“We’ll have a military dictatorship fairly soon, on the basis that nobody else can hold everything together”. Gore Vidal
Whether you like Gore Vidal or not he hit the nail on the head regarding a dictatorship but if we act in time we may be able to prevent a brutal one. If we don’t act in time we will get worse. We have some hard choices to make and we have no choice in the matter as whether to make them or not as our hand has been forced by a basic human instinct: survival. (There is evidence even that instinct is being eroded by the complexity and enormity of our seemingly infinite number of problems.) What I will say in the following goes against much of what most of us raised in the United States or present day Western civilization were ever taught. We are at a point in history where both Western civilization and the world could lose every advance of the last several thousand years. Those of us that are Baby Boomers and older have witnessed some changes that were not even slightly foreseeable. I’m sure most of us in that age group can remember Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon and by watching Star Trek and Star Wars we could imagine advances in technology concerning space, computers, and many gadgets that are now taken for granted but what we could not foresee were the societal and economic changes and the wretched and precarious state the world and humanity would be in. If we fail to regain control of the situation(s) that is going from bad to worse, our descendants on a global scale starting with those being born now, (those few that are unfortunate enough to survive), will be in the worst condition and predicament of humanity in all of recorded history. Those of Generation X and older that have lived in the United States, or the West, will have seen the best of times and unless we get control of affairs what is coming will make the Apocalypse and Auschwitz seem like heavenly utopias. Most of us have children and grandchildren that will be in extreme danger. It was on our (Baby Boomers) generations’ watch things really took a nose dive for the worse. Baby Boomer children, those of Generation X, have views, for the most part, very similar to Baby Boomers so this essay also applies to them. The “millennials” and those being born today have the most to lose being those with the longest time left to live. It applies to all generations but the “Boomers” and “Xers’ will understand it quicker having witnessed many events discussed as they occurred. From an economic world leader to a nation in debt and a hopelessly fractured society we have to ask “what happened, how did we get to this point”? In the words of Peter Fonda in the movie Easy Rider, “we blew it”.
If we realize and can accept the inevitable and make some changes to our present system of democracy it may be possible to avert what is now a predictable disaster. A change, or a modification if you prefer, could be made that would still allow ample personal freedoms: freedom of the press, of speech, of assembly, of religion, to petition, and Second Amendment Rights while still maintaining the safety, security, and stability of the state and retaining Western culture. The ONLY other option is the relatively peaceful metamorphosis to an authoritarian state or a total collapse, anarchy and then the inevitable complete totalitarian state probably of the worst sort or a breakup of the US into several smaller countries each run by warlord type individuals constantly fighting for control. This would lead to even more chaos and more break ups into ever smaller and smaller territories and never ending violence. Even with what I propose the chance of survival is slim but as the situation is now the chance is none. On an episode of Star Trek The Next Generation a situation arose that only two options were available to the starship Enterprise. One left no chance for survival and the other only a slim chance. Commander Riker made the comment that given a choice between slim and none he would “choose slim any day”.
At this point it won’t be possible to prevent the totalitarian state but we can prevent the collapse and total anarchy and break up. We are so deeply in debt we will never fully economically recover. We no longer have the industrial capacity and resources to compete. The robust economy of the 60s, 70s and early 80s is gone never to return. Too many industries are gone, relocated to rival nations by the very people they were entrusted to. To bring them back would be cost prohibitive and a logistical nightmare. I think the analogy of rats deserting a sinking ship is quite apropos. Interestingly, in 1917 Lenin said that capitalism would eventually export the means of production. In other words it would outsource itself, and it has happened. We have been weakened by costly, needless wars, wasteful spending for special interests, and sold out and betrayed by the financial sector. The senate has become a liability whose members are more concerned with getting reelected than doing their job. Our economic system has become dominated basically by criminals and our political system has become dominated by incompetent and/or dishonest people in the pockets of these criminals. What slim chance we have is to take politics out of the equation. The business leaders and their political hacks have made large sums of money from crime and corruption and they will not give it up easily. (I am not opposed to capitalism I am opposed to theft and crime. Finding an honest politician or capitalist is like trying to find a virgin prostitute.)
Already (this was written in 2012) the upper echelons of finance are again engaging in the risky practices that led to the financial meltdown of 2008 and opposing regulations that would prevent them from doing so a second time. Remember the old saying: “Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.” Another financial collapse is inevitable. The risks being taken are not taken with their money and, as before, they won’t be held accountable when the system collapses. In fact if the pattern holds they will be rewarded……again. To them the national and world economies are a giant game of Monopoly and the average person is merely a “game piece”. Capitalism has no loyalties to any one or any nation. They have nothing to lose if their gambles fail as the “peasants” will pick up the tab. They are insulated from the problems they create. Those that are responsible for the collapse are still in charge. Economic pied-pipers and business leaders lead gullible adult children to ruin and we have again given them the flute. Another economic collapse will lead to a breakdown of law and order.
The next collapse will be a big one, the straw that broke the camel’s back. The entire world is headed towards a complete planetary collapse. The 2008 meltdown affected the whole world. The recovery was financed through a staggering mountain of debt by a gigantic Ponzi scheme. A good illustration of what’s on the horizon, for those of us that can remember the television program Disneyland, was the demonstration of a chain reaction. In a room there were hundreds, maybe thousands, of set mouse traps each one with two ping pong balls on it. A single ping pong ball was thrown into the room and it set off a trap which sent two balls flying. Those two each hit a trap and then there were four balls in the air. Those four hit four traps setting eight ping pong balls in motion and so on. They mushroomed exponentially. That is what will happen to society. As one system collapses it will strain others which will collapse others in a chain reaction. Not just economically but everything as every system we have, from local to global, is failing; educational, legal, political, medical, environmental, business, social, religious, law enforcement, and the military. Name one that is not. Economics play a major part in every system and all systems are interconnected. Our governmental and economic systems have failed and if we don’t take action it will end in disaster. It has been said innumerable times that America is the success of democracy and free enterprise. It is becoming apparent it is their failure because human nature is what it is. As I previously said we may not survive with some changes but we definitely will not survive by not restructuring and by hanging onto the status quo. We have become too inefficient and too dysfunctional to survive. While we were wasting time endlessly locked in debate time ran out. Because the system is still stumbling along under its own inertia we either refuse to admit or fail to comprehend time has run out. We have merely put patches on patches and ignored the problems passing them down to our descendants as they were passed to us. The Middle East, India, Russia, and Asian countries are moving forward while we are standing still or moving backwards. They are now almost in a position to dictate policy to us. We are sliding from #1 position and we won’t stop at #2 or #3. We will still be talking about it when the rest of the world overtakes us. Like the old saying “After all is said and done more is said than done.”
