Predatory Society


I’ve been writing recently about US foreign policy and the lack of interest among Americans with the horrific results of these policies. If we’re honest, (and I sincerely believe that this is why the disinterest), US foreign policy is largely about invading other countries or deploying terrorist proxies to overthrow their governments, and turning them into shitholes.

Speaking of Trump’s boorish statement. What is worse, turning nations into shitholes or calling them that? Where were all those concerned Americans when war was unleashed upon Syria, Libya, Iraq? Where were the media?

In my opinion, Americans don’t give a shit about the victims of these foreign policies because they’ve been conditioned not to give a shit about other Americans.

In a depressing, yet not surprising, article, journalist Umair Haque, depicts our country facing a profound moral collapse, and our neighbors, who’ve been caught on the wrong side of fate, living genuinely traumatic and desperate lives.

“In America, there is the catastrophic collapse of social bonds. Extreme capitalism has blown apart American society so totally that people cannot even care for one another as much as they do in places like Pakistan and Nigeria. Social bonds, relationships themselves, have become unaffordable luxuries, more so than even in poor countries: this is yet another social pathology unique to American collapse.”

The reason the US faces such a collapse is neoliberalism. Neoliberalism has destroyed the social bond of American society and initiated a selfish morality, where savage competition is encouraged, everything is monetized, and nothing is stable or sacred. Going further, neoliberalism promotes sociopathic personalities by rewarding extreme greed and narcism.

Margaret Thatcher articulated the cruel ethos of neoliberalism when she stated that there is no society, only individuals.

She was wrong. We’re not just individuals, we’re social beings that require others to be fully human.

Tragically, our plutocratic owners and their technocratic managers have embraced Thatcher’s maxim.

Presently we’re experiencing the results of this vast open-air experiment.

In his article, Haque describes a series of strange and bizarre pathologies, unique to the US, that he says are caused by the effects of the despair, rage, and anxiety of living in a collapsing society.

“America has had 11 school shootings in the last 23 days. That’s one every other day, more or less. That statistic is alarming enough — but it is just a number. Perspective asks us for comparison. So let me put that another way. America has had 11 school shootings in the last 23 days, which is more than anywhere else in the world, even Afghanistan or Iraq. In fact, the phenomenon of regular school shootings appears to be a unique feature of American collapse — it just doesn’t happen in any other country — and that is what I mean by “social pathologies of collapse”: a new, bizarre, terrible disease striking society.”

Haque argues that we’re all complicit in the collapse of American society.

“A predatory society doesn’t just mean oligarchs ripping people off financially. In a truer way, it means people nodding and smiling and going about their everyday business as their neighbours, friends, and colleagues die early deaths in shallow graves. The predator in American society isn’t just its super-rich — but an invisible and insatiable force: the normalization of what in the rest of the world would be seen as shameful, historic, generational moral failures, if not crimes, becoming mere mundane everyday affairs not to be too worried by or troubled about.”

Most Americans don’t even notice anymore because neoliberal values have enjoyed such an insidious process of normalization over the last 40 years. If anything, commentators want to blame it all on Trump, but these attitudes proceed him. Like I’ve said before–Trump is not the cause of our sickness, just the logical conclusion of years of neoliberal economic policies and neoconservative foreign policies.

Haque offers a warning to others who succumb to the siren call of neoliberalism.

“Should the world follow the American model — extreme capitalism, no public investment, cruelty as a way of life, the perversion of everyday virtue — then these new social pathologies will follow, too. They are new diseases of the body social that have emerged from the diet of junk food — junk media, junk science, junk culture, junk punditry, junk economics, people treating one another and their society like junk — that America has fed upon for too long.”

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