Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The Egress Is Looking Better All The Time...

Throughout the whole of my politically aware life I've never imagined that our society might regress to a condition such as that which pervaded the early decades of the 20th century. I thought that in the early 1980s, despite the potential for mass devastation which the Cold War did present, that we would, if we survived, continue relentlessly towards a Progressive society. One which always found the means to lift its most unfortunate or merely recalcitrant members out of their gloom, disaffection and despair. One which would heal its citizens bodies even as it might neglect their minds and hearts as being too much the stuff of Religion's concern.

It has only been in the last several years that I've started worrying that I really have been too much the anthropological optimist.

The reelection of W Bush didn't truly astound me. It disgusted me mostly for the way in which Kerry handled the whole election. The way he "didn't dignify" the Swift boaters' claims until way too late. His semi-irrelevant points on the deficiencies in Republican Tax policies and, most tellingly, his refusal to speak of the swelling real estate bubble which was at the time, 2004, beginning to show the first signs of massive instabilities which would eventually lead to '07's financial meltdown. And please don't say, "well No One knew it was gonna happen." A Lot of economists were saying it was a catastrophe in the waiting the way the U.S. and Britain had opened up to Speculation the lending reserves of Banks. How the rules allowing insane packaging of loans into assets which only the richest investors could possibly use as defense against bad investments.

Doesn't anyone in Politics understand Economics for civilizations? The only thing they do seem to understand are the finer academic points which show how the wealthiest investors can secure and invest their wealth at the same time, as if that siphon segment of the pool of international wealth is somehow the only one that matters to the health of the whole system.

Is it Ignorance? Is it Hubris? Is it really, I mean seriously can it really be as simple as Greed?

I don't think it is, but I am now, after years of non-utopian optimism about our near term future, starting to believe that greed really is become too much a driving force in our culture in general, and Politics in particular.

In this Op-Ed essay by Henry Gireaux of Truthout my growing Nationalist fears are given an almost ecumenical form and dimension. It is quite the literary Op-Ed and touching in an emotionally devastating, yet at the same time, satisfying way. Where Robert Reich does state his analyses plainly and with statistical and historical empiricism, Gireaux does so with a flair for the historically dramatic. If he does occasionally dance with hyperbole I think it only is because the subject matter truly is of such an Historically massive nature.

I've said I don't believe the United States is in any real danger of falling into the a 2nd world economic strata. I think that I still believe that. I'm just not as sure as I was when I was much younger and had not yet been subjected to the reality of which these past forty years of economic diminution of my country's middle class has resulted.

We will be to see...

In the Twilight of the Social State: Rethinking Walter Benjamin's Angel of History

by: Henry A. Giroux, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed

By eviscerating public services and reducing them to a network of farmed-out private providers, we have begun to dismantle the fabric of the state. As for the dust and powder of individuality: it resembles nothing so much as Hobbes's war of all against all, in which life for many people has once again become solitary, poor and more than a little nasty. (1) -Tony Judt
I think that preface paragraph by Tony Judt does an excellent job as a synopsis to the essay which follows. Note the footnotes as well. Excellent all 'round!

Good Luck!

4 comments:

  1. Hey, Michael - I'm sorry I didn't see this post sooner. My life on the internet has become fragmented and scattered, and I see that I am missing important stuff. But that essay by Giroux is some hard slogging.

    That said, I agree with him and you, I think, but I am much more pessimistic. Jones' Law is "Bullies always win," and the transnational corporations of the 21st century are the ultimate bullies: huge, powerful, heartless, patient and wealthy beyond all imagination. They have one simple goal, and that is to dominate everything, and we have let them grow too big. Not too big to fail, but too fucking big to ever get the genie back in the bottle. The upheavals in Tunisia and Egypt might seem to suggest that there is a way to take back our lives, but the corporations are already bigger than the governments of the world, and they will survive as nations fall, leaving them even more powerful.

    So I guess we should eat desert first, after all.

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  2. Doesn't matter if you believe or not, we're STILL gonna be Divinely Judged; Jesus doesn't have a sign on the outskirts of Heaven saying, 'Those who don't believe, uber groovy, ya jive? C'mon in' - I was for fifteen years, conformed by the world, not by God. Be on the pro-LIFE-eration side, don't be on the side which'll swiftly lead you down. I’m a small 'peAce-de-resistance' of a Larger Picture: God’s side. God bless you with discernment.

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  3. The U.S. Recovery Will Pick Up Steam.
    In 2011, the U.S.economy is likely to be firing on more cylinders especially duringthe second half. In particular, the housing correction will be far enough along that the sector will no longer be a drag on GDPgrowth, and is likely to make a positive contribution. Similarly,thanks to a weaker dollar, the United States will enjoy export-ledgrowth. Read it some where He!He!He!

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  4. I think your specifics are most likely gonna play out that way, Zing (Great to hear from ya, btw!) I just don't think it's going to indicate anything but short term growth.

    The problems with our Tax structure and emphasis are simply to vast and correctable, but only once we hit Crisis proportions again Economically. Regular folks just don't get the difference between Government and Business well enough to make it otherwise.

    Sadness...

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