Twilight is on the horizon for American culture. After spreading an ideology of endless economic growth around the world, the definition of modernity has been defined by the United States. American values are now written into the cultural textbook for nations across the globe. Now that America is failing, what does it feel like to look back and what did we achieve? Was the collapse written in the opening chapters? What if our technological legacy comes with a terrible dark side?
In Extraenvironmentalist #34 we speak with author and historian Morris Berman about his recent look back at the history of American values as chronicled in the book Why America Failed. We ask Morris why American culture has dominated the globe despite so many dark aspects within its technology and values. Our discussion covers the ways in which people can seek meaningful lives as part of a counterculture and why our ideologies of technology and infinite growth were born on the landscape of an endless frontier. Is there a way to avoid the culture of hustling by channeling the alternative values that have arisen from those discontented by capitalism? Is it best just to become an expat?
Check out the new Extraenvironmentalist blog edited by Louisa, the newest member of our team.
// Music (in order of appearance)
Marvin Gaye - Sunny (Mercury II Edit) via Pigeons and Planes
FM Belfast - American via Iceland Music Maffia
Electric Guest - This Head I Hold via Blahblahblahblahscience
Cheerleader - Do What You Want via Turntable Kitchen
Buddy Holly - Slippin' and Slidin' (Jacques Renault Remix) via RCRDLBL
// Extended Clips (in order of appearance)
Chris Hedges - Brace Yourself for America's Collapse
Detroit Savaged by Economic Problems
America's New Poor
Frank Zappa on Schools
Ray Kurzweil on Technology
Kevin Kelly on Technology
Terence McKenna on Western Civilization
Jiddhu Krishnamurti - Why Do We Live With Stress