Thursday, August 9, 2012

Reading Chris Hedges gives me a headache...


Do you ever get the suspicious feeling that maybe things are not quite going as well as they should? That maybe the simple straightforward notion that if we could just have some “solid economic growth” (maybe put Mitt in charge cuz he knows business) that everything will get back to normal is just a bit too rosy?

Get a copy of Chris Hedges’ Empire of Illusion for a cold slap in the face…Below is a quote from one of his more optimistic paragraphs—
“…our collapse is more than economic and political collapse. It is a crisis of faith. The capitalist ideology of unlimited growth has failed. It did not take into account the massive depletion of the world’s resources, from fossil fuels to clean water to fish stocks to soil erosion, as well as overpopulation, global warming… It failed to understand that the huge, unregulated international flows of capital and assault on manufacturing would wreck the global financial system.  An overvalued dollar (which could soon rapidly deflate); wild swings in the stock markets; housing bubbles; unchecked greed; the decimation of our manufacturing sector; the empowerment of an oligarchic class; the corruption of the political elite; the impoverishment of the workers; a bloated military and defense budget; and unrestrained credit binges are the consequences of a failed ideology and conspire to bring us all down…(Hedges, p. 184)

I am with Hedges on this one…the traditional obsession with economic growth as a panacea for all our problems (as we all know, if we think about it for a few minutes) is folly.  In Hedges' words we are living an "illusion" if we think that things can continue on as they always have in the past.  We all know that sooner or later we are gonna start running out of important stuff. Natural resources are not infinite…I think we all just kinda figured it would happen long after we were gone…Of course it is relatively easy to articulate the problems..the hard part is coming up with workable solutions...So it goes.

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