Monday, October 17, 2011

Why Now?

The collision of our conceits with reality [...] soon forces a correction, and brings us down to earth – or else we pay the financial and psychic costs of our misconceptions. Yet our elites are increasingly insulated from paying the price of misperception. The two-party system, restrictive election laws, the influence of big money and foreign lobbyists on the electoral process – all these factors have created an insular and increasingly unreflective political class. Blinded by hubris, incapable of self-criticism, and immunized against populist sentiment, these twenty-first century Bourbons have learned nothing that will cause them to change course.

What they have learned from history is how their predecessors managed to stay on top in an existential crisis such as the one we are facing today. Confronted with economic collapse and the failure of his “New Deal” policies to lift the nation out of its downward spiral, Franklin Delano Roosevelt turned his energies toward dragging a reluctant America down the path to another worldwide conflagration. War hysteria was a useful tonic to lift the nation’s spirits, and rationing masked the effects of the downturn by equalizing scarcity. The wartime “emergency” paved the way for the New Dealers to complete their takeover of the US economy – and shut down their critics, especially on the “isolationist” right.


[O]ur decadent elites in government, the corporate world, and the media-academic-industrial complex long ago surrendered whatever legitimacy they once enjoyed. What’s more, they know it: they know the day of judgement is upon them, and they are mobilizing to meet the challenge in the same way their predecessors have. A war, at this moment in time, would amount to the equivalent of the TARP program for American politicians: it would bail them out of a world of trouble.


Every crisis is an opportunity, as one of Obama’s sleazier former top lieutenants put it, and in this instance you can bet our rulers intend to utilize the latest manufactured “crisis” in US-Iranian relations to perpetuate their incompetent and vulgar reign.

Justin Raimondo

I earlier speculated that Washington would be more likely to instigate drawn-out, fruitless “negotiations” with the OWS protesters rather than bring out the tanks to brutalize them, especially considering we are in campaign season. However, if they had ever planned to do so, they missed the window of opportunity, as the whole thing has gone global.

Perhaps Justin Raimondo is right in speculating that the fake Iranian plot was created (or at least used) to attempt to create a distraction large enough to sweep the OWS movement off the streets. If so, I think it was very ill-advised. While the fear of an evil enemy and the desire to punish someone solidified large masses behind Bush, too much time has gone by, the people have grown weary and lost some blood lust over the years, and their personal fortunes are still declining. I’m afraid the threat of engaging Iran in war (particularly since Iran’s abilities to defend itself outstrip those of Iraq and Afghanistan – and look how well those countries are resisting), added to the latest engagement in Africa, would be more likely to have the opposite effect, driving more people into the streets to protest.

Of course, I have no idea what’s really going on in the heads of those bubble dwellers in Washington, other than gaining or retaining power. And that does tend to make them blind and insane. Perhaps Obama is indeed looking to FDR's example, and sees the possibilities of war rationing dovetailing into his pretty talk about having the rich "share the burden."

....hey, do what you will anyway.

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