We can’t predict the future – but it can be fun trying
TMV’s fearless leader and Editor-in-Chief Joe Gandelman posted his thoughts earlier today that Democrats might have blown a generational opportunity for long-term political control. I humbly disagree on some points and agree on others – though both of us could be proven wrong. Perhaps we should contact the alleged clairvoyant Madame Olga on the West Side of Cleveland, Ohio for more accurate soothsaying. She might suggest that deep down no one really wants to be in control and be held responsible for anything that will occur during the next two decades.
I agree with Mr. Gandelman in thinking that Republicans will rout Democrats this November at the Federal, State and local levels. However, they probably will not get veto-proof supermajorities in either House of the U.S. Congress. Even if they only pick up a significant number of seats and Democrats barely maintain numeric majority control, gridlock and paralysis will continue unabated. Bi-partisan cooperation will not occur because the Obama Administration cannot move to the center (many Leftists and core Democrats think he has already abandoned them) but the newly-elected Republicans and Tea-partiers, coupled with the current officeholders, believe compromise with Democrats (the devil) is tantamount to religious apostasy and national treason, so nothing will be accomplished. Furthermore, to adopt any of the bankrupt ideas of Republicans would be pointless.
Our two major Political parties, America’s business and civic leadership; our increasingly mindless, shallow, “fact-free,” hopelessly biased, and completely ADD “free” press and 24/7 info-entertainment news; plus the majority of American people have collectively “blown it.” The U.S. global empire is collapsing and we instead worry about perceived or feigned racism and bias by and between various groups; we get bent out of shape over extraneous smaller issues such as illegal immigration, evolution versus creationism, gay marriage, gun control, and abortion; we obsess over the sexual antics of our celebrities and elites; we distract ourselves with the latest electronic gizmos that are all made overseas; we re-hash World War II and other prior wars as if we can change their outcomes; we dither on our broken public and private healthcare and pension systems; and we endlessly debate the finer points of political and economic ideologies and the “proper” interpretation of our irrelevant Constitution. All the while we and our leaders completely miss the huge picture – that we don’t have a viable future as a Nation without radical changes of hearts, minds and bodies.
Sadly in 2010, facts and reality are irrelevant to all our political, economic, social and cultural discussions for the majority of voters, national opinion-makers, and our elected officials. We function now solely on “beliefs” and hold intractible fantasies that only bolster long-held ideological and irrational opinions. As a Nation, we are wholly incapable of recognizing our core problems or doing anything to change the course of our rapidly declining Empire. The huge forces that are currently at work – both domestically and internationally – are quickly leaving our Nation and people far behind.
Fortunately, the complete collapse of the U.S. global empire in 10 to 20 years will not resemble that of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire in 1453, nor the collapses of the various Chinese, Subcontinent and Ottoman Dynasties of the past, with complete military annihilations, massive human suffering and dislocations, and the stifling of educational, scientific and technological advances for decades following each collapse.
The Great Spanish, Dutch and British Empires also saw great losses of their previously conquered territories and contemporaneous losses of wealth, power and prestige as they collapsed during the past 500 years in steady succession. The world’s military, economic, technological and social systems are different today so there probably won’t be foreign powers actually invading and occupying various parts of the U.S. However, the U.S. will likely fall apart into at least 6 to 12 separate pieces – if not more based upon some smaller and sustainable city-state units. If it remains a whole political entity, only a common military and figurehead leadership will artificially bind it together. Our political, economic, social, and cultural unity will have come apart within the next two decades.
What the U.S. will see during the next 10 to 20 years is a constant rotation in ostensible political control of Washington DC between the two major political parties every two years and the possible rise of another two at the extremes. This will just be a re-arranging of chairs on the Titanic. This paralysis and gridlock will also perfectly fit the needs and goals of our wealthy oligarchy who really run our Nation’s capital through their campaign contributions and armies of lobbyists as they finish their complete wealth and resource plunder of the U.S.
Every four years we’ll have a new President and every two years we’ll have a new Congress. Changes at the state and local levels will be just a frequent. The majority of the American people, proudly ignorant, extremely polarized, angry, fearful, incredibly impatient, perpetually bored, possessing no long or short term memories, and seeing their dreams and fantasies morph continuously into uglier nightmares that match a denied reality, will demonize their leaders for not solving all our national problems as painlessly and quickly as our Hollywood movies and electronic games are able to do.
Mr. Gandelman and TMV readers will not see any future Republican dynasty either because they are even more clueless than Democrats about effective national or state governance. There will be a perpetual merry-go-round of changing our politicians in the vain hope we might find some winning combination. That’s a sure recipe for losing at a gambling casino and for overall national failure. However on the bright side, Italy has survived more than 50 governments since the end of World War II – and today it even has hundreds of miles of operating high-speed rail lines – something the U.S. will never have.
