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Idiocracy Arrives Five Centuries Early


#1

Idiocracy Arrives Five Centuries Early

John Atcheson

Watching the debate last night, it’s hard to keep your head from exploding from the accumulation of outrage and consternation at the utter stupidity of a third of our fellow citizens, who swallow this bunk.

But the sheep-like passivity of the rest is no less infuriating. The whole political scene looks like it came straight from the cult film, Idiocracy.


#2

What force christens an American politician and unleashes the media lockstep mouthpieces to assert his or her viability... or its opposite?

Naturally, the machine--and those that own it--favors the establishment candidates. They can be counted on to maintain the status quo that is deferential to the 1% donor caste.

It's not Democrats, as a whole, who are anointing Hillary. It's the Dem. Party machine, that entity that morphed into a willing accomplice to the military & corporate takeover of this nations' systems, resources, and assets.

This is an accurate assessment:

"Hillary Clinton has a long record of supporting center right policies such as trade agreements in general and the TPP in particular; the XL pipeline, fracking, off-shore drilling and an all-of-the-above energy policy; and hard right, hawkish wars including support for the Iraq invasion. Bottom line, Ms. Clinton has a record that puts her squarely in the corner of the Brawndo bunch, Wall Street, Corporatists and Plutocrats."

However, this is not:

"She’s calling herself a progressive, shedding long held positions as if they were nothing more than an overcoat, and for the most part, folks don’t raise a peep. Not the voters, not the press, not the Party. Certainly not the Party, which long ago sold out to the Brawndo-bunch."

Who gets to raise a peep?

Whose voice is heard or broadcast throughout a wholly captured media?

The people who ARE raising that "peep" are ones attending Mr. Sanders' rallies. Even disillusionment on the right side of the political spectrum (for all its "Idiocracy") is seeking a voice and platform other than the Clinton-Bush versions of American Dynasty.


#3

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#4

Something that is not reported in the corporate media is the outflow of creative energy the Bernie Sanders movement has unleashed: hand-painted portraits, signs, slogans, songs and poems, Bernie teddy bears, babies made to look like Bernie with the hair and glasses, original t-shirts, Christmas lights that spell out his name . . .

Sharon Heiser has put together a beautiful video set to Redemption Song that shows some of this outflowing of creative energy that Bernie has catalyzed in the American people. Better than any article or speech, her video most eloquently explains the movement.


#6

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#7

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#8

Exactly. There is a legion of persons who either are rigid in their supposed leftist stances, or paid to assume that perfectionism in order to use it to bash Sanders (from the left).

These people are intelligent which means they must understand the composition of this nation. Do they really think the demographic that resonates to a Donald Trump and associates Socialism with the Nazi party (or communism, given their ignorance) is going to vote for anything left of Sanders?

Do they imagine themselves in a private universe where everyone is as educated as they are, and as savvy about the issues and the various and sundry sell-outs of both parties under a system that requires as much?

All this slamming of Sanders is making the perfect the enemy of the good.

Would I prefer some of Jill Stein's positions? Of course. However, since I am part of a nation of 300 million people with a good percentage of those NOT holding views amenable to genuine diversity, roping in business (which they've been taught would be a mortal sin against "free enterprise"), diminishing the power of the military, or honoring immediately that much must be done to offset global warming... I know that the morally purest candidate (who also could arguably do the most genuine good) is not going to get any Prime Time, is not going to show up on ballots, and is not going to win any majority vote... neither a stealth vote from the Supreme Court.

Thus given the logistical reality on the ground, Mr. Sanders sans doubt is THE best candidate at this time.

Argue perfection before St. Peter when you get to those pearly gates.


#9

"With only about 30% of the people buying the Republican’s tired old bromides, the only way Democrats can lose this race is to run Hillary Clinton. Real progressives will stay home in droves, just as they did in 2014, and the rabid right-wing 30% will show up, mindlessly repeating discredited mantras as they pull the lever that will screw themselves and the rest of us, too." J. Atcheson.

