Institutions

They thought religion was a church
And justice was the courts,
Education, bricks and mortar,
And safety, guns and forts.
Their dearest prejudice was faith.
Love was naked kisses,
Friendship, drinking buddies,
Godhead, loaves and fishes.
Charity was bleeding hearts,
Wildllfe, a zoo,
Philanthropy, a funny word,
Law and order, men in blue.
Intelligence was simply brain,
Progress, big machines,
Enterprise, financial gain,
Human essence, genes.
They honored institutions,
Treaties, Magna Cartas,
Amended constitutions,
Codes and laws and charters
Writ by men in waistcoats,
Wigs and pantaloons,
And thought they needed nothing more,
A nation of buffoons.
And freedom meant free enterprise.
The profit motive was the creed,
Advantage, margins, credit swaps,
The bottom line, and greed.
Competition, money-managers,
The stock, the bond, the hedge,
Single-minded shrewd devotion
To gain that tiny edge.
‘Twas capitalism at its best
While Mom and Pop could try,
But inevitably the corporations
Bought out the little guy
And revived the joys of slavery
Sending jobs far overseas
Where people worked for pennies,
Filipinos and Chinese,
And replaced domestic labor
With robots, automation,
And growing unemployment
In the world’s richest nation.
Till the clever, rich, and well-connected
Had finally won the day
Redistributing the nation’s wealth
To offshore islands far away.
And there was no way to stop them,
For they bought up all the pols
Who rubber-stamped what corporate
Lawyers wrote into the nation’s laws.
A failed casino boss might save them
Who thought pandemics were a hoax.
White power was his mantra,
Climate change, one of his jokes.
And when it all went haywire,
Blood, bigotry, and hate,
Riot, protest, arson fire,
Gridlock and stalemate,
Their beloved institutions,
Customs, codes and laws
Were powerless to save them
From their institutions’ flaws.
A MONSTER had been loosed upon them
Plaguing their dreams and sleep,
“Who are you?!” pled the multitude.
“I am the MONSTER OF THE DEEP!”
“What is your name? Oh, spare us!”
Cried the frightened crowd.
“I am LEVIATHAN...your evil spirit!
LEVIATHAN! King of the proud.”