There are many ways to react to the steady implosion of current Western culture. The problems are fundamental but the extent, speed, and imminence of failure covers a fairly wide range. As one of the remaining very large states, the US is both worse off and failing faster particularly with the lurch into ignorance and fascism represented by the current regime, but includes areas that are not nearly as bad as other large sections of the country. This same situation applies across the wide range of postindustrial states. This diversity causes much of the confusion, I think, that is evident in many of the responses. As must be continuously repeated when dealing with paradigmatic change, the nonlinear complexity is totally unsuited to instinctive human thought. That makes it possible for specific comments to be correct in specific detail but wrong in many other ways.

umair haque, as usual, does an excellent job of articulating the large picture while putting it in human terms. Unfortunately the diverse nature of problem and reaction at many levels means you can always both wrong and right. In general he has articulated essential problems by pointing out the rapid decline of the US political and economic systems with structural failure at the broad cultural level. All western states share broad aspects of paradigmatic change in culture, economics, and politics. There are also aspects and regions that are examples of the positive but these may not reflect the overall condition.

Most of the counter responses immediately moved into very specific, personalized situations connecting to specific areas or even neighborhoods. At that level people are almost always friendly and considerate. That does not change the accelerating descent into fascistic denial of others or broader political tendencies to destroy other people or to act on the basis of greed without shame. At the same time much of Europe is clearly far superior in life style, health, and security than the US. The nearly complete denial of that as even a possibility is a clear indication of the critical state of collapse in the US empire. There are European states that are also in serious decline. None of these are arguments that work against the essence of Umair’s position.

The fact that an essentially immoral and ignorant political set of attitudes can be allowed to gain even partial recognition in states that are basically representational is indicative of fundamental flaws in the political and social structure. We already know that the current capitalist economic systems cannot survive in a sustainable 21st century economy. The flawed nature of competition and continuously accelerating consumption is the malignancy that is beginning to destroy those states that have more fully succumbed to hypercapitalism. The successful states, European and others, that have focused on happiness or social responsibility suggests that there is a balance or hybrid social structure that could be emulated in certain conditions. Unfortunately hypercapitalism and militarism doesn’t appear to have a possible road to take. But we will see.

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Educator, CIO, retired entrepreneur, grandfather with occasional fits of humor in the midst of disaster. . .

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