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Schools train individuals to respond as a mass. Boys and girls are drilled in being bored, frightened, envious, emotionally needy, generally incomplete. A successful mass production economy requires such a clientele. A small business, small farm economy like that of the Amish requires individual competence, thoughtfulness, compassion, and universal participation; our own requires a managed mass of leveled, spiritless, anxious, familyless, friendless, godless, and obedient people who believe the difference between "Cheers" and "Seinfeld" is worth arguing about.
Having given up their idealism, they can get on with the business of survival: practicality and security, comfort and safety, which is what we are left with in the absence of purpose. So we suggest they major in something practical, stay out of trouble, don't take risks, build a résumé. We think we are practical and wise in the ways of the world. Really we are just broken and afraid. We are afraid on their behalf, and, less nobly, we are afraid of what their idealism shows us: the plunder and betrayal of our own youthful possibilities.
Originally posted by maudeeb
"It's not a question of enough, pal. It's a Zero Sum game - somebody wins, somebody loses. Money itself isn't lost or made, it's simply, transferred - from one perception to another. Like magic. This painting here? I bought it ten years ago for sixty thousand dollars, I could sell it today for six hundred. The illusion has become real, and the more real it becomes, the more desperately they want it. Capitalism at it's finest."
Originally posted by Avarus
I'm not so sure about that. If I was loaned sixty thousand dollars... I suddenly owe eighty thousand with the interest... that's twenty thousand that suddenly exists out of thin air... no more zero sum... now it's a -20000 game.
The global economic meltdown has already caused bank failures, bankruptcies, plant closings and foreclosures and will, in the coming year, leave many tens of millions unemployed across the planet. But another perilous consequence of the crash of 2008 has only recently made its appearance: increased civil unrest and ethnic strife. Someday, perhaps, war may follow.
As people lose confidence in the ability of markets and governments to solve the global crisis, they are likely to erupt into violent protests or to assault others they deem responsible for their plight, including government officials, plant managers, landlords, immigrants and ethnic minorities. (The list could, in the future, prove long and unnerving.) If the present economic disaster turns into what President Obama has referred to as a "lost decade," the result could be a global landscape filled with economically fueled upheavals.
Indeed, if you want to be grimly impressed, hang a world map on your wall and start inserting red pins where violent episodes have already occurred. Athens (Greece), Longnan (China), Port-au-Prince (Haiti), Riga (Latvia), Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sofia (Bulgaria), Vilnius (Lithuania) and Vladivostok (Russia) would be a start. Many other cities from Reykjavik, Paris, Rome and Zaragoza to Moscow and Dublin have witnessed huge protests over rising unemployment and falling wages that remained orderly thanks in part to the presence of vast numbers of riot police. If you inserted orange pins at these locations -- none as yet in the United States -- your map would already look aflame with activity. And if you're a gambling man or woman, it's a safe bet that this map will soon be far better populated with red and orange pins.