Sunday, January 2, 2011

What's next for 2011?

Whenever I make predictions, I usually err on the side of assuming more of my fellow citizens than they probably deserve.  Occasionally I am like the builder who assumes a project will go as well in real life as it appears in his mind while planning and visualizing the project.  I have gotten better at planning for setbacks as I have grown older, but I still get tripped up by folks who cannot perform as advertised.

Goodness knows there are major causes for alarm.  The financial community has delayed a few disasters in the past two years--but they have only been delayed.  Anyone who can still do eighth grade arithmetic knows enough to prove the assumptions of our big financial actors are disastrously flawed.  These banks will fail again and will need bailouts again (assuming they can arrange them).  Predicting this is like predicting dawn.  Voodoo economics has failed but everyone still wants to play with the rattles.

Then there is the catastrophe of climate change.  2010 should have ended any debates about the existence of the changes given the extremes of the weather events, and high school chemistry should be able to explain why our trillions of carbons fires are the cause of this calamity, but the carbon industries are very rich and have funded pseudo-intellectuals to convince us that what we can see out our windows is not happening.  An astonishing number of people believe this expensive propaganda.

And then there is the utter lack of progress on the energy front.  This one I actually understand.  We have $TRILLIONS invested in a carbon-fueled infrastructure and NONE of the substitutes looks very promising.  So we close our eyes as tightly as we can to the need for substantial change and hope the folks who find and refine our fuels know where to look and won't charge us too much for their services.

So because we won't address our basic problems, we stagger from disaster to calamity.  There are millions without jobs or any hope of getting one.  Our food supply is staggering under the twin assaults of bad weather and expensive energy.  Much of our housing stock is too expensive to live in and our cities are designed for cheap fuels that we will never see again. Etc.!

Worst of all, our ability to change course has been decimated.  We cannot act effectively because our organs of mass communications have been taken over by liars, fools, and those who believe their highest goal in life is to push a toothpaste with a higher profit margin.  Our schools have become sub-moronic organizations whose function has been reduced to selling our children into debt peonage.  So lacking a path to a rational solution to the big problems, folks turn to various forms of superstition from religion to New Age crystal-stroking.  Because deep down, everyone agrees our problems are FAR beyond the abilities of a badly educated and hopelessly corrupt political class.

While I clearly believe the situation is dire, I believe it is NOT hopeless.  The solution to the big problems will only come from the power of the Producers.  It is the only place from which solutions have EVER come.  The core values of the Producers (instinct of workmanship, parental desire to create a better life for offspring, and the instincts of idle curiosity) will solve the problems IF Producers are empowered.

In the meantime, we may see a lot of chaos and even something that resembles a revolution.  Of course, unless a revolution puts the Producer Classes and their values into power, they have only succeeded in wasting time, wrecking things, and spilling some innocent blood.

Will 2011 Become 1848?
by Philip Giraldi, December 30, 2010
Violence erupted throughout Europe in 1848, a time that was later dubbed the “year of revolution.” Though the motives and perpetrators varied from country to country and even from region to region, the frequently violent protests sought major changes in the status quo, to include political emancipation and economic reform. The revolutionaries were eventually suppressed by use of military force, but the ideas of national rebirth and political change lived on to resurface in Italy, Germany, and France later in the century. 
What drove the revolutionaries was the principle that the old system that had for centuries regulated the lives of Europeans was broken beyond repair. The old land-based economy had produced starvation and the control of the political structure by what amounted to oligarchies in most countries meant that few felt any kind of connection to the state, which was increasingly seen as a taxation machine backed up by the brute force of soldiers. Alexis de Tocqueville described the turmoil in his native France as "society was cut in two: those who had nothing united in common envy, and those who had anything united in common terror."
How much different will 2011 be? The world’s economies are in danger of sinking, dragged down by a US economy which is on the verge of insolvency. President Barack Obama and his cheerleaders boast of the Administration’s successes, but apart from a badly needed START treaty with Russia, which was clearly in the national interest, there is little enough to show. The US is failing to produce jobs for its people, is awash with debt, and is mired down in two wars that it cannot and will not be able to finish with a third and larger conflict waiting in the wings.
As in 1848, there is a clear division between the people and their leaders. In Europe, opinion polls indicate that the voters want nothing to do with wars like Afghanistan, but the respective governments continue in their folly, even when they recognize that the conflict is unwinnable. In the United States, support for the wars being fought by the White House and Congress is both low and sinking, but no voters had a chance to express dissatisfaction in the November elections because war was not on the ballot and few candidates even bothered to mention it. The media, which should be exposing the lemming-like march over a cliff, is instead a cheerleader for the catastrophe, fully embracing the concept that the United States has some kind of God-given obligation to intervene everywhere in the world and at any time for the good of mankind. more

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