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    The Atlantic | George Packer | 4/20/20 | 15 min
    21 reads16 comments
    9.4
    The Atlantic
    21 reads
    9.4
    You must read the article before you can post or reply.
    • ChetD7 months ago

      This observation “even with full employment, a large and growing gap between triumphant capital and beleaguered labor;”is spot on. The low unemployment numbers hid a dark reality of 50 something gig workers grossly underemployed and underpaid with no benefits but showing up in the employed column.

      • Alexa
        Scout
        7 months ago

        oh for SURE. I'm a freelance writer (and in NV with no freelancer or self-employed unemployment). The gig workers or self-employed in my entire state are drifting, if you're underemployed or run out of work as a sole proprietor you fall through the cracks.

    • Pegeen
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      7 months ago

      “When the virus came here, it found a country with serious underlying conditions, and exploited them ruthlessly.” Incredible clear headed arguments for a massive change in our leadership - dare I even call it that. So much is being shown to us at this time that’s it’s almost overwhelming. I can not ignore this and look away. Or use the excuse, what difference does it make, all politicians are corrupt.

    • jbuchana7 months ago

      [Sarah Palin] She was Donald Trump’s John the Baptist.

      That is a stunningly true statement. After reading it, it took a moment until I realized that this puts trump into the position of a religiously-approved savior, which is exactly what some very misguided people consider him to be. Perhaps uncomfortably true is the phrase I’m looking for.

      strip-mine public assets for the benefit of private interests.

      That’s been the right-wing game plan for some time now, and they just keep getting better at it every year.

      A third of the country locked itself in a hall of mirrors that it believed to be reality; a third drove itself mad with the effort to hold on to the idea of knowable truth; and a third gave up even trying.

      It turns out that everything has a cost, and years of attacking government, squeezing it dry and draining its morale, inflict a heavy cost that the public has to pay in lives

      Truly a failed state.

    • jackdille7 months ago

      We really are living history. I hope we come out on the right side.

      • bill
        Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
        7 months ago

        Me too. But do you think we will? There’s no going back, but what does a safe landing even look like?

        I‘m concerned about two things (1) a domestic revolution could be violent and (2) globally, I don’t see the US going down without a fight. I think we’d blow up our enemy before accepting that we’ll need to bow down to, say, China, or the EU. I’m nervous about nukes.

        • jbuchana7 months ago

          a domestic revolution could be violent

          I remember before the virus, something I was seeing signs of on the 'net was called the "Boogaloo", sometimes the Big Igloo" and other names to avoid moderation on social media web sites. It was supposed to be a right-wing near-civil-war before the election, or after the election if Trump lost. I've seen virtually nothing of it since the virus took over the news.

        • jackdille7 months ago

          I wrote a whole long response here then tried to cmd+click the article to review it and lost my work :( An auto-save would be legend!

          Anyway I'll try to re-summarize my opinions

          • Unlikely domestic revolution
          • Unlikely nuclear war / I just cannot personally worry about it
          • Safe landing: the pandemic is like a forest fire and in its wake new processes, ideas, and attitudes will grow. I'm optimistic.
    • bill
      Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
      7 months ago

      I haven’t done my taxes in 2 years and I haven’t had healthcare in 3. For quite some time, I have been in the “failed state” camp, although I never verbalized it in that way. Of course it’s all broken. So I participate in new/different ways. Overall, I have never felt more “engaged.”

      So, yes to (almost) everything. The bit about Jared Kushner was, indeed, visceral and jarring. But “failed state” is on a spectrum, and we should recognize that it can get so much worse. I’ve seen some shit abroad that is truly “failed state.” In Malaysia, the power went out across the entire nation on the day of a national election so that the ruling party could snatch the election from the growing opposition. The US is in a disturbing spot, but it’s not that bad. Yet.

      In addition to being a Falstaff-level clown character, Trump has a strange was of saying things that are blindingly true. I can’t stop thinking about, “Perhaps that’s been the story of life.”

      • Alexa
        Scout
        7 months ago

        "Perhaps that's been the story of life" got under my skin real deep.

        My pessimism says it's like a room of monkey's typing Shakespeare but I must admit he has a very shrewd, keen understanding of how the world works or he wouldn't be where it is.

        I think nailing those truisms is part of how he hooks a lot of people, Chuck Palahniuk suggests (in Consider This) that the best writers seem to read our mind bc they nail whatever we've never been able to put into words--it's the truisms.

        • bill
          Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
          7 months ago

          he has a very shrewd, keen understanding of how the world works

          Yup. And, more specifically, a keen understanding of the very worst aspects of humanity -- because he is those things, and has always been completely submerged in those things.

    • sjwoo7 months ago

      If I could give this article a rating of 100, I would. It's such an impassioned essay and yet it's so completely controlled. Crying while reading a political essay is something I never thought would happen to me, but this one...

      "Russia, Taiwan, and the United Nations sent humanitarian aid to the world’s richest power—a beggar nation in utter chaos."

      Truth hurts -- it hurts so much that it kills.

      • bill
        Top reader of all timeScoutScribe
        7 months ago

        Thanks for posting and sharing.

    • Alexa
      Scout
      7 months ago

      After we’ve come out of hiding and taken off our masks, we should not forget what it was like to be alone.

      Again & again I hope to hear this message, esp that other article about "prepare for the great gaslighting". Disasters are the best time to see the cracks in the system, here's hoping we don't forget how to find and fix them when sunnier days come around

      • Raven7 months ago

        You’re so right Alexa, it seems that the proportion of the population that is questioning this entirely manufactured situation is increasing daily I am intrigued to see how this all shakes out. Thanks for your comment.

    • kurpels7 months ago

      This article has it all: a comparison of Sarah Palin and Donald Trump to John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth, how terrible Jarad Kushner is, AND the jarring reminder that families are saying goodbye to people on their death bed via FaceTime.