Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Saturday, September 22, 2007


[via Think Progress] The Iraq war is costing roughly half a million dollars a minute at this point. Anybody who doesn't think that there are better ways of spending that money in the service of justice, domestic tranquility, actual security, and general welfare has to be dangerously, certifiably insane. You know, a Republican.

When I think how few seconds' monetary fuel of the bloody-minded war machine's continued operation it would take to pay off the student loans I'll be saddled with for years and years and years (loans I acquired as a student during which I was always working in addition to studying, by the way), it makes my head spin. But quite apart from that, just think of the kinds of sweeping planetary civilization-wide benefits that would have bloomed from a comparable investment in renewable-energy (getting us off this blank endlessly catastrophically reiterated "blood-for-oil" atrocity treadmill in the first place) or education ("impossible! tax and spend! no free lunches!" scream the thought-hating corporate-militarist "free marketeers" as they roll in their blood-soaked tax-paid billions) or planetary projects to provide the "miracle medicine" of clean water to the millions upon millions of people who needlessly die, along with all their potential problem-solving intelligence and creative expressivity, due to malnutrition, unsanitary conditions, cheaply treatable water-borne diseases ("hippy! relativist!" snarl the wingnuts, can't you see "we" are in a "Clash of Civilizations" with the scary nonwhites? more blood, more bullets, more shock, more awe!).

Half a million dollars a minute. Every dollar a waste, a diminishment of the measure of our hope, a derailment of some possible collaboration to address a shared problem, an exacerbation of the world's heartbreak and tension and loss that will demand its due who knows when and how, minute by minute, dollar by dollar, blood drop by blood drop. What a desperate idiotic desolation it all is.


Jose said...

To those that believe that we're living in the End Times then that's irrelevant. Come Judgement Day you won't be asked to pay off your debts.

I've heard that 25% of Americans are End Timers I have a hard time believing that myself but it might explain Bush's approval rating.

Dale Carrico said...

I tend to mistrust these numbers, since many who attest to such beliefs seem to me likely to be signaling moral or social identification through these reports rather than factual, instrumental beliefs. In a society in which the media and political institutions generally better reflected the secularism of the population (and the Consitution) I suspect many of this 25% would attest in their statements -- as most of them already do in their actual conduct -- to more secular beliefs, or to End Times that were more conspicuously a matter of figurative significance than literal expectation. This is not to deny, of course, the pernicious impact of some literal-minded bloody-minded fundamentalists of this sort. But even the technoscientific imaginary is hardly immune to the derangements of such belief -- as witness the small handful of people who seriously espouse the more apocalyptic variations of Singularitarianism or the more genocidally luddite variations of Deep Ecology.