I need to be careful with my time and energy.
The discussion of politics is one of the most-nearly-bottomless pits for wasting time that I have yet discovered. It beats out video games by a broad margin. In addition, it leaves me feeling dirty.
I’ve had these kinds of discussions in business settings as well. I remember a period when I was asked to come to a weekly technical meeting an hour’s drive away, and every meeting was the same meeting. Marvin (not a real name) would raise the irritating point he had raised the previous week. Edgar (also not a real name) would take the same issue with this point he had expressed the previous week. Marvin would defend his point by repeating it. Edgar would become more irritated and refute it again with the same argument. This would continue for most of an hour while the rest of us contemplated exactly how much of our morning coffee had made it through our kidneys. At long last, the hour was up and we would part ways until the following week, when the discussion would resume.
The Tea Party wants to shrink federal government. Fine. That means three things:
- The government needs to stop borrowing money. No new T-Bonds.
- The government needs to start taxing people who have money, rather than those who do not.
- The military needs to be slashed to a fraction of its current bloat.
The Tea Party hasn’t the cojones to even suggest this. They are frauds.
The Democrats want to get the economy back on track and continue the New Deal. Fine. That means two things:
- An adequate replacement for oil.
- Abandoning capitalism, reserve banking, and proportional gain.
Democrats don’t even see this coming. They are frauds on crack cocaine.
The Republicans want a corporate Plutocracy and a middle class reduced to slavery. Fine. It’s on the way, just be patient, dammit. Rome wasn’t destroyed in a day. And by the way, invest in some pitchfork-proof underwear, and Kevlar cravats. Your system doesn’t work, either.
There is nothing in the existing political sphere worthy of discussion: frauds, drugged-out frauds, and evil overlords.
Oh, and a massively ignorant public that thinks it is well-informed by “fair and balanced” television entertainment channels designed strictly and solely to make money.
What’s actually coming is going to be far stranger and more interesting than any of this.
One vision is my son’s. It involves new energy — let’s say cold fusion — and nano-fabrication. He and his generation are not much for capitalism. They’ve seen it implode, and they understand its limitations in ways that our generation doesn’t. They want a world of free energy and free stuff. Surprisingly, they might pull it off. The nature of work, wealth, and government will change dramatically compared to what we know now.
Another vision is a controlled breakdown through “transition towns.” Unless my son’s vision takes hold (and bears fruit), the Tea Party is going to get its wish for smaller government when the next economic collapse — or the one after that, or the one after that — brings down the government. The government will be immediately replaced, of course, with another government that promises to govern responsibly, but which will not. It will also collapse. As will the next. And the next. In the meantime, government checks will become unreliable, government money will become worthless, major infrastructure will slowly break down, the commons will revert to the wilderness, and practical governance will come back home. A lot of people will die. Then a lot of babies will be born.
Of course, there’s the “end of the world” vision. My guess — and it is only a guess — is that the closest we ever came to this as a species was when the seawall at the Straits of Gibraltar broke through some ten or twenty thousand years ago, filling the Mediterranean basin with seawater within somewhere between a month and a century, destroying countless cities on the shores of Lake Mediterraneo and giving rise to the legends of the Flood. Or perhaps there really was the great seafaring civilization of Mu in the Sea of China, and when the sea levels rose between ten and twenty thousand years ago, the entire civilization perished.
My point here is that the “end of the world” is fiction. Barring a nearby gamma-burst or an asteroid strike, people will still be around after the US Capitol Building is broken down to line fireplaces. Some specific places in the country will endure horrors. Others will be spared. History will continue.