It's Bernie or bust. I will not be going through the motions for the sake of going through the motions, no, it is Bernie or no one. Periodically it helps to repost the antidote to the hate Bernie narrative, from Counterpunch:

Among the jewels of the piece is this: "Sanders is not a “true” socialist: This is another “so what?” coupled to a “who cares?” Any of the 5,757 varieties of socialists ranging from Bernie Sanders to the Spartacists will tell you that they alone are the true socialists and that all the others are frauds."

Indeed, the so called "true" socialists ought to be happy that Bernie is bringing the word into play in American politics for the first time since the beginning of the 20th Century. No, they wallow in sour, channel Rosa Luxemburg, et. al. but nary an American thinker such as Michael Harrington, who realized that socialism developes in the context of each nation, and varies accordingly. Socialism is the movement to equality, to a world with no have nots, to a world of life with dignity for all.


#13

It with interest I note that a long lost poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley was recently discovered and there plans to publish it. The powers of the day actively suppressed the poem being made public.

From the article this part interesting in regards to Edward Said.

“The poem has great topicality for now with its mention of ministers supporting war and foreign oppression … Edward Said was at pains to point out that he couldn’t find any objection to colonialism and imperialism in English literature. Here it is. Shelley spends a good few lines on pointing out the oppression of British imperialism in India,” said Rosen, highlighting how Shelley writes that “The fainting Indian, on his native plains, / Writhes to superior power’s unnumbered pains.”

So part of the reason Mr Said could not find any English Literature that condemned Colonialism is that such works would never get published or see the light of day because those in power would not allow it.

We have very much the same today. Peoples observing that they hear little resistance to the policies of a given government blaming the people when in fact much objection IS being made. It just not being reported and this coupled with those nation states marginalizing the arts which has always been means by which the people express their dissent towards corruption.


#14

One of my heroes, the late Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, always looked at presidential politics as an spectacle of entertainment. If I could get into that mindset, the prospect of a Hillary Clinton-Donald Trump presidential race would max out the humor value of the thing. Saturday Night Live would be hard pressed to do funny satires that outdid the real succession of events.

But things are too dire to regard the run up to next year's voting as a source of amusement. If the economy holds together till after the election and swearing in (and economic hard times have in the past had a habit of going into temporary remission during presidential elections, conspiracy buffs take note), the subsequent post swear in crash will make the events of 2008 seem like the memory of a bad acid trip -- scary while going on and very hard on those who got the worst of it, but after the bail out the media zeitgeist breathed a sigh of relief, saying "That was a close call, good thing the bailout worked; it may have been kind of unfair that the bankers got bonuses and nobody who should have gone to jail did, but the bail out worked."

But if the current metastasizing bubble blows the global dollar based system to smithereens, there won't be enough monetary value left available to keep big global global too big to fail system from failing really big.

So much as it pains me to say this because I have always looked at current events as lending themselves to satirical spin, but unfortunately considering the almost certain consequences of a catastrophic currency collapse, it is, at least to me as I'm seeing it right now, not one bit funny.


#16

Whoop whoop! You GO, John!

Feelin' the Bern.


#18

You are not going to get Jill Stein and you are not going to get the Greens.
Read that. Memorize it. Sleep on it.
Then WAKE UP.

It would have been nice for Jill Stein to have folded into the Demo---like Bernie.
She did not. It would have been great to hear her views.
She would have started with 1%. Just like the mice on the other side.
But she would have started !
Perhaps the Demo's would hear ---This way no one (of the Demo) hears and no one
(of the Demo) will add to her backing.--her 1% to 3$ will stay with her --and do nothing but harm.

The T party has come from nowhere----it votes Pug.
Greens should do the same---take the Demo party over from the inside !
Change it from the inside.

Meanwhile accept the fact above---and Vote against the GOP by backing the Demo candidate. Make Bernie the Green candidate also !!!
P.S. it may not be too late for Jill to enter into the Demo ring.


#19

Back in Shelley's time all too few people in the UK had the vote, let alone any other say in what went on. Allow me to paraphrase Shelley:

The fainting Britons, in their native mills
Writhe through superior power's unnumbered ills

It wasn't just the Indian peasant getting it in the neck in those far-off, yet so modern, days. The Indian Maharajahs were doing just fine, as were the British mill and mine owners.