In 1998 Russian professor Igor Panarin predicted the US would collapse and break up in 2010. That year has come and gone but we are not out of the woods. He said a civil war due to “mass immigration,” “moral degradation” and “financial decline” will cause America to break up into six sections that will be dominated by foreign powers intervening to prevent chaos in the US. (Google Igor Panarin on the internet). Whether we collapse to that extent is debatable but not impossible, in fact not even improbable, given our present circumstances. Secession has been bandied about in Maryland, California, Vermont, Hawaii, Texas, New Hampshire, Alaska and several other states. In Colorado 5 counties voted to secede from the rest of Colorado and form another state. The fact it is even being discussed much less being seriously considered is telling. There are some groups such as the libertarians encouraging mass secession in the US (and the world) with the ultimate goal of the world breaking up into tens of thousands of nations, city states and principalities. This is a pipe dream of libertarians which will not happen but if it did the small state would not last long before being gobbled up by large nations. A very real fact though is people are growing more and more discontented and the leadership is ignoring or denying it. If not denying or ignoring the problems they are delaying the solution. The emergence of Bernie Sanders on the left and the emergence and election of Donald Trump on the right should prove beyond a doubt that reality. Due to the election there is a movement in California to secede and there is also talk of Oregon and Washington State joining it. Dissatisfaction is so great there should be no doubt had Clinton won there would be talk in the Trump states of secession.
We are beyond the ability to reverse our descent within the framework of our present form of government, it is just too inefficient. We are past the point of no return and if it gets much worse and another collapse occurs, which at this point seems close to inevitable, only Draconian measures will restore order and prevent the misery and suffering that are both predictable and inevitable. Unfortunately a look at history shows the most efficient regimes have been the most brutal. We are not going to survive by ignoring reality like an ostrich with its head in the sand. We are heading into the period of time when living ceases and the struggle for survival begins. We don’t have time to continue the endless loop of debate we are, and have been, stuck in. We need a government with enough intelligence and authority to do what is necessary. An Alexander the Great and the Gordian knot type solution only our knots are red tape, special interests, incompetence, cronyism, dishonesty, partisan politics, greed, corruption, economic malfeasance, overpopulation, and environmental degradation to name a few.
The extreme 10% or 15% on each end of the political spectrum are living in a world that does not, did not, could not, and will not exist. The more complex and populated a society becomes the more government is needed and more regulations are necessary, which we have in excess, but unfortunately a large number of which are wrong and/or misguided. In tribal societies very little government was needed except possibly for a chief and a medicine man and taxes were nonexistent. As society advanced from nomadic hunters and gatherers to growers and gatherers society became more or less stationary and remained in a permanent or semi-permanent location and people began to accumulate things. (Interestingly many historians and anthropologists believe this is the point in history where patriarchy and slavery began. This will be discussed in another essay.) This development of individual property along with the increase of the population and knowledge required more organization. Specialization developed and people began taking on increasingly specialized roles. As these specialized roles increased in complexity, and the population and knowledge continued to increase, the specialists had to devote more and more time to their specialties while others did the same to their specialties. There then developed dependencies on and interactions with others which required increasing organization and structure. Prior to this there were group dependencies and interactions but they were basically the equivalent of a clan, tribe, family or gang. The organization of these roles had to be structured and responsibilities designated. There had to be those that supplied food. There had to be those artisans and craftsmen that supplied goods and services not within the ability of the others to make and provide for themselves. There had to be those that supplied transportation of goods. Some had to protect the overall group from dangers both within and from without and, of course, some had to oversee and coordinate these activities or govern. Govern being the root word of government. Government is not free. It costs money, lots of money which comes in the form of taxes, tariffs, fines, fees, licenses, duties, etc., etc. It is also restrictive due to the necessary requirements of structure and organization to maintain order. While everyone complains about high taxes they should be more concerned about the level and quality of services received in return. Some feel we should pay no taxes at all which I will address in a later essay. As far as restrictions only criminals and fools moan about them.
In the United States we have also heard innumerable times about “what the founding fathers meant.” They lived over 200 years ago. If those of us now in our 60s and older could not fathom, when young, many of the changes and problems now facing us 40 or 50 years later how can we say with any certainty we know how the founding fathers envisioned the future and how they would have reacted to it? (People 40 and over have seen events that have been reality shattering.) The amount of knowledge available when the founding fathers were alive was small compared with that of today, a drop in the ocean. As knowledge increases we have more information to base our decisions on, (and more problems to consider), so our outlook today would be different from colonial times. We must assess what the words meant to those alive at the time. They lived in an agrarian, pre-industrial society with a sparse population and the problems of today would have been beyond their comprehension. A government of a colonial, feudal, pre-industrial society is not possible with the level of technology and the population numbers we have now. The Constitution gave a basic outline that is both general and specific at the same time that is still valid. Both extreme sides live in a theoretical world that looks good on paper or in the imagination but no resemblance to reality.
