March 15, 2017

Word: The dance of death

Chris Hedges, Truthdig - The ruling corporate elites no longer seek to build. They seek to destroy. They are agents of death. They crave the unimpeded power to cannibalize the country and pollute and degrade the ecosystem to feed an insatiable lust for wealth, power and hedonism. Wars and military “virtues” are celebrated. Intelligence, empathy and the common good are banished. Culture is degraded to patriotic kitsch. Education is designed only to instill technical proficiency to serve the poisonous engine of corporate capitalism. Historical amnesia shuts us off from the past, the present and the future. Those branded as unproductive or redundant are discarded and left to struggle in poverty or locked away in cages. State repression is indiscriminate and brutal. And, presiding over the tawdry Grand Guignol is a deranged ringmaster tweeting absurdities from the White House.

The graveyard of world empires—Sumerian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Mayan, Khmer, Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian—followed the same trajectory of moral and physical collapse. Those who rule at the end of empire are psychopaths, imbeciles, narcissists and deviants, the equivalents of the depraved Roman emperors Caligula, Nero, Tiberius and Commodus. The ecosystem that sustains the empire is degraded and exhausted. Economic growth, concentrated in the hands of corrupt elites, is dependent on a crippling debt peonage imposed on the population. The bloated ruling class of oligarchs, priests, courtiers, mandarins, eunuchs, professional warriors, financial speculators and corporate managers sucks the marrow out of society.

The elites’ myopic response to the looming collapse of the natural world and the civilization is to make subservient populations work harder for less, squander capital in grandiose projects such as pyramids, palaces, border walls and fracking, and wage war. President Trump’s decision to increase military spending by $54 billion and take the needed funds out of the flesh of domestic programs typifies the behavior of terminally ill civilizations. When the Roman Empire fell, it was trying to sustain an army of half a million soldiers that had become a parasitic drain on state resources.

The complex bureaucratic mechanisms that are created by all civilizations ultimately doom them. The difference now, as Joseph Tainter points out in “The Collapse of Complex Societies,” is that “collapse, if and when it comes again, will this time be global. No longer can any individual nation collapse. World civilization will disintegrate as a whole.”



Anonymous said...

45s latest document for destruction.

Tom Puckett said...

This master-of-the-obvious recitation of MSM evening news is a first step. Describe the problem first, but I'd like to see these thinkers - Hedges, Chomsky, even Reich and Sanders, although these two seem to still be entrenched in the Dem/Repub duopoly, come up with [1] WHY are these fools acting this way? and [2] HOW can they be dissuaded, bought off or moved aside?

If the answer to #1 is only to enrich themselves in the next few years that doesn't seem likely but would suggest a #2 solution of buying them off! Let them make all the money they want but structure their trough to make what comes out the other end useful to the planet, e.g. the Green New Deal.

Cheers, Tom

Boffin said...

Absolutely, Tom. THIS is who we need to put on a guaranteed income: the would-be bureaucrats, think-tankers, pundits, social scientists, and public-policy wonks. Let's give 'em their huge salary and rope them off from decent society. As long as they agree to not interact with the rest of us it would be a huge bargain.