Pessimism may be the likely feel of the comment on this post, but I think him accurate down to the potential for the right leader to come forth. I am not that optimistic. The MSP has done their best to ensure that no good, decent, American loving leader will ever see the political light of day. Two words: Sara Palin
Tallulah @ #12:
When will the Worm Turn, indeed. I have thought at length about the future of the United States, given the circumstances of the present day and the speed and direction of key trends culturally and politically.
I regrettably believe that the most likely outcome is continued decline along the vectors that have been established during the 20th century. Here is where we will get to see Samuel Clemens proven correct about history’s propensity to rhyme. Before long, the US will reach the end of its ability to monetize trust in the dollar, destroying its ability to borrow, which will be the beginning of the end of the welfare state. Capital controls will be instituted, retirement accounts will be confiscated and replaced with some government system, means-testing for all kinds of benefits will be instituted or strengthened, taxes will go up, and inflation will start hitting consumers hard. Private ownership of gold will be outlawed (as has been done once before, for 30 years), forcing law-abiding citizens to sell to the government for less than they are worth. In short, the government will be scrambling for money, and starting to limit the flow of funds out of the country and into various programs as a matter of necessity. All of these actions will have further negative effects on the economy, costing the citizens jobs and the government tax revenues. The police state will grow by leaps during this period. Private security organizations, already growing twice as fast as public security in the US, will expand dramatically, and they will not be subject to the kinds of controls public officers are accountable to.
By the end of this phase, the transition of the government mindset and behavior model will be complete. What was once a calling to serve will now be a position to regulate and control. Citizens will be fully subordinate to government, with all that that implies. Efforts to enforce gun control will be renewed with vigor, possibly with seriously destabilizing consequences, all of which will be used by the government to press its advantage. The government will become acutely aware of the lack of having a monopoly on violence, and will be forced to do something about it or fear losing control.
Life will have become considerably more difficult for most Americans by then, with joblessness continuing at a large fraction of the population, wage stagnation, and price inflation of key commodities squeezing consumers and the weak economy. When the US dollar loses reserve currency status with the rest of the world (say, 10-15 years), we will suffer a series of inflationary shocks that will likely finish off the wobbly middle class.
Somewhere along this vector is serious internal conflict. I am inclined to think it will look like Baltimore last night, or Ferguson, all on a larger, uglier scale as the welfare class starts feeling the pain of rapidly declining buying power. Imagine city-wide riots that go on for days, with buildings burning, streets barricaded and the occasional running gun battle with police and private security outfits. When it gets ugly enough, there will be serious conversations about exit strategies within and among like-minded states. One likely scenario is the balkanization of the United States, with states that have their shit more or less together declining to share the fate of those that don’t.
If the United States shatters, there may be places that emerge with some decent part of the American legacy still intact, which is perhaps the good news. States like Texas, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and the Dakotas are still pretty unscathed by the rampant collectivism destroying most of our major cities.
On the other hand, the prospect of a turnaround, although not impossible, appears improbable. No nation caught in these types of internal forces has ever successfully overcome them on its own to return to its former state. Assuming the imminent election of an imaginary perfect person for the job, I am not sure it is even possible given the degree of damage already done to our culture and a large fraction of the American citizenry.
I can say that if we could pull off a turnaround, we will destroy for many generations the arguments in favor of collectivist thinking which have held sway over our nation for these last several generations. We may struggle economically for awhile, but the wholesale return of liberty and reduction of government and other parasitic drags on the economy would do wonders for American optimism, making a turnaround an increasingly sustainable thing, if enough progress can be made before it is too late.
It is possible that the right leader could at least begin the journey; soften the hard landing; and accrue enough visible benefit to ensure that the right people have been sufficiently motivated to continue the fight. That at this point might be all we are entitled to hope for.
When these kinds of forces have been unleashed on other nations in the past, their citizens had the option of fleeing, many to the US. This time around, there is no US to flee to, and many other nations are experiencing similar problems, likely increasing the length and severity of our own problems here at home.
The reason for this is that a real revolution is needed to destroy any actual basis provided by the Constitution. Presently, it is ignored, but the goal is to totally destroy it, and there is only one way to make that happen. The cultural pendulum is being pushed in that way by all the MSP, education, and entertainment forces we have. The riots cannot be formed from those who believe in justice and law-abiding citizens. They are formed from the concept of group identity – the hyphen first. From my perspective, the only way to return to our base is to desire, as a culture, return to law abiding and consequences for all who break the law. I mean all. That will require a near total change of the representation in Washington. The training lawyers receive will have to be altered as well. I was looking for a particular article which described a lawyer in training having to find cases to support a litigation and discovering that there were as many cases on the opposing side. The unstated result is that the truth of the matter doesn’t matter. It is the politics involved that ultimately move the case. While looking for that article I found another interesting one. Remember that these are the individuals who end up being judges. Once seated, these individuals who learned to cheat in law school are the ones deciding cases for the next twenty years. Change in the correct direction will be slow, it at all existent. Lastly, don’t forget the treatment of judges who believe the Constitution and rule of law. Two more words: Robert Bork.