The left talks of a democratic society, freedom and empowered masses but advocates a state that completely cares for you from the cradle to the grave. Individual responsibility and initiative are down played or ignored outright. Responsibility on an individual level allows for the concept of responsibility to form at all. In the left’s fantasyland all, or most, businesses and industries are owned by the government and the workers will, with little or no leadership, happily bound out of bed in the morning, go to work, work to their full capacity, and equitably distribute the results out of the goodness of their hearts because it is the right thing to do. They envision utopia with everyone living happily ever after. I personally don’t like the thought of the human race reduced to a colony of ants or a hive of bees. Imagine a world of humanity without responsibilities, consequences, or regulations. The left encourages and facilitates the development of social problems which it thrives on. This utopian world is only possible if the entire human race were given lobotomies.
A balanced budget is of no importance to the left and they believe they can avoid and ignore negative consequences because their perception of it is it is only on paper or they can just print more money which they have been doing for decades. (Possibly one of the most hare-brained economic schemes in history was for the minting of a trillion dollar coin to be deposited in the Fed. It would only have value if a foreign government would accept it as payment for a debt. HaHa on that.) Every equation must balance or the answer or outcome will be wrong. They express democracy, freedom and rights but the same as those on the right side of the aisle they fail to factor human nature into the equation. That nature makes a free for all with a population and the technology of today’s world impossible. Our present form of government is too inefficient. It works on a local or grass roots level as at that level people can grasp the issues that have a direct impact on them. On a federal or global level it won’t work as it is too complex regardless of what vivid and idealistic imaginations conjure up.
The right, the less government and anti-government libertarian crowds, believe that just a bare-bones government is all there should be and some even oppose that and advocate no government at all. According to them there should be no oversight or restrictions on business such as antipollution laws, taxes, regulations and child labor laws. There would be no social services. The private business sector will do the right thing without being told. They would have you believe all CEOs of corporate culture are like scouts, and believe in God, the flag, motherhood, will do their duty, be loyal, thrifty, brave etc., etc. We have seen by numerous examples all throughout history the fallacy in that assumption. They believe business should not have to provide benefits nor should the government. Business should be able to pay bare subsistence wages which of course makes supplying one’s own benefits difficult if not impossible. There should not be any unemployment compensation, workers compensation, social security or Medicare. If the poor are injured, get sick or die so what? There are more poor people where they came from. There is actually a surplus of human beings and when a surplus of anything exists the value goes down. As the population increases the value of life will become cheaper and cheaper. Free market principles: the law of supply and demand and the law of diminishing returns apply even to people. Too small a government is as much a disaster as too big a government as the population would have no way to defend itself against the violent, the greedy and the dishonest except by vigilante justice which overlaps anarchy which is what we want to prevent. If anyone remembers from history the U.S. magnates of industry had private security forces that had no hesitation about beating or killing to protect the economic interests of their employers. Read the history of the Pinkerton Detective Agency. They were nothing but hired mercenary thugs. At one time the private security forces of the business barons exceeded the number of U.S. soldiers. Ohio was so concerned they outlawed the Pinkerton Detective Agency. Business would love to have control of a superior number of security forces than the military. Think how free or safe you would be with Blackwater, Halliburton and other mercenary contractors patrolling the streets and calling the shots (literally). With the private sector in control there would be no avenue for a redress of grievances, no product control, and no product liability. It would be the only game in town so if there was a crooked dealer you would be out of luck. You would be subject to the ethics of the robber barons and we can see historically and today the results of them being in control. Like the old song by Tennessee Ernie Ford, Sixteen Tons. “You load sixteen tons and what do you get, Another day older and deeper in debt. Saint Peter don’t you call me ‘cause I can’t go, I owe my soul to the company store.”
Members of both extremes of the political spectrum have idealistic overly simplistic visions in their heads of freedom and what it means. Each person sees it differently and without the written guidelines we call laws those differences will collide, often violently. As mentioned before it is a society that has never existed and never will, a theoretical fantasyland on both sides of the aisle. Although differing in perspectives and allocation priorities, both sides think enough time and money or freedom will solve all the problems. We are out of the first two and have abused the latter. Too simplistic a view for a complicated world and, even if the world was not complicated, human nature makes it impossible. A look at human history has proven that to be 100% accurate. The world now has over 7,000,000,000 people and growing. In the time baby boomers have been alive it has over doubled. Technology has mushroomed at an even faster pace seemingly creating about as many, if not more, problems as benefits. Our government is too slow to respond, if it does at all, to problems in a fast paced world and when it does the problem has changed into something worse. When they finally come up with a plan, after literally discussing the problem for years, even decades, it is too little too late and doesn’t apply to the new problem morphed from the original. Both sides have an inability to perceive or admit that they are part of the problem and are too emotional to be rational so it must be the middle-of-the-roaders to support what is reasonable and realistic.
We are not going to survive in any state worth surviving in if we do not solve our problems and we will not solve them within our present inefficient and dysfunctional political system. We won’t because society is too complex for the average voter to understand national and international issues. In democracy the quality of government directly corresponds with the educational and the intelligence and/or common sense levels of the voters. The average voter can’t work full time, worry about finances, raise children and have the time to read or listen to political and economic discourses, digest them and be knowledgeable enough to vote accurately. They are overwhelmed with their basic responsibilities and there simply is not enough time. The more complex society becomes the more impossible to understand it becomes. If a person could read and watch news 24/7 it still would be inadequate. The people in charge don’t even understand the issues and can’t agree on much of anything. Even if there was enough time to read and watch it a person would be too tired to digest it. And, even if it was possible to read it and digest it and not be tired the vast majority will vote their own self-interest anyway thus rendering all the study time wasted so most will take a why bother attitude. Or the public being pedestrian in nature will merely vote for or against the last argument they heard. Back to square one. Emotions rather than reason make most, if not all, decisions and determine the vote which is why we are in the predicament we are in. Unfortunately human nature is what it is. Humans are flawed and society is too complex and getting more so. The average person, for the most part, can concentrate on and understand issues on a local or semi local level. The state offices and the Congress are on a level citizens can at least vaguely understand and be able to have contact with elected officials and have a better chance of understanding and affecting the issues. US Senators should all be appointed positions. Up until 1913 they were appointed as called for in the Constitution (per the founding fathers). However being appointed by the state legislatures caused stalemates to arise due to the usual: inefficiency, dishonesty, special interests, partisan politics and incompetence. The 17th Amendment placed their positions into the public’s “capable” hands. (Sarcasm with “capable” intended).
