Light at End of Tunnel Has Faded

Someone sent me this a few weeks back and, although I didn’t agree with everything (like the internet being mostly evil), it hit a lot of notes compatible with what I’ve seen going on. Since the depressing elections, Don Hazen’s summary seems even more true.

I usually don’t publish political stuff here because I don’t have time to engage in political debate, but what this guy says is pretty much what I see going on.

“…we progressives, liberals, common-sense people, are losing badly to the conservative business state, the tyranny of massively expanding tech companies, theocratic right-wing forces and pervasive militarism, home and abroad. By virtually every measure, things are getting worse. And things are trending much, much worse in ways we can easily measure, like inequality, climate, militarization of police forces, etc., and in ways that are more psychological and emotional.…”

“…the four especially powerful and pernicious overarching economic and political mechanisms operating in our country that are fundamentally responsible for the situation we are in. They are privatization, financialization, militarization and criminalization, which together are producing a steadily creeping authoritarianism—a new authoritarianism—to fit our times.…”

Apocalypse Now: Seriously, It’s Time for a Major Rethink About Liberal and Progressive Politics
We are losing badly to the corporate state. Here’s what we need to do.

By Don Hazen

October 25, 2014

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

11 Responses to Light at End of Tunnel Has Faded

  1. A quick comment from an outsider (Canada – similar issues but a few years behind the US). I think people need to see the bigger picture. In a capitalistic country there has to be a balance between government and business, without the balance business takes over, the wealthy get wealthier and the middle class (the real driver of the economy) disappears. This is what you/we have now and that is why your blog is so popular Lloyd, middle class people now trying to live with less.

  2. I live in the EU. Thinks are just the same. The EU low is made to made a big profits for curtain people from Brussel (in the same city is one of the biggest centers of lobbing. There is the biggest amount of lobbyst's per square meter in the world. The other think to be considered is a try to make a conflict beetwen NATO and Russia in which the EU parliament is envolwed.

  3. Curiously, many of those concerns are shared by people who would (gasp!) characterize themselves as Tea Party sympathizers. Militarization of the police? Check! Big business/crony capitalism distorting the market and corrupting politics? Check! Maybe there is some common ground to make here?

  4. Thanks for the post. Don Hazen's article is a great summary, without any sugar coating. My son was born in the benchmark year 1995. It seemed we were in "the long boom", a rising tide that would never end, anything was possible. After 9/11, the 4 factors Hazen cites quickly took hold. In my early 40's by then, successfully self employed, I knew the 2000's were my decade to save and build a future. Ha! Didn't quite work that way. Now I see many formerly middle class folks living with the harsh realization that the downsizing will never end. We can maintain a lifestyle that is but a tiny fraction of what our parents' generation attained. Based on experience, it is clear, the boom of 2014 will crash. Tiny homes, shared resources, community networking, victory gardens, and self-sufficiency are the future we must embrace.

  5. It's definitely time for 'Major Rethink About Liberal and Progressive Politics' –

    From today's news –

    'the lack of transparency is a huge political advantage' – Jonathan Gruber, one of the principal architects of Affordable Care Act explaining how they misled and misrepresented the act to the 'stupid' and 'economically illiterate' American voters. This from the self described 'most transparent administration in history'. This is the first honest thing I have heard from these people. Supposedly Mr Gruber earned $400,000+ for his efforts.

    Do you really want to be ruled by such arrogant and mendacious people? In my 60 years I have yet to see a corporation reach into my pocket and force my participation in any such dishonest nonsense. Corporations have employed me, have provided me with quality health insurance, education and retirement benefits. They have collectively provided me with any sort of service or product that I could possibly desire, in fact they have constantly competed against each other to provide improved products at lowered prices and better service. They don't force me to purchase their product, I am perfectly free to pick and choose what I require or desire, I am free to participate or not. Is that not perfect and liberal freedom? It is only government that is coercive via threat of violence and imprisonment, yet these 'progressive' geniuses think that if we can layer even more government upon us we will somehow create a more perfect and equitable society?

    If you haven't noticed the stock market has almost tripled since the financial crisis as a result of the Feds money pumping. The 1% are now twice as rich as they were 5 years ago while the average family income is $3600 less than it was in 2001. This has nothing to do with corporations, everything to do with the shenanigans of both Republican and Democratic administrations. All politicians will tell you what wonderful favors they will do for you, it's all lies. Corporations need to be profitable and are upfront about that, they become that by catering to your needs and being accountable to public opinion, where is the problem with that? Amazon, Google, even that hateful Microsoft have made tremendous improvements in my life, they enabled me to take more control over my life, not less. In short they generally treat me with respect and honor my wishes.

  6. Have you never wondered in the least why the (execrable)Obama policies have not been a repudiation of shithead Bush's policies?

    Why asshole Obama promised one thing, and did the opposite? Why your FREE healthcare costs so much?

    Why, by every measure, in every area things remain the same AT BEST, but are generally much worse?

    You people – his supporters – have been played the fools.

    JUST as the Bush/Romney/McLame/Reagan supporters have been played.

    It's a big club – and you ain't in it.

  7. " This has nothing to do with corporations…………" Are you really that naive Bayrider? What exactly do you think the banks including the Federal Reserve are? When corporations control the government it is called Fascism.

  8. I think Stefan's right: deliberate adaptation to diminishing circumstances is the best choice currently available to Americans. This is a nation in decline, economically and in every other way. The distinction between "progressives" and "conservatives" really isn't all that meaningful any more, because that left-right paradigm developed in a situation of ever-increasing national wealth. Now there's no longer an ever-growing economic pie for them to fight over; there's only a contracting one. Neither side is willing to face this unpalatable fact. Both are devoted to "The American Dream," which is essentially a fantasy of entitlement to levels of prosperity that were historically unique to the American empire. In the end their disputes will amount to nothing more than ever nastier and more violent struggles over an ever-shrinking heap of table scraps. That's what tends to happen when a formerly wealthy imperial nation loses its empire and becomes a poor nation, which is what is now happening to us.

  9. Check BOOK TV (CSPAN2 I think) @ 0200 ET on Sunday for discussion on her book

    Naomi Klein’s “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate”

    Mike W


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