[T]he fiscal crisis in Greece has shown the price that governments pay when they lose credibility in the markets.
Like every culture, consumerism has its own language, and every time it speaks, it speaks of capital.
Consumerism, having discarded its conspicuous pose, is capital in its populist form. Subsequently, consumption became life, and work its sustenance. Everything that is real is realized through the market.
The democratization of capital was the inevitable outcome of that threat posed to capital by democracy, which was met in the crucible of 20th century politics.
In the great contest between cultures, a power culture emerged which consolidated capital between two populist forms: a socialism, and a consumerism. Where socialism played to certain needs, consumerism invented them.
The totalizing impulse of capital broke free from the state, and an unfettered consumerism marked "the end of history."
History begins anew with each autonomous culture met by capital; it records no greater threat in its past.
In every society where a culture of consumerism prevails, the whole of life succumbs to that class of investors enlisted to further the aims of capital.
In the United States, the accumulation of capital through the health care system created a commodity so expensive that the government assumed the cost of purchasing it for everyone. This price paid to investors contributed directly to the very deficit now cited as justification for cuts to those portions of the health system not yet paying dividends. Such "entitlements," consumerism asserts, are really just commodities that the public have mistaken for rights; after all, no one is "entitled" to commodities.
The ballooning federal deficit expands upward from a landscape cratered by capital. "National security" at every level is cleared through Wall St. -- which is precisely why there is no price too great to pay for it: "freedom," after all, "isn't free"! The kind of labor arbitrage accomplished through the free mobility of capital makes tax revenue the luxury of whatever developing dictatorship can guarantee growth at 15 percent, while every other government depends on loans from the very investor class they go deeper into debt to enrich.
The same force that was once conspicuous in its consumption has since recruited us to its cause, having defeated its cultural rivals. But history begins anew with each effort at an autonomous culture.