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Re: <nettime> Katrina: The Spectre of a Soviet-Style Crisis in the U.S.
Michael H Goldhaber on Mon, 19 Sep 2005 20:44:27 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> Katrina: The Spectre of a Soviet-Style Crisis in the U.S.


Ricardo,

If you want statistics, start with the state of education in this country compared
with other industrialized countries or even China.  Look at the growing general
state of ignorance re news, the decreasing number of voters, growing income
inequality, etc.

You seem to think "advances in logistics and supply-chain management" operate
independently of other societal factors, but the point is that they don't.
Knowledge that used to remain in a community is now partly lost, and partly higher
up the management chain. while there is real upward mobility for a small sub-set
of people, our society is much less upwardly mobile as a whole than it used to be.
Small business people replaced by Wal-Mart were not at the bottom or an
organization, more likely they were at the top. They remained in the community;
they often gained knowledge of the community, and though they never had much
chance of becoming rich, they helped keep many a community together, serving a
wide variety of integrative functions not served by Wal-Mart. Their few workers
were often also there for life, and similarly were essential to the communities
they served.

If all you ever want is a standardized product that others want too, it will be at
Wal-mart as long as they want to carry it, but if they don't, you won't find it
anywhere in many communities. And if you want something different from what is
standard, and everybody does at times, don't look to Wal_mart to carry it.
(Wal-mart's censorship is well known). Further, if something is "always on hand,"
it may never occur to you that someone somewhere produces it, that in some way
natural resources are involved, and that you are part of a world larger and more
complex than W-M seems to make it. Evidently, in W-M, there is no such thing as
global warming, hurricanes, strikes, difference, a sense of place. A Brave New
World without soma, even.

In the red states of the country, where Wal-mart is strongest, young people also
(coincidentally?) have the fewest options. There, men fighting, no-holds barred,
in cages, is becoming a popular entertainment. It's also the zone where Meth use
is on the rise. And the anti-abortion movement.  Ask your friend in the field of
domestic violence prevention what effect all that has. And while we are on the
subject of violence, the only Wal-mart I've ever been in had guns prominently
displayed, right in with the underwear and cantaloupes. I haven't checked, but I
feel certain that Wal-mart supports Bush heavily; he is in line with its values. I
am sure the Pentagon has excellent logistics and supply-chain management, which
allowed it to attack Iraq without need and without one whit of understanding. 
Coincidence? I'd need to see the statistics to believe that.



Best,
Michael

On Sep 17, 2005, at 12:56 PM, miranda {AT} tcnj.edu wrote:

> Michael,
> Thank you for the thoughtful response which I'm still having trouble
> entirely agreeing with.


<...>




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