Monday, May 10, 2010

Forever Young: The key to the Tea Party movement



Forever young
"We may be prisoners of deep and poorly understood changes to the world economic system." Robert J. Samuelson - Newsweek

"(M)any companies will do whatever necessary to squeeze out added profits. And that will spell disaster – giant oil spills, terrible coal-mine disasters, and Wall Street meltdowns – unless the nation has tough regulations backed up by significant penalties, including jail terms for executives found guilty of recklessness, and vigilant enforcement." Robert Reich

It is hardly a new insight that much of the environmental movement is a Trojan Horse for socialist assumptions and ambitions (the British like to call environmentalists “watermelons”—green on the outside, red on the inside). Jonah Goldberg - Commentary

"Since the beginning of the modern period, expanding markets and communications networks had an explosive force, with individualising and liberating impacts on individual citizens; but each such opening was followed by a reorganisation of the old relations of solidarity within an expanded institutional framework. Time and again, a sufficient equilibrium between the market and politics was achieved to ensure that the network of social relations between citizens of a political community was not damaged beyond repair. According to this rhythm, the current phase of financial-market-driven globalisation should also be followed by a strengthening not only of the European Union but of the international community. Today, we need institutions capable of acting on a global scale." J├╝rgen Habermas - Financial Times
David Seaton's News Links
When I am subjected to an information overload, I occasionally experience some sort of intuitive flash connected to images, a sudden understanding/epiphany/gestalt.

The Greek crisis combined with the chaos of the volcanic ash episode and the hideous, Gulf of Mexico oil spill, followed close on by the mysterious Dow Jones electronic trading collapse the other day on Wall Street, set off such a eureka moment for me.

Suddenly the Tea Party movement revealed itself in a poetic metaphor to me in a way that put them into a different perspective. Something that although just as grotesque, is at the same time touchingly human in its vulnerability.

It came to me that the Tea Party movement with their confused and confusing agenda, the open carrying of fire arms in Starbucks, the birthers, the militias, the "Last Days" crowd, the Limbaughs, the Becks, and all the assorted, foxy, incoherent mishegoss that goes with them is one and the same thing as collagen lip injections, faces paralyzed with botox or toupees and comb overs: a self-deceiving escape from the inevitable. Fooling the mirror perhaps, but nobody else, certainly not Father Time or the Grim Reaper or the great undercurrents of events. This escapism from the simplest of realities is one of the hallmarks of our era.

The Tea Baggers, like the botox zombies, are just whistling past the graveyard.

Everything we are living right now, from global warming to the juking and jiving of the financial system, from exploding population in poor countries, to aging populations in the rich ones, is crying out for more regulation, more control, more transparency and more taxes to pay for it. This is either going to happen or our world is going to disintegrate into a devil's stew of famine, pollution, explosively intolerable inequality and endless war... not necessarily in that order.

The world of the future will be a world of control or it wont be.

The world of the future will be a world of iron rules and regulations and with all the privacy of a nudist camp, or it will be a nightmare beyond our powers to imagine.

This process is as inevitable as aging leading to dying.

People do some some weird stuff when staring down the one that the Spanish call "the bald lady"... death.

Just as an aging woman who has had her lips blown up like Donald Duck fools herself into thinking she is still desirable, someone who walks into Starbucks with a pitiful little pistol on his hip fools himself into thinking he has power over his life and future. He sips his latte made from coffee grown in an impoverished third-world narco-state and sits there worrying about a dark skinned "socialist" coming and taking his little gun away.

The word "socialism" is thrown about with so much abandon. The word is used as an automatic disqualification, something both strange and sinister, touched with the "Mark of the Beast".

However, the world we are fast approaching would be fortunate if it were somehow connected to Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, somehow an expression of international solidarity. Because the alternative, at best, would be a global version of a huge Indian slum, a human ant's nest crossed by open sewers, filled with hunger, anger and disease or living skeletons listlessly wasting away in starved apathy: the world's misery huddled at the feet of a few gated communities, heavily guarded by... Predator drones. DS

2 comments:

Publius said...

David,
I have to reluctantly say that you are correct: the future system of politics, economic systems, and government will need to be tightly interwoven and governed (i.e., controlled), or there will simply not be the capacity to deal with the problems caused by a huge and growing human population that is also eating through its seed corn.

I do not believe the requisite control will be achieved, for many reasons. I do not believe that the energy resources (oil) needed to exert such control will exist. We are already on the downslope of Peak Oil. Our economic system cannot survive the inevitable and long-term decline in GDP, and therefore our national political systems will not survive in their current forms, let alone aspire to global control.

Sure, the nation-states may keep the current names, but the future lies in devolution and local control. I'm sure you are familiar with the economist E.F. Schumacher and the idea of subsidiarity: things are best done by the smallest unit of government that can do it.

So, globalism is dying and must die. The needed iron control will not happen. Regions and peoples who embrace humane economic and environmental policies stand a chance of living some kind of civilized life. The rest WILL suffer a tremendous and once-in-a-species level die-off caused by war, disease, environmental devastation, and famine.

It has begun.

There is no chance of saving the whole, but those localized groups of humans who choose the path of humanistic living in synergy with nature will live lives that on the surface are poor (to our benighted materialistic view), but are actually far more satisfying from a holistic, psychological perspective.
That is, these lucky few will be poor and happy.
A quote from William James (who was quoting an old joke):
Q: Is life worth living?
A: It depends on the liver.

oldfatherwilliam said...

95% rubes, 5% swine. You are absolutely correct, and I blame Reagan, of course, for the 30 year orgasm of greed that appears to have been staged to determine whose descendants shall live in those gated communities, Calcutta style.