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What happens to a society when thinking is eviscerated and is disdained in favor of raw emotion?  What happens when political discourse functions as a bunker rather than a bridge? What happens when the spheres of morality and spirituality give way to the naked instrumentalism of a savage market rationality? What happens when time becomes a burden for most people and surviving becomes more crucial than trying to lead a life with dignity? What happens when domestic terrorism, disposability, and social death become the new signposts and defining features of a society? What happens to a social order ruled by an “economics of contempt” that blames the poor for their condition and wallows in a culture of shaming? What happens when loneliness and isolation become the preferred modes of sociality? What happens to a polity when it retreats into private silos and is no longer able to connect personal suffering with larger social issues? What happens to thinking when a society is addicted to speed and over-stimulation? What happens to a country when the presiding principles of a society are violence and ignorance? What happens is that democracy withers not just as an ideal but also as a reality, and individual and social agency become weaponized as part of the larger spectacle and matrix of violence? More
You have a 17-year-old daughter... let’s call her Rachel, or perhaps Nadia... raised in a home where dialogue, debate and disagreement have been served as so much a mainstay of the family dinner every night for years. On holidays, it just meant longer and louder arguments with more folks to piss off. Yet, nothing made you prouder. She had flourished in a “safe-zone” where her view and voice did not take a back seat to any others simply because she was young, female or provocative in her thought. It doesn’t get any better than this.
One day the search for the right college begins. Sure, the distance from home and physical layout is important and her personal safety paramount, but that’s just the start. You’ve got this list of grand, impressive, perhaps historical, universities to check out with reputations for not just academic achievement but with a well settled commitment to free speech and thought; a safe zone... safe from outside intimidation that seeks to limit or suppress how she grows... not just as a student but more important, a human being.
William Engdahl recently explained how Washington used the corrupt Brazilian elite, which answers to Washington, to remove the duly elected President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, for representing the Brazilian people rather than the interests of Washington. Unable to see through the propaganda of unproven charges, Brazilians acquiesced in the removal of their protector, thereby providing the world another example of the impotence of democracy.
Everyone should read Engdahl’s article. He reports that part of the attack on Rousseff stemmed from Brazil’s economic problems deliberately created by US credit rating agencies as part of Washington’s attack to down grade Brazilian debt, which set off an attack on the Brazilian currency, the cruziero. More
Exclusively in the New Print Issue of CounterPunch
Alan Nasser digs into Hillary Clinton’s horrifying nuclear weapons policy, where the use of a new generation of nukes is viewed as a legitimate tactic for conventional warfare. Hillary’s Mother Complex: Ruth Fowler dissects Hillary’s strange brand of feminism. Inside Our Camps: Lee Ballinger recounts the appalling history of the US internment camps for Japanese Americans; Up in Smoke: Josh Schlossberg investigates how the corporate environmental movement quietly promotes biomass energy; Beyond Progressivism: Andy Smolski charts how the progressive movement got coopted by Big Capital. PLUS: Jeffrey St. Clair on melting glaciers; Yvette Carnell on the meaning of Colin Kaepernick; Paul Buhle on Margaret Sanger; Mike Whitney on Janet Yellen and Big Money; Ed Leer on the films of John Carpenter; Chris Floyd on ISIS and the new neocons; Daniel Raventos and Julie Wark on Europe’s Rebel Cities; and Alan Wieder on Studs Terkel on Third parties.