Glenn Beck's little festival of anti-semitic propaganda last week has got me once again looking at options for living somewhere else. It's not exactly that I expect stormtroopers to be marching down the street anytime soon (on the other hand, my grandparents in Germany and Czechoslovakia didn't think things would get that bad either, and it's only that they had the prudence to send their children out to England early that I am here to write this). But the fact that a major corporation could permit such unadulterated crap to appear under its name is just a further sign of the general disfunctionalization of society. It's one thing for the world to be run by a clique of self-interested elites -- that's the norm of human history. It's quite another for the elites to be nothing but grifters, looters, and sociopaths who can't apparently even take the trouble to try to maintain the society they are sucking dry.
It's sort of the difference between a more-or-less benign parasite and virulent pathogens. Normal capitalists are tapeworms, Fox News is Ebola.
Anyway, smart rootless cosmopolitans keep a bag packed and their options open. Ironically, it looks like I may qualify for German citizenship so perhaps I can make the opposite journey that my parents did. Don't think I could really take living in Germany (although this recent book makes it sound pretty attractive) but the EU's a big place, and perhaps better equipped to go into the future with a modicum of sanity.
[[update: Here's Digby making essentially the same point at greater length. Key quote: "What's broken down is down is the institutional system that forced elites to work at least somewhat on behalf of the people. Government, clergy, journalism, high finance, the legal system, the military, all of it, has stopped functioning properly." Beck is both a symptom of this breakdown and a contributer to it. ]]