"I love the people I run into, but I pity them for having to live as they do, and I think the world of U.S.A. [at this time] is a world of crass, blind, overstimulated, phony, lying stupidity. The war...slowly gets worse--and almost more inane. The temper of the country is one of blindness, fat, self-satisfied, ruthless, mindless corruption. A lot of people are uneasy about it but helpless to do anything against it. The rest are perfectly content with the rat race as it is, and with its competitive, acquisitive, hurtling, souped-up drive into nowhere. A massively aimless, baseless, shrewd cockiness that simply exalts itself without purpose. The mindless orgasm, in which there is no satisfaction, only spasm."
A timely observation, yes. But written by Father Thomas Merton on May 27...1967, during the Vietnam War. I spotted this in his journals, VI.239. (Reprinted in A Year with Thomas Merton, HarperSanFrancisco, 2004).
Will we ever learn?