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Signs of a Dying Society


#1

Signs of a Dying Society

Paul Buchheit

While Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning and John Kiriakou are vilified for revealing vital information about spying and bombing and torture, a man who conspired with Goldman Sachs to make billions of dollars on the planned failure of subprime mortgages was honored by New York University


#2

Can change come nonviolently? I'm skeptical.


#3

Call it what it is, the rise of ugly, brutal corporate dominance, or the "F" word


#4

It doesn't need to be violent, it just needs to have a hell of a lot more people participating.


#6

Violence is not always physical...


#7

From A "link" in the article that should be understood by ALL Americans- And the next SOB that comes on here touting the wonderful philanthropy of the Rockefellers need look no further than Milton Friedman and the University of Chicago's "Economics" Department....Monsanto, Pfizer and Exxon stand on their own disgusting record of criminality....
(Pfizer to buy Allergan in $160 billion deal)

The main points of neo-liberalism include:
1.
THE RULE OF THE MARKET. Liberating "free" enterprise or private enterprise from any bonds imposed by the government (the state) no matter how much social damage this causes. Greater openness to international trade and investment, as in NAFTA. Reduce wages by de-unionizing workers and eliminating workers' rights that had been won over many years of struggle. No more price controls. All in all, total freedom of movement for capital, goods and services. To convince us this is good for us, they say "an unregulated market is the best way to increase economic growth, which will ultimately benefit everyone." It's like Reagan's "supply-side" and "trickle-down" economics -- but somehow the wealth didn't trickle down very much.

2.
CUTTING PUBLIC EXPENDITURE FOR SOCIAL SERVICES like education and health care. REDUCING THE SAFETY-NET FOR THE POOR, and even maintenance of roads, bridges, water supply -- again in the name of reducing government's role. Of course, they don't oppose government subsidies and tax benefits for business.

3.
DEREGULATION. Reduce government regulation of everything that could diminsh profits, including protecting the environment and safety on the job.

4.
PRIVATIZATION. Sell state-owned enterprises, goods and services to private investors. This includes banks, key industries, railroads, toll highways, electricity, schools, hospitals and even fresh water. Although usually done in the name of greater efficiency, which is often needed, privatization has mainly had the effect of concentrating wealth even more in a few hands and making the public pay even more for its needs.

5.
ELIMINATING THE CONCEPT OF "THE PUBLIC GOOD" or "COMMUNITY" and replacing it with "individual responsibility." Pressuring the poorest people in a society to find solutions to their lack of health care, education and social security all by themselves -- then blaming them, if they fail, as "lazy."

Around the world, neo-liberalism has been imposed by powerful financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. It is raging all over Latin America. The first clear example of neo-liberalism at work came in Chile (with thanks to University of Chicago economist Milton Friedman), after the CIA-supported coup against the popularly elected Allende regime in 1973.

*One great reminder and wake up call of an article Mr. Buchheit-


#8

the last sentence is the most important one. almost everyone knows what's wrong--even differing ideological orientations acknowledge this situation is effed up--but solutions so far are generally poor hippy dippy crap from the tired remains of 60s activism or equally absurd the notion that we can just all pick up pitchforks and charge the royal palace.

Breaking the cycle of propaganda is job one. Stripping that veneration of the rich is absolutely necessary for any type of revolutionary activity to occur. And this is also very hard to do, with television and movies constantly trumpeting the virtues of wealth.

We have to find a way to interrupt propaganda effectively and on a larger scale than the way we used to do it--face to face--which we just no longer have the time for (although we still need to do it)


#9

And let's not forget our youth subjected to usurious rates to attend college.


#10

May C, S, N and Y say it best of all:

.
Teach your children well,
Their father's hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picks, the one you'll know by.
Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you, you will cry,
So just look at them and sigh
And know they love you.
And you, of tender years,
Can't know the fears that your elders grew by,
And so please help them with your youth,
They seek the truth before they can die.


#11

Until people like Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, John Kiriakou and so many others that speak the truth to the political, elite, are honored as heroes by the corporate media, nothing will ever change. Yes, the fact that these heroes are vilified by the Fourth Estate and war criminals like Bush, Cheney and Obama are honored tells me we are a dying society.


#12

A civilization and its various societies are held together by mutually agreed upon stories, theories and mythologies. Our present western civilization has developed from the Enlightenment (which has a certain irony given what is happening). The Enlightenment's main themes are human progress, through the use of reason and logic, individualism and skepticism which led to the development of the scientific method. As one might note in history civilizations rise and fall and it is hubris on our part to think that our mighty humanism,science and technology based society is any different.Life is constantly changing in a life cycle of birth, growth, maturity, aging and death. The stories that once birthed our civilization have reached old age and are dying. The authors story above is an example of that death process unfolding before our eyes. It is also speeding up. In the face of the growing sense of chaos that infiltrates a civilization there will be a call to go back to the fundamentals of the stories that it is based upon. This will not work as they will simply exacerbate the existing problems. One will see growing rigidities within the civilization just like a corpse becomes rigid in its death throes. Fascism, and other Orwellian aspects will emerge as a means to stop the chaos and slide into death. These simply egg the process on and make it more dystopian for the people living within it.

