As the world unravels before us, we have decisions to make…
Chris Hedges has posted quite a long article in Truthdig called This Time We’re Taking The Whole Planet With Us. It is devastating… not because it makes up a fantasy of destruction, but because it deals directly with the truth. Here are 2 excerpts, but I urge you to go HERE and read it all… then tell your friends and even casual aquaintences to read it… then look at what is being done in Wisconsin and Ohio and Indiana and other places dominated by Tea Party attackers and decide to join the rest of us in doing something…anything…about it (I recommend listening to Michael Moore’s speech from Saturday which I posted earlier this morning.
These from Chris Hedges:
Civilizations rise, decay and die. Time, as the ancient Greeks argued, for individuals and for states is cyclical. As societies become more complex they become inevitably more precarious. They become increasingly vulnerable. And as they begin to break down there is a strange retreat by a terrified and confused population from reality, an inability to acknowledge the self-evident fragility and impending collapse. The elites at the end speak in phrases and jargon that do not correlate to reality. They retreat into isolated compounds, whether at the court at Versailles, the Forbidden City or modern palatial estates. The elites indulge in unchecked hedonism, the accumulation of vaster wealth and extravagant consumption. They are deaf to the suffering of the masses who are repressed with greater and greater ferocity. Resources are more ruthlessly depleted until they are exhausted. And then the hollowed-out edifice collapses. The Roman and Sumerian empires fell this way. The Mayan elites, after clearing their forests and polluting their streams with silt and acids, retreated backward into primitivism.
As food and water shortages expand across the globe, as mounting poverty and misery trigger street protests in the Middle East, Africa and Europe, the elites do what all elites do. They launch more wars, build grander monuments to themselves, plunge their nations deeper into debt, and as it all unravels they take it out on the backs of workers and the poor. The collapse of the global economy, which wiped out a staggering $40 trillion in wealth, was caused when our elites, after destroying our manufacturing base, sold massive quantities of fraudulent mortgage-backed securities to pension funds, small investors, banks, universities, state and foreign governments and shareholders. The elites, to cover the losses, then looted the public treasury to begin the speculation over again. They also, in the name of austerity, began dismantling basic social services, set out to break the last vestiges of unions, slashed jobs, froze wages, threw millions of people out of their homes, and stood by idly as we created a permanent underclass of unemployed and underemployed.
“Why,” Diamond writes, “did the kings and nobles not recognize and solve these problems? A major reason was that their attention was evidently focused on the short-term concerns of enriching themselves, waging wars, erecting monuments, competing with one another, and extracting enough food from the peasants to support all these activities.”
“Pumping that oil, cutting down those trees, and catching those fish may benefit the elite by bringing them money or prestige and yet be bad for society as a whole (including the children of the elite) in the long run,” Diamond went on. “Maya kings were consumed by immediate concerns for their prestige (requiring more and bigger temples) and their success in the next war (requiring more followers), rather than for the happiness of commoners or of the next generation. Those people with the greatest power to make decisions in our own society today regularly make money from activities that may be bad for society as a whole and for their own children; those decision-makers include Enron executives, many land developers, and advocates of tax cuts for the rich.”
We have allowed the complete and utter greed of the Koch Brothers, huge corporations like Dow Chemical and GM and GE and Exxon Mobil and A T & T… we can go on and add in all the Banks and Wall Street Investment Firms (especially the ones Obama seems to fish in to catch Administration officials instead of looking for the ones who are screwing the folks who voted for him), but it is more frightening the deeper into it we look.
I would never have said this a year ago… or even six months ago… but I am seeing the advantage in being a Socialist and convincing everyone I can to become one, too. It means that we are all economically responsible for each other… and those who decide to suck the marrow from our fettered bones need to be stopped.
If we don’t learn from history, then we deserve to have our news programs filled with coverage of Charlie Sheen and the Royal Wedding and opposition to gay marriage. If we truly believe that teachers salaries bring down the economy while tax cuts are given to the top 1% of our wealthy…people for whom Billions of Dollars are not enough… or that politicians have our best interests at heart when the support more and more military activity instead of spending the money… or even a fraction of it… on solving the economic crisis, then there is little or no hope for us.
- Chris Hedges: Huffington Post is a piece of crap + We are awash in electronic hallucinations (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)
- Huffington’s Plunder by Chris Hedges (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)
- Chris Hedges: Democracy is on life support in the U.S. (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)
- Where are we off to? (learningfromdogs.com)
- Chris Hedges: America’s Corporate Coup D’état (dandelionsalad.wordpress.com)
- Death of Liberalism: Obama as a Sell-Out (czardonic.wordpress.com)
- Sunday Late Night: Distractions in Class (firedoglake.com)
- “Education a Leveler?” (economistsview.typepad.com)
- IAS 107: Reading: Jared Diamond’s Provocation: The Invention of Agriculture as a Big Mistake (delong.typepad.com)
- Tragedy of the Commons (elizabethyoung2000.wordpress.com)
- Dictators and Elites Always Seem to Seal Their Own Fate (stevebeckow.com)
- Learning from the Ancients (energybulletin.net)
- Yukatán Peninsula: the best reason for visiting Mexico (telegraph.co.uk)
- branding time (hopeseguin2011.wordpress.com)
- branding time (hopeseguin2011.wordpress.com)
Posted on March 7, 2011, in blogs, budget, Business, campaign, Climate Change, Congress, crime, Economics, editorial, Education, Finance, government, Health Care, history, Internet, Legal, Lies, Military, News, Opinion, Politics, President Obama, Press, quote, Taxes, Technology, vote, Warning, Word from Bill, World News and tagged Charlie Sheen, Chris Hedges, ExxonMobil, Huffington Post, Jared Diamond, Middle East, Truthdig, United States. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.