Paul Craig Roberts is, in many ways, one of the most interesting political commentators of our time. I’m not going to say he is always right but he is very happy to think outside the box of our traditional political arrangements. He is on the left and the right–he is an example of the sort of thinking we need that will transcend the traditional “liberal/conservative” categories which have become just our version of competing soccer hooligans. My few years of commenting on Daily Kos showed me how vicious so-called liberals are when confronted with ideas that go beyond slogans.
Robert’s latest essay deserves some attention and is available here. What he is saying, essentially, is what he has been saying for some time that our “recovery” is not really a recovery if you factor in real inflation. He makes the point that current government announcements about the economy are similar to government announcement on the wars we undertake, i.e., they are false.
I would go further I don’t believe we are in a long-term depression or recession in the traditional sense–what we are undergoing is a major structural change in our political economy and our society that reflects the current cultural reality.
The single most important thing to understand about the culture we live in is that it is now not based in creating a vibrant economy or even maintaining and expanding an empire. Its focus is on enabling most Americans to live in a world of custom fantasies because, for a variety of reasons, that is what most Americans want. Most Americans do not want to face reality or think beyond their daily tasks that put them in a position to watch reality shoes, sports, pursue various addictions and create their little interesting dramas. Larger-scale interests where we act in common are devalued. The source of meaning for us, increasingly, lies in fantasy role-playing because, without ever realizing it, the plutocrats have cut off our political legs by creating a system of propaganda and mind-control, sometimes using science and often just creative genius, to make people believe that they need product X or need to vote for candidate Y. The ability for the corporate state to control its subject population through capturing, not so much its consent, but its subconscious is what marks our age. Thus we do not question the phony statistics on inflation or unemployment or anything else. Thus we are unable to put two and two together to make four unless some authority says it’s so.