Atilla’s Court

As I sit here putting pen to page, or whatever the paperless equivalent is now called, I am pleased to be reaching out across this huge continent, and even larger planet to the few like-minded individuals that have found their way here over the last few years.  I have a few readers in East Asia, Europe, Australia, Africa and even a South American from time to time.  And of course, I have readers in other parts of North America; several in Canada and even one or two in Mexico.  But the bulk of my readers and almost all of my commenters live in America.  And that’s because I am an American.  What I write about is my thoughts and feelings as I live through the dismantling of the American dream.

Because that’s what it is.  To fight World War II the Federal Government and Corporate America formed an alliance to marshal the resources needed to defeat Germany and Japan.  But more importantly this alliance made a deal with the American people.  In exchange for them sending all of their sons into the meat grinder they promised to supercharge the economy and build a shiny new America full of interstate highways, technological wonders, college degrees and most importantly jobs.  And something else was implied.  It was understood that this alliance of government and business had as its highest priority the welfare of the American people.  Sure, we might have a Marshall Plan for Europe and charity for the third world but when push came to shove their main focus was making sure blue-collar workers in the industrial heartland could afford to put a roof over the heads of their children and food on the table.

And for about twenty-five years it seemed that indeed, the people in Washington made it their business to oversee an economy that did just that.  But somewhere in the 1970s that began to change.  Maybe it was the Cold War or the oil crisis but from that point on it seemed like the lives and livelihood of the middle and working classes became expendable chips in the high stakes games that the rich and the powerful played in Washington.  That deal they made in 1941 has expired.  The IOUs they wrote are now worthless.

And it’s worse than that.  Now they’re making believe they’ve never even heard of us. “Americans?  You must mean the “Old Americans.”  Those racist, transphobes that clutter up the landscape that we want to fill up with “New Americans.”  Haven’t you people died off yet.  We’ve given you enough opioids and scorn to do the job.  What are you waiting for?”

But we’re still here.  And we still remember the deal they made.  And the funny thing is we know that someday they’ll remember that they need us to fight their wars or solve their technical problems or cure their diseases.  But will we still be here?  Because eventually people who aren’t wanted leave.  And they go where they are needed.  Maybe it’ll be Eastern Europe or South America or East Asia or somewhere completely unexpected.  But the way things are going it probably won’t be the United States.  This country has retreated into a contracting pessimism.  We must use less energy, less food, less money, less space, less life.  We will have fewer children, fewer opportunities and fewer reasons to want to live.

Now maybe, possibly we’ll get the upper hand again and hold our leaders in government and industry accountable.  That would be an outcome, much to be desired.  But the record of the last couple of decades doesn’t give me much hope of that.  Those in charge are in almost complete control.  Sure, there are places like Florida that are still putting up a good fight and have been taking back local control from the oligarchs.  I wish them all the success they can obtain.  Maybe they can duplicate that success in an expanding circle of red states that can demand a federalist solution to the Democrat monopoly on federal power that we are living through.  And maybe those red states can assume responsibility for those IOUs that the feds reneged on.  But once again. I’m not holding my breath.

So that’s where it stands.  I feel like one of the Greek renegades who went to work for Atilla the Hun back in 450 A.D. when the historian Priscus was negotiating for the Eastern Roman Emperor Theodosius II to avoid the sack of the Danube provinces.  The renegade still remembers the myth of the Roman Empire he was taught as a boy; a land of justice and prosperity.  But then the reality of crushing taxes, omnipresent incompetent bureaucrats and hypocritical application of the law courts against the common man are remembered and reveal the myth to be a pathetic joke.

Of course, Rome lasted, nominally, for five hundred years after it ceased to be a republic.  Maybe there is no escape from the Global American Empire.  Well, that’s something to chronicle too.  And that’s what I do in my small way.  And also, I give people a cyber space to come to when they want to make a point or share an insight.  So, I’ll maintain my outpost and report what I see and think.  You do your part and tell me what you see and think too.  And spread the word if you know any folks who would fit in here.