Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Umair Haque more and more freaked by the state of the US.

So, remember last week, when it was curiously noted that oil industry execs weren't being sworn in for their statements? Presumably, so they could avoid perjury charges?

Well, now we know why!

"...A White House document shows that executives from big oil companies met with Vice President Cheney's energy task force in 2001 -- something long suspected by environmentalists but denied as recently as last week by industry officials testifying before Congress."

A couple of questions that interest me. How can the US be both the origin of internet culture, the most forward looking, open, optimistic and generally "positive" wave of culture / technology / transformation in any recent time, and also be the country falling into all the traps and tropes of authoritarianism, irrationality and causing great harm to others around the world?

It would be easy to say the two are distinct. That it's a red / blue state thing. That those sliding back into the quasi-feudal mindset are those who are frustrated at being left behind by the rapid evolution of the techno-creative class.

But that's not correct. I've seen enough warblogs and techno-libertarians to know that the internet culture is also shaped by and shaping the right. Maybe these groups are really defenders of liberty, who now only lash-out at the anti-war left due to old reflexes rather than genuine enthusiasm for the whole Bush project.

One can hope.

Meanwhile, it's a poisoned atmosphere where William Lind, who's lastest piece might have been written by Jean-Marie Le Penn, sometimes smells sweet.

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