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August 26, 2007

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Un Autre Singe

Here's an interesting take on what is OK as a citizen these days. Is it collective or individual choice ? I can't tell ;-)

Democracy's new dawn is on CCTV: the security state as infotainment

Phil

Right on point. From protest video direct to your file at the Homeland Security Department. "Please recite your name and address slowly."

Gerry

What's weird is how little difference it makes to everyday life, economics aside. Bad as things are, there is little actual impediment to the flows of information. The spooks can only filter some of it and look at a very small fraction of that. Anything more restricts commerce and they can't have that.

If some of us didn't notice the loss of our democracy, the rest would never know it. Some never will. That hard-core 17% who still love Cheney.

Phil

The illusion of news, the illusion of democracy. We still have television news and we still have elections, so we are Free.

Gerry

Well yes, but as a practical matter we still have a great deal of freedom of action, travel, speech, as long as you don't cross certain lines, and if you live in a dumpster the lines are very wide. We even have enough freedom of action to take back out democracy, if enough of us care enough. Which is right to the point of your main post. We have enough wealth and freedom to insist on all of it. What are we collectively willing to take a stand for.

Phil

Yes, and it begins with snapping out of the sleepwalker's trance.

Un Autre Singe

The layaway plan, leasing and easy credit such as sub-prime mortgages are the real foundation of USian democracy ... they keep those not in the upper-class able to delude themselves that they too may make it there someday or at least able to pretend to themselves that they are en route.

Why would anyone want to pay attention to anything that gets in the way of their delusion ?

Phil

Anxiety, let alone panic, are treatable.

No Blood for Hubris

Yes, exactly.

Phil

Aspirational goals - you know really that unites us one and all. The lower income person dreaming of a home, and locking into a mortgage he can't ultimately pay is hooked via a dream, an aspiration, a sense of who he really is, what he is and deserves. Philanthropy too is built so often around aspiration, not just for society, but a yearning to be a certain kind of person, to be validated as such. "This is me," says the new homeowner. "This is me," says the giver, "this who I most deeply am." Critical thinking, a conscience, has not kept pace with our ability to manipulate ourselves and one another. We are literally dying inside for lack of art and philosophy, the arts of real freedom, the liberal arts.

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