We’ve created a global financial and manufacturing system that has come to control and concentrate the world wealth and power into the hands of a small elite. The only difference it that it is no longer the crowned heads of Europe setting policy, but the technocrat managers of large corporations, financial institutions, and the political class. The rising concerns about inequity—shown in Occupy Wall Street, the Arab Spring, and the rewriting of the constitution in Iceland—are an echo of the early rise of anticolonial insurgents. Populist groups will argue against the entrenched power of the the global financial order, and will ultimately elect governments that take control back, and decrease the sway of global neoliberalism.
‘Since 9/11…truth has been destabilized in America.’
….The Bush administration’s contempt for what it dismissed as the “reality-based community” was vindicated when it successfully ginned up a war by convincing Americans that the 9/11 hijackers were Iraqis and that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Our susceptibility to elaborate, beautifully wrought myths remains intact—whether we’re being spun by politicians, captains of finance pumping up a bubble, or sports heroes like Lance Armstrong and Joe Paterno. The news business, which we once counted on to vet hoaxes and fictions, is now so insecure about its existential future that it was cowed to some extent…ignoring the statistical data…and instead predicting a long, nail-biting Election Night. (In reality, the election was called for Obama at 11:12 p.m. EST on NBC, just twelve minutes after it had been in 2008.) Our remaining journalistic institutions have even outsourced what used to be the very core of their craft, fact-checking, to surrogates relegated to gimmicky sidebars (awarding Pinocchios and “pants on fire”). The fact-checkers have predictably become partisan targets, only further destabilizing the whole notion of what is meant by “news.”