Friday, December 16, 2011

The Global Village and the Global Village Idiot

David Seaton's News Links
Decontent: Auto industry term for removing features from upcoming model years, usually to save money. Urban Dictionary
There is a very dangerous mood about. Simple contempt for the political representatives, the media and the giants of finance, abounds. This is an inflammable mass, like gasoline vapors, just waiting for a spark. So much contempt for others always contains much self-contempt, which is perhaps humanity's most murderous emotion.
America has the good fortune to possess noble, time-tested, institutions, but institutions without people to color in the lines are only historical curiosities to be studied in libraries. Society and institutions are not one and the same thing. Great institutions, of themselves, are not enough; the society that inhabits them counts for much more. Institutions and societies can be hollowed out and the process is mysterious to all who live through it. We must also include our new technologies in the mix; they lend the speed of light to man's natural cupidity and stupidity and make our era look even more sordidly tacky than it would if all we had were the steam engine and the telegraph to magnify our will and transmit our desires.
We have come to a point where, with this alignment of the planets, in many countries around the world anything could happen. Only our long democratic history and our constitutional traditions reassure us that all will finally be well.
However, if we say that Guantanamo is twenty first century America's answer to habeas corpus, FISA, twenty first century America's answer to English common law, the Republican primary debates twenty first century America's answer to Abraham Lincoln and the bailout of the banks, twenty first century America's answer to free market capitalism; then how much of all that is really left?
A global village is bound to have a global village idiot. DS

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