July 15, 2010

Mine eyes have not seen the glory lately

I confess to a flagging interest in maintaining this journal of half-baked ideas because, let's face it, it's mostly about current events, and current events are depressing. As in Depression. There are numerous bloggers who revel in the steady decay and disintegration of the American economy and its political system of civil liberties and justice, but I'm not really one of them. The Doomsayers include zerohedge, The Automatic Earth, Max Keiser, Peter Schiff, Karl Denninger and The Big Picture, on the economic side, and Glenn Greenwald and Andrew Sullivan on the civil liberties/due process side, and they all make their case forcefully, relentlessly and with the overwhelming facts on their side. The Econobummers, when you think about it, are just doing what American entrepreneurs do: there's a buck to be made in bumming us out, so even if they just keep repeating the same mantras day after day (with evidence changing slightly as time passes and the disintegration accelerates), they can draw eyes to their sites from Internet addicts who can't get enough of all this bad news (which Freud would tell us is a definite symptom of a deep-seated hatred of what we've become).

Economically, you can stick a fork in us, and that's not likely to change for years. Realistically, we started this steady slide in 2007 and it shows signs only of getting worse. There is no leadership and no political inclination to tell the truth. Deficit spending ("stimulus") hits the wall of the yearly deficit and national debt (meaning, we waited till we were too far gone before getting serious about doing anything other than enriching the top 1%). Civil liberties and due process have been trashed by the constant militarization of foreign policy and the maintenance of the National Security State.

In November, I suspect things will get markedly worse, as a desperate populace starts electing certifiable lunatics to high office. This, again, is probably part of the natural course of empire; after it begins to crumble, there is a period of intense decadence when greedy imbeciles rush in to fill the void created by the departure of legitimate authority. You can think of the Tea Party as our modern equivalent of the Vandals and Visigoths, breaching the walls of normality and savaging the fat, complacent, stupid citizenry within. I would rather write a sentence like that now than take my chances after the Fourth Reich sets up shop in Amerika.

Maybe we'll get lucky and just slump down into Japanese-style deflation and malaise. That would be a pretty good outcome, all things considered. Their debt is 200% of GDP, but people are still eating and making do. As I've written before, however, culturally we're not a whole lot like the Japanese. We'd rather take our problems out on each other than try to figure out what to do next.

In true American, atomized style, there will be about 300 million solutions to where we're headed in the months and years ahead.