Be Citizens Not Consumers (James H. Kunstler)

Kunster’s a straight-talking and hugely entertaining orator from the old school, known for his colourful turn of phrase and direct expression – both can be found in his blog ‘Clusterfuck Nation’. Here he conducts a rigorous analysis of what it is that makes places valuable – and why we keep building places that aren’t worth caring about.

“We have about 38,000 places that are not worth caring about in the United States today- when we have enough of them, we’re gonna have a nation that’s not worth defending. And I want you to think about that when you think about those young men and women who are over in places like Iraq spilling their blood in the sand, and ask yourself what is their last thought of home? I hope it’s not the curb cut between the Chuck E. Cheese and the Target store! ‘Cause that’s not good enough for Americans to be spilling their blood for.

We -  need better places in this country.”

Our favourite point is the one he makes at the end – that we need to stop thinking about ourselves as consumers, and start instead to refer to ourselves as citizens with, as Kunstler says “obligations, responsibilities, and duties to {our} fellow human beings.”

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