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Thread: Is the whole system broken? Talk me down.

  1. #1

    Default Is the whole system broken? Talk me down.

    Honestly, lately I've been feeling not just dismayed by current events, but like the whole god damned system is absolutely fucking broken. I mean, the United States allegedly has a constitution meant to protect various civil rights, but then we have a government that spies on every communication we make and relies on a secret court comprised of "judges" appointed by one person with no oversight, approval or outside input (the one person is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, presently John Roberts). We have a legal system in which your treatment directly depends on your income, despite that pesky parchment document that's supposed to give us all a fair shot at the courts. We have a criminal justice system, supported by a legal structure, where murder is legal as long as you do it correctly and can keep a straight face long enough to get a "not guilty." But then, none of that matters either since we have a police that acts like an occupying military and is more likely to thump your skull as help you, but then if they don't get you the drones probably will. We have a culture that despises intelligence and practically worships the banal and officials that are reworking the textbooks and buying the curricula to support their new and improved versions of history and science. We have an entire industry built around denying equal rights to whatever group they've decided will make a good target for a couple decades and a significant portion of the population that genuinely believes the pigmentation of a person's skin is indicative of that person's character, ability, and worth. The news has been canceled, and scripted conjured concocted bullshit imagined by so few companies that I can count them on my hands is paraded across every medium as though it's the new testament of god. Poverty is considered a character flaw while malevolence, evil, and disregard for humanity that can make someone a few bucks are considered things to strive for. A person's right to life is now less valuable than some other person's right to be a fucker with a gun, and if you happen to get in the way of his liberty with your life, well tough shit for you.

    Tonight's the kind of night that if I were alone, I'd put in Network and skip to the scene where Howard Beale has his rant on the air, and I'd feel like nearly every god damned word was written today instead of in 1976. Only I wouldn't open the window to scream how mad I was, lest the cops show up with a SWAT team to quiet me down. But I'm still mad as hell! I'm mad as hell at a system that's absolutely fucking broken and leaders that tell us it's all cool while not even pretending to give half a fuck about us or the ideals that we allegedly live by. I'm mad as hell that I have to read the news from fucking RUSSIA because I can't trust the news in my own country. I'm mad as hell that some dimwit with a gun just got away with murder without so much as a stern talking-to. I'm mad as hell that I am more scared of the police than I am of the guys that broke into one of my properties. I'm mad as hell that who you love or what color your skin is determines how people treat you, your neighborhood, and your city. I'm mad as hell that in a country with so much wealth, things are so bad that people have to rip old pipes and wiring and door knobs out of houses to sell for scrap to get a fucking sandwich!

    And I feel like no one gets it. I get absolutely furious that it seems like no one even fucking asks why things are they way the are. I see so much wasted potential. I look around Detroit, and then I look at what's happening nationally and wider still and I see the fate of the United States in every block of Detroit. I see crooked greedy corporations in bed with crooked greedy politicians and they're all robbing us blind. Fifty years from now we'll all be asking how it is "they" let it all get so bad, how it is they spent so much treasure and time only to let it all go to waste and crumble around them while a few intrepid entrepreneurs try to rebuild some of the choicest pieces in an attempt to make their way in a world where there's nothing else for them and no one else fucking cares.

    I'm tired but I won't sleep. I'd drink, but that would just crash me and make me depressed. I'd throw something, but it would just break and make a mess. On nights like this I feel overwhelmed, and I wonder what's the fucking point. I'm too smart to pretend, and I'm too stupid to figure it out. I know none of this shit is new or novel, except maybe in the trappings. It wasn't new in 1976 when they made Network. It wasn't new the time before that, either.

    And yet it's still overwhelming sometimes.

  2. #2

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    That is quite a rant!

    While I do not have the recipe to talk you down I can understand much of your setiment. You are not alone.

  3. #3

    Default

    Aye mate, the world is at times a bloody fucked up place. - I couldn't agree more with your sentiments.

