Dumbed Down and Out

I was getting caught up on a couple of my regular web reads and came across this comment by voxpop to a recent blog post by Jim Kunstler.

…I would like to believe that Americans, when pushed to their limits, would rise up en mass against the corporate greed that holds them in check. But it seems this would have happened before now.

When I survey the rape of the American psyche that transpired over the past nine years, I wonder: have We, the People, become the victims of domestic violence? Just as a battered wife stays in her place, does not question her husband, does not try to protect herself or flee the abusive situation, have we become so accustomed to the abuse of our perceived authority figures that we are unable to entertain notions of standing up for ourselves? We must remember that we pay the salaries of the people who abuse us. We can choose to cut off our financial support, thus rendering the batterers impotent. But this sort of revolution is even harder to imagine than the sort with arms. The people who would most benefit from a revolution are too busy feeding their families to start one. Those who can afford to fight don’t care enough about the cause to do so. They are comfortable and complacent – as long as they have their numbing substances of choice on hand.

I have become disheartened. ‘What then must we do?’

I disagree with the idea that this is a problem which has developed over the past nine years but I agree with the general idea. I think we’ve gotten ourselves into a cultural, behavioral rut so deep that we have no idea how to get out. We’re terrified of what it might mean for our comfortable but degraded lives. Our political system was stolen several decades ago and has since been controlled by corporate capitalism. Whether the party in control is Democrat or Republican is irrelevant, the two party facade is just a distraction, a news-network soap opera.

Sadly, we’ve become twisted perversions of the citizenry we one were striving to be. We’ve allow ourselves to be remade into hyper consumers obsessed with the latest gadgets and the lives of celebrities or ranking of sports teams. We traded away meaningful lives lived in the context of community, seeking our to develop our better selves. Instead of helping one another develop to our fullest potential we accepted a bribe of cheap thrills and trinkets from China.

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2 thoughts on “Dumbed Down and Out

  1. Gulland

    I am beginning to see some bright spots in the 'consumer' Americans. Just this afternoon I received a call from someone that wanted me to do a metal fabrication job. They had seen a firewood rack in an ad in a magazine while on a flight home for Thanksgiving. They called me, a local blacksmith, to make one for them. I had some time and went over to their house to talk to them in person. I told them I cannot compete with the price, as my materials cost was more than the retail of the product in the magazine. They said they understand that, but they wanted to do the right thing and buy local.

    There's a long way to go, but I am beginning to see small changes that make me hopeful.

    Thanks again for a great blog,

    Gulland

  2. GooseBreeder

    Yes a long way to go but aren't there pockets of people living well and as far as possible outside the system?
    Part of how a society feels about itself is reflected in what it eats and drinks, how it nourishes itself and is sustained.I'll say no more as I'm merely observing from far away.Interested to hear your thoughts on this.

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