Friday, April 25, 2014

FTSOA: Fuck Balzac

Recently I had a long, and not too acrimonious dispute on Facebook over some of the assumptions undergirding a Chris Hedges rant, here. In it Hedges thoughtfully invokes as analagous to our present predicament the calamities which befell the men of Melville's fate-smitten whaling vessel, the Pequod, when they failed to stop Ahab, by mutiny, and in fact permitted themselves to be bought off. Hedges sees our fate in the whale's innards, as (literary) precedent and analog for our own politically catastrophic times.

Hedges is right, of course: We're fucked. Duh

And probably the fact of the failure of the mutiny aboard the Pequod dooms the ship and crew to destruction.

Likewise, it is self-evidently necessary to change the system. Like them, Hedges sez: We're doomed.

What nobody, not Hedges, nor anybody else, has so far been able to show me is how to replace that whole system without destroying everything it supports...

I have a personal stake in the matter. I am elderly, now, growing weaker, more dependent upon a functioning pharmaceutical distribution network, for example. It's kinda a matter of life/death. I need the drugs if wanna outlive my meager resources...and I do.

So I believe it is impingent upon those whose solutions to our present vicissitudes include overturning the "system" to address whether or not they are willing to kill me in the process.

Where do I stand on the list of expendables. I'm not complaining. Just so I know where we stand.

And if not by catastrophic revolt, then how they plan to dispossess the wealthy of the riches and privileges they will almost certainly choose to die for rather than to relinquish.

I was informed that a variety of writers--Chomsky, Vedanta Shiva, Arundati Roy, among others--had written about it. I'm not unfamiliar with them. I cannot recall how they answered the question, if they did.

And if it involves "educating the people," and/or "changing the structures of society," and/or "instituting justice," then the details of "HOW" are MORE crucial, NOT trivial, NOT dismissible by a shruggingly saying "Go look it up, if you care so much."

Cuz if there's a plan, it's gonna hafta be clear and easy enough that even simple minds like my own can understand it.

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