Sadly, there will be no significant middle or moderate majority in the Nation for the next decade as we are too rigidly entrenched in our many ideological fantasies to consider rational alternatives until after the complete collapse. No political party or politician can or will be able to talk honestly to the majority of maudlin lunatics that comprise the majority of American voters. The U.S. population in the aggregate is too frightened, angry, ignorant, polarized, in denial, and freaked out to handle anything of substance. There is no interest to forge any consensus over even the smallest of issues, or yet alone make any major shared sacrifices for the common good. I’m concerned as a regular contributor on The Moderate Voice – even though it is a highly respected and award-winning Internet blog – that no one will be actually reading TMV in a few years.
The various recycled ideas for correcting our many massive international and domestic problems from both the Right and Left are essentially proposals to do the same things that got us into this mess, but only harder, more extremely and even sadistically. An impeachment of President Obama is imminent with a Republican-controlled Congress – solely for political spite and to further distract the country from the fact that Republicans will not be able to govern.
Our largest corporations and the wealthiest 2% of Americans have effectively decoupled themselves from the rest of us, financially, economically, politically, and socially. It won’t be long before they completely and permanently abandon us by physically relocating themselves, their residences, all their investment accounts, and their global headquarters to other nations such as Lichtenstein, Monaco, Malta, Singapore, Hong Kong, Panama, the Cayman Islands and Belize. They’re not hoarding cash to reinvest in the U.S. but to expand elsewhere in the globe.
There are billions of people around the world for the wealthy to enslave – over a billion each in China and India alone. Even if they triple the hourly wages in just these two countries, the vast majority of their workers will still make far less than the U.S. minimum wage. Thus Americans, regardless of their educational, skills or experience levels, simply will never be able to compete globally. The U.S. Oligarchy has taken everything of value from the vast majority of Americans and therefore destroyed the U.S. politically, economically and financially. The U.S. “middle class” will be as extinct as the Dodo bird. It is now time for our Oligarchy to move on and forget the 310 to 350 million people still stuck here.
Americans won’t even be able to emigrate or find welcome elsewhere without lots of money to offer – and that leaves out about 90% of us. The immigration and permanent residency rules of most other countries are far tougher than what they were in the U.S. Americans have further cut off that possible avenue towards refugee status because we have embraced a needlessly closed, dysfunctional, arbitrary and short-sighted national immigration policy towards the rest of the world. Undesirable countries such as Chad, Zaire, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and the Central African Republic don’t care who comes in because they are so dirt poor and infested with so many warring factions that most visitors won’t stay alive for more than a week.
Global free trade was only meant to benefit big businesses, and the unencumbered movement of capital, financial instruments and the very wealthy. The people of every nation are essentially trapped in their artificial national gulags so their desperate governments can be played off one another by huge multinational global corporations (who answer to no one) to determine who will offer the most for some paltry efforts to create some new jobs in their countries. Only mercantile nations such as China and Germany will do a bit better than the rest since they have intelligent long-term national economic policies and some of their major world global enterprises are state-owned or subsidized entities.
We face a global glut of manufacturing productivity. All the world’s factories can produce far more stuff than what the people of the world can possibly buy. Thanks to advanced technologies and robotics, manufacturing will join agriculture in employing a small part of the total population, particularly in the U.S., but also in China and other industrialized nations. In some dirt poor nations most people will still depend upon sustenance family farming where corporate environmental degradation has not fully removed land and water resources from productive use.
Massive unemployment and under-employment will be normal in the U.S. and across the globe – ranging from 25% to 75% of all adults – regardless of educational attainments, special skills, extensive experience, or basic family needs. Thanks to over-population of our species, more than half of us will be completely expendable – particularly from point of view of the world’s wealthiest capitalists. We will just become various restless and angry hoards, or the illiterate and starving “mob” to be placated by gifts of cheap food and new electronic gizmos, perpetual mass entertainment and celebrity fun, massive distributions of prescription and illegal drugs, and periodic state-sanctioned massacres – all to keep us perpetually under sedation and control.
This upcoming election is not a foregone conclusion except if energized conservatives turn out in great numbers and those who still support Democrats sit home. The U.S. has been, is and will be governed by a minority as the Constitution envisioned – particularly if the majority of the electorate barely cares to become informed of the issues and fails to consistently participate in our democracy. The 2010 election choices are lousy, but there is always comfort in the fact that we never really move backwards. We might fall off the cliff, but that is a type of forward movement – thanks to gravity and the relentless movement of time.
Submitted by Marc Pascal, the ranting lunatic from Phoenix, AZ. Even though I am pleased with the recent Federal District Court decision with respect to the misguided SB1070 Arizona Immigration Law, I still predict that the U.S. Supreme Court will do the opposite within the next two years.