We are failing rapidly and have reached what is known as the “tipping point”. It is the point of no return. The point of no return in the aviation world is the point at which you do not have enough fuel to return to your place of departure. We will end up modifying our government by choice or the coming disasters will force us into choices we would not willingly make except by necessity and out of desperation which we will most assuredly regret. One thing for certain is that as long as audio, visual, and written records exist we will probably be the last major democracy for the rest of human existence. Democracy is heading the way of the dinosaurs. Other nations will use us as a warning as to what happens under a democracy. The disaster we are heading into now will forever be a reminder of what happens when things get out of control and they get out of control when the mob rules. The mob rules here through the ballot box. The founding fathers were aware and afraid of this hence the reason senators were appointed and not elected by the mob and there is an electoral college in presidential elections. They wanted to put a barrier between the emotional populace and government. H. L. Mencken in his Notes on Democracy made the following statements, “Democracy, alas, is also a form of theology, and shows all the immemorial stigmata. Confronted by the uncomfortable facts, it invariably tries to dispose of them by appeals to the highest sentiments of the human heart.” He also went on to say regarding the mob: “Fresh delusions, of course, enter into it from time to time, usually on waves of frantic emotion, but it keeps its main outlines. This complex of prejudices is what is known, under democracy, as public opinion. It is the glory of Democratic states.” And, “Its content is best studied by a process of analysis –that is, by turning from the complex whole to the simpler parts. What does the mob think? It thinks, obviously, what its individual members think. And what is that? It is, in brief, what somewhat sharp-nosed and unpleasant children think. The mob, being composed, in the overwhelming main, of men and women who have not gotten beyond the ideas and emotions of childhood, hovers, in mental age, around the time of puberty, and chiefly below it.”
Watching the polls show, without a doubt, people think a complicated crisis that was 30 plus years (actually 100 years) in the making can be solved in less than a year. Our fast paced society is not used to waiting and has no patience. If a situation can’t unfold and a resolution be reached in 60 to 90 minutes, (including the time for commercials), it would be taking too long for the average American. Americans have been programmed for quick easy solutions. Even the way television programs and movies are structured they condition the viewers to a fast paced format that actually produces a short attention span. There are no magic bullets.
Who should do the appointing?
The military should do the appointing of senators. The military is the group most capable of being an oversight board. Oversight boards are usually civilian organizations composed of civilians. They have numerous forms and are called many things such as “watchdogs”, monitors, review boards, etc. Most often civilian review boards are established to investigate complaints against law enforcement, military or other similar authority based organizations. An example would be the Civilian Complaint Review Board in New York City. There are various watch groups such as Judicial Watch to keep an eye on the government and numerous human rights commissions to monitor the plights of vulnerable groups around the world. Some are governmental to monitor such activities as banking, finance, the environment and other organizations dealing with the public. Others, private and public, are concerned also with the environment, endangered species, water quality, climate change, and numerous other issues. Most have no real power except to try and raise public awareness to what they perceive as wrong doings or sponsor political pressure on elected officials or resort to the courts to address what issues they have. Raising public awareness is often a dead end, or at least an uphill battle, as most people have their own problems and are usually preoccupied unless it is of immediate concern affecting them. Unfortunately when a problem is far removed at the beginning of its existence by the time it reaches them it is usually in a “terminal” state. To be effective these boards must have the intelligence to analyze situations, make decisions, craft plans and have the authority to act without getting tied up in excessive red tape, being bought off or blackmailed by someone with something incriminating on them. The military and paramilitary services are the ones that are called in to rescue us when natural or man-made disasters strike. Since they are called to the rescue they should have the oversight of the policymakers that create many of the disasters they have to extricate us from in an attempt to prevent or at least mitigate the consequences.
A true military mind is not an unnecessary risk taker. Unlike elected representatives they have to deal with the often life or death consequences of their actions or inactions at the time the decisions are made. They do not have to worry about “kissing babies” and performing in what have become popularity contests of personality rather than contests between logical, intelligently proposed ideas. They have strict policies and procedures and after any action they do an After Action Report that examines the action for errors and ways to improve actions in the future. Part of it is a lessons learned segment. Most professional military or paramilitary organizations have some type of these reports. The military and paramilitary do them for assessment whether things go right or wrong or turn out good or bad. The congress and senate don’t care about lessons learned or ways to improve because the consequences of their actions do not appear for years or even decades after. Also they are not held accountable for disasters to any but a fickle and easily deceived electorate. The military not only looks at the present but also looks far into the future and examines as many potential scenarios as they can. They do not have to take into account political correctness in the same way other groups must. These other groups usually plan for the best case scenario and only within a short immediate time frame. The military can see the dangers of global warming which some refuse to admit. Planning for the worst and having the best unfold is great. Planning for the best and having the worst unfold spells disaster. Divide the appointments by thirds; one third conservative, one third liberal, and one third moderates or thirty, thirty, and forty. There should be several “protégés” for each Senator. They will be in the pool the appointments to senators will come from. This keeps a continuity of knowledge and experience. All elected representatives should be educated in and have a basic knowledge of, but not necessarily a degree in, law (business, civil, constitutional, and criminal), administration, comparative theology, sociology, history, geography, psychology, international relations, and economics and also should serve at least two years in the military or in a public service organization. They would be appointed after a vetting process that would choose the most qualified taking into account many factors along with the educational level and intelligence of prospective appointees. As it is now elected officials need none of those qualities and it shows. Now senatorial qualifications, per the Constitution, require three things: be 30 years old, be a citizen for 9 years, and live in the state they are to represent. What do we honestly expect when in a complicated world those 3 qualifications are all that is required? Expecting a sensibly run government lacking education and intelligence would be like only requiring those qualifications of a surgeon and expecting a successful surgery. A barber usually needs more credentials than a senator (or a president). Think about it for a minute we are not talking rocket science.
