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How Did We Get Here? And How Do We Get Out?

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/10/25/how-did-we-get-here-and-how-do-we-get-out

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So the solution is … “everybody should be nice” ???
What a waste of an article.

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Maybe you got there because the USA is so “exceptional” , a meme you yourself continue to promote.

The USA has never been a “democracy” let alone the “greatest in the world”.

The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie–deliberate, contrived and dishonest–but the myth–persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the cliches of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.

John F Kennedy

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I’m sorry. I didn’t think it was that hard. We’re in an archetypal battle between Chaos and Order. Until Justice is restored, Order cannot be renewed. That means racial justice, economic justice, social justice, environmental justice. The purpose of the article was not to spell out in detail what those mean.

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oh boy. “our greatest adversaries, Russia and China…”

This, dude, is how we got here. Gullibility and getting sucked into the vortex of intelligence agency shenanigans.

In short, we’ve learned nothing from our own shady history.

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I, too, felt this article was way off base, as if the US of Abuse had been decent until 40 years ago. No mention of mass genocide, chattel slavery, empire building, invasions of other countries to grab land and exploit resources.
We’ve always been an oligarchy, importing people from other countries to do the grunt work at low wages, promising free land that was actually stolen land. When the immigrants discovered farming was difficult, if not impossible on their free land, they sold out to speculators and returned to cities.
I felt as if I were reading one of my old grade school social studies textbooks, all Manifest Destiny and American Exceptionalism. “See Dick run. Run, Dick, run. See Jane cheer him on. Nice girls don’t run. Watch Spot chase the ball. Run, Spot, Run”. All nice white kids in a nice white neighborhood. Pleasantville in real life.
How did we get here? We’ve always been “here”. It’s just that we’re all on the Rez now. How do we get out? We won’t. If climate change won’t do us in(we’re now on Tropical Storm Zeta, with over a month left in hurricane season. What happens when we’ve run through the 24 letters of the Greek alphabet?) economic collapse will.

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The purpose of the article was not to in any way justify where we were, how we got there, etc. In fact, I agree with a lot of what you say. The purpose is to look at why the society lost coherence AS IT IS. Basically, the powers that be abrogated the social contract with the citizens by moving tens of millions of jobs to Asia. This produced intense rage that was channeled into “Balkanized” rivers that ended up as Trumpism—wanting to tear down the whole thing. Until a mutually advantageous social contract is reinstated (what the article calls “Justice”), Order will not be restored.

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This aricle was heavy on “How did we get here” and light on “How do we get out”. I’m glad Robert mentioned the Internet because I have long felt this was the turning point for our society’s decline for the reasons he mentioned.

Also, something he didn’t mentioned but that pre-dated the Internet was the rise of conservative talk radio (AKA right wing hate radio) which was originally found almost exclusively on AM but now is all over the airwaves. I worked construction for a few weeks several decades ago with a couple of idiots who listed to that crap constantly while they worked and it nearly drove me batty having to constantly listen to a bunch of fools calling in to bitch about one thing or the other while I tried to work with these two jerks who bought into that nonsense. That’s one job I’m glad didn’t work out for me!

The takeover of talk radio by the right was by design starting with the Powell memo. As I mentioned a number of times here, I was absolutely shocked by the nature of talk radio in the USA when compared to what I was used to listening to on my visits through your Country.

I had never heard Rush Limbaugh before but of heard OF him so listened to his segments through stretches of my drive. It was like wow. I thought I was in Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

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I disagree about the internet. It has allowed isolated people to find people with common ground. Some evil people have joined this way, but so have people who have rare diseases, are being abused, or just have odd hobbies.

It has literally saved my life, twice. Once when I found support from others who were being abused. And again, when I had a rare disease that doctors refused to investigate. I managed to diagnose myself, and find a doctor that could help.

My father listened to Limbaugh’s predecessors. I was just a kid, but something didn’t seem to add up there. I discovered other points of view in college that made much more sense.

After college, co-workers liked to listen to Limbaugh. It was just more of the same garbage to me, but they thought he was so stupid, he was funny. After a few years, I think they started to kind of agree with him.

There’s a “law” in economics, Gresham’s Law. It says “Bad money drives out good.” Medieval merchants would keep good coins for themselves, those with a high gold or silver content, and pass on bad ones. The same is true of the Internet.

Nobody believes that it doesn’t have some stupendous virtues in making all human knowledge available to all humans. But bad information—lies, conspiracy theories, etc.—gets posted and reposted many times faster than does good information. That’s what this article is stating.

Titillating or sensationalist or hysterical posts travel much faster than do sane, sober, and sedate ones. It is both because of the “lizard brain” function mentioned, and because people with little education and no discrimination have the same platform as do people of more self-restraint and knowledge.

Bad information drives out (or at least drowns out) good.

I agree. Mr. Freeman from my perspective, fails to understand that America’s enemies are not foreign…BUT DOMESTIC!

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Similar word have been said about every innovation. This change will bring about the end of civilization. How far back should we go? Before typewriters? Before printing presses? Before writing?

These are all tools, neither good nor bad. They haven’t changed what we are. Getting rid of them will not do much of anything. What we do need is an understanding, and high value, for emotional and spiritual health.

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When I showed that to my spouse, who is Native American, she LOL!