I've been writing DOTE for three years now, which is long enough for me to have noticed a disturbing trend which I will describe today. I happened upon Jim Kunstler's latest column, called The Master Meme. Here's part of what he said—
I'm not even sure what to call the current disposition of unreality in the USA, though it is clearly tinged with different colors of grandiosity ranging from the plain dopey idea of "American exceptionalism" to the wishful claim that we're about to become "energy independent," to the lame assertion so popular in presidential addresses that "together we can do anything"...
What's obvious to me is what I have been fearing about this country for some time now: that all the disorders of our time would prompt a campaign to defend the status quo at all costs and to sustain the unsustainable. That is really the master wish behind all the political hijinks of the day, especially the pervasive accounting fraud in all high-order money matters...
Jim reiterates a common theme for him and me, but in the three years I've been writing this blog, the "campaign to defend the status quo at all costs" has become both broader and deeper. As you surely might guess, I have to look at a lot of source material to create these posts. Doing this every day for three years has allowed me to follow this disturbing trend, which is manifest to me in two ways—
In 2010, when I started DOTE, and only about 15 months after the meltdown, there were a lot more dissenting, critical voices than there are now. I've seen many people I used to read quit publishing. They gave up. How many people are willing to tell you in 2013 that "the recovery" is a joke? That incomes for the many are contracting? A precious few, now. There used to be many others (relatively speaking) who were willing to point out such obvious truths.
The media propaganda onslaught is far more pervasive and unified than it was three years ago, a situation which is getting worse with each passing day. In 2010, the financial crisis and the big crude oil price spike of 2008 were still fresh in people's minds. Even in mainstream sources, there were considerable doubts about America going forward.
But look at us now—phony, generally inflated GDP contracts for the first time in over three years, and immediately we are bombarded with a slew of articles like Bloomberg's R-Word For U.S. Economy in 2013 is Rebound Not Recession, which quotes one "expert" after another (economists, of course) telling us there is nothing to worry about. If quarterly GDP had contracted during some quarter in 2010, or even 2011, there would have been a flurry of articles questioning policies and practices in the United States.
Not any more.
Thus we can conclude in 2013 that inward reflection, critical thinking and self-doubt have been all but banished in America. This manifests itself in a relentless campaign to defend the status quo.
A strong defense of the status quo has existed in all human societies in all times and all places. However, in the United States, this tendency, which I've noticed because I write this blog, has become far more pronounced over the last three years—the consolidation of power by the powerful is accelerating, so-called "thought" in the media is more and more constricted, and dissenting, critical voices have become so marginalized that many (if not most) have given up.
With each passing month, there are fewer and fewer "good" sources of information for me to tap into. For example, I used to milk Yahoo Finance's Daily Ticker blog for stories. That source has become all but useless to me in the last six months. I could name many others.
I'm starting to feel mighty lonely out here.
Bonus Video — Just nod if you can hear me