Appointed officials could focus on the issues instead of reelection. We need to take politics out of the equation. They should be appointed for life. (Part of the disaster California is becoming is due to term limits. A good take on it can be found in Paradise Lost: California’s Experience, America’s Future by Peter Schrag). Experience and continuity are gained with time and maturity with age. They leave office in one of several ways:
1) They are incompetent and resign or are replaced, given a rake (metaphorically speaking) and told their job classification has been changed;
2) They die;
3) They become too old to do the job and are retired and replaced;
4) They are caught with their “fingers in the till” or “hand in the cookie jar” and after the funeral a replacement is appointed.
One condition of being appointed (or elected as well) is they accept the fact that violation of public trust is a capital offense. They don’t have to take the job if they aren’t prepared for the responsibilities and consequences. If they know the score, (in this case violation of public trust being a capital offense), take the job and are caught doing something unethical or illegal what can they say? Farfetched? Out of the question? Wait until the system collapses and your family goes hungry or are robbed and assaulted by roving gangs because social order has broken down. When your children are hungry unrealistic ideals and warm and fuzzy visions won’t feed or protect them.
It boils down to safety, security and stability of the state or chaos and anarchy. Given that choice the bulk of humanity will choose safety, security, and stability over freedom every time. Look at history. Every democracy has eventually ended up totalitarian because it just became too dysfunctional and inefficient to provide said safety, security, and stability. We have the benefit of history at our fingertips and we continue to make the same mistakes over and over and over. In one of our oldest books, the Bible, in the book of Exodus 14:12 the Israelites fleeing Egypt said to Moses “Didn’t we say to you in Egypt ‘leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” This or variations were said numerous times. Read history and you will see it has been so since the beginning and throughout recorded history. H.L. Mencken in his book Notes on Democracy said “What the common man longs for in this world, before and above all his other longings, is the simplest and most ignominious sort of peace–the peace of a trusty in a well-managed penitentiary”. Bertrand Russell, in his book, Power, wrote: “The most unruly gang of children ever imagined will become completely amenable to the orders of a competent adult in an alarming situation, such as a fire;….” and, “Whenever there is acute danger, the impulse of most people is to seek out authority and submit to it; at such moments, few would dream of revolution.” The disaster we are now headed for is that level of danger. The anti-government crowds and anarchists would get no support from the bulk of the population even if the ruling powers were foreign. When your children and loved ones are at stake you go with whom or what promotes safety, security, and stability.
Once understood and accepted this return to the original method our system needs should get the support of the majority of citizens from the center out to about 35 to 40% on either side of the political spectrum. The positions and thoughts of the 10 or 15% that are “neocons” and 10 to 15% that are “neolibs” are extremely useful during the analysis and the process of crafting a plan on a particular issue but in the overall picture, concerning multiple issues cohesively joining pieces together, they are usually noisy and hinder the successful completion of the task with unrealistic proposals. Their inability to think outside the box of their ridged ideology makes this just a fact of life that the rest need to acknowledge. The rest, those 70 to 80 % composed of the 35 to 40% on either side out from center, will support it because the alternative of grinding to a halt, collapsing, and breaking up and descending into anarchy would be far worse. You say it couldn’t happen? Some of you must remember the economic collapse and breakup of the Soviet Union. (Actually what they did was the equivalent of filing bankruptcy and what goes around seems to come around. Look at our present economic position.) As I said Russian professor Igor Panarin, in the mid-nineties, predicted the breakup of the United States into several foreign occupied territories. You say that can’t happen? Look at our situation and think again. While we are not overly loved in the world the number of weapons in private hands would make it almost impossible to completely conquer us with a standing army but they could occupy large metropolitan areas easily. A strong EMP (electromagnetic pulse) burst above mid America would cripple us. The chaos of large cities and manufacturing hubs deprived of food, water, energy, and medicines would result in the majority of professionals and productive laborers clamoring for order and would undoubtedly welcome order even if from UN or foreign troops. In the event of collapse and martial law had to be imposed the major metropolitan cities, military installations, critical industries and mineral sites would be the areas where most restorative concentration would be. Their occupation would also contain the unrest. The situation would of necessity be triaged. The rural areas would probably survive with or without intervention. The law enforcement of those areas would get large scale support from the citizens and order would be maintained. Critical industrial areas and critical mineral source areas would survive with intervention and some major cities with key strategic necessities such as airports, seaports, hospitals, etc. would also survive with intervention. Some cities that have nothing, or very little, of value to offer would likely not survive in a very bad situation without too much of a drain on critical resources and they may have to be temporarily abandoned. When resources are limited you have to prioritize. Probably the biggest danger would be the interruption of petroleum supplies which would be seized by the government and any over what would be needed for direct security by the military would be allocated to law enforcement, medical services, fire prevention services, necessary utilities, basic transportation of goods and workers in those industries. The level of importance would be assessed and supplies work their way down. If foreign nations were involved they would not even have the hesitation of common street thugs to eliminate any problems quickly. Probably it would be a multinational task force and sectioned similar to Germany and Berlin after the war. We are too entwined in world affairs to be allowed to collapse or to remain in such a state for long. Also it is doubtful the first and emerging world nations or the UN would allow our nuclear arsenal to fall into unstable hands. If it did collapse and US troops could not maintain order and no foreign intervention was involved the break up would create fiefdoms; cities controlled by gangs and rural areas by the equivalent of local warlords. Just because someone is wrapped in the American flag and holding a Bible doesn’t necessarily mean they are the good guys. (In fact that would be a time for extreme concern and caution.) The very real possibility of a situation as this cannot be discounted.
