Monday, January 30, 2006

Kunstler on legitimacy

...It is easy to see the potential loss of legitimacy among all the authorities in American life today. In government, it is the astounding denial of such obvious dangers as global warming, recklessness in finance, and the gathering permanent energy crisis. The news media also fritters away its legitimacy, as when CBS's "60 Minutes" show broadcast a mendacious segment telling the public that the tar sands of Alberta would immunize us from a global energy shock. The arts lost their legitimacy decades ago, leaving little besides irony over their failings.

But if the American public becomes subject to political despotism in the years ahead, it will come from somebody other than Bush and it will come because the public will demand it. The American public itself has been so grossly passive, complacent, and irresponsible in its raptures of credit-card shopping, infotainment, and easy motoring, that when our society runs into trouble due to the things we have ignored, the public will beg to pushed around, they will crave to be directed toward some purposeful action to save their asses....

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