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41922Re: The Personal and the Political

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  • jimstuart46
    Aug 8, 2007
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      Wil,

      Yes, you've given me some strong reasons for the current and future
      decline in quality of life in the US.

      I share your social and political outlook, and I agree the trends
      you mention are bad news for us all – Europeans as well as Americans.

      But – if I may venture a little criticism of your recent posts –
      aren't you getting things a little out of proportion? Aren't you
      overreacting a little to the bad trends?

      Whilst Trinidad, Susan and Mary Jo also share your pessimistic
      outlook, they, at least, have positive things to say about how the
      individual can still act positively and have a good quality of life
      in these difficult times.

      Your account of US decline is wholly negative, and, as I say, seems
      out of proportion. The US is still a better place to live that most
      other places in the world. Things are a whole lot worse in Iraq,
      Gaza, Darfur, Russia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, etc.

      Also, was there ever a "golden age" of democracy in America? In the
      sixties there was discrimination and worse against blacks and gays,
      presidents and human rights leaders were murdered by rogue elements
      in the security and/or intelligence services.

      Like you I would like a genuine democracy where issues are debated
      openly and honesty, and the rights of individuals are respected over
      and above the (non-)rights of corporations. But this is just an
      ideal which we aim to achieve. In the real world, things have always
      fallen short of this ideal. And there are worse things than lack of
      democracy – like war, torture, starvation, slavery, disease.

      I wonder if, in your current expressions of despondency, you are
      focusing too much on your local concerns. A wider perspective would
      take in the whole world and not just America, and would take in the
      whole of human history and not just the years since the courts ruled
      that Bush won Florida.

      Jim
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