Mr. Kaplan’s prescience is becoming more evident by the day. I see the increasing militarization of our police forces, with all the atrocities that brings, as evidence that our government is aware of, and powerless to prevent, the anarchy that will be our lot as the economy continues its downward spiral.
Now, please don’t misread me. I am not one of those gun toting, cache burying, paranoid survivalist types…although I am a fervent supporter of the right to keep and bear arms, think everyone should stock up on bulk foods, and I do tend to be on the more cynical side of things regarding politics and life in general.
I tend to see the absurdity in the endless pursuit of ‘stuff’ whether it’s survival stuff or designer purses. Not the least because I am guilty of being a compulsive saver. I grew up having so little and moving so much that now I keep *everything* because surely as I’m sitting here, I WILL need whatever it was I threw away. Maybe not now, maybe not in a week, or even a year, but I will need it.
So, with that said, back to my point, and Mr. Kaplan’s prescience. The article was written in 1994 yet the situation in Africa not only has not improved, it has deteriorated; places in other parts of the world that were stable (at least compared to today) have destabilized and are in turn destabilizing regions around them — look at Russia vs. Ukraine or Russia vs. Georgia, or the tribal leaders in the outlands of Afganistan and Pakistan vs. the recognized governments of each.
We are tribal. We are not nation oriented; our evolutionary path designed us to be loyal on a gut level to a tribe at the largest. Anything beyond that becomes abstract and when push comes to shove, impossible to enforce over tribal loyalties. Our problem as modern Americans is that, like the countries of Africa, we have taken away the tribal mores and punishments in exchange for the laws of society…and those just don’t hold up well when there’s survival, even profit beyond subsistence, in violating the law in favor of supporting the tribe.
I think it’s a myth that we ever as a nation had a unified idea of morality or ethics; even among those of the same faith, there are marked differences between sects even of the same denomination regarding the lines in the sand of right/wrong. However, there was a broad understanding of the principles within those two extremes that were shared by the great majority of our ancestors. I don’t think that is so any longer. A quick search around google will show study after study supporting the premise that people think it’s OK to cheat to get better grades, to cheat to get more money, to lie on a resume, and so on. I surmise that our nation’s obsession with youth and beauty arises at least in part due to the supposition that if it gets you better _fill in the blank_ it’s OK, and even expected.
So what is my purpose in bringing that up already?? Well, this. Igor Panarin, who is no slouch regarding predicting – accurately- trends within the US. He used to be a KGB analyst. Read his story; I think Dimitry Orlov must have had a conversation with him at least a time or two, or read some of his works as his analysis and predictions dovetail nicely with Panarin’s.
Our nation is so fragmented; as pressures both economic and social mount, people revert to the tangible area of loyalties, the tribe. It can also be called community, gangs, family. These are all sections of our society that are gaining traction, members, influence. They all give a sense of support and identity to their members.
If we want to avoid outright anarchy, we need to build community now, build up those tribal networks. It’s becoming late in the game; say hello to your neighbor today, it’s a good place to start. I would rather depend on my neighbors to keep an eye on my place than the police, and rather depend on my neighbors for that same security than pay a private security force to do the job less well and with less care than those who also depend on me for the same.