford resident.
From the March 27-April 2, 2013, issue