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Zombie GDP and decline of New Rome

February 21, 2014

The Atlantic: “The Zombie Numbers That Rule the U.S. Economy” by Zachary Karabell about how statistics like Gross Domestic Product are a “misleading portrait of America”.

Meanwhile at CanadaFreePress: “Zombies, the Apocalypse, and the Decline of the Republic” by Dave Huntwork commenting on the recent Noam Chomsky ‘zombie’, and arguing that Chomsky’s answer was too Leftist, activist, anti-America;

that’s about the best the Left can do I guess in trying to fathom the country’s fascination with a Zombie Apocalypse. It’s all just collective, subconscious guilt.

Huntwork mentions social media (as I did also in response to Chomsky) but Huntwork points to it as a symptom of a larger problem of the lost “belief in a positive future.” He mentions 9-11, surveillance state, unpopular wars and “the most intellectually bankrupt, corrupt, radical, and left-wing President in American history”, concluding:

The New Rome begins to mimic the Old. And when the greatest empire of the ancient world did fall it ushered in an era of darkness that lasted nearly a thousand years. … If there’s a single theme at the heart of The Walking Dead and similar shows, it is the fragility of civilization.

In contrast, my argument has been that zombies are about the fragility of consciousness, the uncertain limits of free will faced with rapid technological change and neuroscience that paints the mind as epiphenomena of it’s box. It is not a great leap from there to question social consciousness and civilization generally. And arguably, social consciousness must always exist first and consciousness always a perception within social construction.

Still, I fear less about the collapse of the Holy American Empire and worry more that it has become all consuming, there are no alternative civilizations, everything must be equated to the dollar, including individual human minds. Individuality was always an illusion, and the terms of that illusion are being changed as technology (both computer and medical) alter then means of identity’s production. With such deep uncertainty about the value of the individual, there can be no agreement on the value of the aggregated numbers. You can call it “gross product” but there is no way to sum the productions of the mind, which will always be both greater and less than the sum of the material parts.

From → economics, obama, politics

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