New York Chic


One of the things I remember most about becoming a student at Columbia University in 1957 was the arrogance of the Columbia College football fight song.  “Oh, who owns New York?  Why, we own New York.  C-O-L-U-M-B-I-A.”  A not so subtle reminder of the fact that Columbia once owned Rockefeller Center.

American exceptionalism pales in comparison to the hubris of New Yorkers.  Most Americans believe that the United States is the greatest nation in the world.  All New Yorkers know that New York City is the greatest city on the planet.  Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, “the nation’s mayor,” raised such pretentiousness to heretofore unseen levels.  Mayor Michael Bloomberg is no exception.

New York City is the economic, financial, marketing, cultural, moral, and political epicenter of the world.  Although Washington, D.C. is the nominal capital of the United States, New York City is the de facto capital, since the U.S. Government is owned, operated, and controlled by Corporate America and Wall Street.

Brooklyn writer Christopher Ketcham recently published a scathing indictment of New York City in Orion Magazine based on a study by the New York think tank called the Fiscal Policy Institute.  According to the study New York has the most inequitable distribution of income of any of the twenty-five largest cities in the United States.  In 2007, those households in the top one percent income bracket received nearly forty-four percent of all of the income in New York City.  These so-called “One Percenters” had an average annual income of $3.7 million.  Ketcham notes that the One Percenters consist of only 34,000 households, about 90,000 people, out of a population of 9 million.  And who are these One Percenters?  They work for Wall Street based stock brokers, investment banks, hedge funds, credit card companies, and insurance companies.  Their employers include the likes of Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Merrill Lynch, and Deutsche Bank.

Ketcham describes New York One Percenters as, “Sociopaths getting really rich while everyone else just sits on their asses and lets it happen.”  Maybe the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators read his piece?

New York City is all about money, power, speed, greed, and looking out for number one.  It is the global capital of technofascism – affluenza, technomania, cyber-mania, megalomania, robotism, globalization, and imperialism.

My favorite art exhibit in New York City is the large room in the Guggenheim Museum whose four walls are completely covered with 100,000 one-dollar bills.

Several years ago, when the New York Stock Exchange considered the possibility of leaving Wall Street, a prominent Yale economist seriously proposed that the Exchange convert its former headquarters into the Museum of Money.

New Yorkers are primarily into having – owning, possessing, manipulating, and controlling – money, power, people, things, wealth, culture, media, and ideas.  In the words of theologian Paul Tillich, “they are separated from themselves, from others, and the ground of their being.”

Christopher Ketcham has few kind words for the city’s culture which he describes as “cultural nihilism” dominated by “neohipsters.”  “The neohipster is a creature of advertisers:  affluent and status-anxious, which means that he is consumerist and, in the manner of all conspicuous consumers, conforming to the demands of narcissistic chic.”

No one hypes New York chic more effectively than The New Yorker, the magazine for effete snobs.  Both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal are firmly committed to promoting Wall Street, globalization, American imperialism, and unconditional support for the terrorist state of Israel.

New York City is nothing less than the modern equivalent of the Tower of Babel.  It is too big, too crowded, too undemocratic, too regimented, too intrusive, too polluted, too noisy, too commercial, too materialistic, and too dehumanized.  It has too much traffic, too many policemen, too much crime, too much drug addiction, and too little sense of community.

The Columbia College football fight song gets right to the heart of what New York City is all about – ARROGANCE!!

Thomas H. Naylor is Founder of the Second Vermont Republic and Professor Emeritus of Economics at Duke University; co-author of AffluenzaDownsizing the U.S.A., and The Search for Meaning.

Weekend Edition
November 28-30, 2015
Majd Isreb
America’s Spirit, Syrian Connection
Weekend Edition
November 27-29, 2015
Andrew Levine
The Real Trouble With Bernie
Gary Leupp
Ben Carson, Joseph in Egypt, and the Attack on Rational Thought
John Whitbeck
Who’s Afraid of ISIS?
Michael Brenner
Europe’s Crisis: Terror, Refugees and Impotence
Pepe Escobar
Will Chess, Not Battleship, Be the Game of the Future in Eurasia?
Vijay Prashad
Showdown on the Syrian Border
Colin Todhunter
Class, War and David Cameron
Jean Bricmont
The Ideology of Humanitarian Imperialism
Dan Glazebrook
Deadliest Terror in the World: the West’s Latest Gift to Africa
Mats Svensson
Madness in Hebron: Hashem Had No Enemies, Yet Hashem Was Hated
Walter Brasch
Terrorism on American Soil
Louisa Willcox
Grizzly Bears, Dreaming and the Frontier of Wonder
Dave Lindorff
Gen. John Campbell, Commander in Afghanistan and Serial Liar
Michael Welton
Yahweh is Not Exactly Politically Correct
Joseph Natoli
A Politics of Stupid and How to Leave It Behind
Karl Grossman
Our Solar Bonanza!
John Cox
You Should Fear Racism and Xenophobia, Not Syrian Refugees or Muslims
Barrie Gilbert
Sacrificing the Grizzlies of Katmai: the Plan to Turn Brooks Camp Into a Theme
Rev. William Alberts
The Church of “Something Else” in “an Ecclesiastical Desert”
Mark Hand
Escape From New York: the Emancipation of Activist Cecily McMillan
Ramzy Baroud
Forget ISIS: Humanity is at Stake
Andrew Gavin Marshall
Bank Crimes Pay
Elliot Murphy
Cameron’s Syrian Strategy
Gareth Porter
How Terror in Paris Calls for Revising US Syria Policy
Thomas S. Harrington
Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe and the Death of Ezra Schwartz
Michael Perino
The Arc of Instability
Yves Engler
Justin Trudeau and Canada’s Mining Industry
Tom H. Hastings
ISIS and Changing the Game
Lars Jørgensen
Vive la Résistance
John Halle
A Yale Education as a Tool of Power and Privilege
Norman Pollack
Syrian “Civil War”?: No, A Proxy War of Global Confrontation
Sheldon Richman
Let the Refugees In
James Anderson
Reframing Black Friday: an Imperative for Déclassé Intellectuals
Simon Bowring
UN Climate Talks 2009: a Merger of Interest and Indifference
Ron Jacobs
Rosa Luxembourg–From Street Organizer to Street Name
Aidan O'Brien
Same-Sex Sellout in Ireland
David Stocker
Report from the Frontline of Resistance in America
Patrick Bond
China Sucked Deeper Into World Financial Vortex and Vice Versa, as BRICS Sink Fast
James A Haught
The Values of Jesus
Binoy Kampmark
British Austerity: Cutting One’s Own Backyard
Ed Rampell
45 Years: A Rumination on Aging
Charles R. Larson
Chronicle of Sex Reassignment Surgery: Juliet Jacques’s “Trans: a Memoir”
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
CounterPunch’s Favorite Films
November 26, 2015
Ashley Nicole McCray – Lawrence Ware
Decolonizing the History of Thanksgiving