Sunday, November 14, 2021

A Nation Divided against Itself

Matt Taibbi offers some cogent thinking about the current divided states of America. Why do our overlords in the media and in Silicon Valley use propaganda to militate against social cohesion?

Taibbi suggests that they do not live in America, but live in their own separate reality, cut off and distanced from the hoi polloi. If, he continues, they can continue to set a group of proles against a group of plebes, citizens will not unite to question their power, their authority and their wealth.

It’s a thought well worth thinking, from Taibbi’s Substack:

In the Trump era, all this has been turned upside down. There’s actually more depraved, dishonest propaganda than before, but the new legends are explicitly anti-unifying and anti-patriotic. The people who run this country seem less invested than ever in maintaining anything like social cohesion, maybe because they mostly live in wealth archipelagoes that might as well be separate nations (if they even live in America at all).

All sense of noblesse oblige is gone. The logic of our kleptocratic economy has gone beyond even the “Greed is Good” mantra of the fictional Gordon Gekko, who preached that pure self-interest would make America more efficient, better-run, less corrupt. Even on Wall Street, nobody believes that anymore. America is a sinking ship, and its CEO class is trying to salvage the wreck in advance, extracting every last dime before Battlefield Earth breaks out.

It’s only in this context that these endless cycles of hyper-divisive propaganda make sense. It’s time to start wondering if maybe it’s not a coincidence that politicians and pundits alike are pushing us closer and closer to actual civil war at exactly the moment when corporate wealth extraction is reaching its highest-ever levels of efficiency. Keeping the volk at each other’s throats instead of pitchforking the aristocrats is an old game, one that’s now gone digital and works better than ever. That might be worth remembering after the coming verdict, and ahead of whatever other hyper-publicized panic comes down the pipeline next.


Sam L. said...

It's silly of me, but I could see building a 50 foot wall around Silicon Valley, with anti-aircraft guns every 100 yards...

markedup2 said...

corporate wealth extraction

So close, yet so blinkered. Please explain to me how Solyndra was "corporate wealth extraction"? It was government handouts to the government connected.

I suppose that the administrative salary bloat at universities could be considered "corporate wealth extraction", as universities are corporations, although we don't usually consider them that way.

Try "clerisy wealth extraction".