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Politics of Collapse: When Things Fall Apart

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The Politics of Collapse: When The Center Will Not Hold, Things Fall Apart

By Danny Schechte

Sometimes, we have to turn to our poets for real insight into our current global condition.

It was back in 1919 in the aftermath of World War l, that Irish wordsmith William Butler Yeats put pen to paper and came up with "The Second Coming," verses that have stood the test of time. Yeats was born the year the American Civil War ended in 1865 and died in 1939, the year World War 2 began.

His most famous lines:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre    

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;  

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;   

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Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,    

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere     

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;     

The best lack all conviction, while the worst -  

Are full of passionate intensity

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I am not so categorical about putting down "passionate intensity," but it is certainly true, as every reader of every newspaper knows, the political center (or Centre in its Anglicized spelling) cannot hold and is not holding.

As a result, we see more volatility leading to instability, along with new stirrings on both the right and the left as the global economy weakens and many nations find themselves saddled with acrimony, debt, disillusion and decline. There is virtually no consensus on solutions.

Perhaps because of the entanglements and interdependency fostered by globalization, governments, right, left and center, don't seem able to solve their economic crises or governance responsibilities. You see it everywhere as political schisms, irrespective of ideology, degenerate into canyons of disbelief and invective. Both socialist and capitalist governments are broken by endless dickering with patching efforts underway that seem to only lead to more crises, not the end of crisis.

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News Dissector Danny Schechter is blogger in chief at Mediachannel.Org He is the author of PLUNDER: Investigating Our Economic Calamity (Cosimo Books) available at Amazon.com. See Newsdisssector.org/store.htm.

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A really fine, pointed analysis of the disin... by Marika on Thursday, Jul 26, 2012 at 5:53:10 AM
Yeats had no difficulty understanding what he was ... by Walter J Smith on Thursday, Jul 26, 2012 at 11:27:19 AM
Are we supposed to take this lightweight skim of h... by Robert S. Becker on Thursday, Jul 26, 2012 at 11:27:59 AM
But it is not enough to call for the "renewal of r... by Walter J Smith on Thursday, Jul 26, 2012 at 12:02:54 PM
Rudyard Kipling If ... by Mark Sashine on Thursday, Jul 26, 2012 at 2:14:48 PM
Too much (ironic?) Kipling (and mediocre poetry) a... by Robert S. Becker on Thursday, Jul 26, 2012 at 2:48:31 PM
I happened to quote  Yeats  before, this... by Mark Sashine on Thursday, Jul 26, 2012 at 3:14:54 PM
just unsure what you meant.  Sorry, but with ... by Robert S. Becker on Thursday, Jul 26, 2012 at 3:50:05 PM
Kipling was a favorite of Jack London and .. that ... by Mark Sashine on Thursday, Jul 26, 2012 at 4:00:30 PM
Jack London is a decent essayist (and weaker novel... by Robert S. Becker on Thursday, Jul 26, 2012 at 4:22:50 PM
I've read your articles and comments both here and... by Judy Palmer on Friday, Jul 27, 2012 at 12:14:04 AM
Untethered opinions are not valuable.  Yours ... by Robert S. Becker on Friday, Jul 27, 2012 at 12:21:38 PM
in effect, a version of "I can't match your statem... by Robert S. Becker on Friday, Jul 27, 2012 at 2:15:58 PM
Frankly, you've lost me, Ms. Palmer. What is your ... by Paul Kibble on Friday, Jul 27, 2012 at 2:53:05 PM
Mr Sashine. My formal education found wanting, I h... by Daniel Penisten on Friday, Jul 27, 2012 at 2:14:48 PM
The actual case that the If poem was translated&nb... by Mark Sashine on Friday, Jul 27, 2012 at 2:33:06 PM
It's interesting to find Yeats and Kipling appe... by Paul Kibble on Friday, Jul 27, 2012 at 3:25:12 PM
I should have mentioned that "The White Man's Burd... by Paul Kibble on Friday, Jul 27, 2012 at 3:51:20 PM
What a pleasure (and contrast) to see someone well... by Robert S. Becker on Friday, Jul 27, 2012 at 4:16:49 PM
I surely knew about  Kipling's views- unlike ... by Mark Sashine on Friday, Jul 27, 2012 at 6:14:22 PM
Kipling  maybe was a  reactionary imperi... by Paul Kibble on Friday, Jul 27, 2012 at 7:53:54 PM
has more life and verve, and less pretense and few... by Robert S. Becker on Saturday, Jul 28, 2012 at 12:20:39 AM
We all know that things are pretty bad now, just w... by Deborah Dills on Thursday, Jul 26, 2012 at 3:53:17 PM