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The New, Deplorable American Order


#26

It is the old ‘American’ order.
The very word American as used by US citizens is a silly conceit. All people who make their homes on the continents of the Americas are American. For any one group to presume ownership of the word is childishly stupid self -assertion. Such conceit has always been deplorable. See the USA now as proof.
To try to ignore this is hubris.
In the beginning is the word and ‘America’ has long been dead; a zombie. The prominence of the zombie at Thanksgiving is a significant irony. The USA may survive but then again it may split into separate States. The depravity in conceit best expressed in the US word ‘success’ that has long been on display in the USA makes me think the latter is the best way to go.
As a whole it is dead anyway and arguably has never been alive. Ask the ‘Red Indian’.


#27

Yes, this is what Democrats and the liberal bourgeoisie, the middle class, demand today. “Progressive” media was largely hijacked (esp. since B. Clinton) to present a kinder, gentler version of the corporate agenda. Their daily/hourly message is consistent: Only those who are of current use to employers (the corporate state) are deserving human beings. I tried for a full month to watch the MSNBC evening shows ONLY until a host said “middle class” or “Hillary Clinton” (a hard-core anti-New Deal neoliberal), at which point I would turn it off. I saw no more than 5 minutes of any MSNBC program. I finally just kept it off. It’s a poisonous agenda in that it only more deeply divides and subdivides this generation.


#28

Can’t disagree. As a nation, we communicate via media, and media play a powerful role in determining public attitudes (largely, through what it chooses to report, and what it chooses to ignore). There is virtually no progressive media today. What we call “progressives” today actually embrace a socioeconomic agenda that is to the right of former Republican presidents Eisenhower, Nixon, and even Reagan.

So, how is America doing? We actually have nice, tidy figures to sum this up: From FDR to Reagan, the US had implemented policies and programs that took us to our height of wealth and productivity. We then chose to reverse course, ending those policies and programs. When Reagan was first elected, launching the long campaign against our poor, the overall quality of life in the US was rated at #1. By the time Obama was elected, this has already plunged to #43. The US is sinking.


#29

There is a way to manage all these including the struggles and 99% Inequality etc…but so far it is being fought by the best. So, Time will tell by 2018…as to the stability of the reserve currency and the future (Hopefully not WW3).


#30

Correction: Osama bin Laden was a patsy.
9/11 was a planned coup for the purpose of taking over Middle East energy wealth and for other purposes, and was done by people with access to the sites of destruction, most likely- almost certainly- Americans.


#31

Not Fascist. Nazi.
Fascism carries the understanding that force is primary in government in order to benefit the world or mankind.The premise is that those who know better have the right to apply such force.
There is no escaping the fact that the US’n accepts the use of such force to benefit his kind only. At best, benefits to USA may profit others. But like Hitler the 'American, believes he is superior to others and this absolves him from any responsibility towards others. They are in his opinion lesser beings are losers and that can be simply swept away. The definition of superiority differs somewhat but the result is precisely the same. Compare Hitler’s reasoning for attacking Russia and the US’s reasons for attacking everybody else. Both rest on self-benefit and are careless of the consequences to others.
The USA and its hangers-on are Nazis. Ask all others, particularly the uncounted dead.


#32

Not super surprised, but still, surprised that neither Engelhardt nor any commenters have noted the role of the emerging network, the convergence of computers and communications to bring individual humans to the brink of being functionally primarily nodes on the network.

The comment on consolidation of media corporations comes the closest, but that’s just brushing up against it.

This is incredibly potent stuff, and we can’t even really think about what it means. But just as an example, what the NSA is doing would simply not be possible without it. But the NSA, really, is just a symptom of the underlying evolutionary transformation that is accelerating.


#37

You need to include the Privatization of Education. The concept is currently for the State to subsidize the pupil so that the Pupil can receive a quality education. Once Public Education is decimated, how long will it be until a cry is raised that “Taxpayers should not have to support the education of families too lazy to work to afford it”. Hence there will be a dumbing down of the Voters. Already Social Studies and Government classes are under attack. The ISTEP test, Common Core, all create Teaching to the Test. In Indiana, the Republican test to replace Common Core ended up in the testing of school kids becoming like 15 hours long. So the testing was cut in length by cutting out test questions on Government and Social Studies.


#38

Very little coverage being done about the 1948 Smith Mundt Act being secretly overturned by both political parties. This act forbids giving propaganda to the US public. Also, Dennis Kucinich had information where Congress almost secretly voted a large amount of money to go to propaganda again by both political parties. I was aware for years that the mainstream newsmedia was a corporate newsmedia not about to report on the real issues, but now, where our government plans to do the same with coverage, having eliminated the act that protects “we the people”, things are even worse off.


#39

The reason I suspect that Tom fails to make too many connections or conclusions about the gradual transformation of the U.S. into a corporate dreamland is that Tom Engelhardt expects his readers to form their own conclusions via critical thinking skills. Do we really need after all to have every detail of our conversion to an undemocratic society spelled out for us? Instead when reading these articles, even the most skeptical reader is given pause for reflection. if, for example, the reader were to examine any of the five main points that Englehardt makes in this article, the reader would have to agree that society has indeed transformed itself towards something that flies in the face of our basic civics lessons learned during our introduction to adulthood. Many explanations are offered to us each and everyday about how the 99% are losing ground, but seldom are we given an accurate roadmap about how we got here. As we learn to critically analyze and decipher the incredible amounts of misinformation we are bombarded with on a daily basis, only then can we begin to understand the gravity of the situation we now find ourselves in as well as learning to understand how we got here. Engelhardt points out the common disappointment the public has in our government, yet he doesn’t try to pigeon hole the reasons that the public has lost their faith in the political system. Instead he wants his readers to reshape their traditional misconceptions about the cause and effect of contemporary America on their own. It’s a genre that has its own place in a society’s political education that we shouldn’t too easily dismiss.


