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How The Internet Engendered The Fall of Consumer-Based Capitalism and the Rebirth of Democracy

A Brief History of the Future

“I ordered the navy to recover the wreck to bury those brothers and sisters of ours who otherwise would have remained at the sea bottom forever,” Mr. Renzi said. “I did it because we Italians know the value of the word ‘civilization.’” New York Times: Italian Navy Recovers Ship Containing at Least 300 Migrants’ Bodies, June 30, 2016.

There’s a crack in everything. That’s where the light gets in. ~ Leonard Cohen

Our fine nation is cracking. And it is not a bad thing. Seems as if it’s all over but the shouting. We have become so bifurcated that we are not even having the right conversations anymore. Nobody is looking for win-win situations. As Gore Vidal famously said about us: “It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail.

Our democracy has been contaminated and transmuted into an oligarchy, a corporatocracy. Money and lust for power influence everything in the (deregulated and unregulated) American version of late capitalism. Our best and brightest remain undiscovered as they are drowned out by the loudest and most tawdry.  Government officials are bribed via campaign contributions; voters have been relegated to the peanut gallery. Boards of directors reward CEOs with $15-$200 million dollar packages while their companies tank and workers are laid off. Lords and serfs are now haves and have-nots, all duped by the fiction that America is a meritocracy. Arbeit macht frei. As I ask in my book (which I flagrantly hawk in sundry media content about how Americans are lacking contentment): is there really equality of OPPORTUNITY in the United Stated or are some zip codes more equal than others? Who dares to call our country a democracy when two of the last five presidents lost the popular vote? History is written by the victors. And Howard Zinn.

Crony capitalism has been propping up the moribund white-male judeo-christian hegemony since it began to topple just after the advent of the birth control pill. Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world. Many of my colleagues call themselves “Entrepreneurs” but when I examine their lives they seem enslaved, measuring their worth and value as human beings by incessantly fluctuating symbols on the glass screen to which their eyes are glued. Could Orwell have been more prescient? Or for that matter… Pavlov?  A dopamine rush with every swipe.

The first person to commend for emancipating the new slaves is Lydia Polgreen, HuffPost’s editor in chief, who eliminated all unpaid blogging and contributing claiming that it had devolved into “cacophonous, messy, hard-to-hear places where voices get drowned out and where the loudest shouting voice prevails.” Bravo! Businesses in late capitalism exploit workers… BECAUSE THEY CAN! It’s supply and demand, baby! If you don’t want to work 80 hours per week then I’m sure we can find someone who does! But who’s going to pay your monthly mortgage, student loan and credit card payments if you quit? As Thomas Piketty clearly demonstrated in “Capital in the 21st Century,” capital expands faster than labor, which is exacerbated by the insanity of a wealthy person uttering the words, “Darling, I’m paying you with exposure!” And yet, as with Bitcoin, I cannot pay my rent, healthcare premium, electricity bill or for food with “exposure.”

Optimists inform me that if sundry markets crash the only things we shall need are seeds, water and ammunition. This is their excuse for having alerts on their mobile devices constantly pinging them to buy low and sell high. This institutionalized betting keeps an entire tier of the bourgeois docile. Games people play. However, the Internet is unwittingly and subconsciously engendering the fall of capitalism because the latest crop of humans (dubbed “millennials”) are refusing to pay for more and more things. One Netflix, Hulu, DirectTV, HBO GO account feeds four. BitTorrent feeds all. All content is steadily becoming devalued. Civilization and its Discontents. Now only soundbites are digestible. ADHD is the new normal. Inundated. Crazybusy. Everyone multitasking to keep up with the Jones and Kardashians.

Everything now comes in the bite-size of an Unfortune Cookie planted in the recesses of the cloud turning us into commodities, zeroes and ones, numbers to be bought and sold. I heard that Google has algorithms that can predict with high degrees of accuracy the times and places of my future purchases as well as which cancer I am mostly likely to get. I’m sure that both will help line somebody’s pockets.

All books are now PDF files to be found in the crevices of an Internet search. Publishing is dying. The métier of wordsmith has been decimated, eviscerated.

All music is available for free via streaming or Youtube. After pouring their souls into uplifting others, musicians must peddle “merch” like the streetwhores of yesteryear.

When we like something it is real; when we dislike something we call it fake, bogus. Truth has been replaced by preference.

And yet the sheer beauty and force of the #Metoo movement should inspire all of the rich housewives with names such as Uma and Renee, who sold their mouths for their dreams of fame thirty years ago, to stand with the women who came out more scathed and violated than they did. Oppression and exploitation will only end when we stand up or kneel down together to the powers that be and all that were complicit in concealing their crimes.

Blockchain good; Cryptocurrency… je ne sais pas… mais je m’en doute…

A plague on both houses, democrats and republicans. When we use Blockchain technology to vote via our devices we will be able to abolish the electoral college; when we abolish the electoral college we will be able to eliminate the two party system and open up the conversation to all of the hitherto disenfranchised parties; when we open up the conversation we will be able to work together to find common solutions so that insatiable greed, prejudices, raping, pillaging, and underhanded dealmaking end up in the dustbin of history.

There is a tsunami approaching. You resist it and try to conserve the current hegemony at your peril.

Don’t you know… talking about a revolution; It sounds like a whisper

And finally the tables are starting to turn; Talking about a revolution

~ Tracy Chapman

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