Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Voices from the net: the fascist option

from the comments section of JHK's Clusterfuck Nation

from Cougar :
"...I remain skeptical on the issue of revolt. I'm trying to envision our suburbs, currently full of obese Happy Motorist bobbleheads, as future hotbeds of radicalism and am totally failing to do so. They are just too happy being belly up to the trough. Domesticated. Brainwashed. The total tools of the merchant and banking classes. People that are well fed and well entertained do not revolt. Panem et circenses, or give them bread and circuses. Now if you let them starve for a while, maybe a couple years, maybe they'll turn on you. But for a long time you can threaten them with "financial system dislocations", whatever that means, and they'll fall right in line. I think the biggest risk is that the suburban SUV class will find themselves ripe for the picking by some demagogue who is willing to promise them that s/he will rape another group of obviously less useful citizens in an effort to prop up their own end of the pig trough. I'll even go out on a limb and predict that before Americans will have an opportunity to test their revolutionary zeal, they'll have to turn away from the chance to have our very own McFascist experience and a real shot at generational ignominy right alongside an earlier lost generation of Germans. Given the two options -- to fight, or to let someone else be destroyed -- I think we know which way it usually falls. "

From Hokey Pokey:
"America can be totally 'locked down' for the most part in a week or two. The grocery stores have 3-4 days inventory. The feeder warehouses may have several weeks to supply the region but not with all food stuffs. The interstate highway system can be stopped dead in its tracks with a few well placed traffic accidents as it is now, imagine the authorities putting up road blocks at key pinch points. Let's see, no food, no gas, no escape routes. I guess shutting off the lights and water wouldn't be too hard either. Your run of the mill person has about a ten mile maximum walking radius to travel in a day if they are lucky. Add little kids and old or disabled folks and the vast majority of Americans are going No Where in a 'lock down' mode. Will they walk or talk or crawl on their bellies like a reptile? Will they sit up and bark like a dog to get a handout from the government soup kitchen? You bet. Do Americans overestimate their own capabilities? You bet. Are they soft and spoiled and think they are God's gift to the world? You bet. They are in for the Awakening of their lives. The U.S. public (except for the warrior class) has no spine for violence. Do you want fries with your McFascist Double Deluxe Burger?"

4 comments:

  1. Do I think that we have failed to offer a compelling breadth and depth of education for millions of people? Yes. Do I think that we have allowed corporations to abuse our economic and political systems in order to abuse the environment and the lives of billions of people? Yes. Do I think each of us bears some responsibility for where we are and where we are going as a species. Yes.

    Do I think ranting and bleating about how stupid and sheep-like people are is productive in the least? No.

    Before people start the whole "Oh, look at me I'm all superior because I know that the masses are weak so that means I must be strong" I would like to know if they've ever spent 13 hours a day, 6 days a week for years working in a coal mine, or a factory or have put their lives on the line as a cop, have worked in a hospital 70 hours a week because of the nursing shortage, or have taken the time to go out to their community and give back to the less fortunate, the less educated, the less privileged.

    Instead of worrying about some mythical US Government turning the nation into a gulag (the notion of which has been kicking around for decades and decades and while we ARE in a process of watching civil liberties disappear I think this idea of a "lock down" is the secular version of Christians waiting for the rapture), I'd like to see people (including myself) getting involved in making our education system better and helping communities become more self-sufficient where they can. The easy arrogance demonstrated in by these two writers serves to further their own sense of self-worth far more than it does to serve their community or their country.

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  2. Hi Peter,
    Here's my 2 cents...
    Waiting for mass revolt is a passive and ineffective form of protest. I think Cougar is right on here. Sure, he's bitter and condescending. How else can you talk about the people who are mindlessly subordinate to consumer directives? I DO worry about Fascism. We should all be worried about it! The concept of American Immunity to Tyranny is very dangerous.
    It's unfair to denegrate these sentiments as being unproductive. These sentiments are a necessary part of the discussion. These folks may well be VERY active agents for change. Sometimes being analytical means being just plain old fashioned negative and disrepectful. Calling them out stifles the impulse to speak truthfully and if we limit this kind of speech to exploited coal miners, we are truly fucked. I know there needs to be another side and I get your frustration with whining, but I hand it to these folks for putting their thoughts together and putting them out there, if only to make me feel less alone and insane for having the same ones.

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  3. I think what gets me most is this reflexive need to denigrate just those people "who are mindlessly subordinate to consumer directives." People do not live their lives waking up each day and saying to themselves "oh, I think I'll be a mindless sheep and submit to the needs of my economic overlords." They worry about paying their bills, they try to work hard and provide for their families, they struggle with additions, they make art and they dance and they laugh and they read stories to their kids and they may not ever have had the education you or I had, and they work long, back-breaking hours, and they drink and they fight and they screw and they watch too much tv and eat too much junk food and most of them try their best to live a decent life.

    When schools do not teach civics, when we abandon our children to the logic of tests instead of teaching critical thinking and creativity and encouraging curiosity and analysis, (and this has been going on in our schools for decades) then you have a large portion of the population who has not been equipped with a set of tools that enables them to peer through the veil of consumerism and late capitalism with the clarity that you may wish for, but I don't see what is gained by the arrogance that comes from the above writers.

    However, I'm not stifling them. I'm not saying they shouldn't say whatever they want. I'm simply saying I don't think it's a useful or productive dialogue when addressing the problems that face our country and our species to use the nameless, faceless spectre of the mindless consumer masses as a whipping post.

    That said, I'm all for things that make you feel less alone and insane!!! :)

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  4. Peter,
    Two great articles for you from Vermont Commons writer Ron Miller. They speak to exactly the enormously important issue you raise:

    http://www.vtcommons.org/journal/2009/02/ron-miller-education-design-decentralizing-educational-authority

    and

    http://www.vtcommons.org/journal/2009/01/ron-miller-education-design-toward-educational-freedom

    Enjoy!

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