Saturday, December 31, 2005

Americans in a bubble

Did you see the recent Newsweek magazine that had Bush in a bubble on the cover? Well here's an article entitled "Americans in the bubble" that asserts that the people are in one too. Here's an excerpt:

Bush may not like to think of himself as a product of evolution; and his critics would find it hard to believe that he could be a progeny of "intelligent design." As a compromise, let's just advance the notion that he might be an archetype of mediocrity, a generational transplant from a once ruling class that forever lingers, living off its panache.

But whether he is, or has been, living in a bubble needn't be critically important to America; not to a democratic, politically-aware America. What is profoundly important, however, is whether Americans, not Bush, live in a bubble. For if we do, true democracy and political relevancy may be going down the tubes... and fast! After all, if Bush lives in a bubble, he does so by choice. But if Americans have accepted to live in a bubble, they have done so by surrendering their choice... by welcoming the captivity that comes with fear and ignorance.

Neither ideas nor ideologies are to be blame for the current state of affairs, for our imprisonment in the bubble. Americans are not captive of religion, but of religious quacks; they are not captive of free enterprise, but of predatory capitalists; they are not captive of some repressive form of government, but of corrupt politicians that milk the ideals of democracy for their own selfish ends.

When it comes to foreign policy, most politicians of the two acceptable denominations, aided by a "respectful" self-censured mainstream press, have pushed us into a bubble by instilling in us, in soft tones at times and vociferously on occasions, the need for dominance over other people in the world. Thus, America's three-prong foreign policy that spells empire: protection for Israel- under any and all circumstances; protection for our commercial colonialism- to maintain our so-called "standard of living" ["standard of consumption" would be more apropos]; and, of recent vintage, the right to preemptively check-mate any nation that might dare challenge America militarily, even in what could be interpreted as self-defense. In our bubble, we fail to understand why this behavior is so abhorrent to other peoples, other cultures, other nations.

On the home front, the US, for all its wealth in both resources and resourcefulness, has become the planet's breeding grounds for consumerism and greed. The government, shamelessly during the past five years, has disregarded meeting the most basic needs of America's growing "throw-away" class, now adding up to one-fourth of the nation's population... regardless of what government-friendly statistics [on poverty] say.

America is fast changing from a society with a long tradition of acceptable pluralism and charity-consciousness to a faith-based nation where patriotism wears best with a flag in the lapel, and skillful business deception is allowed to rule the day. It's this ongoing change, and the inability of Americans to see it, much less stop it, that gives credence to the proposition that we do live in a bubble.

Okay. You've heard me say this before - many times, in fact - but I'm going to say it again. Please don't get all your news from the mainstream American press. If you do, you'll stay in that bubble for sure. Here are some sources I can recommend:

The Guardian
Smirking Chimp
Common Dreams
Media Matters
Truthout News
Unknown News

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:07 PM

    Thank you for the additional sources.


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