Magical thinking, hedging our bets…

This from Chris Hedges’ latest jeremiad “This Time We’re Taking the Whole Planet With Us” caught my eye:

The desperate [Easter] islanders developed a belief system that posited that the erected stone gods, the moai, would come to life and save them from disaster. This last retreat into magic characterizes all societies that fall into terminal decline. It is a frantic response to loss of control as well as despair and powerlessness. This desperate retreat into magic led to the Cherokee ghost dance, the doomed Taki Onqoy revolt against the Spanish invaders in Peru, and the Aztec prophecies of the 1530s. Civilizations in the last moments embrace a total severance from reality, a reality that becomes too bleak to be absorbed.
The modern belief by evangelical Christians in the rapture, which does not exist in biblical literature, is no less fantastic, one that at once allows for the denial of global warming and of evolution and the absurd idea that the righteous will all be saved—floating naked into heaven at the end of time. The faith that science and technology, which are morally neutral and serve human ambitions, will make the world whole again is no less delusional. We offer up our magical thinking in secular as well as religious form.

And then later there’s this (emphasis added)

We in the United States, only 5 percent of the world’s population, are outraged if anyone tries to tell us we don’t have a divine right to levels of consumption that squander 25 percent of the world’s energy. President Jimmy Carter, when he suggested that such consumption was probably not beneficial, became a figure of national ridicule. The worse it gets the more we demand illusionary Ronald Reagan happy talk. Those willing to cater to fantasy and self-delusion are, because they make us politically passive, lavishly funded and promoted by corporate and oligarchic forces. And by the very end we are joyfully led over the cliff by simpletons and lunatics, many of whom appear to be lining up for the Republican presidential nomination.

About dwighttowers

Below the surface...
This entry was posted in a little self-knowledge, apocalypse, climate, competence, death, economics, fear, natural world and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Magical thinking, hedging our bets…

  1. Phil K says:

    lovely post Dwight. Easy fun to poke fun at the Rapturists but couldnt our Ultra Orthodox Consumerism be put in the same bracket? Heaven Down Here as it were…

    • dwighttowers says:

      Indeed. Should I suppose find a Reverend Billy clip on the tinterwebs and embed it. Hope all is well… What thought you of the “ego-fodder” stuff I’ve been boring on about?

  2. leavergirl says:

    I think “ego-fodder” is pretty good as a term. Or some fodder or other. I like the cross-link.

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