BRICK, N.J., Oct. 18 (UPI) -- We are all born tainted, or so most religions claim. There are a number of rituals to cleanse us so that we may enter humanity's diversity unmarked by sin. There are vanities believed in a variety of religions to affect the diminution of our corporal contamination.
They are for the most part voodoo, cures to regain our innocence which was, by some mysterious antagonist, contaminated in the placenta, indeed somehow floating within the amniotic fluid that we float in and the umbilical from which we are sustained. There is a charge for this resumption of purity, by the way. A tithe owed the religion of which our parents are supplicants so that we might regain our innocence.
The very idea that we are somehow tainted in the womb is appalling. Once thought safe and serene it is now discovered to be Babylon extant. Perhaps mommy was naughty and since we are attached to mommy and dependent entirely on her passage of nutrients, anytime mommy steps off the narrow path of righteousness we suffer that offense more profoundly than naughty mommy ever realized.
There is another thing far more certain than mere superstition that awaits the newborn. There is a Social Security number and a credit rating. Beginning with our squalling breech of the womb, we are marked by this obscenity. This marking, indelible yet unseen, our credit score, will continue throughout our lives and in effect compel us to make the choice of the path we are to follow.
Think of it. A strapping, grand organization, run by fallible, men and women, deciding our fate, godlike in their power. They, the credit rating companies, there are only three of any consequence, define us, decide how we are to be placed in our societies tiers, compel us to live according to their perfidious demands.
We may be told time and again we live in a free society but we clearly do not. There is no exaggeration in the claim that they now determine the course of our lives. Intruding into every aspect, every nook and cranny, of our passage from the womb to the grave.
All of this vile intrusion is done secretly but condoned by the corporate and political structure of our society, making us all no more than marketing fools. A sort of implied existence not quite substantive, we are believed to be permitted to live as we choose, sometimes our choices, given any number of effecting circumstance, prove to enrage the credit Monmouths that monitor our behavior.
Given the spontaneity, and often time's irrational nature of humankind, we are most of us likely to deviate from the narrow constrants, through whim or folly. Well beyond the boundary the credit reporting companies will tolerate. Allowed this we are all forever doomed. We live in the United States in an economy, a most elemental state, in which virtually all we possess is based on extended credit for the most necessary possessions.
That means a house, a car, any accouterment we desire. We are induced, and then seduced into a make believe world of material objects. Some quite necessary to possess, others of questionable utility. Through this all we are closely observed. Like the Gestapo or the KGB, they lurk in the shadow, calculating our worth as human beings, and affix a number which while arbitrary is of great consequence to our natural state of being.
In our society these unholy creations would seem to be prohibited by the number of constitutional provisions that allow us to be free of such an insidious creation as the credit reporting companies. They are anathema to all, uncontrolled and free to exalt, or condemn each of us by defining us only to worth as they assess our worth, with their muddled tampering.
How can this be so, how can a group of men and women unknown to us, define our worth, or capacity, our value? A most irresponsible political failure allows them to exist. There is no longer simple trust in our society. Trust and honesty is now defined by not by our actions alone, but how these companies tolerate our existence.
Somewhere, somehow a legislative body will condemn these companies for the harm and injury they do, and the illegal intrusions they make into our lives. We should not have to live under the thumb of these most vile creatures.
(Morgan Strong is a former professor of Middle Eastern History, and was a consultant to CBS News "60 Minutes" on the Middle East.)
(United Press International's "Outside View" commentaries are written by outside contributors who specialize in a variety of important issues. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of United Press International. In the interests of creating an open forum, original submissions are invited.)