This is getting old. The economy takes a little downturn, and all of a sudden Whiteguys become punching bags.
It all started with Brazil’s president, Lula da Silva, blaming “blue-eyed Whitemen” for what is little more than an economic belch. Someone should take him out to the woodshed and explain to him that blue-eyed Whiteguys of northern European descent (Frenchmen excluded, thank you) sit atop the Great Chain of Being, tucked neatly into God’s belly button. It is we who have carried out His cleansing grace through our wars and genocides.
As if that wasn’t enough, we then have Jayati Ghosh, a neoliberal critic, suggesting that we Whiteguys have too much stuff. She claims that:
[T]here is no question that the current “Northern” standards of life cannot be sustained if they were made accessible to everyone on this planet. This means that future economic growth in the developing world has to involve more equitable and sensible patterns of consumption and production.
This is dangerous talk. The implication, here, is that we Whiteguys have to give up some of our toys. She has the gall to suggest that Northern consumption could be reduced with the consequences being, not hardship, but inconvenience.
For example, I know a family of five that owns seven cars: one car for each and a couple for tooling around in. They could get by on one. Sure, it would be a pain in the ass, but it wouldn’t cause them to go hungry or to lose the roof over their heads.
Losing our central air conditioning would be uncomfortable, but we’d still get our three meals a day.
The list goes on and on, and if too many people start asking questions like this, we could lose our $11,300 blue jeans , our $1.8 million Bugatti Veyrons (a car with a thousand-plus horsepower), our Bling H2O, (bottled water at $40 a pop) or our $750 facials.
Where would our economic growth be without overconsumption?
Questions like these encourage real patriotism, by which I mean the willingness to criticize the hell out of your country and to demand the very best of it. This is why the well-ordered state redirects patriotism into a flag fetishism grounded in fairy tales about divine providence and greatness.
The solution to Western over consumption is simple: if the lifeboat is overcrowded, you start jettisoning, and you sure as hell don’t throw the captain overboard, even if he is a drunken sociopath. Which brings us back to God’s cleansing grace…
The Great Chain of Being has served mankind well since medieval times, and it will survive our current cultural collapse only if people like Lula de Silva and Jayati Ghosh keep their mouths shut.
Monday, March 30, 2009
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