The question I have been putting out on comment threads lately in relation to this death process is this: where did the stories etc., come from that formed the basis of the Enlightenment? Where will the new stories come from that we need to deal with climate change, ecological and societal collapse, resource wars and the death of the dream of the Enlightenment? In particular we need to keep in mind that we cannot use much of the old stories as a basis for the new.


#13

Essentially, the agenda described in the paragraph below works as a corollary to the TPP and TIPP in that those treaties grant corporations the right to police themselves. Like military tribunals theoretically weighing in on the very war crimes they are responsible for, these insider trade dispute "courts" will show homage to Mammon before any respect is given to human rights, environmental protections, labor needs, or the prior foundations of established law.

The 1% wants it all! A 21st century revival of The Robber Barons is back on the menu:

"A House Bill Would View Corporate Crimes as 'Honest Mistakes'

"Wealthy conservatives are pushing a bill that would excuse corporate leaders from financial fraud, environmental pollution, and other crimes that America's greatest criminals deem simply reckless or negligent. The Heritage Foundation attempts to rationalize, saying "someone who simply has an accident by being slightly careless can hardly be said to have acted with a 'guilty mind.'"


#14

I would not go so far as to say that WE are a dying society.

After all...

There are people pushing for better wages

People pushing to retain public schools.

People blocking pipelines and kayaking out to block deep sea oil-drilling rigs

There are people--thousands--massing to protest the lack of effective leadership in response to global warming

There are people pushing to get rid of standardized tests

There are people pushing for "moral Mondays," and for "Black Lives Matter"

And much more...

In very real terms, people are mobilizing and thousands are engaged in working
to alter the deadly paradigm imposed upon US by the 1% and their contractors and partners in crimes against humanity


#15

Sshhh....we're not supposed to know that. But you're dead center on the bulls-eye. It's thee operative equation from which everything decent can flow. Our greatest protection, our greatest potential lies in the democratic decisions of a free and participatory society. And free means free from all doctrinal forms.

[lapsing into informality]. Just to take that there topic of re-ligion that's been chewd around ye' ol' CD back yard fence. You betcha'. Ya'll remember them fansy sur-veys showin' the ma-jar-ity of A-mericans believin' in them there angels 'n devils, with da' angels edgin' out devils. Fer believer folks hope is still a-live. Bedder than ain't havin' any. We dang ration-al-ists can't be doin' this a-lone. Darn right. Spittooy.

Lordy that felt refreshing. Now before there's any complaints, let ye' who have never wore the same underwear for more than a single day cast the first objection.


#16

A quote from Gandhi.

"Poverty is the worst form of violence".

A characteristic of Capitalist societies and in particular ones like the USA are the extremes of wealth from richest to poorest with some people having 12 plus homes each costing more then a person can make in a lifetime as others sleep in the streets.

So by definition and considering the observation made by Gandhi it in fact "Violent Extremism" . Send in the bombers!


#17

No, it doesn't need to be violent, but when it becomes popular and growing, then A one sided violence from the State always seems to rear it's ugly head- Look no further than Occupy-


#18

You make some good points, but those points are mostly about domestic policy and until the foreign policies of the US empire, it seems to me, is nascent and turned back nothing will really change.


#19

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#20

I like your post and honor anyone who really looks deeply into the issues that plague our times.

I would add that when one looks at time, itself, as a linear process they lose sight of the very real cycles that bring recurrent patterns and themes to life.

I'm stating this because it's not so much that new stories and mythologies be told, it's that all those NOT given a voice be at last allowed to speak.

Don't you think that Vandana Shiva HAS the answer about wide-scale soil reconstitution that would work to gradually sequester all that CO2 stuck in an atmosphere so out of balance that it's generating alternative heat waves and cold spikes, not to mention massive rainfall alternating with serious droughts?

Indigenous peoples from South America recognize the earth as MOTHER, and who would treat their mothers the way that military bomb-blasters, Monsanto crop-rapists, and other deadened automatons do?

The Peace prophets have never been wrong, for anything that reflects Universal Truth remains inviolate... and unchanging to the vagaries of time.

In other words, what is needed in the way of direction already exists. It's that its voices have been silenced, sidelined, and cloaked in secrecy or accused of subversion.


#22

Dying society? What society? According to the great rightwing icon, the late unlamented Margaret Thatcher, there ain't such a thing as society.