Slavery, Media, Modern Economy

Listeing to Isabel Allende speak of her new book about Haiti on Democracy Now! should be required for economists. Noam Chomsky contrasts the recent Nobel Prize winning great mind, James Buchanan, with the Enlightenment’s Adam Smith. (The text used to be available on Znet but maybe the Loyola Democracy and Education speech is under copyright now that it’s in Chomsky on (Mis)Education.)

"…Nobel Prize winning economist James Buchanan… writes that "what each person seeks in an ideal situation is mastery over a world of slaves." That’s what you seek, in case you hadn’t noticed. Something that an Adam Smith would have regarded as simply pathological…"

Does James Buchanan really want to live in a Fight Club kind of world not knowing what he’s eating, and getting hysterical like white guy Alex Jones over movies? " Alex Jones needs bell hooks to pull his head of his butt.

Just in case immersion in commercial culture drowns out values about the ‘vile maxim’ this Isabelle Allende’s findings in Haiti’s history should provide some self preserving CPR..

"..Many European women that married people in the colonies went crazy. They couldn’t stand the weather. They couldn’t stand the mosquitoes and they couldn’t stand a life of terror. Because, of course, the slaves were terrorized, but also the owners of the slaves because they feared an uprising. They feared that they would be poisoned. They feared that they would be knifed at night. So everybody lived in fear and that created a state of permanent violence…"

Even before you get all hyper about the person-to-person violence, there’s just the general discomfort with yourself from childhood that ‘Get Rid of the TV’ Juliette Schor, Consuming Kids Susan Lin, and Economics of Happiness Helena Norberg-Hodge bring to your attention.

I bet bell hooks would agree with Helena Norberg-Hodge, another person that thinks we need something more than the ‘value of the dollar,’ ‘the only color that matters is green’ and that means ‘get as much as you can, as fast as you can, by any means necessary’..

"We all want to be seen, recognized, heard, connected to one another. The tragedy of the modern economy is that it has succeeded in separating us from one another. It’s doing that in a multitude of ways. One of them is that the modern media presents children with completely unrealistic role models. They’re comparing themselves to these one-dimensional images of perfection. This is having this enormous effect in the global South. In places like America the demand from young children for plastic surgery is skyrocketing. The self-rejection and self-hatred is translating into bulimia, anorexia, drug abuse, antidepressants. In most industrialized countries now there is talk of an epidemic of depression. In the UK in 2008, 36 million prescriptions for antidepressants were made out. That’s in a country of 60 million people."

It’s time to get out and talk with people, get involved…

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