Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Consensual Hallucination

I really wish that I could remember where I first heard that phrase. It seems to describe so much of the way that life is structured here in the good ol' USA.

Currently, the best application for the phrase is in the financial sector. Now, before you all get off on your high horses, remember that I am a Republican. But I am a flavor of Republican that is as far out of power as you can get (You know, the kind that doesn't like foreign entanglements and likes to pay the bills on time). The financial sector is reeling currently, and that is a symptom of the underlying problems that infect the entire country.

Anyway, Joseph Stiglitz wrote a fantastic article yesterday for the Gulf Times. He says the world is changing (duh), but he says it in such a way that I feel smarter for reading it. What it got me thinking about is just how thoroughly and completely the new school of the Republican Party (Read here George W. Bush and Tom Delay and their ilk) have fucked us over. We all got suckered into thinking that a secular religion of free markets and low taxes would deliver us to the promised land. We believed the snake-oil salesmen of the Laffer Curve and the New American Century, we got caught up in their hallucination.

But what really got handed to us was the keys to forty years in the desert. The new school Republicans made sure that their rich friends got richer and the rest of us got what we so richly deserved for believing their shpiel (screwed). Starting with Reagan, continuing through Bush I and Clinton, and then going into hyperdrive with the Junior Shithead Bush (JSB), the rich have sold off our manufacturing to low-wage countries. They have also sold us the idea that we could make money selling bizarre financial services and hamburgers to each other.

Well, that really has got to end. We are going to be looking at more than a generation to rebuild ourselves into a useful country instead of a group of useless prom queens. We will have to rebuild our factories with new technology that uses less energy. We are going to have to reduce our excessive consumption. We will have to walk more and drive less. We will have to start acting like adults rather than spoiled children.

We will be looking at making a change here. How we act as a society and as individuals will define our true place in history. We have ringside seats to history here in the next ten years. This nation will change. I am waiting breathlessly to see how it goes.

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