July 30, 2018

The coming collapse — thoughts from Hedges and Camp

Is the United States headed for some sort of collapse?

Chris Hedges makes a cogent argument that this is the case.

Lee Camp offers eight reasons why people probably don't want to believe this, and thus will let it happen, and how they've propped us up against collapse already.

On Hedges, it's great as far as it goes. Surprisingly, though, Hedges mentions little about climate change, just in passing, nor about Republican animosity toward the science behind it. (Many Republicans, in private, would be climate change minimalists rather than denialists, and would have their fingers crossed that they're correct on minimalism. Others may not be minimalists, but probably believe that the salvific technologism of late-stage capitalism that got us here will rescue us through geoengineering or similar. And a third wing is the evangelicals who, if they're young-earth creationists, reject the whole idea, or even if not, still believe that it's either god's judgment or that his deliverance from it will soon come. Probably less than 10 percent of major Republicans accept that climate change is real and that capitalism alone — except for the capitalism of a carbon tax with teeth, which they'll reject — cannot fully fix it by itself.

Of course, the Dems are little better. Obama made sure right along with Xi Jinpeng that Paris would be toothless.  And most Dems still won't face the reality themselves.

Weirder yet is that Hedges, a former foreign correspondent, says nothing about how both Republicans and Democrats back the duopoly. He says nothing about the military Keynesianism of the American economy.

So, it's good enough as far as it goes. 

But it doesn't go nearly far enough.

With that?

Lee Camp.

We don't have a democracy. Even Glenn Greenwald, with worries about, but still acceptance of, Citizens United, knows that. Money's bought it. The First Amendment weaponizers like Ken White, aka Popehat, who pretend that all other judicial theorists and the jurists they back engage in results-oriented jurisdiction but his ilk — yes, ilk — don't, are full of it. We regulate advertising campaigns. We have for decades. Political money is used for advertising. If you don't think we can regulate the money spent on it, we sure as hell can regulate where it's placed. No more TV ads before the "family hour" is  done. No daytime ads so kids won't see them. Ditto for websites.

Camp and Hedges are jointly right about the media. It fawns, then comes back for yet more "access" even when the likes of a Trump kick it.

Buying certainly won't make us happy. Hedges hints around the edges; Camp says that flat out. It IS our version of bread and circuses. It has been for decades, and became that in spades when Shrub Bush told people to go out and shop after 9/11. Beyond that, as the income gap widens, more people can't shop.

Working harder doesn't make you feel better, or happier, or free, in America any more than Arbeit macht frei meant you stayed alive in Auschwitz. That's the Calvinist myth, updated with a religified version of Social Darwinism for gloss.

On solutions, Hedges has the goods to mention third parties. I disagree with things like alternative currencies, unless that's for trading inside a communal system only. Once you undercut an actual money system, you have surrendered to either Ron Paul goldbug libertarians or cryptocurrency tech-libertarians. Pass.

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