Denying the Imperium of Death – Consortiumnews

The tens of thousands of American deaths from drug overdoses are a measure of the hopeless desperation left behind by the soul-starving socio-economic system of late-stage capitalism, writes poet Phil Rockstroh.

By Phil Rockstroh

According to a nationwide study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a greater number of U.S. Americans died (approximately 65,000) from drug overdoses last year than were killed during the course of the Vietnam War.

At the start of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, President George W. Bush ordered the U.S. military to conduct a devastating aerial assault on Baghdad, known as “shock and awe.”

All part and parcel of capitalism’s war against life itself. The emotional and physical pain, anxiety, and depression inflicted by the trauma inherent to a system sustained by perpetual exploitation has proven to be too much for a sizeable number of human beings to endure thus their need to self-medicate.

The root of addiction is trauma. The soul of the nation is a casualty of war. There is not an Arlington Cemetery for these fallen, no hagiographic ceremonies will be performed over their graves nor statues erected in memoriam. Their ghosts will howl through the long, dark night of national denial. Listen to their wailing. It is an imprecatory prayer. A curse and augury … that admonishes, our fate and the fate of the nation will converge … as the nation will stagger, keening in lament, to the abyss.

The solution: Within each of us swells a deathless song. Powerful. Resonate. Piercing. A song, miraculous of influence, plangent with the force to seize back your soul from the death-besotted spirit of the age. Let it rise from within you. Notice: how flocks of empire’s death birds scatter like ashes in the wind.

Yet it will not be possible to navigate around the cultural deathscape; we must walk through it and chronicle its serial affronts to our humanity: “You have to see that the buildings are anorexic, you have to see that the language is schizogenic, that ‘normalcy’ is manic, and medicine and business are paranoid.” — James Hillman

Try this: Simply stand in the isle of a corporate,…

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