Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Long Slow Slide

I've backed off quite a bit on overt political content ("Vote for so-and-so!") here: I think the U. S. is doomed. Probably doomed to a long, slow Roman Empirish-ish decline -- "History doesn't repeat, but it rhymes." Doomed nevertheless: too much is given away from the public purse to too many. It adds up to a solidly pro-Leviathan voting bloc, especially when one includes government workers, and it is an effective majority already.

So all that can be hoped for at the ballot-box is to wage a valiant defense. You will lose; I will lose. Vote in the Great Libertarian Hope and I'll still bet on losing in the longer term. U. S. citizens are less free than they were in my childhood and they are likely be even less free when my great-niece and nephews are all growed up. If I vote very, very carefully, they might be only a tiny bit less free. They may even have gained a little in some areas while having lost in others.

The soap-box can do some good; but while the pen may be mightier than the sword, that's only in the broad hindsight of history: we still read Mencken but it no longer does him any good. At any given single point in time, the sword speaks louder and with greater personal immediacy. --And in re swords, the cartridge box won't fix matters, either; while it's a great way to say NO! to criminals, it's damning to say "No!" to a government that way when all around you are shouting YES!*

However, recent history (...U.S.S.R., anyone?) suggests that past a certain size, insolvency and degree of smug self-containment, the beast may collapse of its own weight -- at which point some application of (with luck) pen and (if needful) sword may actually do a little good. But that's not politics as presently played and bedammed if I will wish my own country such dire fortune; right, wrong or rotten to the core, it is still my country and I will keep on voting against the worst as it slides ever downhill.

I won't kid myself about which way entropy slopes; and thus, I'm not writing so much about politics. It feels too much like arguing about how thick the filling should be in a big ol' crap sammich.
______________________________
* The American Revolution's 1/3 for, 1/3 against and 1/3 who'd go along with whoever was winning is sometimes cited as a miraculously narrow scrape -- but it's rarely understood. The critical third are the ones who'll just go along; if they are hoping the opposing factions will just go away, the enterprise is doomed. Ponder this in light of, say, voter turnout and be enlightened. (A whole third solidly pro is, by the way, pretty good as modern revolutions go.)

16 comments:

Tango Juliet said...

I'm afraid you're right.

Kip Condor said...

If I vote very, very carefully, they might be only a tiny bit less free

Doesn't matter how carefully you vote, you'll always get precisely the same result as if you didn't vote at all.

og said...

probably the best post on the Intarweb today.

patrick kelly said...

I keep finding blogs with that little Second X chromosome seem to say the same thing I was thinking, only much prettier. I tried wearing a dress when I write, but it didn't help, so my crippled Y chromosome will have to do.

rickn8or said...

Roberta & Tango, my feelings also. I'm just trying to figure out what goods and services I have/ can do that will be useful in a barter economy.

On a brighter note, if it goes all splodey, we probably won't have to deal with this latest incarnation of WV.

Ed Rasimus said...

You are indeed right! It is the inherent default of democracy. The greatest proportion of the population is always willing to confiscate the property of the minority that is successful. Call it proles and bourgeoisie, or Main St. and Wall St. the outcome is the same. Condition the masses to believe that "fairness" is part of the political equation and you're halfway there.

mostly cajun said...

I've been saying it for a long time: We're not voting our way out of this mess.

MC

Popgun said...

You know, you have exactly summed up my own feelings at present. I've been thinking about shutting down my political blog because of it. It just doesn't seem to do any good. And if certain things happen, it might cause me trouble, later.

-Popgun

Carteach0 said...

I hear echoes of my thoughts...

Roberta X said...

Oh, don't stop fighting -- just understand the stakes.

Divemedic said...

ALL governments inevitably fail. The reason for this is that all governments are run by people who make decisions in their own self interest, not in the interest of the entire society.

This is one reason why Democracies fail. This is why our founders attempted to avoid that by having the Senate selected by each state legislature and limiting the power of the Federal Government and having the states be relatively powerful.

The Federal Government took care of state sovereignty during the Civil War, and the 17th Amendment took care of the Senate. After that, it was only a matter of time before the collapse.

The people will now vote for free bread and circuses until the final collapse. After that, we will likely wind up in a dictatorship of some kind, because those in power will do whatever it takes to stay there.

docjim505 said...

I'm sorry to say that I agree.

I wonder what will come out of the pieces?

FrankC said...

As an East-pondian whose country is going the same way, may I suggest re-writing "No taxation without representation" to be the reverse, or, more simply "No pay, no say".

Anonymous said...

If running away were an option for you, where would you go? The US is hosed. Is there some place not facing a long decline?

DirtCrashr said...

I do care if we slide down to the edge of the event-horizon, terribly, but I also want to survive it.

Roberta X said...

Anon: I wouldn't. I think Eastern Europe is worth watching but so far, no place I'd emigrate to.

Nope, the United States -- or one of them -- is the hill I will die on.

Hell, the Roman Empire was pretty good living for a lot of people for a lot longer than the Roman Republic. I think there is a rearguard action to be fought and I think it is worth fighting; but I do not think there is any saving (let alone restoring) the Federal government established by the Constitutional Convention in 1787.