The End of Summer

August 31st isn’t the last day of summer.  It’s not even Labor Day this year, the unofficial last day of summer.  But flipping the calendar from August to September is a psychological milestone.  Even in an unusual year like this where the grass is lush and green and the flowers abound there are subtle signs that fall is imminent.  The days are already shorter.  Even on hot days the nights are cooler.  Some birds are getting ready to leave and some of the insect life is dying off.  The crickets and frogs are still singing but there is a certain desperate edge to their choruses.

So here we are at the end of the silly season and pretty soon politics will begin dominating the news as the pretend process of enacting all the psycho legislation that Biden and the rest of the nation-wreckers have teed up is displayed for us in the headlines.  And once that charade is done it’s time for the Republicans to miraculously make a comeback and win back control of the House and maybe Senate in 2022.  Of course, that won’t undo any of the damage done.  Fake elections will have been enshrined as the law of the land and various other atrocities will be enacted.  But, by gum, Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell will be handing out PAC money to their loyal toadies the way nature intended it to be.  And then it will be time for Mitt Romney to start talking about Senate investigations into the failures in the Afghanistan withdrawal.  And the recommendations of that investigation will be to double the defense budget to make sure that next time we never leave a country like Afghanistan again.

But I’m guessing that a lot more Americans aren’t buying into any of this anymore.  A lot of us have seen this movie before.    Does anyone believe that our defense budget isn’t big enough?  Does anyone think we need another aircraft carrier?  Does anyone believe that we all need a third dose of COVID vaccine?  Does anyone believe that putting the first tranny Moslem on the Moon is what NASA should be doing with their budget?  Does anyone believe that eliminating all testing from our schools will bring about equal opportunity for kids in the ghetto?  Does anyone believe that defunding the police will make black kids safer?  Does anyone believe that mandating what percentage of women or minorities or sexual deviants make up the board of directors of a corporation will make it a more efficient or even a more moral company?  Does anyone believe that a country that has tolerated endless affirmative action is afflicted with “systemic racism?”

I could go on forever.  The point is we are reaching a tipping point.  Soon more people will be done with the charade than follow it.  At some point there won’t be enough people who believe in this stuff to keep the thing going.  More people will be looking for ways to avoid the fallout of living in a madhouse than will be trying to keep it going.  For instance, when public schools don’t teach, parents who care about their kids will opt out of them, even if they have to scrimp to pay for private schools.  Eventually the public school system will become untenable.  No employer will hire a public-school graduate.  The local taxpayers will refuse to pay the salaries of people who don’t perform any useful service to the community.

When a city defunds the police, the middle class will move out.  The very rich who can afford private security and the very poor who have no choice will stay.  But the city will become a dysfunctional wasteland the way Detroit has.

And the eventual outcome when these breakdowns continue long enough is that somewhere someone is going to see an opportunity to challenge the system and provide people with an alternative.  If a governor decides to insulate his citizens from the dysfunction that the federal government sponsors, he’ll be the most popular leader in America.  And if he succeeds in resisting the federal government in this effort more than half of the other states will join him.

And if no one comes along to do this a lot of Americans will leave.  We were born and raised in a free country.  If we’re going to be serfs we might as well go somewhere where they treat the serfs better.  We might as well go where they don’t indoctrinate our kids into believing that they were born evil because of the color of their skin.  And when we leave America will become Brazil.

The House of Cards

The United States in the 20th century proved itself to be the most formidable nation state on the face of the Earth.  It settled two world wars, invented nuclear weapons and put a man on the moon.  It also oversaw the implosion of the only other nation that rivalled it in military power and influence.  It has the reserve currency for the whole planet and invented countless processes and products that define modern life.  It was the engine that rebuilt the face of the human civilization and dictated the terms of acceptable behavior for almost every country.  And finally, it dragged the whole world into the digital age and gave the internet primacy over every other way of communicating.

And that immense success was built on the cooperation of a continent straddling nation that saw themselves as a free people who were allowed enormous freedom in exchange for allowing their fellow citizens to enjoy that same freedom.

