We Catholics have it easy. Guilt and shame are for the most part hardwired into our collective psyche. As such, we pretty much understand the truth that it is probably our fault. But, by being faithful, mindless minions of the Pope, all we have to do is tell the priest, pay some money, fumble around with some beads for a bit and voilà, absolution occurs.
But the Catholic consciousness isn’t what is at issue right now. It is the American Consciousness. As a country, we are coming to the end of a particular road, and the road appears to be have been tragically wrong. More so than any other nation, we have gone ripping through the earth’s resources and pissed in the streams. We have sent our armies throughout the world to enforce our will. Our economy is a primer on how to best incorporate the seven cardinal sins into a culture. As the collapse starts to pick up steam, we will go looking for culprits.
But we are just now starting to look for who is at fault for our downward arc. We are at the point where we are picking up the usual suspects. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, perhaps we had better go Catholic for a bit (you Fundamentalists and Pentecostals out there, please make an effort to stifle your gag reflex) and do that least-American of all actions, self-examination.
There are vanishingly few in America who have not reaped from the boom of the last twenty years. Oh, when you compare your gleanings from this time frame compared to the full harvest brought in by the corporate and financial elites, it isn’t that great, but it is there. We all lived a little past our means, we all saved little and partied hardy. Its OK, but we were all in on it.
In a real sense, we were much like old time pirates. You have to remember that one of the euphemisms for piracy in England was “going on account”. This was because, in a pirate ship, even the lowliest cabin boy got a piece of the action. We all got a little piece of the action.
But now the cupboards are getting bare. Our piece of the action is getting vanishingly small.
Now, I think that the main drivers of the financial crimes should be brought to justice, but seeing who BHO has brought in to mind the store, I don’t think that will happen. So we will go on a witch-hunt soon to try and bring someone vaguely resembling the guilty parties to justice. This is fine with me, just keep expecting me to remind you that you were there “on account” as well.