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Never Trust Anyone Over 30

Politics / US Politics Jul 25, 2014 - 10:26 AM GMT

By: Michael_T_Bucci

Politics

I had reason to rent a vehicle for a day trip to a doctor located some 75 miles from home. I could not help but see a resemblance in the young man taking my application - a college graduate - to journalist Glenn Greenwald. I told him so. He said he didn't know the name. A late fifty-something couple booking a car to Logan airport in Boston didn't know the name either. "Do any of you know the name Edward Snowden?" I asked. They nodded yes.


As I later discovered in personal conversation with the rental car employee, his goals in life were well-defined and no different than goals set by generations before him: income, success and advancement through the ranks of Corporate America. No doubt the fifty-something man had the same goals at the same age having had achieved them already. Today he is head of payroll for North and South America at one of the two largest technology companies in the world. I reasoned he, like Greenwald's look-alike, had no clue that an iceberg had hit the hull of America. Their secure corporate cabins were separated by thirty years of ladder rungs but their two interior compartments were identical: well-insulated, shock absorbent and waterproof. Or so it appeared.

Surprisingly, Mr. Payroll confided how his company exists only to please market analysts when it should be investing in R&D and plotting its future. I agreed, adding how his company's two founders were visionaries as well as scientists and engineers. Of course, this business ethos was the driving entrepreneurial ideology of the 1950s and 1960s as it had been for half a century before prodding men of industry like Bell, Edison, Westinghouse, Firestone and Ford - men born before the onset of outsourcing and before quick-and-dirty financial capitalism replaced domestic industrial output with cheaper and more profitable imports from slave-labor platforms in Asia. The gurus of today are marketing people; sellers of hype and facile promises; peddlers of virtual goods that melt faster than snowflakes; of made-to-be obsolete technology; master shills and pitch men that offer packaging with someone else's product inside - and sometimes with nothing inside at all but a cloud behind a toll booth. They call themselves "innovators". They are supplicants of 10k forms and personal stock options who prefer to suckle adulation from the corporate business press than take an afternoon nap in a lab in Edison, New Jersey in order to experience a "vision" that would solve an engineering problem of the day or open the veil to a new invention.

The "Robber Barons" of old stole, cheated, corrupted, exploited and accumulated personal wealth and power no elected official could ignore. At the same time, they built America. They built the infrastructure, the skyscrapers, the bridges and highways, the rails and airplanes, the ships that exported our massive productive output to the world. Today, the Barons, the Gatsby's, the Billionaires, the "Robbing Hoods" are destroying America as they steal, cheat, corrupt and exploit.

****

Thinking of moving, I visited a mailing center to price the cost for Fedex shipping 500 pounds of possessions to a distance 550 miles away. One man was from New Jersey, the state from where I originated and to where I intended to return. We shared personal tales about mob-infected Atlantic City, corrupt governments, sweat shops, carcasses of abandoned factories left to rust, race riots, slums and Chris Christie's latest faux pas.

Concluding our conversation, I recalled to him the landmark truss bridge from Trenton to Morrisville, Pennsylvania. Opened in 1806, it was the first bridge to cross the Delaware. In 1910, the Trenton Chamber of Commerce hosted a contest to coin a "phrase" to describe Trenton; the winner was S. Roy Heath, a New Jersey Senator. Heath's phrase was slightly altered but is retained. The slogan was re-painted in 1935 during the throes of economic depression, offering buoyant hope for better times. Today, it serves as a bittersweet reminder of Trenton's as well as America's past glories.

It reads: "Trenton Makes and the World Takes".

****

When my wife died of cancer in 1999 I could legitimately say "I have no family". Indeed my parents, all nine uncles and aunts, their spouses and half their children had died already. I was 51 years old and was left with her remarkable art, her memory and a townhouse filled with custom-made furniture and art. There was no future left, I felt. I did what some considered highly risky and foolish but others considered very brave: I "walked". I walked from a successful business, an affluent lifestyle, a reputedly good reputation and standing in the competitive business world surrounding Philadelphia. With cash in hand, no debt, no attachments, no children, no relatives and no plans I sold everything and ventured forth into an unknown destination. My "random walk" brought me to New England through the invitation of a college friend seeking a rental for his summer cottage.

In some sense, mine will be an American story told by others in the future. The details will be different but the motive and plot will be similar. Death of the most sacred does breed anger and chaos, but later detachment and sobriety. Values are clarified and prioritized; the "ground of being" is found and stood upon.

****

In the 1960s, an oft-heard expression was "Never trust anyone over 30".  I think the young of today have adopted it, if not verbally than in practice. And why shouldn't they?

But know that the birth of ideas - especially those of monument that alter the course of civilizations - comes from within. A Thomas Paine or Thomas Jefferson, dreamers, visionaries, architects of a new America exist today but are drowned in the frenzy of our out-of-control violent world; invisible within the dark threatening fogs produced by governments, institutions and media that seek only to prevent their own inevitable decline. John Steinbeck documented the forces of the 1930s Depression in The Grapes of Wrath and Arthur Miller documented the plight of an entire generation born on Main Street USA only to suddenly find themselves left behind, abandoned and made archaic by corporate men in gray flannel suits. Stories will be written - are being written - that will tell the tale of America today. Financial capitalism has destroyed cities, incomes, dignity and security, but it will never destroy the spirit in people.

****

The struggle of the masses is heard throughout the planet. We are living through historic times - perhaps THE most historic times! In order for the new to arise, the old must recede. Hence, escalating military conflicts are mushrooming and possible World War is within earshot.

Today, America, which cannot coexist with any sovereign nation that asserts itself and refuses to submit, will soon find itself alone battling a world that seeks to transit from a U.S. dominated one to a multi-polar globe. This is at the heart of all global conflicts extant and now emerging. But know this planet will survive. It is destined to survive.

The sun is setting the West and rising in the East and no amount of nuclear arsenals will alter the rotation of our world.

Multipolar is upon us. We are interconnected. We are one race. We are universalists.

Thomas Paine said: "I am a citizen of the world and my religion is to do good."

May the young hear those words and become those words. I believe they will.

By Michael T Bucci

Contact: mbucci@michaelbucci.com

(c) 2014 Michael T Bucci. All Rights reserved.

(Note: responses to emails might be delayed or not met.)

Michael T Bucci is a retired public relations executive from New Jersey presently residing in New England. His essays have appeared at The Market Oracle (UK). He is the author of nine books on practical spirituality including White Book: Cerithous.

© 2014 Copyright Michael T Bucci - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


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