American Psychosis: the early warning signs of democratic collapse are all around us


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/10/28/versailles-2-0.html


#2

As amazing as some of what he says is… I doubt anyone in power is listening.


#3

True. Unfortunately, despite his insights and experience, Hedges can’t help but reverting to his seminarian roots and coming off as a bit of a scold to potential liberal allies. He mostly avoids doing that in this video until the very end (no, living a “meaningful” life in the midst of a conflict zone is not really preferable to living a “hedonistic” life in a peaceful country).


#4

Those in power are cheering it along


#5

Less than 1% of our dear oligarchs see the breakdown of civilization coming.


#6

as bad for them, that is…


#7

From my side of the pond it looks like civil war all over again!


#8

Broadcast this morning:


#9

You can only do what everyone on the planet can do, hope that they don’t reach for the nukes.


#10

Speaking as someone else east of the Atlantic, not hardly. AIUI, things were worse than this in the '60s, and in the '30s, and neither of those was as bad as the run-up to the Civil War.

None of which means things aren’t more than bad enough, though, or that there isn’t an urgent need for Americans to stop their country’s ongoing derailing into lunacy, white domestic terrorism, and creeping fascism.


#11

Paradoxically, this film makes me feel a bit better about my last 20 years living in this dreamland. I’ve been longing to see my friends and neighbors wake the hell up, and this gives me hope that it may yet happen in my lifetime.


#12

While there was quite a few things I disagreed with in the broadcast - more than I’m willing to type with my index finger on my phone - much of it is well-taken.

When the US realizes it is already in a civil war I stand ready to do my part. Washington and Oregon would make wonderful additions to Canada. Productive farmland, many shared values, ports, vibrant tech and other industries, strong trans-Pacific ties. Please Canada, annex the Pacific Northwest. I would be the most ardent Fifth Columnist you can imagine, waving a Maple Leaf flag, manning the Politeness and Manners re-education camps, you name it.


#13

South British Columbia!


#14

I think we have not credited Alvin Toffler enough. Boingers will probably know who I’m talking about. His premise in Future Shock was that while we might think we like living in the future, it is actually a HUGE source of anxiety. And backwards thinking, trying to remember a ‘simpler’ time becomes a siren call. There is historical evidence of this happening before when Islam decided it was a good idea to close the Gates of Ijihad. At the time, the Islamic world was where knowledge was encouraged and flourished. Europe was in the Dark Ages. But knowledge has a tendency to get ahead of us and make us feel like sorcerer’s apprentices. And so the gates were closed. It was deemed that enough was for now.
Also, when looking to the rise of Conservatism in the Western World, I cannot stress these two books by Karen Armstrong enough: A History of God and The Battle for God. They go together and you need to read them in order.
I welcome those that wish to correct me. What the hell do I know?


#15

so BB has drifted into the mainstream mass of FB which alleged intellectuals no longer visit?


#16

Hedges knows from history that liberals will never side with the left because because doing so would mean giving up some of their personal wealth and power. As the saying goes: Liberals hate socialists more than they hate fascists.


#17

Yep, for example, the 1871 Paris Commune was eradicated by the liberals, and not by any reactionnary royalist gouvernement.


#18

I don’t think that’s his point. It’s not about those on power changing their ways, it’s about those not in power waking up and realizing that things need to change and that we can change them.


#19

In a way it’s nice to hear a very familiar worldview expressed at all, especially when worded so succinct and coherent. But that feeling did not last very long…


#20

Goodbye yellow brick road.