Monday, March 23, 2009

Bank bailouts? - What's needed is a MORAL bailout

Chris Hedges is always worth reading. This 'Truthdig' essay from him struck some particularly resonant chords for me. He castigates the USA for its nihilism and the co-opting of its universities to the requirements of the 'Corporate State' and the 'American Imperial Project', but the general thrust is no less applicable to the UK and I have 'Anglicised' a few paragraphs below as a taster.
"In decaying societies, politics become theatre. The Elites, who have hollowed out the democratic system to serve the Corporate State, rule through image and presentation. They express indignation at RBS bonuses/pensions and empathy with a working/middle class they have spent the last few decades disenfranchising. They make promises to desperate families that they know will never be fulfilled. When the spotlights go on they read their lines with appropriate emotion. Once they go off, they make sure RBS, Northern Rock, HBOS and other Banksters and large corporations, have the hundreds of billions of pounds in losses they incurred playing casino capitalism repaid, with taxpayer money....

We kneel before a cult of the self, elaborately constructed by the architects of our consumer society, which dismisses compassion, sacrifice for the less fortunate, and honesty. The methods used to attain what we want, we are told by reality television programs, business schools and self-help gurus, are irrelevant. Success - always defined in terms of money and power - is its own justification. The capacity for manipulation is what is most highly prized. Our moral collapse is as terrifying, and as dangerous, as our economic collapse......

Our elites are imploding. Their fraud and corruption are slowly being exposed as the disparity between their words and our reality becomes wider and more apparent. The rage that is bubbling up across the country will have to be countered by the Elite with less subtle forms of control. But unless we grasp the “societal play of forces that operates beneath the surface of political forms” we will be cursed with a more ruthless form of corporate power, one that does away with artifice and the seduction of a consumer society and instead wields power through naked repression....."
Read the whole thing - it's worth it.

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