Here we are about seventy-five years after that immensely powerful country defeated the enemies of civilization in World War II.  But now its richest and most influential citizens have decided amongst themselves that they no longer want or need a free citizenry.  They see a new vision of the future.  In this new world this elite would become the de facto rulers of the world.  And the rest of the human race, including the rest of the Americans, will be their servants.  And even the status as servants will be contingent on how much trouble they make for the masters.

And to bring about this new world they are using the tremendous power and influence of the United States government as their weapon.  Having been given the fig leaf of the Patriot Act they can use the combined surveillance capabilities of the intelligence agencies and their vassals, the Tech Oligarchs to spy on anyone who disagrees with their agenda.  And they can use the Justice Department and the Courts to enforce these agendas by dealing out unlimited prison terms to anyone they deem a threat.

The elites here are using the template that other totalitarian states have used in the past to control their populations.  The Russians, the Cubans, the Chinese and the other Marxist states have been successful in the past at setting up a regime based on surveillance and fear.  Russia was able to keep it going for about seventy years.  The Chinese have done even a little better, but that may be because we have funded their industrial economy in the last thirty years.  But our elites think they have the whole Marxist problem licked.  No more talk of communist economics.  Market capitalism is mother’s milk to these men.  No, they have come up with a corporate state that they believe has all the advantages of democracy and communism without any of the disadvantages.  It has the prosperity of the western countries without the messy results of free elections.  It has all the dictatorial control of communism but without all the starvation and bad consumer goods of the Soviet Union days.  So, everybody wins!

Well, except for people who want to live free lives the way they want to.  Because certain things will have to go away.  The biggest thing is freedom.  It’s too expensive.  We can’t let the proles have things we don’t want them to have.  Like families, their own homes, cars and luxuries like air conditioning and good food.  Those things will be reserved for the elites.  The proles will get a guaranteed minimum income, free drugs and unlimited internet porn to keep them from noticing their futures and lives evaporating away.  And they will get the satisfaction of knowing they are saving Gaia, their true mother.

It’s been a pretty effective plan.  They’ve used the schools, colleges and the media to convince an entire younger generation that only evil people want freedom and a future.  They’ve coopted all of the corporations and this effectively silences the working age population too.  The only ones left to object are the self-employed and the older people.  And as long as they kept alive the illusion that our leaders were selected by fair elections the people who saw things going the wrong way had the hope that things could be set right.

The 2020 elections put an end to that.  The mask is off and we can see that the United States of America now has as illegitimate a government as any Latin American banana republic.  And not only that, but most banana republics have nowhere near as much control over the lives of its citizens as the United States has.  The pretense that Americans enjoy freedom of speech, religion, free association, and the right to bear arms has also been shattered.  And the surveillance state will use its capabilities to punish anyone who tries to use these former freedoms in ways the state does not like.

So that’s a pretty grim picture.  Are we doomed?  Maybe not.  The United States has a large population that is not used to being slaves.  I think there is a reasonable chance that somewhere in the red states a resistance movement will spring up and act as a power center for a larger revolt against our masters.  After all, in the last analysis the elites are depending on the US military to enforce obedience to the anti-freedom policies of the US government.  If a big strong state ever told the federal government to pound sand it is not a foregone conclusion that the army is going to come in and kill Americans to make them submit to tyranny.  In fact, I think even the elites know this in their hearts.

And that is how we come back to my title.  A democracy ultimately depends on the consent of the governed.  If the governed learn that the democracy is a sham then that automatically removes the consent.  And if the free people of the United States decide that they’ve been enslaved the whole thing will fall like a house of cards.

The last two times there have been revolts they were led by the elites.  This time that may not be possible.  President Trump is the closest we’ve come to one of the elites jumping onto our bandwagon.  It doesn’t mean he is the only one.  But most of those people are too bought into the existing power structure to want to start breaking things and risk being dragged off to prison or worse.

So maybe this really has to be a peasant’s revolt.  I’ve heard that’s an impossibility but I think that just means it hasn’t been done lately.  The good bad news is Dementia Joe and his woke friends are spoiling to cause more grief.  It really only takes one good spark to start a forest fire when conditions are bad.  And conditions are definitely bad.