Monday, June 1, 2009

A Way Forward from General Motors' Demise

Over the years, I have admired much of Michael Moore's stuff, but at times have been repelled by his tendency to be a bit too personal in his attacks. (For example, I am no fan of Paul Wolfowitz - and would not oppose his being hauled before the World Court on charges related to his promoting the US invasion of Iraq - but his film segment showing Wolfowitz combing his hair by wetting his comb in his mouth was IMHO hardly necessary to make his larger point.)

That said, though, his "letter" of today : Goodbye, GM Michael Moore

advocates an excellent way forward out of the mess that is the bankruptcy of GM. Whether enough of the American people will buy into it? . . . about that, any drive down the main drag of the small central Michigan city where I live leaves me not too sanguine. Andrew Bacevich explores the reasons why very perceptively in his recent book on "the End of American Exceptionalism." We have become a nation of people who believe that a life of personal mobility, comfort, and excess is our divinely sanctioned birthright. We suck up a huge portion of the planet's resources; yet we have come to believe that the world owes us that, because we are, after all, America. We are very much full of ourselves . . . and, for that reason, very much full of something else.

Our way forward will entail rethinking, downsizing, living within our means and not on the tab that, so many of were raised to believe, our planet itself - and our fellow residents thereof - was happy to extend to us.

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