Apathy as enabler

July 5, 2010 | By | 2 Replies More

The status quo of the United States depends on mass apathy, as argued by Steven Weber:

So sated with high-tech addictions, so soldered to their screens, so disconnected from the tactile reality of the world their bodies inhabit but their minds avoid, the American people give lip service to that Rosie the Riveter “We Can Do It!” spirit but have none of the actual desire to drive a rivet, let alone participate in their democracy.

And the folks who have pulled strings, made gas prices fluctuate, tell you of the boogie men with beards and turbans; the folks who make policy, who steer the herd—-they are regularly gauging the responses of the American public to further hone their future schemes, schemes which depend on mass apathy.

Weber’s post ends on a pessimistic note. That’s my mood all too often. But I suspect that this mess is going to continue damaging the finances and freedoms of Americans, and we are going to stand up in ever greater numbers and demand the readily available fixes to problems created by people (e.g., real and meaningful conservation will greatly lessen our energy crisis).

On the other hand, I can’t help but think that we will not see any meaningful fix to any major problem we face until we directly address campaign finance reform and media reform. Again, these are big but fixable problems.

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Category: Politics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Mike Baker says:

    Weber's comments echo of Naomi Klein's' "Shock Doctrine".

    Although many prove to be easily manipulated by the likes of Fox "News" or the myriad of corporate talking heads on the radio and TV, far too many more are not engaged at all. I am of the unfortunate opinion that things are going to have to get much worse before enough of us awaken from our self indulgent stupors to effect any real reforms in anything.

    Apologies for my cynicism….not to be confused with apathy.

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Mike: I agree that it might need to get a lot worse before we collectively awaken. I fear that when we awaken, it will be in a startled and self-destructive panic. Now's the time to try to sound the alarms. There is much we can do right now to soften the fall.

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