Laney Supermarket: A Sacrifice to the Gods of Government

by Persius Juvenalis
File under: Fake Freedom 27 Mar 2013 23:06 EDT

Our society loves to celebrate charity. In fact, you can even say we rank it above all other virtues, most certainly above honesty or integrity. If you work in the corporate world and you've gone more than a month without hearing the obligatory canned praise for "giving back to the community", look for bad press and subsequent PR overhaul soon.

You have to admit your complicity in crime if you hit the big time. And we at Fakenation have no naive libertarian illusions about corporate responsibility. If you regularly cut multi-million dollar checks to fund after-school programs, you probably have used some underhanded tactics to take enough to give back.

So like a guilty conscience trying to buy itself peace of mind, successful citizens of the Fakenation need to purchase their moral self-justification through the secular donation basket of their favorite not-for-profit causes — eliminating breast cancer, eradicating child soldiers, relief of the latest natural catastrophe — open up the checkbook, for these are your last paths to salvation. 

But what about when charity occurs organically, without public incorporation and glossy commercials?

Needless to say, if there isn't a board of directors taking a cut of the monetary and PR rewards of charity, helping poor people is illegal. Numerous cities have passed outright bans on feeding the homeless — annoying pigeons they are when there aren't cameras around to capture our regard for them.

And then there's the incredible case of the 'going out of business give-away' at Laney Supermarket in Augusta, Georgia:

Law enforcement officials pushed back hundreds of people who were crowding around a large pile of merchandise outside an Augusta grocery store Tuesday afternoon.

But the goods sitting in the parking lot of the Laney Supermarket didn't make into anyone's hands.

Instead, the food people hoped to take home was tossed into the trash.

"People have children out here that are hungry, thirsty, could be anything. Why throw it away when you could be issuing it out?" asked Robertstine Lambert.

The Marshal of Richmond County, Steve Smith, says the food wasn't theirs to give away, so they had to trash it.

"We don't have authority to take possession of the property; we just have to make sure that it's handled, disposed of by law," Smith, said.  

It would be too easy to invite unfavorable comparisons of Marshal Steve Smith to Christ — to imagine the man who supposedly fed the multitudes and then this petty official zealously standing guard to ensure that poor people go home hungry.

Sure, you say, but all this free food in one area — couldn't that have started a riot? You know what, it may have — and that would be the fault of the same calcified bureaucracy that has reduced American life to a Hunger Games scene of desperation. All your life spent filling out forms, applying for benefits, living dispossessed in a game in which Mayor Bloomberg has all the cheat codes — processed through state programs your entire life (this goes for the successful as well as the poor, incidentally), but for all that social engineering you're still nothing more than a riot threat to your government benefactors. Unto the least of these indeed...

So suffice it to say that, conservative fears of liberation theology aside, a radical social gospel has not taken root. Marshal Smith's wooden statement of fealty to the law qua law reveals a much more pagan practice: a sacrifice of food to the gods of government and their attendant corporate demigods. Theirs is an obscure practice, known only to a select few lawyers and bankers, but some of their rituals have been spotted in the unsavory parts of town at later hours. The uninitiated have even been seen scavenging their sacrifices in further violation of temple law:

 

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