The problems will not be solved by the 10 or 15% on the extremes of the spectrum. Not that they don’t have some legitimate positions, as I mentioned earlier, or they lack dedication and convictions but a large percentage of them are too emotional as emotions determine a large portion of their ideological and philosophical basis. Watch them on television or read their comments on Facebook and in many that irrational emotionalism is plainly visible. The political center, being more stable and reasonable for the most part, will realize something must be done to determine viable political and economic programs. The independent voters are a fast growing segment of the voting public. By their very nature if the independent, centrist, or moderate voter could be summed up in one simple premise it would be the old saying: “there are two sides to every story”. The center is where the majority of people are and they are also the ones that are usually the most rational and the ranks from which most professionals come. In the American Revolution the nation was split about equally. One third for the revolution, one third still loyal to England and one third didn’t care. The middle can be a powerful political force and those with centrist views as things continue to deteriorate will hopefully outnumber the combined total of both political poles. To go from one of the present parties to the other dominating political power is like Martin Luther’s drunken peasant. He said “the world is like a drunken peasant. If you lift him into the saddle on one side, he will fall off on the other side.” It doesn’t matter if you fall off a horse on the left side or the right side the keyword is fall. You can break your neck on either side of the horse.
Our values on life, fairness, and our concept of justice and individual rights are what make Western civilization so great. What makes us so vulnerable is our being so obsessed with those values so as to often be outside the realm of reason and reality. The need for privacy and space is almost an inherited psychic condition among Americans, and the West in general. This looking at individuality and the whole picture as well from a nonpartisan position is what puts people in the center of the political spectrum, (two sides to every story), and so crucial in determining a nations direction. Political independents usually disagree with both parties most of the time which accounts for centrist independents being the fastest growing group in the US. Some things are black and white and some are gray. The center sees the gray, thinks and tries to reason things while the fringes only see the black and white and use emotion usually in the long run going from bad to worse. This is not a moral but a political “fifty shades of gray” scenario looking at the big picture politically and economically and the numerous factions all fighting for their personal agendas.
Who would or should support the military appointing Senators? All honest and ethical businesses would. The reason honest businesses would is because they need stability to function. The less order the more precarious both society and business become. Many corporate businesses, especially the weapons manufacturers and energy, should be taken out of private ownership. That way the military is not under the control of the present corporate culture as they are now because these industries would no longer be in the hands of the private sector but the government which the military oversees. If they are honest corporate officers they will be retained and paid high salaries. If they are not honest then such is the way of it they know the price of dishonesty. Many of these corporate crooks are looked at as role models and a post on Facebook said “…Why do we hold them up as some kind of role model and example of what to aspire to when the destructiveness of their actions vastly outweighs any positive effects they may produce? Fact is, if they were hoarding cats or newspapers everyone would recognize that they have a mental disorder. Instead, they hoard money far beyond any amount that they could possibly really need and in a fashion that harms the rest of society. It’s more than a little likely that their mental dysfunction extends to being sociopathic. They should be viewed as a dangerous and negative influence on society by anyone who has half a brain.” If basic industries are placed in public ownership, or closely monitored and highly regulated, there should be no doubt that people such as they would end up controlling the military. Unhindered by concerns of ethics or for safety, security, and stability, which are the military’s prime functions, they would use business tactics and the military would end up subservient to business. The military may scoff at that thought but a true military mind has a code of ethics and honor that those in business find as handicaps. More on that in another essay. The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States and his picks for cabinet appointees have raised legitimate concerns but even though it runs counter the previous thoughts by “playing their cards right” they can achieve accomplishments even beyond their imaginations and, as President Trump said, “Make America Great Again”. Better relations with Russia and also China would catapult them and Americans to prosperity for millennia to come.
Law enforcement, fire departments, paramedics, and any rescue or medical personnel would support a more authoritarian state as they understand the need for the type of accountability and structure this change would promote. They also have a good grasp of human nature that comes from experience, more often than not experience gained in some of the uglier aspects making caution a primary concern, something lacking in the present order of things. Professionals would, or should, be as they also need order and structure to practice their professions. Doctors and nurses should as without structure and stability hospitals would not be functional and even basic supplies would not be available. The horrible conditions in hospitals in the Middle East and many African nations should verify that beyond a doubt. Scientists would as technological research and development and the exploration of space would be fast tracked. The “tech” industries would also. What benefit would technical skills be if there was no social structure in which for them to perform those skills or produce the necessary goods? Women, minorities and anyone believing in equal rights would. The military began pushing for equal rights before the government. Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, segregated the military during WW1 (http://www.academia.org/progressive-segregation/ ). The military was beginning to desegregate, albeit slowly, before Truman pushed for it. The present military is adamant about equality. Any and all civil and human rights would be permitted as long as they did not interfere with the safety, security, and stability of the state. Case in point sexual assault problems in the military would soon be solved by the military and would be solved quickly unless placed in civilian hands. In that case the discussions will drag on for years and even then nothing meaningful will be accomplished unless something akin to putting up signs saying just say no to rape is considered meaningful, or, some emotional legislation would be passed that has no relation to the actual problem. Civilians thrive on social problems which can be used to gain emotionally motivated support. In his book The Greater Generation, Leonard Steinhorn said “the military has in fact become one of our most egalitarian institutions, ironically so, providing advancement opportunities for minorities and training officers to detect unconscious bias against women and blacks.” (As I said they also realize the dangers in global warming.) Anyone that enjoys television, abundant food, telephones, computers, electricity, radios, refrigerators, warm showers, modern medicine, and any other comforts would support the change. It requires social structure to supply those things. Family oriented people would as they need structure and security to raise their families. People that are diabetic, on dialysis, on radiation or chemotherapy, on other types of medical therapy, the handicapped, the elderly, the infirm and those who have children or grandchildren will support it. How free can a society be, regardless of elections, freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of religion, whatever other freedoms you want to tout, and what sheer amount of consumer goods are available for purchase at Walmart, if your children have to pass through a metal detector to get in school? If you had to worry about your family, loved ones, friends or anyone for that matter being criminally assaulted? How free can you be if someone cheated you in a business deal that was legal but blatantly and clearly wrong and you lost your house and you and your family had to live in a tent in a parking lot or a homeless shelter? Or if you can’t get needed medical treatment because of widespread disruption and chaos? What type of freedom would there be in a “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” world?
