Thursday, November 15, 2007
a nation of sheep
given what arthur silber points out about the american public's prejudice to impeach president bush and especially vice president cheney, one can question whether or not there truly is a complete inability of americans in the main to conprehend what is happening to their society, or if that inability is merely partial and hopelessly muddled. but what is certain is that the will to act -- to get off fat and lazy asses and move to protect one's own civil liberties -- has not risen even to a point where corrective political means are engaged. indeed, americans stupidly re-elected this administration in 2004, well after the lawlessness of its will to power was exposed. indeed, it seems to me that, like any mob, it hailed what it then perceived as a victor in war above all things, to the mindless exclusion of all things.
here i think we see the cultural degeneracy of imperial america coming home to roost. in this desensitized, voyeuristic entertainment society, so dedicated to the pursuit of visceral fantasy as a means of abandoning an inconvenient reality, our own natural rights and their assassination at the hands of barely-veiled fascists has taken on the feel of a "reality" television show. politics has become an unseen writer's script; washington, new york, california, iraq, iran and afghanistan have become like stage settings; the politicians, often literally, are actors. there is a profound unreality -- more accurately, perhaps, surreality -- about american political life in the entertainment age, particularly as news media become ever more alike to gossip magazines and the intellectual gatekeepers of american public life are increasingly ignored or even ridiculed at "elitist". and we, the people, are ever more of a kind with the chorus of greek drama -- unable to affect the action, merely reacting in joy or horror to accentuate the drama of what we observe from a disengaged vantage point.
i am no fan of democracy, to be sure -- contrary to so many unconsidered views of this day and place, it is the form of government which assures the swiftest destruction of law and liberty. and i suppose i expect no more from americans than for them to sign away their rights with a cheer and a champagne toast. but it fills me with a profound sadness anyway, particularly as i look on my young daughter. this is not the society i want her to grow up a part of.
A free market liberal democracy does not appear to be the default state of societies. Inevitably they descend into some sort of degenerate, totalitarian, autocracy. Our illustrious political class has sliced and diced and divided the population to the point where they no longer care about the rights of their neighbors so long as their own state of well being is not diminished. I don't think the nazis power was derived from ultra-nationalistic pride so much as it was from a society that thought: "who gives a fuck, they aren't coming after me"
Until they did that is...
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