Monday, May 11, 2009

A Grey Age

Intellectually, I tend to ride a slow pendulum back and forth between triumphalism and the world of the thunderdome. Most of my time is spent thinking that was are a pretty mediocre lot. If we are the best, then we live in a pretty small world. But occaisionally we do something well enough to begin thinking that we are pretty hot shit. A lot of the time though, we run about like the Three Stooges.

I think that concept is what scares a lot of folk. The idea that we aren't the pinnacle of God's creation, that the world doesn't rotate around us. Scary that. We might have to assess our past actions and find them wanting. We may have to assess our future plans and find them shallow.

So we stay here in a grey age, looking around us and seeing that we can't quite keep up the march to triumphalism. The grade is getting steeper and we are still the same apes-with-attitudes we have always been. Even worse, a lot of us are starting to suspect the "technological progress" that has been shoved down our throats.

So now, a significant subset is screaming that we will be entering some to-be-discussed flavor of apocalypse sometime early next week. Hmm, I am beginning to question that flavor of thought as well.

I spent a couple of hours writing down my predictions and passing them around to some folks. I see some dislocations, but I don't see the end of the world. Just folks having to buckle down and make do with a lot less.

Welcome to the grey age.


Publius said...

I like your new format... and your succinctness.

I do not see an apocalypse coming, either, although it is always possible, of course, for an asteroid or super-volcano to really mess things up.

However, I really do see a possibility of the current globaloney system failing, and causing massive economic dislocation.

Already, people in the USA are dying because of the new Depression. Have you read the story of women with breast cancer in Phoenix or somewhere in the SW being denied treatment because of the closure of free clinics?

Of the stories of tent cities, and a surge in homelessness made up of people who used to be middle class? This stuff is real, and and at some point, economic dislocation leads to social unrest. I was just reading about the fall of the Shah last night. I was only 10 at the time, and don't remember much, so I was surprised at the level of violence that occurred once the trigger happened.

Once the trigger event occurs, events in revolutions quickly spiral out of control, and the most extreme and unsavory elements rise to the top. Of course, that's true now... the most unsavory actors have risen to the top of the financial bailout fiasco.

Methinks their heads would be the first to roll - that's how the French Revolution and Russian Revolution went. The early actors get fed to the guillotine next.

Those who think that the US is a paragon of conservatism and stability should keep in mind that this is true only as long as there is economic growth and opportunity, because our system has no other sustaining myth, other than a fading ode to equality. Without economic prospects, the masses would quickly revert to what they have always done: the demos demanding deliverance from their plight, aka fascism and dictatorship.

There is no longer a class of small farmers and rural culture, except for small oases here and there, to sustain the Republic.

So it goes.

Joseph M said...

Always trying to "classify" ... as to your special insight!