Life on the Fringes.

A tide of rigidity, self righteous anti-intellectualism threatens the American population. But its not the NPR debacle or the spector of Sarah Palin that worries me, not the one American characteristic that makes us vulnerable.

Its our penchant for taking our selves so seriously.  America knows how to laugh at the whole world but it has lost ( if it ever had) its ability to laugh at itself. To submit its youthful cockiness to the scrutiny of the world opinion, who is often chuckling and clucking and shaking its head at our moral outrages and our lack of commitment to a global solution to the problems that beset us all.

Or attachment to codes, schedules, black and white viewpoints, crazy as it sounds we are becoming.. fascist.

what is the definition of fascism? hmmmmmmmm.

Fascism (play /ˈfæʃɪzəm/) is a radical, authoritarian nationalist political ideology.

Fascists seek to organize a nation according to corporatist perspectives, values, and systems, including the political system and the economy.


a. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.

The Untied States of America,its general population uneducated in Constitutional law, unfamiliar with the Bill of Rights, receiving its information from TalkRadioAmerika,  embroiled in a collision course with karma, bursting  with geo-political road rage, has lost its bearings. We are confused, frustrated, desperate, defensive, aggressive.  Frightened.

My pop used to call it boiled frog syndrome.. you know, you try to put a frog in boiling water and it will hop out but put the frog in cold water on low heat and it adjusts until it accepts  death as a natural consequence of being in water.
We are boiling to death in a pot of oncoming fascism while denying that there is a fire underneath.

We have been indulging in our little boiled frog experiment for quite some time ( the recent wikileaks miracle has shown us just how much and for how long ) but as long as Americans can entertain themselves while the world burns, we care little for the impact of our massive consumerist on the rest of the planet. And take serious umbrage at anyone who will call us to task for it.

With the advent of the Reagan administration and that infamous ‘trickle down theory’ ( you remember the one, if the rich get richer,then this will ‘trickle down’ to the masses… erm. not in our lifetimes).. we stopped pretending that greed was bad, though we had been  hot on the trail of economic world domination since the industrial revolution. What we forgot?  Real economics are about people. Not big business.

Our most successful presidential administration to date since has been  Clinton’s, who left office with the highest end-of-office approval rating of any U.S. president since World War II and our coffers in the black, digging us out of national debt, restoring our sense of the common good, our obligation to repay the world for some of the legal pillaging we have indulged in at its expense- ( The greek root of the word ‘idiot’?  idioto- having no sense of the common good’)-only to hand our well being over to the Fox in the henhouse.

The Bush years raped and pillaged our most precious resources; our civility, our intelligence, our tolerance, our global intuition, our generousity, forfeiting our progression into a nation that can stand alongside Europe educationally and economically.  All that expesive war toy purchase has its costs including an education system that has dropped in ranking in the last twelve  years from number 3 to number 27.

yes. you read correctly. #27.

Hannah Arendt writes  in her brilliant discussion about the public life and world events, published in 1960,
”Economic growth may one day turn out to be a curse rather than a good, and under no conditions can it either lead into freedom or constitute a proof for its existence. ”

That day has come.


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May 2011
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