Who wouldn’t be for the change? Well, for starters; special interests, drug dealers and smugglers would be opposed to one. Medicare fraud perpetrators, welfare cheats, Wall Street thieves, thieves in general, organized crime, street gangs, child predators, pirates, rapists, murderers, and all criminals to name a few and anyone else that is up to no good would oppose one. The unprincipled and the undisciplined would find their lifestyle severely cramped. Anti-government types that want to live like the Wild West and want no accountability for antisocial actions would be against it. Let them deliver their own mail, pave their own streets, doctor themselves, supply their own food, protect themselves and stay completely away from other people. No computers, phones, power, stores, automobiles, medicine unless they could build it themselves. No anything. That’s freedom. Only a minuscule number could or would want or survive it. They will spout to the death slogans but should take into mind that whoever ends up in charge will have the idea that their jobs would be easier if agitators and malcontents weren’t around. After revolutions revolutionaries usually become a burden to the new regime. If someone is radically anti-government ask what they are up to that they shouldn’t be. Guarantee they are doing or thinking about doing something that is, at best, shady.
The sooner we accept reality the sooner we will be able to solve the problems that plague humanity and threaten our existence. We all know, but are loathe admitting, that humanity will not do the right thing unless compelled to do so, often after it is too late. We have three problems that need to be solved before any others: population, environment, and space exploration. The environment and space exploration would actually be under the population heading as the attempt to solve social problems always lags behind population growth. (As I said earlier I added Islam as a fourth as current events have made it necessary). After plotting a course to solve those problems the government with senators that no longer have to be reelected will address issues such as abortion, jobs, taxes, immigration, race relations, the death penalty, gay rights, genetic engineering, terrorism, piracy, women’s rights, gun control, stem cell research, healthcare, drugs, crime, education, pollution, inner city problems, capitalism, socialism, and a laundry list of other issues unhindered by the mob. They will make decisions based on the safety, security, and stability and long term viability of the state. They will deal with all these problems in less time than it would take our current system to deal with just one considering healthcare has been discussed for decades and is still a disaster. Remember political corruption or betrayal of public trust is a capital offense.
All governments and states realize any society that is to survive and advance must have freedom of thought and an exchange of ideas. They realize that virtually all advancement throughout history has come from those that have thought outside the box and the vast majority of time it has been civilians. To eliminate some of the smartest and most imaginative would only be to their detriment and undermine themselves. They realize their continued existence depends on advancement and advancement requires not just keeping up with the Joneses but in trying to keep ahead of them. Inaction in favor of a status quo stagnation is as destructive as reckless action. The requirement would be the thinkers and innovators are loyal to the state. Many frontier and rural type mentalities are also necessary to remain vibrant.
The emotional hype that has been spread by the far fringes of both sides of the political spectrum has made rational discourse impossible. Many of their emotionally based attitudes are 100% correct but they must be rationally assessed for a solution. It is the emotional and the ignorant that have brought us to this perilous point. We don’t have to worry about appointed senators as it is close to what the Constitution originally wanted. In regards to even a totally authoritarian state, that state requires a willing broad support of the citizenry for its’ continued existence. Remember the Communists have held Cuba for so long because they are popular. The Nazis held Germany because they were popular. The Fascists held Italy because they were popular. The Communists hold China because they are popular. Chavez held Venezuela because he was popular. Islam still holds the Middle East because it has the most popular support. The bottom line is even totally authoritarian regimes depend on popular opinion and support to remain in power and today’s technology has made it impossible for one to prevent public scrutiny without undermining itself. Again using H. L. Mencken’s wit to accurately sum up the situation when talking about a tyrant king said: “though a king von Gottes Gnaden was yet biologically only a man, with but one gullet to slit….…….”
The vast majority of people will be fine and life will go on without so much as a hiccup. Those that are more trouble than they are worth and threaten the safety, security and stability of the state that’s a different story and the authority to properly deal with them would exist. Military minds are not political minds and the educated military brass is aware of this. They know running a civilian state requires civilians with at least a basic knowledge of economics, the environment, education, healthcare, various fields of law, religions, psychology, sociology, history, and numerous other issues that are not in their areas of expertise. Civilians, the elected and appointed ones, will still be in charge. The military will just make sure they do their jobs. Responsibility over our lives is far too important to be left completely to the self-interest of politicians and the private sector. For incentive and inspiration there is nothing like a General Patton tapping his riding crop against his leg or slapping his gloves in his hand asking the senate how they were coming along on a particular problem. Why oversight is needed is we are constantly reminded of the unreliability of private corporations and government monitoring themselves. You simply cannot trust capitalists to do the right thing. Capitalists will always do the right thing…..as long as it is profitable. As I have said I am basically a capitalist but the reality is the “invisible hand of the market” is usually stealing something.
Humanity has passed the point of no return, we’re in too deep. We, those of us in the first world, do not have options. We had options but it is far too late for them. We are in a tiger by the tail situation and must continue to increase our technology if we are to live and not just survive. We have weakened immunity to many diseases. Without modern medicine that is rooted in technology the diseases will be back stronger than ever. Already “superbugs” are showing up. We also need the expertise of those that do research to prevent the next big epidemic. The environment is deteriorating before our very eyes, resources are dwindling, and the population is mushrooming (much of it incapable of integrating into a technological society). Much of our food is grown in ways that the average person could not do now because much of botany has been altered with genetic engineering. Food is mechanically planted and picked, distributed and shipped by technology and even paid for with technology. For the majority the old rules of complete self-reliance don’t/can’t apply. By the year 2050 about 70% of the world population will live in cities.
