Monday, March 9, 2009

Portentous Times

(Note: This post was written to address a discussion concerning Strauss and Howe's cyclical theory of Anglo-American history, which has arisen on John Reilly's bulletin board. Click here to see it in context.)

HopefulCynic68 wrote:

IMHO the thing about 911 is that it didn't come at the right time. I disagree
with S&H about the time scale, IMHO it would be more accurate to say that
the 1T in American ran from about 1945 to 1965. The 2T ran from then to the
middle-80s.

My thinking is coming into alignment with yours on this matter. 9/11 was, in retrospect, smack-dab in the thick of a third-turning weltanshauung. Only now are the cracks in that world picture beginning to widen and ramify; and the most insidious dangers are coming from inside America, not outside it.

The first month-and-a-half of Barack Obama's presidency has been a momentous disaster outstripping even my own pessimism, which was often condemned as excessive before the election. The economy is in tatters, millions of jobs have been lost, and everywhere the freedom and moral standards instituted by America's founders are under assault. The will of the Obama team is now made manifest: his intention is to destroy as much goodness and beauty as he can lay his hands upon. This is no exaggeration, for the facts speak for themselves. All we have to do is list his policies and decisions so far in order to judge the motive behind them.

1. Barack Obama wants to destroy as many innocent human beings as possible. Firstly, he wants to maximize the number of abortions performed around the world by releasing federal funds for abortion mills abroad, and also by his surreptitious support of elements of the FOCA legislation here at home. Secondly, he has recently decided to fund the mining of human embryos for scientific research. Thirdly, his proposed massive overhall of the healthcare system will result in the application of financially motivated triage to people suffering from grave medical conditions. Not only that, but it will also strangle the federal budget, will federalize medical records under a central Washington authority, and will pave the way for systematic violations of human privacy and dignity too malignant to predict ahead of time. In effect, the practice of medice in this country will be subverted.

2. Barack Obama wants to destroy the American economy. The trillions of dollars of stimulus money either disbursed or promised to date have been met with unanimous skepticism on the part of the financial powers, who are resenting the intrusion of government into their businesses. The money comes with too many strings attached, imparting a burden which capitalism cannot bear. Meanwhile, from Citigroup to GM, the shares of corporation after corporation continue to waft moribund about the floors of the great trading houses like the detritus of cleared receipts, like the confetti from some forgotten party at West Egg. But what's worse, the inflationary holocaust and confiscatory tax hike released by such irresponsible disbursement will bankrupt my generation and that of my children before they're born, while the moral hazard created by the bailout of failed institutions and homeowners will make a mockery out of honest business practices which the free market will never recover from. After the crash, a third world system of bureaucratic bribes and patronage will be all that remains of America's post-war industrial keiretsu.

3. Barack Obama has already destroyed American standing in the world to a much greater degree than George W. Bush ever did. His proposal to essentially buy off the Taliban in Afghanistan will not work. Hillary Clinton's ridiculous "overcharge button" mistake has made our State Department look incompetent, while Obama's gift of videos to Gordon Brown is a shameful way to treat a foreign premier and ally. This is all quite juvenile: clearly the behavior of men and women who have spent too much time in a college dorm room setting. Remember Obama's "breakout groups" session with the Congress? Remember how somber he sounded when he laid out the itinerary? I'm sure even ardent supporters had to stifle a cringe at the sight of the boy-man Obama trying to look presidential while rattling off how the breakout groups were going to work like some marxo-feminist hippie commune house mother. This is not a safe occasion for schadebfreude however, as America's enemies are watching too. Does anyone think that Kim Jong Il or Vladimir Putin are the slightest bit afraid of Hillary Clinton?

4. Barack Obama has poisoned the gaiety and joie de vivre of American life through his constant ominous sermonizing and his radical expansion of federal powers. No one in America, except for a few academics and political mandarins like Hillary and Obama, really want a Washington Czar intruding into private decisions and business practices. Horrible ideas like Cap-and-Trade and Card Check are fundamentally inimical to the spirit of this country. The backlash, even among Obama's boosters in the press, is already quite strong.

All this bespeaks of growing, systematic tensions within the current situation that demand an existential solution. While conditions will not yet allow the outrage to break through, I cannot escape the conclusion that America is marching inevitably toward a condition of civil war. And not only in America, for all around the globe there are hotspots (Iran, North Korea, Pakistan) which are on the brink of collapse. Foreign powers will be drawn into any intra-American conflict in umpredictable ways. A generation of carnage will prevail, at the end of which a 'Congress of Vienna' solution will be enacted by the surviving remnants of the world's great powers. The pieces are moving into place for a sundering fourth-turning event.

The American Federation, that noble experiment, will not survive the next global conflict. It's great economy, the engine of the world's wealth, will have been dealt serious wounds. America will go on of course, but not as a single constitutional republic. We are building towards a situation in which all will be consumated. The fates of Israel, the Middle East, Europe, the Caucasus, and northeast Asia are very uncertain. Although this will not be the parousia, the literal end of the world, it will sure feel like it at times.

I must remark on this occasion how much I miss W. Even his infamous "mushroom cloud" speech now seems like a prophetic reality. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see the lower New York harbor go up in plasma at some point during the next ten years; in fact I have an eerie premonition that it will happen. There are many dangerous forces in the world who would like nothing more than to permanently damage the power of the United States.

We are living in portentous times. There has never been a fourth turning wherein the potential for global nuclear conflict was a likely possibility. The next 30-40 years will determine the future history of the world for centuries. It's time to decide what you believe.

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