#20

The one percent is the same everywhere and at every time in our history. They get to be the 1 percent by oppressing the masses and stealing form them the fruits of their labor.


#21

Spending a day with Hunter would have been a hoot, or in my case a cluck.


#22

THANK YOU, first of all, to the author of this piece. Bravo and orchids and roses to you.
THANK YOU, secondly, to SiouxRose-both of your remarks are beautifully reasoned and written;
Thanks also, to Cookies;
Thanks to HisStory;
and especially a heartfelt shout out of BRAVO and CHEERS and WONDERFUL to Small is Beautiful for including Sharon Heiser's video-paean-poem-orchids&roses to BERNIE the only honest, intelligent, authentic adult in the current US Presidential race. Just a gorgeous homage to Bernie; S is B, please thank her for this if you have her contact information.
And to all of you who have had the insight to choose Bernie, as have I, thank you for your intelligence, your heart, and your wisdom. Please consider www.citizensagainstplutocracy.org which asks you to PLEDGE TO WRITE-IN BERNIE'S NAME should DWSchultz&other ''Friends of Shillary" manage to corrupt the nomination process and keep BERNIE from the nomination. Your pledge can be used for powerful leverage @ the Convention! Your pledge just might help our Brave&BeautifulBERNIE to enter the WhiteHouse as its lawful occupant! Please take the pledge; this simple promise just maybe will help THEBERN to win. Please consider it, okay? and thanks for all you do.


#23

John Atcheson seems uncharacteristically naive here, like he’s actually surprised all of this is happening, like he doesn’t know why a group would endorse a candidate they think is more likely to win over one who actually agrees with them. Most people in politics are power seekers; what they do can only be interpreted sensibly as a way to get more power for themselves or take it away from someone else—both are to escape fear and feel more secure. When I say power I mean money and power; in our society, they’re interchangeable commodities. Actions may have other functions, too, but in direct relation to how long a person or group has been involved in politics, and how successful they are in it (only in terms of the money/power function), their function if not intention will be skewed more toward power/money and less toward anything and everything else.

We’ve been through all of the problems the article touches on so many times—Dennis Kucinich’s campaign ran into the same contradictions, the same magical incantations about “electability”, assuming that what happened yesterday is what will happen today, and tomorrow, and the day after, and every night, too. “I’m not voting for X because X can’t win because no one will vote for X because X can’t win because…” etc. etc. etc. Maintaining that lager of circular logic is the way some people protect themselves from hope, because hope can be disappointed and flipped over into despair and they feel terror at the thought of despair.

The answer to that is to accept what happens (aka reality) while working with determination for what’s needed, rejecting both hope (aka wishing, aka putting faith in someone or something else) and despair as unrealistic attachments to outcomes as a way to avoid the pain of uncertainty. Some people maintain the circular logic to prevent what they see as radical (and therefore upsetting) solutions from being tried. Those solutions may be upsetting for any number of reasons: they might elicit unpleasant emotions (hope or others); they might invite “chaos”—aka life, as democracy and free expression do. They might make life inconvenient; certainly the real solutions to the climate crisis will do much worse than that. But they’re our only choice; every other path leads to the end of civilization and the end of millions of species.

An aside: No matter how many people want Bernie, super delegates remain a problem. Super delegates were created as a way to keep radicalism (aka progressivism) out of the Democratic party. They need to be overcome for this election and then either they have to be gotten rid of or we need to give up on that party and either go with the third party (actually the second party, since R’s and D’s are just 2 right wings of the corporate duopoly) or start a new one. The only solutions that will work now are radical ones, and we have to educate enough people to overturn the system of power that won't accept any radicalism.

“…Bernie’s status as outside the mainstream as a liability as proof that Idiocracy has arrived.” should be “is proof”, I think.


#25

Yes; the more the change (and hope), the more the same. Future historians will note that the period 1945-1979 was indeed the golden time of democracy in the western world. Since Thatcher-Reagan, the place has gone downhill steadily and remorselessly.


#27

This article is right on.


#32

Fantastic article. John Atcheson nailed it.