    No - you're not alone, but the numbers are not in the favor of those who oppose the trend and don't want to walk in line.
    The system is powerful and the individual has become weak.
    The Governments are as corrupt and vile as they can be - democracy mostly is has become the sad joke of what once was an amazing idea.
    and the sad part is that the majority is simply meekly happy to walk in line as long as they can afford the car, the playstation and enough junk food to make them fat and mellow.

    The whole situation is a mess, but unfortunately until it will get MUCH WORSE (which I'm pretty certain that it will) nothing will change. The masses will not stand up and once more in history fight for real freedom. Freedom most of our ancestors have paid a blood price for and is being taken for so granted even whilst this very freedom is being turned into a badly acted stage play for the mass audience.

    Freedom that is made equivalent to be able to buy a new cell phone every six month and slap a custom tune & and background picture to it.
    Freedom that hast been turned into something that makes you only "free" if you're wealthy in this society.

    But money (in one way or another) has always ruled the world - wealth is POWER in a political pseudo democratic society...

  4. #4

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    I'd pretty much agree with most of that, and expand upon your point of those in poverty being an anathema to many. Our whole society is pretty much focused on making as much money, and acquiring as much material possession as possible. I see this goal as ephemeral, because of course, our lifespans are limited. As a result, it feels that life's objective is illusionary, shallow, and almost pointless. Besides this, I agree about how you see politicians as corrupt and out of touch; they keep up the pretence of caring about us, but in all honesty, they are only working to further their selfish gains.

  5. #5

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    Yes mate the system is broken alright. I think it's mostly due to inequality, and as the gap between the rich and poor has grown over the years, the flaws of consumer capitalism are becoming much more apparent. As long as money exists, there will be inequality.

    People are driven to survive, and if you bring it back to a base level (caveman days)... Tribe A runs out of food, but they spot that Tribe B over the hill has plenty of food... someone is going to get hurt. I guess you could say modern society is similar, except that Tribe B offers to hand out just enough food now and then to keep Tribe A "happy". Deep down they know it's unfair but what choice do they have?

    Personally, I believe in doing your own thing by adapting to the current situation. Become one of those "intrepid entrepreneurs" you mention. Rather than watch mainstream media and get all fired up for nothing, watch Steve Jobs speech (Youtube Link), then find your passion and make it happen. People around you will respect you for it and feel inspired themselves. Don't listen to your government; their only job is to keep the population "under control".

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldDragonAurkarm View Post
    "... I'm mad as hell that in a country with so much wealth, things are so bad that people have to rip old pipes and wiring and door knobs out of houses to sell for scrap to get a fucking sandwich!
    Not that it's any better in conclusion...but most of this local region's motive for this type of theft...tends to be related to getting the next 'fix'...often meth (amphetamines)... not sandwiches/food/necessities



    Quote Originally Posted by GoldDragonAurkarm View Post
    And I feel like no one gets it. I get absolutely furious that it seems like no one even fucking asks why things are they way the are. I see so much wasted potential. "..."..."
    I think that on some levels of principle...this is quite nicely what is being asked, and challenged here at ADISC...and is seeming to be met with much opposition, and stronghold; by perhaps the way of a tad bit too much literal interpretation...even if the notion was perhaps literal in its self...the principle seems lost to the metaphorical "junk-food and games" of comfort over principle..."Don't rock-the-boat". Literally and practically speaking..rocking the boat is potentially counter to keeping 'afloat'...Metaphorically speaking...I am of the opinion...that 'we' 'need' to sink the fucking boat...and learn to swim



    Quote Originally Posted by GoldDragonAurkarm View Post
    "... I'm too smart to pretend, and I'm too stupid to figure it out. I know none of this shit is new or novel"..."
    And yet it's still overwhelming sometimes.
    'Amen' to that!!

    I think, that as long as we continue to see only the 'big-mess'...we'll never likely have any hope, or attempt at changing anything...

