In my digital donkey-work FX job my only luxury is that I get to listen to music without being bothered from 4:30 pm to 3:30 am four days a week. I've really been plowing through my CD collection and borrowing music from others like mad and burning copies. I'm going over to my son's house after a quick trip into Burbank to connive for free-lance work and grab a bunch of his old ones. He's long since digitized his whole music collection so I can browse through the boxes in his garage and take what I want. One of my favorite rediscoveries amongst my own dust-covered CDs was the soundtrack to 'Repo Man', a punk-rock movie about how tough the Reagan Years were. Hey! Here's a catchy tune...
in a sluggish economy
hits the land of the free
standing in unemployment lines
blame the government for hard times
we just get by
however we can
we all gotta duck
when the sh*t hits the fan
10 kids in a cadillac
stand in lines for welfare checks
let's all leach off the state
gee!the money's really great!
free loaves of bread
5lb blocks of cheese
bags of groceries
has run out on you and me
we do whatever we can
gotta duck when the sh*t hits the fan
Or when America's Chickens Come Home To Roost! And them rascals are roosting all over! But that's OK. We've elected a raft of Social Engineers who are going to rescue the economy and the whole country and make everything fair. How do I know? They've got computer models to prove it! The same kind of computer models that prove Global Warming even as the glaciers expand and threaten Bangor, Maine are now going to model and regulate all economic activity.
One time, in the midst of some monumental screw-up, Curly turned to Moe and said proudly, "This is so easy a moron could do it!" Moe replies, "So why dont you get one to help you?" Why not, indeed? Obama and the Democrats are getting more than one moron to help them. The fluorescent-glowing halls of government and the ivy-walled towers of academia are currently being combed for the most extreme morons available. Morons who reject free Trade and vow to tax businesses who think about going offshore into bankruptcy. Morons who reject the secret ballot in union elections. Morons who want to create a 'Cap And Trade' system to fix the weather that was implemented in Europe a few years ago. It was a policy so disastrous that even the Hegelian Euros were forced to abandon it as their economies went in the tank. But our economy is already in the tank.
Ahhh! The Enlightened Social Theories abound! The buggy-eyed totalitarian leftists are geared up like a bunch of speed-freaks who just filled a phony prescription for Desoxyn and are ravening to punish the ignorant proletarians for their decades-long rejection of extreme leftist candidates. They've been putting James Brown's 'The Big Payback' on a loop in their Ipods and dancing a happy ji...better just forget that word... dancing a happy dance. These power-hungry theorists are going to take the 'offensive speech' codes from the halls of academe and apply them to everybody they dont like. Hate speech, you know. Cant wait for that. William F Buckley once stated that he'd rather be governed by people picked at random from the phone book than the faculty of Harvard. Oops! Its too late to say you're sorry. If WFB was alive today he'd roll over in his grave. He would also be pilloried as a racist; everyone knows Harvard Faculty is a code-word for African Americans.
In the Age Of Enlightenment in the last half of the eighteenth century two great thinkers emerged; Adam Smith and Jean Jacques Rousseau. Both defined philosophies which had immense consequences in the development of our current society.
Adam Smith believed in the Invisible Hand of the market. He was the prophet of the Industrial Revolution and the Age Of Information. Societies that employed Smith's principals were the freest and most wealthy ever in the history of human civilization. The free-market economics of Smith led to a human race which had conquered hunger and disease, which sped from place to place with undreamed of rapidity, in which communications went from galloping speed to instantaneous speed-of-light realtime psychedelic blur-speed. A world in which childbirth didn't kill one in six mothers and childhood one in four children. A world in which women were free to have sex lives of their own without having to chain themselves to early marriage and endless childbearing. An Arcadia.
Jean Jacques Rousseau had a different idea. He believed that primitive societies were the most fair and happy. The reason for this was the 'Social Contract', a mutual and generally unspoken agreement that defined everyone's rights and responsibilities. In simple societies this was generally seen as being more fair. More complex societies are more often dominated by small cliques of greedy and power-hungry men who skew the social contract to their private benefit and to the detriment of the general public. Rousseau posited that if the most enlightened people in society would consciously write a social contract they could vastly improve the lot of the common man and realize the utopian dream of perfection and happiness.
As Smith's ideas generated the Industrial Revolution so Rousseau's generated the French and Russian Revolutions. The misery experienced by common people being taken from the land and yoked to the industrial harness was nothing compared to the brutality of these two revolutions. Both were attempts at social engineering on a scale never before envisioned. But when Robespierre, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Mussolini, Juan Peron, Mugabe and myriad others tried to fashion their ideal societies by a 'Triumph Of The Will' these determinist crusades always ended in total destruction and disaster. Less brutal methods were tried in Western Europe after World War 2. Britain, which had won the war but had then gone on a binge where the government nationalized most heavy industry, still had a bleak poverty and rationing seven years after the war ended. Germany, which had been completely physically destroyed but whose government had been created by a bunch of free-marketeers, was undergoing a boom. But the Germans waded into the fever-swamp of socialism and stagnation as soon as the rebuilding was done. Soon the only brake on the socialism of Europe was the giant gravitational pull of America.
The failure of government planning is manifest. Countries which had it were always basket-cases. But rising above the statist soup there was always one beacon, one light to which every face hoping for freedom or economic well-being would turn; America. The word is magic in the world. People everywhere know more about America than they do about any other foreign country. America is the hope that you can live a decent, happy life without oppression or fear. The consumerist culture that flowed from America's economic freedom created a world market, laced together by the internet and instant communications overwhelmed the entire world. How did five percent of the worlds population outdistance the other ninety-five percent?
Freedom. Capitalism. Rule of law. That's how. None of which have any relevance to the claque of social engineers who will be flinging the mush-soft retarded bureaucrats of the Bush Administration out of their cushy sinecures in the vast structure of the federal government and putting their Soviet claws on the levers of power. Six weeks into this new session of Congress people will be stunned at what a monster they've bred. These dudes want a finger in every pie and if you dont like it you're an unpatriotic, racist, greedy, self-serving, corrupt Enemy Of The People. We didn't elect Jimmy Carter we've elected Hugo Chavez. As times get tough that will be apparent.
The application of only a few of these 'cures' for the economy will have the same effect that draining two pints of blood and branding with a hot iron had on Medieval fever patients. Extreme measures will be taken to exorcise the demons of unfairness and selfishness and make the system work for the little guy. The new social contract. The old social contract, the one that built this country is obsolete. Now we get a level of government planning that will take your breath away. The few hundred thousand miserable wretches who starved to death as a result of corn being diverted into ethanol will become a few hundred million as the global subsidies that basket-case economies like Egypt and Pakistan feed off of dry up instantly. the Saudi Arabia of food is about to cut its production drastically. Let the Saudi Arabia of oil deal with that.
So now we march, with our faces into the glowing sunrise, into the New Age Of Change. Soon our benefactors will be issuing us restive peasants a donative under the rubric of a 'tax refund' in the hope that we will spend it at Mattress City instead of buying stock in General Motors, therefore expanding the economy greatly. In fact, we're buying General Motors whether we like it or not, or at least our pals in DC are going to buy it on our behalf. The sound of dominos hitting each other is deafening. I feel like Leonardo DiCaprio laying on the top of the upended Titanic, waiting for the plunge.
My wife tells me I'm an obsessive Right Wing Nut whose worm-eaten brain has been warped beyond repair by Talk Radio. Maybe she's right.