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A MORAL MELTDOWN August 19, 2011

Posted by wmmbb in Environment.
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What sense is to be made of the rioting in England now that fires have been extinguished, the broken windows boarded up, the stolen goods  vanished, and the jails overcrowded?

I do not know. I thought that Jakob Augstein at Speigel came up with a striking image:

The riots in London have done to the West’s social self-image what Fukushima did to the concept of nuclear energy. It was a super maximum credible accident — the imagined, but never expected catastrophe. A moral meltdown.

But with all due respect, the only thing astonishing here is the actual astonishment. Who really thought it could simply go on indefinitely like this? Who believed there would be no consequences to the increase of obscene wealth for a few while impoverishment simultaneously plagued the masses. Wealth disparity is no accident of the capitalist system — it is the system.

Can the capitalist system be made to work? It is not the first time that such responses have occurred. What is with the fashion for social austerity, rather than for example military austerity? What effect did the bailout of the banks and other financial institutions have on the global economy? Some of the answers are suggested by the All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace (Part 1/3, 2/3 . . .)

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