Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Decline of American Society II: "Dying Americans" and "White Ghost Dance"

I found this blog which is blowing my mind, because this is a someone who seems to be writing about a few of the cultural things I have touched on this blog.

Read my article: Generation X: The Scapegoat Generation is Dying Young

Now read his:

The Dying Americans

"It's not people dying in the streets, though, unlike some of the more feverish TEOTWAKI peak oil predictions. From the research, elevated levels of suicide and drug abuse are the prime culprits. It's the million little deaths that go unnoticed in the obituary columns of decaying communities all across this formerly prosperous nation. Someone overdosed in a back alley. Or a meth lab exploded. Or maybe they were killed in a car accident, or decapitated while driving their motorcycle too fast. Or they were shot by police. Or they are dying of liver failure by age 40. Or, increasingly, they are ground down slowly by the many chronic diseases such as diabetes that are symptomatic of the chronic stress and horrid (yet highly profitable) junk food diet of most Americans. It's a dieoff all right, but it's never framed as such. You can see it all around you: the overcrowded jails filled with unemployed people, the overcrowded hospitals filled with sick, obese people, the folks standing on the medians and freeway offramps with cardboard signs and living their cars, all while the media just goes on reporting about spectator sports and celebrity gossip as though nothing bad is happening. Ignorance really is bliss.

The obvious analogy here is Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union, as many people writing about the study have pointed out: The Dying Russians (New York Review of Books). But there was no "collapse" of the United States. Or was there? Instead, we're told by the media and politicians that everything in every way is getting better and better for everyone. Just look at the latest iPhone! Television screens are huge! Even the very poor have indoor plumbing! And you can Google anything you like, so what are you complaining about, loser?

Everything is famed as personal failure, thus the dieoff is just a million stories of individual failure with no overall pattern. Nothing to see here, move along. Study and "work hard" (whatever that means), and you'll be okay. Certainly that fear is behind the epidemic of overwork, presenteeism and grinding hours of unpaid overtime Americans are putting in at work in the hope of not being next. It's like being the model prisoner in a concentration camp, though. Ask the turkeys this month if being a good turkey had any effect on their ultimate fate. The Parable of the Happy Turkey (Global Guerrillas)

Up until now, Americans have been happy turkeys. Thus, they cannot comprehend what is happening to them. In America it is taken for granted that the ultimate locus of control is on the individual, and that there is no such thing as society. That belief has been heavily promoted over the past thirty years, along with the "create your own reality" and other assorted positive thinking nonsense (thanks Oprah!), and I think we can see why.

And since we see this always as personal failure and are not allowed to see it as systemic failure, the poor and formerly middle classes take it out on themselves instead of the system. After all, America is the land of opportunity; if you don't "make it' (whatever that means), you have no one to blame but yourself! Of course it is not true; the musical chairs job market and winner-take-all economy means that only a tiny number of people even have a shot at the middle class anymore, and a lot of that is due to geography, pre-existing social connections and luck.

They don't have to kill you if they can get you to kill yourself.

And although framed as a tragedy, I wonder if to some extent this behavior on the part of working class males is a logical response to living in the kind of society that the United States has become. In a society that has no use for them anymore and where they have no sense of purpose and no hope for the future, it seems like suicide is a rational response. After a certain age, you realize that you have been sorted to the "losers" pile. If you live in the vast suburban flatland of Middle America, you likely live in a decrepit house somewhere in the anonymous miasma of strip-mall suburbia, buy disposable plastic crap made in China from baleful fluorescent-lit Dollar Stores, drive an older model pickup truck or SUV with a bad muffler and bad brakes over potholed streets and under rusty bridges, while all the jobs around you aside from the hospital and the university (which are mainly female-staffed) are minimum wage, dead-end jobs where you have to smile and wear a uniform. You realize you're never going to meet the girl of your dreams since hypergamy is still baked into female mating choice, despite what some feminists claim. You realize you will never get that that great job that will allow you to be upwardly mobile and live in relative ease and comfort, and life is a bitter, hard struggle relieved only by the occasional joint and video games. Or you're divorced and paying child support to your former wife who's managed to keep herself presentable enough to hook up with one of the few remaining alpha-males, and half your income goes to support the kids you never see. Or your deadbeat loser children have been working multiple McJobs and living in the basement for years with no hope of even affording a one-bedroom apartment, and between them and the wife you never speak to anymore, you can't even get into your own damn bathroom. You realize that, like most Americans, you will never afford to retire and will have to work your boring, dead-end job under your asshole supervisor until you literally drop dead. So why wait?

I mean, who wouldn't kill themselves or anesthetize themselves with drugs and booze in an environment like this?"

Suicide is never to be the solution but definitely he has touched upon something happening in our society.

What happens in a society where people are told they are nothing over and over and there is no place for them? I believe American as a society is definitely culturally and economically collapsing now. I'm not sure we will get a black swan event like a giant war or anything else to push us over the cliff, but there's a slow collapse now happening. You see the rot all over the place though they are trying to "hide it" and they deny it. Talking about these things is risky. Cognitive dissonance can get people angry at you, if you talk about this stuff. Some are feeling the effects of the "collapse" a lot sooner then others. 

The blog author wrote a second part to this article called:

The White Ghost Dance

He has nailed the effects of the neo-liberalism, prison-industrial complex,  the scapegoating of minority groups, the oppression of the working class and the dog eat dog ethos of this society. Make sure you read the whole thing it's very worthwhile.

The old Soviet model suppressed “free speech” and locked dissidents up in gulags. Under the American model, you’re “free” to say whatever you like, because it makes no difference whatsoever to the people in charge thanks to the influence of the mainstream media. And instead of gulags, “undesirables” are just deprived of the means of subsistence until they just sort of, you know, go away. Or maybe they are arrested for some sort of imaginary “crime” like drug possession or failing to pay a parking ticket. Even homelessness is a crime now. As Goethe said, “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”

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