NY Times - Democracy After the Shutdown
Truthout - The Ghost of Authoritarianism in the Age of the Shutdown
For as long as I can remember, Americans have had little interest in anything outside of their borders. Now they have little interest in what is going on inside their borders.
In a way, one cannot blame them, since what is going on is so unpleasant – but I still insist that they should be interested in witnessing their own decline.
But perhaps I am asking too much – what other people were aware of their own decline? One of the first stages of such a decline must have been a lack of awareness of what was going on. They were so certain that they had it made – that they could not see what was going on right under their noses – when perhaps they could have done something about it.
But this is not quite true – some of them saw what was going on – the usual small minority – but the majority ignored them – and and eagerly rushed on to their destruction. Because there was so much to be gained in the short run.
What we have here is human nearsightedness – the tendency to seize the moment and its advantages – at the expense of any long-range planning.
One of the glories of the Modern World was its discovery – and its use of – the Objective world. The Latin American world, where I now live, has never made this discovery – and as a result, lives in relative poverty. It shocks me to discover that Americans have now forgotten about this discovery also. And their economy is going to hell too.
American Evangelicals have flooded Latin America – preaching their gospel of ignorance and incompetence. Their basic message is “You want to be rich like us? Then do as we have done!” Latinos overlook all the Gringo craziness – which they could see easily enough, if they tried – and climb on the bandwagon – that goes straight to Hell.
Now I want to discuss the two links at the top of this posting. The one from the NY Times tries to reason with the American public. It says, in effect “If you keep behaving this way, bad things are going to happen to you.” Americans are not interested. The second link, by Henry Giroux, is by a professional naysayer – and is much longer. He does not reason with people – he screams at them.
At one time, in the time of Thomas Paine for example, this might have had an effect. People wanted to know what was going on. And they were not shy about expressing their opinions to each other.
Today it makes no difference.