While still great, America is getting less good, noble intentions notwithstanding.
from Portrait in Contrast
The public school of PC (political correctness) promotes a destructive form of mind control. It changed Americans’ minds even more than corn (and cheap refrigeration) changed their waistlines.
Instead of alarming Americans to the dangers of losing freedom by abandoning their share of civic responsibility, the media creates diversions by fostering idolatry of celebrities, the new religion of the “free world.”
The media did not discover ice hockey or other high-risk sports that maim and even kill. But the media sells them anyway. It set a threshold of excitement reminiscent of the gladiatorial combats in Rome and of tribal sacrifices. This is where the insensitivities of Abu Ghraib and desecration are born and nurtured.
from The Right to Media-ocracy
A representative (known as vociferous in respect to causes close to his inclinations) initiates a lawsuit, to the tune of $150,000, over a sandwich (a wrap that contained an olive pit) bought in the cafeteria in the House of Representatives. As an elected official, he sets an example for everyone who voted for him to do the same. Stupidity spreads fast, without much prodding.
from No Business Like Law Business
Nobody is born stupid, but anyone, regardless of IQ, can act stupidly.
The members of the public (in the stadium, in front of the TV at home, or staring at video monitors in bars and restaurants) have in common the urge to consume the event at its fullest. This is a cleansing ritual, a cathartic moment in a less than rewarding existence. This is America’s shrink couch.
A different example, transcending sex, politics, celebrity, and sports might better explain the systemic nature of stupidity. It will also explain how post-industrial capitalism promotes the process. Don’t look for some dark plot against the poor and disadvantaged; there is none. In order to explain how stupidity is produced and reproduced, we need to understand how the stupidity machine works.
The right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness has been reduced to the right to shop and indulge, and to be observed while we are doing so.
The response button in America-the-Economy exists for donations only. Stupidity always expects to be financed. It is an entitlement.
from: Nobody Is Born Stupid
Without consumers, production is pointless: the economic engine chokes, and no profit can be made. Freedom, including that of consumption, became part of the equation of capitalism.
Facebook’s initial public offering generated at least 1000 new millionaires. That is the good news; talent and hard work are rewarded (sometimes well beyond the value to society). The less than good news is that, like their peers at other successful companies, they will never be interested in anything beyond their own prosperity—reproduced within the production and reproduction of capital.
To make bets using other people’s money—their life savings, their retirement accounts, their personal investments in their homes and cars and TV sets—is less than legitimate, and more than immoral. The fact that speculators find takers for such “products” is yet another symptom of the stupidity generated by post-industrial capitalism. Stupidity and amorality go hand in hand.
from: Production and Reproduction of Stupidity
Social issues, such as various types of inequality in America and political issues, such as the right and obligation to participate in decision-making, are simply ignored. More telling is the unwillingness to question why having more—on average, the American family owns more than 10,000 items—does not make us happier, if not brighter. Whether access to abundance is a blessing or a curse remains an unanswered question.
America’s current living standard is attained at the expense of the rest of the world.
from: The Empire Strikes Again: We Create Our Own Reality
“Every child pushed ahead” is closer to the truth than “No child left behind” is. It is more a Soviet-style propaganda slogan than an expression of freedom and democracy.
The downfall of the USA will not follow the model of Rome, but rather that of the Soviet Union: implosion from within. […] Rome did not fall because it was a communist hegemony or because it was a capitalist empire. It fell because its own structural viability was challenged.
Most Americans do not realize that Stalin coined the term “political correctness.”
from: A Tale of Two Superpowers
If the USA—and the rest of the western world—does not want to be overrun by billions of destitute and desperate immigrants, it had better deliver the much-needed assistance to their home address.
from: Nobody Can Un-Ring the Bells
Americans ought to finally realize that human beings elaborated the Constitution, and therefore human beings can just as well alter it.
from: By the People, For the People
It might be of marginal significance that Article VI excludes the possibility of an oath based on religion. Still oaths are taken on the Christian Bible (and on the Koran). The Oath of Office written in the Constitution does not include the ending phrase “so help me God.”
“President” is not a title for life. Yet every former president is addressed as though he still occupies the White House and runs the country. The unfortunate habit carries over to the senators and representatives, projecting upon them a false sense of their significance in the scheme of things. The American Revolution did not aim to create a new nobility of former presidents, representatives, senators, or Supreme Court justices. Even if it had, we do not need it.
The Bill of Rights, those amendments tacked on to the original Constitution, are now as misunderstood as they are glorified by most Americans.
The formula “natural rights,” however, and even the simpler notion of rights, is a human invention. It is important to understand this because human beings can endow themselves with rights, just as they can be deprived of them, or can conveniently deprive others.
from: “An America Worth Having”