“Free markets” are not really free, and despite the uncritical assumption that global market capitalism would automatically foster democratic freedoms, today it has become a destructive force, laying waste to communities, public health, networks of solidarity, and even the planet’s rainforests.
While mass shootings are now as American as predatory capitalism and homelessness, these two deadly events, coming in rapid succession, focused public debate not only on guns, but also on the growing overlap between disaffected young white men, Trump’s racist discourse, and far-right movements, many based online, whose adherents are eager to take up arms to attain their twisted goals.
Many of my friends, relatives, and colleagues complain of feeling exhausted, powerless, and depressed as a result of the daily outrages of life under Trump. Americans used to talk about “compassion fatigue,” but now we speak of “outrage fatigue.”
The July 14 tweet storm was even uglier than Trump’s castigation two years ago of African and Arab states as “shit-hole” countries, and suggests that, in Trump’s mind, America is white, Christian, Republican, and capitalist; and everything dangerous and damnable is the exact opposite.
My privileged and upper class students’ lives are a paradise compared to the hell confronting people living in Syria, Gaza, and Yemen, yet even they can sense that something is seriously wrong and out of balance, and that the current modus operandi on planet Earth is unsustainable.
A front page New York Times report blithely stated that “four Israelis were killed from rocket fire from the Gaza Strip and 23 Palestinians died.” One wonders how these 23 Palestinians met their demise—from the flu? Car accidents? Heart attacks?