iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Steven Weber

Steven Weber

Posted: July 29, 2010 10:17 PM

Making Degrade

What's Your Reaction:

The steady erosion of American productivity and viability may not just be unfortunate happenstance or a natural socioeconomic evolution, but a premeditated, consolidated effort to reap reward from fomenting failure.

And, as an interesting bit of collateral damage, people no longer have any faith in someone or something unless there's money involved, hence the curiously adhesive qualities of the moronic quasi libertarian meme of preferring the unregulated shenanigans of the private sector over a democratically elected and regulated government. And here's where those people who have been able to free themselves from the 24-hour-a-day opiate known as The Media slap themselves in their heads and say "Sheesh!"

But as evidenced by the steady reduction of overall quality in ideals America once prided itself on (i.e., productivity, creativity, education, the democratic process) and the attendant illogic of such routine breakdowns of formerly reliable concepts (i.e., quality control, protecting the welfare of all its citizens), there is the sinking feeling that the country that was built upon the highest ideals by those whose grasp of power, history and human nature, has been subsumed by those who revile such high aims. In fact, the guys that run things now have pasted "Fire Sale" over "We the People." And they're cashing in.

The culprit is, of course, the corporate mentality, a plague that manifests in the unrelenting consumption of disposable goods and useless services to maximize profit at the expense of people.

Like the icons she worships, like the plastic personalities digitally downloaded into our daily feeds, America's overriding principle is no longer one of thrift, service and civility but an obsession with things wasteful and divisive. That's our latest and greatest export.

Just because it sometimes feels good to scratch a mosquito bite until it bleeds, let's take Sarah Palin, for instance. The self-styled Mama Grizzly is actually the embodiment of the current fetish for failure, a bespectacled avatar of the mediocre intelligence and misguided ambition that is the hallmark of today's American idol.

While never having been in possession of basic leadership skills, let alone insight into the classic workings of democracy and the awesome responsibility such knowledge should impart, she is instead a facade from a corporate costume shop. Strutting her secondary sexual characteristics and bleating whatever shallow Republican talking point flashes across her staff's iPads, she nonetheless continues to be a leader of the gormless mass who raise fists and rail against that black guy in office and/or anything else she tells them to.

Then there is Jabber the Hate himself, Rush Limbaugh. The undisputed king of caustic right wing vitriol has made it his mission to destroy, divide, delude, and in so doing drive his profits through the roof of what must be a mammoth McMansion, proportionate in volume to his gargantuan ego.

And then there's that confounding blight, which is the so-called Tea Party, the latest Sam's Club clumping of the angry-for-whatever-reason volkische who seek only quick fixes to simplistically labeled problems, loathe their villains and embrace their heroes no matter how inane or discredited their reasoning. Deprived of a decent education and livelihood by the very forces with which they are aligned, they among all other obstacles to progress remain the most frustrating to observe, as the power to effect positive change is in their hands. It's their minds which have been highjacked.

And somewhere in this mishegoss, someone is making a shitload of dosh.

And guess what -- they're right in front of you exhorting you to fear immigrants, hate government, love Big Oil, hate the poor, fear the president and on and on. The right wing loves to court the least informed and most in pain. Because that's how they make their money. They've created a mass of Yokelsteins.

Don't get me wrong: Americans -- be angry! Assemble in the town squares! Take your representatives to task!

But while you're at it, read a book. Or two. Thumb through a reputable newspaper. Go to Europe. Have a conversation with someone from a feared and despised culture. Avail yourselves of the many sources and perspectives out there on the internet, hovering like fruit just waiting to be picked.

Discover agendas. Suss out key investors in places that insist they are trustworthy (*cough* Saudi Arabia and Fox News *cough, cough*). Realize that things are not as fair and balanced as the talking heads are telling you they are.

And then maybe we can get back to some kind of reason and stability. As history has shown repeatedly in the lifespans of many an empire, our days as the greatest superpower on Earth may be waning, and those who revel in the pride that defined our greatest, boldest days might not be willing to relax their desperate grip on such a regrettable reality.

But given the preponderance of proof that the powers that be are making moolah from mass misery, we must not forsake our opportunity to reclaim some civility, dignity and sense, three things that those corporate fascisto-capitalist dickheads who are stoking cynicism and despair for fun and profit detest.

Bad for business, you see.

 

Follow Steven Weber on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@TheStevenWeber