Lynn Steger Strong recently wrote an article in the Guardian titled: Grand Illusion – How the Pandemic Exposed We are all Pretending.
“I was meant to write about perception versus reality in what I do professionally. The owner of the New York restaurant Prune, Gabrielle Hamilton, wrote an essay about this recently – describing how, for so long, so many of us have been pretending that we were or were about to “make it”. We had checked all or most of the boxes we were told to check in our professions, even as our lives remained in constant states of anxiety and fear”.
And Lynn goes on to basically dismantle the myth of American-style Capitalism and the erosion of the middle class. She’s right, of course.
As I wrote a few blogs back, the basic hard-working person is taking it on the chin and many stories are cropping up about small business owners going bankrupt. The simplest explanation is that they borrowed heavily (often using their home equity) to get a business up and operating and now, what with Big Box stores, Chinese low-cost goods, Amazon and recently Covid-19, they simply cannot keep the wolves from the door anymore. Their struggles will have been for nought.
But Lynn makes a compelling personal observation: “We’ve internalized that our suffering (failing) is our fault – that it is because we must not be working hard enough. I wanted to write about the pervasiveness of this feeling that there are no longer avenues to stability, because I wanted there to be less shame around it. I wanted to explore the ways that, in entrenched and fundamental ways, our struggles were more systemic than just us”.
Two in five Americans would have a hard time coming up with $400 in an emergency. Canadians are in the same boat.
As readers know, I am not a fan of the system we seem to have committed to. I saw all that Lynn writes about a long time ago and I see the dismal picture only getting worse and worse every year.
Of course, just as I would get convinced it was all going to collapse, it kinda would and then the ‘powers-that-be’ would prop it up again with loan forgiveness and Quantitative Easing and now ‘free money’ thrown out the Parliamentary windows. Corrupt Capitalism is resilient, I’ll give ya that! But the resilience is also a lie. It is NOT resilience, it is just postponement. This incredible hypocrisy in finances has happened now several times in the last thirty years culminating in the until-now biggest false Capitalism monetary expansion effort in history – the 2008 banking debacle.
Covid will make that fiasco look like penny-ante poker.
It is almost as if each collapse will be ‘easier’ because we all get another chance…..but the real question is: another chance at what? How many times does the system have to fail us before we tell the truth, redesign and rebuild it?
I suspect that this time may prove serious enough for others to demand change. Real Estate was too expensive, taxes were too high, our infrastructure is failing, the environment is getting toxic, the climate is heating up, tensions are rising everywhere, lies are as valid as truth and facts, leaders are corrupt, education sold out, corporations control the governments and people are getting depressed. But Lynn points out that when YOU get depressed and blame yourself, you are being falsely accused. The fault was not yours. The fault lies with the system.
And I agree.