Monday, October 31, 2016

Who Will the "Most Self-Deluded People on Earth" Choose Next Week?

Chris Hedges writes that, when Americans flock to the polls next week, a lot of them will be voting irrationally.

There is no shortage of signs of impending environmental catastrophe, including the melting of the polar ice caps and the rise of atmospheric carbon to above 400 parts per million. The earth’s sixth mass extinction is underway. It is not taking place because of planetary forces. Homo sapiens is orchestrating it. Americans are at the same time bankrupting themselves by waging endless and unwinnable wars. We have allowed our elites to push more than half the U.S. population into poverty through deindustrialization. We do nothing to halt the waves of nihilistic violence by enraged citizens who carry out periodic mass shootings in schools, malls, movie theaters and other public places. The political and financial elites flaunt their greed and corruption. Donald Trump appears to pay no federal income taxes. Hillary and Bill Clinton use their foundation as a tool for legalized bribery. Our largest corporations have orchestrated a legal tax boycott. The judicial system is a subsidiary of the corporate state. Militarized police conduct public executions of unarmed people of color. Our infrastructure, including our schools, roads and bridges, along with our deindustrialized cities, are in ruins. Decay and rot—physical and moral—are pervasive.

...There are hundreds of millions of Americans who know that something is terribly wrong. A light has gone out. They see this in their own suffering and hopelessness and the suffering and hopelessness of their neighbors. But they lack, because of the contamination of our political, cultural and intellectual discourse, the words and ideas to make sense of what is happening around them. They are bereft of a vision. Austerity, globalization, unfettered capitalism, an expansion of the extraction of fossil fuels, and war are not the prices to be paid for progress and the advance of civilization. They are part of the savage and deadly exploitation by corporate capitalism and imperialism. They serve a neoliberal ideology. The elites dare not speak this truth. It is toxic. They peddle the seductive illusions that saturate the airwaves. We are left to strike out at shadows. We are led to succumb to the racism, allure of white supremacy and bigotry that always accompany a culture in dissolution.

God Save America - from its own mass delusions.


Toby said...

Mound, when I read such as what you post here I am often reminded of Allan Bloom's criticism of Universities in his book, The Closing of the American Mind. When the best minds available are led down the yellow brick road it is no wonder that the rest follow.

Personally, I am more inclined to point my finger at the business colleges which crank out MBA's with no appreciation of anything but the magic of markets.

Owen Gray said...

Hedges vision gets steadily darker, Mound.

Anonymous said...

Who is behind USA media which "peddle the seductive illusions that saturate the airwaves"?

Anonymous said...

3:07 PM...The Answer....stupid American people. Why? The answer is in the blog. Anyong.

Anonymous said...

Everyone loses the next USA election including none Americans.
This USA election has consumed the world not just Americans; as can been seen on this blog.
I doubt that neither the Republicans or Democrats will accept defeat with grace and that this election will extend the never ending USA election cycle at the expense of good governance.


the salamander said...

.. whomever once said 'GIVE THEM WHAT THEY DESERVE..' was really prescient ..
That gigantic convulsing furball south of a country called Canada.. sure needs a wakeup call.. And hate to be repetitive.. but.. just keep in mind that up her in Canada eh.. we have politicians that have honed their electoral skills at the knee of the GOP.. Harper, Kenney et al & all the rest of the creationists & wanna be rapturist Israelis have all been like bees to honey for the dogma and corrupt corporate politico sellout that is the BRAND driving shills like Trump to the top of the shit heap.. Well lets all sit back and watch the black comedy that is Trumpism versus Clinton.. it does remind me of that tv show Dallas at times.. but blended with a dark dancing vision.. perhpas 'The Brother From Another Planet' meets 'Raising Arizona' meets 'Psycho' with a dash of .. well, uh .. fill in your own blank eh !

The Mound of Sound said...

As TrailBlazer writes, everyone loses in this election. And, by "everyone," that includes Americans and everyone else on the planet.

Trump pockets money from selling his brand and stiffing investors, creditors and his government. Those are the qualities he will bring to what is still considered the most powerful office in the world. Being a successful president requires an incredible capacity for restraint, especially when provoked. America, and the Middle East, are still reeling from the adventures of the last president utterly bereft in that essential quality. Trump's extensive history reveals even less of that aptitude that the world saw, to its detriment, in Bush/Cheney.

Hillary - oh, I don't know. Since she and Bill hit Washington there's been a veritable industry created and dedicated to spinning endless smears against the Clintons. Everyone, it seems, has their favourite. The rabid finger-pointing that was once the preserve of knuckle-dragging Tea Partiers has spread to the general population. Like the Swiftboating of Kerry, truth has become irrelevant.

The only upside I can see in this election is that it brings the US closer to either wiping out the last, lingering vestige of democracy or outright upheaval.

Consider this. Should Hillary lose and it turns out the FBI director was pulling a Zaccardelli to toss the election to Trump - that is to say that there's nothing really significant in the latest email scandal - Trump's legitimacy will be grievously impugned. A huge segment of the population will conclude they were manipulated, their democracy subverted. Trump might have to suppress them ruthlessly.

Should Hillary win, her legitimacy has already been tainted with Trump's smears - "crooked Hillary" and tales of rigged elections.

Why is this madness happening? Because the American people have failed to defend their democracy. They have turned on their own institutions. It's happening because those who are doing it know they can get away with it. It's hard to see how the American people can come back from this, how they can reclaim and resurrect their democracy. We may be witnessing the beginning of the end and the ascendancy of Amerika Inc.

Dr Purva Pius said...
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