On the Rise of ‘Casino Capitalism’

I found this one at the National Catholic Reporter website. I think it needs to be spread far and wide:

The cultural embrace of illusion, and the celebrity culture that has risen up around it, have accompanied the awful hollowing out of the state. We have shifted from a culture of production to a culture of consumption. We have been sold a system of casino capitalism, with its complicated and unregulated deals of turning debt into magical assets, to create fictional wealth for us and vast wealth for our elite. We have internalized the awful ethic of corporatism — one built around the cult of the self and consumption as an inner compulsion — to believe that living is about our own advancement and our own happiness at the expense of others. Corporations, behind the smoke screen, have ruthlessly dismantled and destroyed our manufacturing base and impoverished our working class. The free market became our god and government was taken hostage by corporations, the same corporations that entice us daily with illusions though the mass media, the entertainment industry and popular culture.

The author is Chris Hedges, and this quote comes from his new book Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle. The title alone pretty much says it all. Needless to say, it’s going on my “to read soon” list.

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About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.

  • joseph

    Chris Hedges is an amazing writer & thinker. I highly recommend a book he wrote on the ten commandments a few years back called Losing Moses On The Freeway.