    Again MHO...we have to see on the tiny, moment by moment parts of our lives...if we can't/wont be open and honest in our own character...why should we come to expect it from others...if we allow fear to rules our lives...then it will, and it has, and still does...quite effectively...

    -Marka

  7. #7

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by GoldDragonAurkarm View Post
    On nights like this I feel overwhelmed, and I wonder what's the fucking point. I'm too smart to pretend, and I'm too stupid to figure it out. I know none of this shit is new or novel, except maybe in the trappings.
    The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear
    - Antonio Gramsci

    Expanding this a bit:

    If you look back in history there are periods of economic and political development, and periods of stagnation. Since the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution we've come to expect a faster pace of development, and periods of stagnation are more frustrating, and periods of decline are more frightening. In the past we've had periods of decline/stagnation and in response we've always found a way out through a marriage of new intellectual ideas and new technology. The crisis of the 1930s-1940s was resolved through more collectivism and government action, and through the mass marketing of products that improved people's private lives - white goods, cars, televisions...
    The crisis of 1970s was caused by some of the things which had been the solutions to the problems of the 1920s and 1930s. Government and union action had delivered the improvements in life of ordinary people in the 1950s and 60s, by the 1970s the economy was no longer able to deliver progress in living standards that people had come to expect, inflation started growing as any improvement in productivity was eaten up in consumption.
    The 1980s solution was to open up markets more competition, and insist on the "right to manage" - the right of people in charge to painful short term decisions for (hopefully) long term rewards and stability. Increases in productivity were used to reduce employment in firms, which created higher unemployment, and instead of increasing faster than prices the real value of wages (for the average MAN anyway) stayed pretty much the same as in the 1970s. Problems of demand were avoided by: 1) producing goods for sale in high income parts of the world in much lower income areas 2) finance - lending people money to consume today and letting them pay off over time 3) glorification of "managers" created much higher incomes for people at the top of the income scale meaning they could pay more and more for luxury goods and services. This was all enabled by better and better information and communications technology that made it easier to deal across borders and manage large organisations, and the oft neglected shipping container, which made distribution of physical goods much more efficient.

    The problems of the 2000s come about when consumers (not governments, at least in English speaking countries) were no longer able to keep borrowing money, and their incomes no longer rose just fast enough to keep pace with servicing/repaying loans. A second problem came from money leaving the economy in the form of trade deficits - service orientated western economies don't have enough to offer the manufacturing economies we rely on. A third: the major effect of the new technology of our time - computers, communications, robotics - has been to increase efficiency rather than create jobs.

    The problem we have now, in the 5th year of the crisis, is finding a workable new policy/technology model.
    In the 1930s/40s they had Keynes, and Beveridge and the socialists and a World War to force people to come up with a solution.
    In the 1970s/80s there was Friedman, von Hayek, the IEA, (and Deng Xiaoping and the Australian Labor Party.)
    It's not obvious now who the intellectuals, politicians, technologists and business people are who will between them improvise a new solution.

    That's the difference between recent times and the previous crises - when they hit there were people who had been moaning and demanding alternatives for years. In the 2000s a lot of people moaned, but none had alternatives that inspired any great measure of confidence - there was a lot of talk about international problems and environmental problems (which are not unimportant) but that in retrospect was a distraction from the question: how do we make a living?

    I don't claim to know the answer, but I do know something that isn't the answer: nostalgia.
    There are a lot of people on the right mourning the good old days of Thatcher and Regan, and a lot of people on the left talking about the good old days of the "New Deal" and the Welfare State... none of those are really relevant any more. They are answers to different questions. That's not to say we can't learn from them, and parts of them aren't worth reviving, but they are not answers to the problems of now.
    Last edited by MsClara; 17-Jul-2013 at 03:02.

