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a crack in the ice - Watershed

Jun. 1st, 2006

09:23 am - Watershed

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Everyone knows that in the Foundation novels by Isaac Asimov, there is this character named Hari Seldon, who in the far future develops a science called 'psychohistory' that, in a very sort-of zoomed-out, big-picture way, predicts the political future. Not everyone knows that Hari Seldon is actually a real person; he also owns a time machine, and had lunch with Peggy Noonan yesterday.
(All this can be deduced from her article: http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/pnoonan/ )

All right, so you don't have to be Hari Seldon, or even Peggy Noonan, to sense that America approaches some kind of crossroads. I am not impressed by this Unity '08 entity. Their bid to slurp out the sweet vanilla filling of the American middle is nowhere, man, nowhere. But they have a Frogger knockoff, in which you navigate a suitably bland Everyman voter across four lanes of cars driven by bobble-head Republicans and Democrats, to a utopian "Democracyland". I hear that if you make your little video-game dude jump on Hillary Clinton's head just the right way, it triggers an embedded pornographic sequence!

Ah, if only Unity '08 had that much going for it.

What do you think? Will American disaffection provoke a positive change, from without or from within the present parties? Will it provoke a change to something even worse? Or will the Babel of special interests succeed in diverting general disgruntlement in the inane manner to which we have become accustomed (http://www.helpinganimals.com/animalsHome_hurricaneseason.asp)?

Comments:

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From:dr_scholl
Date:June 1st, 2006 04:01 pm (UTC)
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I just want to throw a couple of quotes at you at random. I was going to put them on my LJ, but this is a good place too. (I may repeat them on my own later...)

    First:

Nothing is so unworthy of a civilized nation as allowing itself to be governed without opposition by an irresponsible clique that has yielded to base instinct... Who among us has any conception of the dimensions of shame that will befall us and our children when one day the veil has fallen from our eyes and the most horrible of crimes ... reach the light of day? If the ... people are already so corrupted and spiritually crushed that they do not raise a hand, frivolously trusting in a questionable faith in lawful order of history; if they surrender man’s highest principle, that which raises him above all other God’s creatures, his free will; if they abandon the will to take decisive action and turn the wheel of history and thus subject it to their own rational decision; if they are so devoid of all individuality, have already gone so far along the road toward turning into a spiritless and cowardly mass - then, yes, they deserve their downfall.

    Second:

At it's very inception this movement depended on the deception and betrayal of one's fellow man; even at that time it was inwardly corrupt and could support itself only by constant lies... If at the start this cancerous growth in the nation was not particularly noticeable, it was only because there were still enough forces at work that operated for the good, so that it was kept under control. As it grew larger, however, and finally in an ultimate spurt of growth attained ruling power, the tumor broke open, as it were, and infected the whole body.

We are not in a position to draw up a final judgment about the meaning of our history. But if this catastrophe can be used to further the public welfare, it will be only by virtue of the fact that we are cleansed by suffering; that we yearn for the light in the midst of deepest night, summon our strength, and finally help in shaking off the yoke which weighs on our world.


Such quotes (and many others) unfortunately ring with some truth in my heart today. Where do they come from? The leaflets of The White Rose, a Nazi resistance group from Munich during WWII.

I haven't finished reading the text of all of the leaflets yet (just finishing up the book about them now) but its amazing the sentiment in them, and how much of it is applicable today.

Yes, its time for a change. The problem is if it'll happen or not. Come November, I may have a lot of thinking to do.







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From:richhope
Date:June 2nd, 2006 04:37 am (UTC)
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I have absolutely no doubts. HUGE changes are coming for America. The empire is, like so many before it, coming to an end. The perfect storm of several forces is coming together and will result in serious devastation.

1) The end of the age of oil (with America using it's military to grab a hold of the last reserves which will inevitably result in worldwide islamic blowback)

2) The mountain of national debt

3) The unmitigated greed of it's ruling class which sells out the American people for a few extra bucks (made in China)

4) A drugged, overworked, exhausted, disinterested and simply stupid (by political will) American people that has lost it's ability to keep it's politicians on course.

5) The sellout of politics to business. (Which has and will even more in the future result in business forcing the end of worker's rights, environmental protection and human decency)

6) The aging baby boomers which come into an age where they will depend on (a totally out of control, overpriced but only mediocre) medical system

7) Global warming which will bring catastrophies, pandemics, new viruses, animal migrations, migrations of people, droughts, hurricanes and more devastation than any insurance can cover.

8) The end of the global market (due to the superpriced last drops of oil) which will leave America without a basis for it's own production (manufacturing here was always dependent on rich oil supplies, and most of manufacturing has been shipped off to China, so even if America gets it's manufacturing back it will have hopelessly antiquated factories)

9) The crumbling of the dollar as the world's currency

10) Millions of people who currently live just on the brink, paycheck by paycheck, will be pushed over the edge by the first economic crisis that comes their way. This will result in a loss of purchase power of the American consumer (which still keeps the world economy going) and once that consumer power is gone a worldwide depression will start.


I am sure I have overlooked a few factors. Just hacked the list up in a few minutes. But it doesn't matter which factors will come to pass to which degree. For me it is fact that America will fall into a depression the likes of which has never been seen before.

Can the catastrophy be prevented?
Some of the factors can be reduced by taking the right action. But I see no signs for change. Not even the elections in November will change anything. The American political system is corrupted through and through. Democrats and Republicans have whored themselves out to big business and political power has become a farce.

A new, third party? Not in a time where politics is now the handpuppet of big business. Political power used to control business. Now business is the new boss in town. The only chance for REAL reform is going to be economic pressure. Companies budge quickly in the face of millions of angry consumers. That is the only chance to bring the power back to the people. Voting is out. Consumer organisation is in.

Hope? I still have hope. Hope for mankind. But none for the survival of we call our civilized world. That is going to shambles. But mankind, mostly in the rural areas will survive. Humans are going to adapt, maybe learn and possibly even come to greatness again. But for billions of people there will be much suffering and needless dying.

We built the tower of Babel in our mega cities. That tower was built on oil. Once that is gone a new world, more reminiscent of the world before the industrial revolution will arise. Mankind will shrink (during a horrific period of suffering) but afterwards hopefully the sun will raise again over a new world.

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