Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/06/24/burning-down-future
Increasingly, we seem to be living in a mashup of dystopian science fiction novels. From Huxley and Orwell, to Phillip K. Dick and Margaret Atwood, these and other visionaries have tapped into a source that grants them the power of prediction. Ah, if only we had the power to learn from cautionary tales!
In the meantime, don’t believe the lies.
Capitalism has always been, like almost all the governments in history, male supremacist plutocracies with white overlords even in non-white areas. The brief rise of the middle class in the twentieth century was due to a strong growing labor movement. The failure of it and of socialism, in general, has been the failure to organize internationally. Capitalists kept labor and middle classes in check with making concessions only when lives were given up for them and then only conditionally on the continuous struggle to maintain them. With the jet plane and the computer, it became possible for capitalists to function and organize globally exploiting the poorest and least organized workers. Factories can be easily moved to new locations if workers become too organized and demanding. Indeed it is now the age of as needed where parts arrive from different parts of the world to the assembly line just when they’re needed, they are no longer stored at plants.
It is also the age of as needed “in which you and I do not count.” You only count now if you’re rich and only while you’re rich. You might have some support from family but otherwise, you’re on your own and it’s very clear that it’s your own fault if you’re not rich. Isn’t individualism and neoliberalism wonderful?
The day ‘when greed will rule, human life will be cheap and the rule of law will be meaningless” has arrived for middle classes as well as the poor, for which its always existed.
In the meantime, the U.S, Military Empire, “the world’s policeman”, can no longer exist without keeping the military-industrial complex adequately funded. The war machine must have enough war to fuel today’s nation-state which is becoming little more than a subservient member of global capitalism. War is the only way products can be consumed without depending on human consumption via markets. Occupation of countries is carried out with corruption and incompetence encouraged in order to guarantee insurrection and more “terrorists”. The more hatred the greater profit. It also has the added advantage of deflecting attention away from one’s nation and problems via enemies, “terrorists”, which are created while all wealth is transferred to the 1% “we”.
"The final stages of capitalism, Karl Marx predicted, would be marked by global capital being unable to expand and generate profits at former levels. Capitalists would begin to consume the government along with the physical and social structures that sustained them. Democracy, social welfare, electoral participation, the common good and investment in public transportation, roads, bridges, utilities, industry, education, ecosystem protection, and health care would be sacrificed to feed the mania for short-term profit. These assaults would destroy the host.” bit.ly/2ivNabE
The U.S.A. is now a full-fledged military empire. It now has no other way to survive. It and global capitalism is already destroying the human race through ecocide so it is now a choice between a slow tortuous ecocide death/a fiery nuclear world war death or socialism. Your choice, even if you’re not rich.
A big thanks to Chris Hedges for bring this tragic story to the people, one that most firefighters know all to well. This story, because whether you know it or not, affects all of us living in a industrialized world, and not unique to London. The LFB (London Fire Brigade) tells us of the problems they had dealing with this man-made disaster, they are all to familiar to those of us who are or were in the same business. Reduction of funds for protection, resulting in station closings that increase response times (time is life in the firefighting business). Reduced staffing levels, increasing the time it takes to perform the 100’s of tasks firefighters are face with upon arrival, to control disasters of this type, sometimes ensuring some of the tasks are never completed, putting citizens and firefighters at a greater risk of injury or death. Inferior firefighting equipment, sometimes as simple as cheap communications equipment, that doesn’t allow firefighters to communicate with the command structure or other interior crews to transfer vital information needed to make smart, informed, tactical decisions. Without these communications, people die, it’s as simple as that.
I’ll end this rant with two facts that all people should know, the first is related to the deaths, the second related to the destruction of the building itself.
- There has never been a death related to fire in any structure, with a properly operating sprinkler system.
- There hasnever been a collapse of a steel-framed, high rise structure due to fire. (In this case, I’m assuming the building is being brought down because of the emotional stigma of so many deaths).
PS: I encourage everyone to watch the linked video with this story, and watch a few videos from members of the LFB that will show up when you click the link, they truly heartbreaking. And most of all, realize this can and does happen here everyday when politicians call for a reduction in funds for fire protection.
Dear Mr. Hedges,
Thanks for bringing up the Grenfill Towers fire. The points you make are really valid however I would like to draw your attention to another aspect of the fire. THE BUILDING STOOD!
Engulfed in flames that Tower refused to fall…how about that?
Your ignorant position on the collapse of the WTC buildings, especially Building #7 which was not hit by a plane, fell in it’s footprint in 3.5 seconds (free falling) and had only a puny fire on one floor of the 47 story skyscraper.
Hint: That is no ‘conspiracy theory’.
A towering inferno of infernal inhumanity
And this same incompetent, right-wing buffoon, Boris Johnson - the Donald Trump of England - is possibly going to be the next Prime Minster. Looks like the politics in England are just about as fucked up as here in the U.S. If this puke, who recently refused to answer the question about why police were called to his home in the early morning hours, becomes PM will he proceed to push for defunding of their National Health Service and other social programs? It is beyond belief that, after the awful years of Teresa May, that this corrupt mediocrity could be the next “leader” of the English government.
True, but 9/11 alternative theories have been silenced and censored by the gatekeepers of even progressive sites like CD and Democracy Now!
Grenfell is the face of the new order. It is an order in which you and I do not count.
There is only one thing that I think Chris Hedges got wrong here. It’s not that we don’t count. It’s that they are actively trying to get rid of us. Simultaneously allowing fire traps to be built and defunding fire brigades is not coincidental or accidental. The officials behind this can wring their hands and shed crocodile tears, and say how tragic it was, but they set up the conditions for it to happen. Similarly, protecting drug makers from legal liability for the harm their products do and then legally mandating that you inject yourself and your children with these products, as is happening in the US and other countries, no coincidence. or accident.That reality is staring us all in the face. We need to look at it.