Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/08/10/it-could-have-been-different
There’s a feeling of “Oh, I see – so this is how the story goes” which I might share with Tom Englehardt, a sense of narrative accumulation, an historical plot-point. The two of us feel much closer, in our personal trajectories, to the sunset than to the outset. Part of the historical resolution we see forming is surprise, and a humble confession that so much of what has happened was unpredictable by all of the most studious prognosticators. Real history feels unpredictable like this.
Some folks have expressed impatience with Tom’s old-man tone of discourse. Personally, I can relate to his attitude of not apologizing about being old and foolish, from the global capitol of foolishness out there in NYC. Let them among you who has not been an old fool throw the first stone.
I’m in my early sixties and I have felt similar emotions at all the times Tom mentioned. I do have a bit of a defining moment of pure clarity when, though I continue with ups and downs to fight on in my ‘little’ ways, I see only disaster ahead.
That was after the pressure cooker bombing at the Boston Marathon and the hunt for the two brothers. The sight of tanks going through quiet leafy residential neighborhoods in Boston, of military clad police or whomever carrying huge weaponry, And most especially of the man simply walking his dog who was attacked by these thugs and thrown violently down on the street as well as the people threatened and tear gassed for looking out their windows and god forbid standing on their own porches… All to locate basically ONE disturbed kid. ONE.
I will never get over the feeling that, for me personally, it was the moment when I realized it was all over For the US but the facade…
Let me be a skunk at the garden party a little and say that a major part of the problem Tom, is that you, and most people, HAVE children and grandchildren helping to drive global climate change through our human overpopulation. That is the major part of the problem that absolutely NO ONE with any power or influence is willing to address. I am glad that he didn’t turn this column into an appeal for Biden as a savior, since Joe is one of the biggest corporate criminal class politicians in recent history. He wasn’t called “The Senator from MBNA” for nothing. Nothing will change in our politics for the better for common working people until we totally clean house of these crooks and start over. #NeverBiden.
It’s not his “old-man tone”, it’s the constantly repeating the BS official lies of 9/11, in almost every story he writes. Just sad, and a disservice to his readers. If he doesn’t want to or can’t tell the truth about it, then he should stay away from the subject, and stop repeating the lies.
I’m with you on the overpopulation connection to all environmental problems and people I would otherwise think of as intelligent rational human beings who opt to have more than 2 kids (like Elon Musk with 7, Al Gore with 4, and many others) drive my bonkers. But do we know how many children Tom had? Maybe he had none, one, or two (if everybody maxed out at 2, the average would be pretty low). His fertility choice was not given on his Wikipedia page.
(Note: my fertility choice was 1)
Channeling the departed David Carson are we? Do you know for a fact how many kids he has and how many grandkids? I know of his one daughter who I know has one son. But I don’t know if there are others and likely neither do you.
If it’s replacement number you might ought to mind your own damn business.
I’d also rather people with his views raise kids that people with right wing nut views so…
If it’s more 2 I agree with you.
My fertility choice (and it was a deliberate choice on my part) was zero. I took the Club of Rome’s warning seriously in the early 1970s.
I consider his tone to be one of just story narrative. Add in the only way to get through to people is in a harmless way, and voila a column that does some good. Also in this manner it is easier to contrast things and show the absurd. Will it help with the average person…
The way they have achieved this by successfully convincing us to hate each other. All you have to do is bring up a group of people, a demographic of the population while in the company of a different group of people, a different demographic of the population, and you will hear all about how we need to hate them.
Global population is already poised to peak in just another couple decades then decline. Read the latest UN reports. But it will make very little difference. The global population could be reduced to just 100 million and CO2 emissions would still go up. CO2 emissions are a function of capitalist economic expansion, not human population. This is shown by the way the nations with the most rapidly rising CO2 emissions already have stable, and very soon, rapidly declining populations.
9-11 was an inside job. The evidence is overwhelming.
There is also the elephant in the room named Obama. We weren’t in a vacuum during those eight years. Obushma responsible for escalating everything Boy Shrub started. Mr. Constitutional Scholar assassinated American citizens with no due process, kept the Constitutional-killing Patriot Act going, passed the NDAA, and orchestrated a murderous drone war he joked about. He built the internment camps, complete with playgrounds behind razor wire. He let the war-criminal Bush administration go free, but exiled truth-tellers Julian Assange to near death and Edward Snowden to Russia. Who could imagine Mr. Hopey-Changey could be every bit the corporately owned and operated war criminal GW was?
America has been a capitalist nightmare regime since its inception. Money has ruled all since the days of slavery. “Profit over people” has always been the unspoken rule. Tyranny has been its covert method of control over the population. Now its blatantly overt because We the People have no power over their behavior. We never have. We can protest til the cows come home, but they have the DHS, a tax-payer funded, trillion-dollar force of jack-booted thugs and state of the art weapons of mass suppression. It’s not a Trump thing. It’s a corporate state thing that Democrats have their bloody hands in every bit as much Trump, some more because they’ve been screwing the American sheeple for decades, setting us all up for Hitler’s wet dream.
Capitalism is the root of all kinds of evil.
I don’t understand why the current situation in the USA is a surprise. Marx had the timeframe wrong but anyone with reason can see that unfettered capitalism eventually leads to societal collapse.
Shortly after passage of the Patriot Act I said to a friend, “I feel really bad about this. I wonder how many Germans felt like this in 1933.”
We can spend our whole lives lamenting that things could have been different. Hell I see plenty, including a bit myself, do that with something as recent as the primaries.There is nothing that can be done about it though. All we can do is learn from our past mistakes and fight to make our path different now.
That is why, as trite and naive as it might sound, love is the only thing that can truly overcome the evils of the world.
That is not how I would describe any of the evidence I’ve seen. At most, I’ve only seen evidence that is suggestive, and even then, that is for a conspiracy scenario that most 9-11 Truthers reject. And since 9-11 Trutherism remains a fringe position, I’m guessing most people have not seen evidence they would consider overwhelming. Or even convincing.
I usually ignore anything to do with this topic these days but this comment has me curious - what is the scenario you are referring to? What is the most suggestive evidence you are thinking of?
I agree, but maybe Tom has no other choice if he wants his articles published since CD has been gatekeepers for 9/11. But on the other hand I have been told that Common Dreams and Democracy Now! have had their broadcast licenses threatened if they publish any alternative 9/11 theories that are critical of the Governments 9/11 theory. True or not something smells fishy.
I agree, but the problem is just like all false flags, the overwhelming evidence has been censored.