#40

YES!! We must stop voting for any person in office today and to abandon any hope that the current political parties will ever do anything to change the deplorable state of our government as it declines further. We must change our government and kick out the totally corrupt bunch of scum in office now.

I suggest we pass on the whole idea of political parties. We need to elect good moral ethical people that will truly represent the people in the district in which they are elected. These Representative need to be limited to one term and they must never have had an elected office before.
If they have been in office they have learned to follow the rules and practices as they are now (which we know is bad). The citizens must be active and informed as to what is going on and participate every day. It is not enough to get out and vote every other year or so. We need to all be awake, alive and active ALL THE TIME. As citizens we must understand how we want the government to function.

Career politicians are the death of democracy.


#41

This is excellent. You state in words what I have suspected for a long time without the vocabulary to express it. The endless moving away from public banking seems to me intuitively a way to just exploit and destroy the countries that supposedly are being helped. As an aside, I like the idea of a mandatory twelfth grade course titled The Depression and The War. I’d bet that most undergraduates these days know little of either, and the importance of events surrounding them, like the formation of the UN, etc. Since Reagan, even students at better universities often have no idea how the modern developed world was actually formed in mid twentieth century America. They really believe the celluloid of the last thirty five years.


#42

There is no way today’s power elite, more entrenched than ever, would ever let a reformist like FDR anywhere near the presidency. In fact, when earlier versions and even actual ancestors of living members of today’s ruling caste saw the direction FDR was going, they tried a fascist coup in 1934. But they picked the wrong general to lead it. Smedley Butler had skillfully led them to believe he would lead it, and he was the most decorated and capable general of his day. But he blew the whistle on it, and the demons had to fade back into the woodwork. But they never stopped plotting their fascist revolution. Through the neocons and the machinations of the national security state, created by Truman in the National Security Act of 1947, they have now brought fascism to the US.


#43

The irony is for all their mention of the plight of the “middle class,” the ruling class, including of course Obama, keep enacting policies that further eviscerate the middle class.


#44

It seems that we generally agree that the US has fallen into corporate fascist Nazi state. There seems to be a glimmer of concern that we need to figure out what to do about it. It is obvious to me that it is up to us. We can use the internet, yes, but that is for open communication and expression of ideas, while concrete actions in the “real” world are necessary. We have seen the decline of education…I noticed it in the 50’s when I was in high school. It bothered me then, but I didn’t know how to change the direction. I think many of us here have some ideas about what needs to happen, but is anyone here able to implement them? I have been trying to organize the people around me to think and act to improve our education and address the decline of justice and fairness. I’d like to hear how folks here are succeeding in moving their communities into aware actions?


#45

They will not get it. The unutterable hubris of today’s American ruling caste is leading them to overreach in ways that previous generations of politicians and diplomats never would consider. The US is much less powerful and much more vulnerable than it was during the Cold War. Yet the presidents and Congress members of that time understood that direct military confrontation with the USSR was suicidal. Yet this gang today wants to provoke just that confrontation. There is no way the US could defeat Russia on the ground, even in Ukraine, which is necessary to Russia’s strategic security but not that of the US. The current gang of bipartisan warmongers are even alienating much of the EU, with Germany and France in the lead. They will end up isolating this country in the world as a pariah state. Do they want that? Or maybe they have reached the Dr. Strangelove level and seek actual nuclear war. If we can’t rule the world, then these characters who think only with their reptilian brains may want to destroy it. See Erich Fromm, The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness.


#46

armybrat:

I hadn’t thought of it this way; you are right! Bin Laden clearly succeeded far, far better than he or others realized.

Jim Shea


#47

I am going to go out on a limb, but here’s what I’ll offer, even if it sounds “out there.” There are all kinds of social and material dynamics causing acquiescence, but there’s one constant in the middle and lower classes lives that has been made available to keep them busy: toys. Specifically electronic. Nothing keeps people fumbling over their daily lives than the 350 monthly for the phone, the schoolteacher who has to constantly consult other teachers over how to work Google classroom, the framer making 15 an hour and his endless internet porn…
When 911 happened Bush said go shopping but it wasn’t necessary, all the addictions have been delivered courtesy of tech. We are now totally preoccupied with “selfies,” there cannot be any resistance for people are far too busy with nothing.
As wages sank, cable tv was delivered, then all the rest. Go online at “Quora” and find out how the upper tier feels about all this-the answer is not much, for the young don’t have reference points for any other social realities. Something like Occupy was a diorama if you were not in Oakland. And, unlike Vietnam, it wasn’t on YOUR newscast if you didn’t want it. So talk to the young, and hear sadness. They do know about all the endless channels they have, they are hooked for life, and expect nothing else.


#48

President Obama first heard about all of this on the News, just like the all rest of us folks.


#49

You are correct, we are broke (even the middle class, what’s left of it). The young (even the educated) do not know what they are voting for. This started in the 80’s Many people under 50 are completely disconnected mathematically and ethically from benefits they receive from the government. The Libertarian sketchy lie has impacted many young peoples’ thinking, they don’t have a clue that taxes pay for stuff like the fire department, they just know that taxes are out there and basically to be avoided. An overstatement, but one can be amazed when young adults are queried about say school funding. I just spoke with a young man who teaches fifth grade here in California and he had never heard of proposition 13. Now, he did teach in a parochial school, but…
My point is people don’t know what is going on. And most are not interested.