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  • Posted by 10 months, 1 week ago
    THE ERA OF THE INDIVIDUAL
    Surely, this is the era of the individual, of “every man.” I am watching CNN, and later PBS “News Hour” with Judy Woodruff. In ten minutes, we have seen a close-up of the faces of as many individuals.
    Focused in close, the black woman is saying she has been a nurse throughout the COVID-19 crisis, her children at home. And a heavy-set white guy is gazing into the camera and saying he lost his job many months ago. And another guy is saying that he has been 13 months without a job. A black lady chopping something on a counter is responding to the interviewer: Yes, she has less than $200 left in total savings. Yes.
    My wife releases a great sigh. The reality of individual destinies, today. This is the real news, the news about real faces, real words, and real individual lives.
    We care today about the individual.
    But, today, Congress approved spending $900 billion dollars. It is to stimulate the U.S. economy. The government can create the dollars, but not a single thing those dollars would buy. The dollars are legally enforceable demands upon goods someone has created. Or they are the product of debt, government borrowing, that future U.S. generations owe. How many individual voices and faces are represented by a government that spends almost $1 trillion that these individuals either paid in taxes, will pay in taxes, will yield in higher prices because of inflation, or will owe—or their children owe?
    Other big news, tonight. Plans of the World Economic Forum, which meets annually at Davos, in Switzerland, are for a “Great Re-Set” of world economies. New plans that the faces and voices on our screens, the individuals, are probably unaware of. Plans for upending the energy industry that drives today’s economy. Schemes for a utopia of “green” power. The proposal for this revolution is made not to the faces and voices on TV, this evening. It is to the political, media, and academic elites that will back legal enforcement of the proposed changes.
    And next month, or next year, the faces and voices on PBS and CNN, in close-up shots of their pained faces, will tell the stories of their jobs, their savings, their constricting choices, their destiny. Because it is for them, in their name, that the trillions of dollars are spent, the global “re-set” is undertaken, and global utopia is envisioned.
    How can this be collectivism?
    The global economy is envisioned for you. Your politicians spend an amount of your money that is equivalent to a year of the nation’s total production. Your public servants devise a formula for protecting the “essential” against the COVID-virus. They inform you of your place in line.
    But on television this evening, your face in close-up from your hospital bed is saying, “Yes, my brothers died of it, and my father, too. I am hoping for…”
    This is the age of individualism as conceived by Andy Warhol. Each of us is plucked from the inert body of the political collective for 15 seconds of fame.
    W. H. Auden, “The Unknown Citizen.”
    “Our researchers into Public Opinion are content
    That he held the proper opinions for the time of year;
    When there was peace, he was for peace: when there was war, he went.
    He was married and added five children to the population,
    Which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent of his generation.
    And our teachers report that he never interfered with their education.
    Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd:
    Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.”
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