Wednesday, September 24, 2008

America Pays the Piper, Big Time

By Robert Parry
September 24, 2008

After a 28-year binge of drunken optimism and blind nationalism – often punctuated by chants of “USA, USA!” and “We’re No. 1!” – Americans are waking up with a painful hangover, facing a grim “morning in America,” not the happy vision that Ronald Reagan famously sold them on.

Read on.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

you say over the years "powerful vested interests" have managed to see that things go their way.

but what is often times overlooked is there's more than one way to conduct economic exchange. several tried and true methods include the co-op, barter, local currencies, dollar-hours, municipalization, public power.

these ideas have all worked in the past and they are all very much still at work today.

the limits to growth was always about what was going to happen once larger populations (china and india) wanted to have the same standard of living for their people as americans enjoyed in the US. the US is a nation of 5% of the total world's population, yet we consume 20% of the world's total annual everything. the limits to growth pointed out that over the long run, the natural resource base upon which the entire western global economic model depended was simply not sustainable once you factored in the impact of these large populations going from one meal per day suddenly to two meals per day. forget about the extra automobiles, factories and pollution. the added food requirements alone would be enough to throw the entire western mode of operation out of wack.

the limits to growth was written 40 years ago. within a span of just 4 decades, the reality of what these people were sayin is finally hitting home. and look at who are the ones looking to be bailed out. It's not the "doomsayers". no, it's the very same people who ignored the warnings contained in the limits to growth in order to satisfy their greed and maximize their assets.

Sean Ahern said...

"Soon, the American people were persuaded to turn away from their real-world challenges and enter a land of make-believe. Don’t worry, they were told. Be happy."

You mean "white" Americans. There are plenty of socially conservative Black Americans who never bought it, particularly when Reagan launched his campaign from Philadephia Ms, site of Klan slayings of civil rights workers and presented himself as a white super hero rambo type. The mythology you describe is not merely a flight from rationality, it is a white flight, afflicting a specific sector of the population who have been led to see themselves as "whites" which is in itself a rather curious moniker.

knowbuddhau said...

Thanks for the history. I was in high school during Reagan's first term. I studied psychology at UW during Bush I.

What the neocons call "perception management," I call myth-jacking: an upgraded, updated Goering method of manufacturing consent to jack an entire nation to hell all at once, and even stick them with the bill.

We used to call it "putting the fear of god" into "savages," back in the day. The neocons obviously built on Goering's infamous method of engineering wars: declare an attack and denounce your opponents as treasonous cowards who expose the country to danger.

This has been the MO of the US since the late 50s early 60s, when the master of comparative mythology, Joseph Campbell, began lecturing at the Foreign Services Institute. Some on the right, probably in Kissinger's camp is my hunch, have been playing god, using Economic Hit Men, jacking whole nations to hell with unforgivable debt for overpriced infrastructure, and sticking the taxpayers with the bill, since the time of Campbell's lectures.

These are religiously driven people, zealously so. To understand their actions and words, we must place them in their proper mythological frame of reference. For great examples of what I'm saying, see the work of Max Blumenthal, who's doing great work in this field.

Anonymous said...

Overall, a good piece of work but this paragraph:

After winning in 1976, President Carter injected more respect for human rights into U.S. foreign policy, a move some scholars believe put an important nail in the coffin of the Soviet Union, leaving it hard-pressed to justify its repressive internal practices.

I'm not sure I buy that. Who are these "scholars"?

cemmcs

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