Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Is the USA Going Mad?

Goya, Men Fighting with Cudgels

The USA is starting to look more and more like this painting; men stuck where they are, battering each other with no end in sight, no prospect of anyone winning anything meaningful, and all of it for no clear reason.

We have real problems, like an official unemployment rate that is is pushing toward 10%, the unofficial rate is probably 15% already. Economists are predicting another "jobless" recovery, which for the rest of us is no recovery at all. Membership in the middle class is becoming more restricted, the hurtles for admission are getting higher, and the rewards for being there (especially modest prosperity and security) are becoming smaller and fewer. Our military is tied up in 2 bloody fiascoes with no end in sight. Corruption, legal and illegal, paralyzes the political process at all levels. The environmental problems are real too, and worsening.

And yet, we all seem determined to retreat into paranoid fantasy. The right these days is nothing but paranoid fantasy (the Republicans might as well be against sunshine), but the left has its obsessions, like all the 9/11 conspiracy theories (somehow, the Bush administration that bungled everything it touched and leaked information like a sieve, was supposed to have brought off a massive conspiracy and cover-up).

So, where are we all going to go when the volcano blows?

On my dour dark days, I predict that the USA will end by coming apart, by splitting up into as many as 5 separate countries. I think Lincoln will be vindicated when he said that the USA will last forever or die by suicide.

1 comment:

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Your estimate is probably correct, dear Counterlight!