Remember the springtime!
The daily bleeding of thousands of jobs will soon turn our economic crisis into a political crisis. The street protests, strikes and riots that have rattled France, Turkey, Greece, Ukraine, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Iceland will descend on us. It is only a matter of time. And not much time. When things start to go sour, when Barack Obama is exposed as a mortal waving a sword at a tidal wave, the United States could plunge into a long period of precarious social instability.It seems doubtful that the best days of these United States are ahead of us. Especially if our recent past is the measure by which we judge our future. We've entered a dark period.
At no period in American history has our democracy been in such peril or has the possibility of totalitarianism been as real. Our way of life is over. Our profligate consumption is finished. Our children will never have the standard of living we had. And poverty and despair will sweep across the landscape like a plague. This is the bleak future. There is nothing President Obama can do to stop it. It has been decades in the making. It cannot be undone with a trillion or two trillion dollars in bailout money. Our empire is dying. Our economy has collapsed.
How will we, as a people, adjust to the new reality? How will we learn to live with less --much less --than we have had before?
How will we cope with our decline? Will we cling to the absurd dreams of a superpower and a glorious tomorrow or will we responsibly face our stark new limitations? Will we heed those who are sober and rational, those who speak of a new simplicity and humility, or will we follow the demagogues and charlatans who rise up out of the slime in moments of crisis to offer fantastic visions? Will we radically transform our system to one that protects the ordinary citizen and fosters the common good, that defies the corporate state, or will we employ the brutality and technology of our internal security and surveillance apparatus to crush all dissent? We won't have to wait long to find out.Rough sledding, eh? Who needs some cinematic adaptation of a Cormac McCarthy novel? Hedges depicts a bleak, frightening vision, made all the more terrifying in that it has proved itself countless times in the course of human events. And we can see its proofs increasingly every day, all around us.
Do you believe in his vision? I do. (Oh, would it were not so!)
Dark Ages, here we come.
As to our condition and who is to blame for it --we've all got red hands, every one of us. Hanging people won't do any good. Nobody is as big as this. Not Obama, not Reagan, not Junior, not even Dick Cheney.
We've got a brave, new world on our very doorstep. Can we find a way to welcome it?
It's worth a shot, ain't it?
The very fate of humanity hangs in the balance.