The coming anarchy

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.

Happy New Year!

It’s hard for me to think of this particular day as being new for anything; in my spriritual practice I follow the astronomical year and therefore Dec 21 was officially the end of the 2008 as far as I am concerned.  But — I live in a society that thinks in terms of arbitrary days and therefore I wish you all a happy Jan 1, 2009!

I have not one but three drafts for this blog in my saved folder, but I have simply been too busy with overtime, deck building/permit drama, and holiday season stuff to actually get to them.  Maybe now I can do so; this is a good time of year for settling in with hot tea and my knitting needles, or in this case the computer.  🙂

The topic of discussion at work last night was how many more years will the ER system continue to function?  I was surprised to find that several of the doctors actually think that within 10 years at most our hospital system as we now know it will be completely gone.

I have to admit, I don’t give it even that long with the economy the way it’s going.  Much of the most intensive users of the hospital system are people on Medicare and Medicaid of some sort and those people don’t generally pay taxes — and the taxes they did pay are used up usually within the first two years of them retiring…leaving the rest of us taxpayers to foot the bill for their further care.  Now I do believe that as a society we have an obligation to the vulnerable among us, but when do you say enough is enough, there has to be some to go around for all?  The government gets taxes from people who are working.  We’re supposed to lose -what?- a million more jobs this year possibly?

The American Way of Life (TM) is unsustainable and contributes to a whole host of ills, (pun intended) including the mess we find ourselves in regarding medical care — if you can’t stay in one place, you can’t develop a support network ; you can’t develop a relationship with a healthcare provider who really knows you and your particular problems, both medical and whatever else; and you can’t really be well served in the system as it is; nor can you really effectively serve others.  We have to make some changes.

I hope that Obama realizes that healthcare should be one of the TOP issues on his list of things to do, else whatever else he does is destined to have less than the desired effect on our citizens.

I also hope that he realizes that investing hugely in ROADS as infrastructure rather than sewage, electric grids, water supply, etc — including thinking of our healthcare system as part of our infrastructure — is doomed to fail.

Ok.  Enough of the happiness and light for one morning.  I’m off to work.