From the Flyover Press: “Society in a Collapsing Empire”

In Lifestyle on August 28, 2012 at 11:51 am

[Dr. Jimmy T. “Gunny” LaBaume runs up an anarcho-captialist flag from atop his hill at Flyover Press (quicklink at the top of this page). “The Gunny” is a retired full professor of economics (Sul Ross State University) and he presents economic philosophy in a way designed not to make the reader’s eyes glaze over. LaBaume concluded just under thirty years (months short of full retirement) in the United States Marine Corps. As he puts it, “I got tired of committing treason.” LaBaume and I agree on many things and we disagree on many others. His offerings are not for the timid or for those who have been conditioned to recoil at the use of “forbidden” words. His personally authored material is thought provoking and he does yeoman’s work to glean a variety of work from libertarian writers and present those works to his readers. In gentlemanly fashion, LaBaume has graciously given Phyne Dyning permission to re-publish articles, such as the following piece. Phyne Dyning has reciprocated with permission for Flyover Press to re-publish its libertarian ramblings as well.]


Society in a Collapsing Empire

Morris Berman is a prolific writer on the social decline of the American Colossus and a fellow expat to Mexico. In Dark Ages America and Why America Failed: The Roots of Imperial Decline, he details the sordid mess the empire finds itself in. His conclusion is true; there will be no happy ending. At least, not for the indoctrinated, self-centered, materialist masses who failed to note the writing on the wall.
Indeed, without valiant role models, today’s youth have degenerated into a pack of animals, not surprisingly since they are taught that they are animals. Not unlike how the US Government uses social networking to overthrow foreign regimes, teenagers trash and rob businesses by the hundreds in coordinated Facebook fashion.
Quoting social scientists before him, Berman begins with the hustler mentality of the average American and the solitary goals of self-indulgence and compulsive consumerism. Where once there were family, friends and culture now resides a “technopoly” or a “totalitarian technocracy” which “eliminates everything else”.
[Editor’s Note: Self-indulgent narcissism is best exemplified in “social media” like Twitter and Facebook. Friends are no longer real people with whom we have built rapport and common ground. Instead, “friends” are now collected like Boy Scout merit badges on a Facebook page. Small businesses and megacorporations, even funeral homes, pester Facebook users to “like” their business and, thereby, create a virtual scalp for the business to dangle from its saddle.]
Where people are treated like machines and cultural life forms bequeathed to the “sovereignty of technology.” Where if one is not very careful, the virtual world and (social) network lead one to isolation “because if you are at home alone with a screen, that’s where you are.” Where brain function takes on the characteristics of the telecommunication device. Where the Internet teaches malleable users to skim read and not contemplate, permanently fragmenting the thought process and ability to attach oneself to a thought or idea. Yes, we are all guilty at times of being sucked into the Internet Matrix. Nevertheless, a studies point out the obvious: “people who are constantly online can develop mental disorders“.
[Editor’s Note: The corporatocracy has co-opted computer programmer language and has inserted it into the workplace lexicon. Workers (machines) are exhorted to “network” and “multi-task”. MilitarySpeak from the plutocracy’s imperial legions has invaded the vernacular as well. People and things are not “placed” or “sent”. They are “deployed”.]
Essentially, we get a nation of aggressive, rude, zombie, techno-boor buffoons. Berman contrasts the clash-of-civilizations between the Civil War North and South. One can spy the same differences between a place like the USSA and Mexico today, although even that is rapidly in a state of flux. The Northerner robot is “coldly burning spirit, tenacious, egotistic, cold” and with “frozen imagination.”
Comparing this mentality, I recall passing through O’Hare airport recently. I asked a food stand operator and her co-worker, who had the register open and was counting currency, if she would give me a dollar’s worth of change so I could make a phone call the old fashioned way. She immediately went into an incoherent rant, something about “no authorization…manager” and that I had to make a purchase.
[Editor’s Note: How true! Dare to ask a robotnik clerk to make some sort of concession to make a sale and he/she will immediately launch into a tirade about “policy”. I vow, in my next employee-driven enterprise, to fire any staffer who dares to utter “It’s policy” to a customer.]
In Mexico I recall a $2.50 taxi ride I once took to work where the driver so enjoyed our conversation on life in America that he waived the cab fare, which I of course paid.
Americans today eye one another with dollars signs, asking what’s in it for them. True compassion and care for the other can be a rarity. You get fired from your job for saving lives, such as this lifeguard on a Florida beach. I have also witnessed immigrants from traditional societies convert to this ruthless religion of money worship. Instead of giving freely or accepting gifts without thought, they would in all seriousness ask: “why is this person giving me this, what is it they really want?”
Berman notes how “social gatherings in the North invariably have an agenda” with an “ulterior motive lurking behind it and that motive is business.” Down here in the Mexican South, we’re just happy to break bread with one another, no strings attached.
[Editor’s Note: I noticed this phenomenon in Israel where strangers share a trestle table in a restaurant or bar. Nothing is expected, except a place to sit, and the proximity of other diners is not regarded as an opportunity to “network”. I learned this the hard way many years ago when I smiled broadly and introduced myself to an Israeli couple who sat across from me at such a table. “We’re here to listen to music and enjoy our beer…” the man said “…not to have a business meeting.”
 The future belongs to those who are civilized, honorable and practical, like this young teenager who is building his own home with his own two hands. It also belongs to the benevolent. Go buy that troubled man on the street a hot meal and have a chat with him. Remember to do something nice for someone every day, it will bring joy, laughter and add an extra day to your life. Demonstrate to the state that private charity beats out government handouts, especially when a country like the USSA decides in its usual grand inept fashion to do stupid things like “promote American food assistance programs among Mexican nationals.”
[Editor’s Note: And there it is! The future does belong to those who are civilized, honorable, and practical. Stop having money drafted from your pay for the United Fund and, instead, practice individual and personal charity directly to those in need. Get to know the impoverished, the suffering, and the marginalized. They do not exist because you, in a benevolent moment of isolated guilt, make a check mark on an HR authorization for a deduction from pay. PPS: Here is an area where I must disagree with the author. Poor, is poor. The location where an unfortunate was born does not impact their eligibility to get charity from me. A person’s allegiance should not be based upon where he/she emerged from the womb. “Citizenship” is automatic branding of ownership by the state.]

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