Tuesday, November 29, 2011

David Foster Wallace on Americans


“Americans are in a way crazy…We don’t think of ourselves as citizens--parts of something larger to which we have profound responsibilities. We think of ourselves as citizens when it comes to our rights and privileges, but not our responsibilities.

Citizens are constitutionally empowered to choose to default and leave the decisions to corporations and to a government we expect to control them. Corporations are getting better and better at seducing us into thinking the way they think--of profits as the telos [an ultimate end] and responsibility as something to be enshrined in symbol and evaded in reality. Cleverness as opposed to wisdom. Wanting and having instead of thinking and making.

We cannot stop it. I suspect what’ll happen is that there will be some sort of disaster…and then it will be showtime: We’ll either wake up and retake our freedom or we’ll fall apart utterly.”

-DAVID FOSTER WALLACE from “THE PALE KING”

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