We are vulnerable to disruptions in the supply of water, electricity, food, medicines and petroleum. Example is one big weakness in ancient Rome was the aqueduct system. The supply of something we take for granted-water. The invaders merely cut off the water supply and Rome was helpless. The population had grown so large they couldn’t supply all the citizens with food or water and without those being supplied from outside the city they could not survive. California is at this time has been suffering from major drought conditions. If the Owens valley aqueduct were disabled by such occurrences as an EMP burst, an earthquake, riots, sabotage, natural disasters, or any one of a multitude of things, Los Angeles (or other large cities) would be in a similar situation as ancient Rome. Even clean water and warm showers, which we in the first world take for granted, are fragile. Even now the state of Florida as well as California is faced with serious water problems due to rapidly increasing urbanization and is doing absolutely nothing but talking, and that only occasionally when forced to do so. They are allowing the private sector to overbuild and drill wells depleting the fresh water and as it is depleted salt water encroaches inland contaminating the underground supply of fresh water. We don’t even have the intelligence or character to stop it. On Jan 29, 2015 the Florida House of Representatives voted to allow fracking.
We depend on technology and energy, lots of energy. If we lose our technology we lose our energy. If we lose our energy it is all over but the suffering and death. Third world nations will be better off than first world nations in a collapse. They are used to doing without proper food, water, medicine, housing, electricity and numerous other luxuries we hold as essential. Deprived we would revert to a state where the strong prey on the young, the old, the weak, and the infirm undermining the entire foundation of civilized values. The third world would not even realize anything was amiss. We are becoming so dysfunctional we aren’t even producing people smart enough and educated enough to maintain the present level of technology much less than advance it to meet future needs. We have totally lost the concept of common sense and long term consequences. We aren’t even seriously discussing what happens after oil is depleted.
We are not going to get anything accomplished until a plan is formulated and that is not going to happen under our present form of government. F. A. Hayek, a well-respected conservative icon, said in The Road To Serfdom “nor can a coherent plan be achieved by breaking it up into parts and voting on particular issues. A democratic assembly voting and amending a comprehensive economic plan clause by clause, as it deliberates on an ordinary bill, makes nonsense. An economic plan, to deserve the name, must have a unitary conception. Even if the parliament could, proceeding step-by-step, agree on some scheme, it would certainly in the end satisfy nobody. A complex whole in which all the parts must be most carefully adjusted to each other cannot be achieved through a compromise between conflicting views. To draw up an economic plan in this fashion is even less possible then, for example, successfully to plan a military campaign by democratic procedure. As in strategy it would become inevitable to delegate the task to the experts.” He went on to say “yet agreement that planning is necessary, together with the inability of democratic assemblies to produce a plan, will evoke stronger and stronger demands that the government or some single individual should be given powers to act on their own responsibility. The belief is becoming more and more widespread that, if things are to get done, the responsible authorities must be freed from the fetters of democratic procedure.” (Keep in mind this book was written in 1944). Corporate capitalists should not have a stake in it except in regards how their businesses would be affected for consideration by the authorities. I have no doubt that they probably have convinced themselves that they are right in their actions and they are priests of capitalism and keepers of the Holy Grail of God, the flag and motherhood but they are businessmen first. The placing of a country or people, except as consumers, above business is not a business decision. The reality is they care not for God, the Flag, Motherhood, or anything or anyone else but themselves and business. That is being sociopathic and good business. The outsourcing business from the US shows that to all but imbeciles and the dishonest.
Both the house and the senate have become dysfunctional disgraces and not only are just not working they have become liabilities. What we really need is a third party as it is apparent that both parties don’t know what to do and even if they did they couldn’t or wouldn’t. If a third party was to be extremely conservative or extremely liberal it may be advantageous for a fourth party to offset the other. The two present major parties have become not assets but liabilities. Each side is trying to sabotage the other. It may not be possible to get a third party up and running in time but it is possible to make the change by the independents voting as a block. If a third party was to enter a critical election it more than likely would merely siphon enough vote to allow the party that would lose to win. If we don’t make the change to a more efficient system we are in for a painful reality check because we will lose the entire democracy. The change from electing senators to appointing them may make the difference whether we survive as a free nation or fall into an extreme dictatorship or break up into regional areas. Watch the vocal rhetoric from both sides on television or Facebook and if that doesn’t scare you nothing will. We have a slim chance if we act quickly otherwise get ready for chaos. Clear your mind of all preconceived notions and use your feelings, you know I’m right.
This is an add on comment made after the 2016 election in the US. The election of Donald Trump as the president of the US surprised everyone although realistically it should have surprised no one. Logic made it inevitable. His appointments to his cabinet have as much potential for good as ill. Most are businessmen and business has been a major contributing factor to our ascent and also to our decline and problems but their appointments have the potential to do well. They best understand the problem and so are in a unique position to solve the problems. They also will have more to lose but also more to gain however human nature being what it is gives me more reasons to shudder than relax. Overall I am a capitalist but as I have said my firm belief is the invisible hand of the market is always stealing something and this has never been proven wrong in all recorded history.
Many of those that howl the loudest about the dishonesty of corporate capitalism bare a major part of the blame for their leaving the US for other nations. The US was the major manufacturing center of the world. Had they felt the future was secure here the US would have remained the manufacturing center as they could have maintained global economic control and gained as much if not more in the long run. To move production requires a tremendous expenditure of economic, natural and human resources. The corporate mind may not be honest or ethical but it is not stupid. They could read the writing on the wall and could see the social turmoil the US was headed for. Activism in the colleges and the rapid spread of drug use would increasingly destabilize the nation. No one wants to be in the midst of a bunch of socialist pot smokers trying to undermine business. The direction was toward the weakening of the state and its inability to protect their interests. Ramsey MacMullen in “Corruption and the Decline of Rome” said one major factor was “government lacked the strength to insure the peace and security on which commercial intercourse depends, and on which cities depend, too.”