  8. #8
    Cherub

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    just my little here. Part of the 'broken system' is the common man. This nation has become overrun with people that have an entitlement mentality. People all over are more concerned about 'what's in it for me' than they are about helping someone else out. I also think that another part of the problem, and again, just my lil own are the freemasons and illuminati.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Feline View Post
    Yes mate the system is broken alright. I think it's mostly due to inequality, and as the gap between the rich and poor has grown over the years, the flaws of consumer capitalism are becoming much more apparent. As long as money exists, there will be inequality.

    People are driven to survive, and if you bring it back to a base level (caveman days)... Tribe A runs out of food, but they spot that Tribe B over the hill has plenty of food... someone is going to get hurt. I guess you could say modern society is similar, except that Tribe B offers to hand out just enough food now and then to keep Tribe A "happy". Deep down they know it's unfair but what choice do they have?

    Personally, I believe in doing your own thing by adapting to the current situation. Become one of those "intrepid entrepreneurs" you mention. Rather than watch mainstream media and get all fired up for nothing, watch Steve Jobs speech (Youtube Link), then find your passion and make it happen. People around you will respect you for it and feel inspired themselves. Don't listen to your government; their only job is to keep the population "under control".
    That's a good thought, and I'm already moving off in that direction. I recently completed a master's in urban planning, something I started after eight years in the working world. My reference to Detroit is from direct personal experience, actually. I have several properties that were abandoned and foreclosed for non-payment of property taxes before I bought them. I'm working on refurbishing the first of them with the intention of operating it as a rental property. My hope is that we can stabilize Detroit and that property values in some neighborhoods (like ones in which I have property) will come up and allow me the option of cashing out and trying a new project in the future. It's hard to look around Detroit and not see ruin and waste, but there is opportunity there for those with the stomach for risk and patience.

    And I see the United States as currently being on the same trajectory as Detroit followed. The wealth is leaving, the infrastructure's decaying, and the people are becoming more polarized and insular/tribal (not tribal as in moving away from civilization, although one could argue that's happening too, but rather tribal as in forming tribes and having less contact with those unlike one's self).



    Quote Originally Posted by Marka View Post
    Not that it's any better in conclusion...but most of this local region's motive for this type of theft...tends to be related to getting the next 'fix'...often meth (amphetamines)... not sandwiches/food/necessities

    I think that on some levels of principle...this is quite nicely what is being asked, and challenged here at ADISC...and is seeming to be met with much opposition, and stronghold; by perhaps the way of a tad bit too much literal interpretation...even if the notion was perhaps literal in its self...the principle seems lost to the metaphorical "junk-food and games" of comfort over principle..."Don't rock-the-boat". Literally and practically speaking..rocking the boat is potentially counter to keeping 'afloat'...Metaphorically speaking...I am of the opinion...that 'we' 'need' to sink the fucking boat...and learn to swim

    'Amen' to that!!

    I think, that as long as we continue to see only the 'big-mess'...we'll never likely have any hope, or attempt at changing anything...

    Again MHO...we have to see on the tiny, moment by moment parts of our lives...if we can't/wont be open and honest in our own character...why should we come to expect it from others...if we allow fear to rules our lives...then it will, and it has, and still does...quite effectively...

    -Marka
    Believe me, I'm well-aware of non-foodstuffs purchased with that money, as well. Here, it's a vicious combination of people trying to find a sandwich to eat and a bottle to help them temporarily forget their troubles, assholes busting shit because it's there and they're bored, and suburban vultures that feel perfectly justified in trashing what's left in Detroit and then turning around telling us that we're busted and defective and not worthy of help or love. Add in our extreme weather (it was 34 C/93 F outside earlier today, not uncommon during the summer here, and it gets well below freezing for several months of the year), people with no money for maintenance, high taxes, and high rates of abandonment and you get incredibly rapid deterioration of building stock, infrastructure, and human capital in most of the city.

  10. #10

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    Not much to say at this time, but it is a good rant and like it was said before...you are not alone.

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