Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Face of America

Via Jessie, Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism brought a very interesting Bloomberg interview with Jeffrey Sachs to my attention. For me the look on the face of the interviewer as Sachs delivers a few truths to the listeners is priceless. Here it is:

I'm very troubled by this interview. It shouldn't be revelatory. It should not be that the information delivered is shocking, yet it is. More troubling still, despite the 'anti rich' tone, is the absence of any mention of the money system, of steady state growth, of the necessity of sustainability. These obvious and vital points are still gazillions of light years away from mainstream American opinion, thinking, imagination. This cannot end well. The US is not capable of a revolution as peaceful as that accomplished in Egypt.

I wrote the following at Naked Capitalism, but want it up here at Econosophy too:

What pleased me most about the Sachs interview was the man’s exasperation. It was palpable. I know little about Sachs or his views, past or present, so can make no judgment as to any change of heart on his part. However, the interview was revealing because obvious and simple truths were spoken which shocked and are shocking to a country which does not know the wider world any more, nor even itself. America has declined in status dramatically over the last few decades, and that decline is accelerating. The laughable circus it trots out day after day and calls democracy is an embarrassment to humanity. In pursuit of profit it has blindly dumbed down its people to ignorant consumers, consumers who tote guns and shout slogans as programmed automatons, and those slogans most often are some salivating, Pavlovian grunts to do with ‘freedom.’ The irony is bitter indeed. It is as if the US’ founding fathers were in fact Monty Python script writers: “Yes, we’re all different!”

America was once Europe’s dream of what might be. Something happened on the way to the bank though, something dank and fetid. The stench is rising. The explosion is going to be stratospheric.

Watch the whole thing.


Edwardo said...

FWIW, perhaps you are aware that Mr. Sachs was responsible for administering devastating "shock therapy" years ago to Russia, among other nations. With that in mind, it is somewhat galling to see him cast as some sort of truth teller presently. This isn't to say that he wasn't telling the truth, just that I would prefer to hear it from someone other than him.

Toby said...

Thanks for the info, Edwardo. I'd seen bits and pieces along those lines here and there, but haven't really looked into the guy. And in truth I can't be appalled anymore, which is perhaps a good thing, because it's going to get a lot worse in the US before it gets any better. Only a tiny minority are capable of dispassionate critical thinking it seems.

I watched a BBC documentary called "The Century of the Self" over the weekend, four 1hr parts. If you haven't seen it I recommend it highly. Very important information in there.

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