Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Dawn of Anomie in America

When I was born in 1955 (see...I am over the hill...) there were 2.5 billion people living on earth. Now, within 3 generations, we are pushing  a population of 7 billion, going on 9 billion. Meanwhile earth has rapidly become a disaster ship  with  chaos spreading like clouds of radio-active contamination... lapping like  tsunami waves against the shore of human sanity.

anomie, photo by Ana SusanJ
In 1897 the great founder of Sociology, Emile Durkheim called this condition "anomie". Borrowed from Greek, anomie literally means"without law" --a normlessness and a progression of depersonalization that  eventually leads to abnormal acts like suicide on the one hand, and and 'civilized violence' like torture and indiscriminate killings in acts of war on the other.

 Don't think just of 'suicide bombers', think of the epidemic of people ending their own lives in despair. Anomie is like an illness affecting whole societies, and it is a contagious condition, it tends to spread. I would argue that 'anomie' is the true cause of the rapidly diminishing 'carrying capacity' of the earth, even more so than rapidly diminishing resources such as oil. Maybe it is just pointing at the same thing: Peak Oil is Peak Humanity.  Peak culture, peak education, peak power, peak travel, etc.

If we had some basic values  in place, such as equality and solidarity  between one-another, and have a healthy "spiritual" relationship with our mother earth, we would not be in this situation at all -- any challenge that humanity would face, would seem surmountable. Alas, this is not the world we live in. We live in an out of control cascading and unravelling eco-drama, motored by neurotic minds, clinging to very primitive fantasies of power. "To be, is to kill" that seems to be the credo of empire --when there seems to be a problem, we will invent a war: war on cancer, war on drugs, war on insects, war on the poor , war war. Because of the blatant inequality, War and Chaos are spreading as rapidly as the 'masters of war' can sell the weapons. From their point of view, Lybia must just be a devil-ish marketing plan...."First we sell weapons to suppress and controll people. Then people get angry slowly but surely, and challenge the regime. Next the regime uses the weapons we sold them on their own populations. And finally, the white knight --who Obama really is-- comes out, and sides with the rebels, and will try to sell them more arms somehow (maybe through Saudi Arabia??--just an idea) and bombs with uranium tipped bombs, the weapons we just sold them to smithereens....we will sell it as a humanitarian mission at home....uh....brilliant...."

The Egyptian revolt in particular has inspired so many here, because we realize that the puppet dictator Mubarak has been kept in power for so long because of our support. And that kind of makes us a dictatorship as well --doesn't it ? The US is kind of like a whore in bed with dictators as long as  the dictators buy our weapons. Apparently there is an elaborate slush fund operation whereby our support for the dictatorship immediately flows back into the coffers of our weapon manifacturers and keep our last industry, "weapons" going full steam (on the backs of the taxpayers).

The American position has in so many ways become hopeless in the Middle East: too many contradictions. The world has had to content with Reagan, Father Bush, Clinton (8 years) Bush Junior,  and now Obama. They have all been complicitous in international relations and more and more so, towards their own population. What these presidents have had in common is a deep propensity to lie, as if they were involved in the deepest cover-up ever -- the American population has been bought and sold.

 In so many ways American governance has been a succession of dictator ship lineages of two families: The Bushes (including Reagan) and the Clintons.  Their interests have now merged.  During Obama's administration, the pentagon, the federal bank and the supreme court are staffed by the same cronies that served Bush and Clinton. Obama in many ways represents  a consolidation of  militarized corporatism --or fascism as it used to be known.  And traditionally a ' security state' relies on torture, murder, war and grotesque threats (such as with nuclear weapons) to meet out its judgements on others. Lockheed, Martin, Monsanto, Bechtel.....etc., (as of now endorsed by the Supreme Court) are ruling the country, with Obama as figurehead, and anomie is becoming a way of live. Good luck America......

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