I found this posting under an article about the Obama-Clinton nomination fight on the Guardian newspaper's website. Pandachops has a very strange style of writing, swinging between enigmatic, even vague statements and insanely crisp images of a frightening future. His fear is an Obama-facilitated populism morphing into something awful, angry, and then being suppressed even more awfully. In the end, he forecasts, the morality of the upper class people will be torn like a tissue paper in a hurricane, which I take to mean they will be forced to reveal their true colors and viciously support the suppression. Stable times allow the privileged -- including myself -- to cultivate soft, humane self-images. Read this remarkable post.
Pandachops March 9, 2008 3:26 am
The USA is in a terrible mess, so terrible that commentators are already comparing the boundary conditions (that is, what we know about right now) to those in the great depression. Unemployment is rising very rapidly and is already very high. Incarceration rates are the highest in the world (yes, higher than China). And the banking system is in a mess that you would not believe. Don't forget that America has witnessed on prime time TV the utter obliteration of one of it's most famous and beloved cities; and that the poor were treated like cattle for all to see; and those images will haunt and terrify all those who see their own future framed by outsourcing, industrial decline, the eclipse (probably permament) of the sunrise industries, semiconductor manufacturing chief amongst these.
They're both crazy. No-one of sound mind at the moment would even want to be IN The USA, let alone running the damn place.
I tend to hang around with Left wing intellectuals, who, predictably see the Clintons as an unmitigated wreck, a bunch of Al Capone lookalikes who despise the poor and would lock up the lot if they but could; but Barack terrifies them even more. Why?
Because these people that I know also used to work for the people who operated out of Saigon and they have a long memory. They believe that the USA really and truly this time is heading for a social catastrophe. They, ironically, would sooner live with McCain, who they see as a soft touch and completely disconnected from the obvious future trajectory of the Washington Consensus, than Democrats who would rather be seen as "right on" true believers and immediately carry on down the path of turning the USA into one huge, advanced lockdown the moment they hear a firecracker going off. McCain at least has the potential of harking back to something approaching a badly defined libertarianism; the Clintons have nothing less than a ten year bombing campaign and vengeance on the meek. Ask the inhabitants of Cleveland, Ohio, for their opinion of this.
Those long memories I mentioned are a problem. There has been the risk for a long time that some Washington outsider (Barack appears to be this) will launch a genuine populist movement which eschews both ends of the establishment equaly, neglects the empire, and concentrates on the poor and the needy.
Sounds nice, doesn't it? Until you realise what the response would be. Life under Barak would be fantastic, there would be no doubt about that; that is, until the shit really hit the fan, and either he got assassinated, or something like full on civil war was declared, the results of that being tragic beyond belief. No? The Right are gearing up for just exactly this scenario with great enthusiasm. Go check out what is going down on "FreeRepublic" right now. It should scare you. People read Anne Coulter and have a good laugh, and rightly so, but there are far more sinister people than she just around the corner, who really would do a somewhat better job at preparing funny lapt ops and letting off fireworks at the Canadian Parliament. Take a look. Better than television, folks.
If you think this is all nuts, please do me a favour and think very carefully about exactly WHAT these helicopter dumps of soft currency on the populace is actually going to result in. Think about what is going to happen when the fed no longer can cover up the news of the impending destruction of hedge fund after hedge fund. It is starting with the likes of Peloton, but will go far further than that, and by the time Hillary/Barack/McCain/whatever stand at the podium, swinging their medallions like dyspeptic Olympic silver champions, hoping to God that no-one takes a blood test and notices that they are still stoned on the cocaine from last night, it is going to be hell on earth in that place.
My advice? Go get that Greyhound and get the hell out.
There you go, lazy writing on my part. Life under Barack would NOT be nice. I'm certain he would do what he possibly could to make it that way, though. In fact, no, he might even be able to buy a few precious months for those close to the margins to make it through for a while. But what is building up in the USA is economic terror. There is nothing any candidate could do about that, even in principle, now. Barack would appear to have a somewhat better morality than most on this subject. But what my good friends are worried about is a populist movement based not on a charismatic leader especially (though he might be the focus of it), but based on hardship, poverty, anger, despair, and finally a variety of political nihilism that we have seen before, but far away, and we don't talk about that much any more than we can help.
This populist movement is likely to look like the sort of thing that is a recall of the old paternalistic, grass roots stuff from the early part of the 20th century, appealing in a loose, disconnected, kind of Bruce Springsteen way, but mixed in a devils cocktail with far right reconstructionalism from the deviant Christians, who have spent the last twenty five years, a whole generation, waiting for this one moment in time and space to eventuate.
It might well start sounding like it is something from a working mans perspective, and for a while it wil seem OK: then, as the economic reality sets in, and the utter impossible, staggering nature of those war debt like deficits finally sinks in, and catastrophic inflation becomes a daily fact, the mood will just get worse and worse. Anyone at the top wil find their morality blown to bits like tissue paper in a hurricane.
Then the real wars will start.