Monday, December 30, 2019

Thoughts on what's past, and what's ahead

A Republic, if you can keep it. 
- Benjamin Franklin, on the adoption of the Constitution
The swamp won't get drained:
Let me be clear on this: Once ruling hierarchies get beyond a certain point, they cannot be reformed. And I am sure that the modern West is beyond that point.
  • Do we really believe that central bankers will just lay down their monopolies?
  • Can we seriously expect a hundred trillion dollars of debt to be liquidated without any consequences?
  • Do we actually believe that politicians will walk away from their power and apologize for abusing us?
  • Do we really think that the corporations who own Congress will just give up the game that is enriching them?
  • Does anyone seriously believe that the NSA is going to say, “Gee, that Fourth Amendment really is kind of clear, and everything we do violates it… so, everyone here is fired and the last person out will please turn off the lights”?
It's a sobering post, in a let's party like it's 460 AD sort of way.  It reminded me of this old post:
I could keep myself up all night and into tomorrow by listing different groups of royalty and the ways they scam the system.
…except "scam the system" is a misnomer. I am not listing defects in a perfectable system. I am describing the system.
It is corrupt, corrupt, corrupt. From Ted Kennedy who killed a woman and yet is toasted as a "lion of liberalism", to George Bush who did his share of party drugs (and my share, and your share, and your share…) while young yet let other youngsters rot in jail for the exact same excesses instead of waving his royal wand of pardoning, to thousand of well-paid NSA employees who put the Stasi to shame in their ruthless destruction of our rights, to the Silicon Valley CEOs who buy vacation houses with the money they make forging and selling chains to Fort Meade, to every single bastard at RSA who had a hand in taking the thirty pieces of silver, to the three star generals who routinely screw subordinates and get away with it (even as sergeants are given dishonorable discharges for the same thing), to the MIT cops and Massachusetts prosecutor who drove Aaron Swartz to suicide, to every drug court judge who sends 22 year olds to jail for pot…while high on Quaalude and vodka because she's got some fucking personal tragedy and no one understands her pain, to every cop who's anally raped a citizen under color of law, to every other cop who's intentionally triggered a "drug" dog because the guy looked guilty, to every politician who goes on moral crusades while barebacking prostitutes and money laundering the payments, to every teacher who retired at age 60 on 80% salary, to every cop who has 50 state concealed carry even while the serfs are disarmed, to every politician, judge, or editorial-writer who has ever used the phrase "first amendment zone" non-ironically: this is how the system is designed to work.
The system is not fixable because it is not broken. It is working, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to give the insiders their royal prerogatives, and to shove the regulations, the laws, and the debt up the asses of everyone else.
I'm come to welcome the idea of the coming breakup, and Governor Blackface's Virginia reindeer games.  Donald Trump is a Romantic, in his attempt to drain the swamp.  It's tilting at windmills, a noble effort doomed to defeat.  The breakup that will follow won't reform the system, it will break the system into a million pieces.  Only then can the Res Publica shed all the layers of corruption that have attached themselves to the state.

Of course, new layers will emerge to take their place, but a fragmentation of power will make control of the center less attractive.  It's sad that likely millions will die during this breakup, as the current Powers That Be violently lurch towards the realization that they are Rome's last Emperor.
The generality of princes, if they were stripped of their purple, and cast naked into the world, would immediately sink to the lowest rank of society, without a hope of emerging from their obscurity.
- Edward Gibbon, The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire


ASM826 said...

Happy New Year!

Ed Bonderenka said...

Well, that's cheery.

Borepatch said...

ASM826, there's always hope.

Ed, I'm afraid it's hard to be cheery looking at what's going on.

Gorges Smythe said...

All we're getting with Trump is a temporary respite from the worst.

Dan said...

Fortunately, I don't have another wife to watch die on top of this crap. So no matter how bad, it won't be that bad again.

commoncents said...

Texas Church Shooting - Gunman kills parishioner before being shot and killed by another parishioner at Texas church

ps. could u please add CC to your blogroll? Thanks!

Glen Filthie said...

Wherever you get money and power, you will get corruption. When you get incompetence added in... its all over. We will live in interesting times.🤔

McChuck said...

And this is why I left the PDR-MD and moved back across the mountains to the promised land. Don't want to be anywhere near the imperial capital when the dance starts.

Richard said...

It would be nice if the breakup could be planned and regulated a la the National Divorce but few seem interested in talking about that. That way we could get to the breakup without millions dead and wrecking the whole place.

However, our side either denies that the problem exists, thinks that we automatically win because we have more guns, or seems to be actively wishing for the boogaloo. Their side just spews hate and increasingly, violence. So we drift toward CW2 waiting for the spark.

It is worth remembering the drift toward CW1. The South became convinced that the Republicans would abolish slavery as much because of John Brown and the nullification of the Fugitive Slave Act by various Northern states and juries rather than anything Lincoln actually said. Lincoln had been an advocate of gradual emancipation and emigration of the former slaves to Liberia. Emancipation in place was explicitly a war measure and only became a principle later. 4 Confederate states didn't secede until after Lincoln had called for troops (including from them) to suppress the rebellion. The motivation for the North going to war was even murkier. It wasn't concern for the slaves. In 1861, abolition was a minority position in the North and even most abolitionists were gradualists. They could have had that by simply letting the South go with no 600,000 dead. Slavery is a moral evil but we didn't invade Brazil or Russia or Morocco. It was keeping the Union together but why and what did that mean. Why was it so important to the North to force people who hated them into the same country? I have never really seen a good explanation of this and most work on motivation focuses on the South. It is clear in hindsight that both Lincoln and Jefferson Davis seriously underestimated what they were up against and we are repeating that error today. They are way too many parallels to today to be comfortable.

AuricTech Shipyards said...

Fall of Trantor, anyone?

Ed Bonderenka said...

Richard: Maybe God wanted it to happen the way it did.
Maybe Lincoln thought the same in his Second Inaugural.

Borepatch said...

Ed, I'm not sure we need to lay the stupidity of that war on the Almighty. I find it very hard indeed to see the hand of Divine Providence in the run up to that war, but it's easy to see the hand of Abraham Lincoln in it.

Richard said...

@Borepatch. John Brown clearly thought he was the agent of God. That is probably the best evidence that God wasn't really involved. In real life, John Brown didn't actually look like an Old Testament prophet. He grew his hair out while he was awaiting trial specifically so he would have that look. He also concluded that only a civil war could end slavery and set about to make it so. It is hard to fault his analysis and easy to fault his morality.