Sunday, December 13, 2009

Exercising Our Right To Be Stupid


My good friend Utah Savage posted yesterday about what our national identity is. "Who Are We" , she asks. And then as many others have done, she blames GW Bush and his band of clowns for the mess we are in now.

As much as it would suit my mood to blame Bushco for what we are experiencing now, I cannot do that. They certainly own a sizable chunk of the blame. But in my opinion, much of what we are experiencing now has it's roots in events and policies from over forty years ago. And if we really want the blame to find all those involved, we might as well go back as far as President Monroe. Many administrations and Congresses have their hand in the stupidity Obama is dealing with now. And so far, he seems content to continue the stupidity.

America came of age during the Imperialistic age of a Europe intent on exploiting anything they could for their own interests. Our geopolitical roots date back to this idea that the World is our oyster. Economic power backed by military muscle.

Rather than take to heart the failures of the Euro Imperialism, we stepped up when it was our turn and repackaged the policy mistakes the Europeans made and went down the same path. While our approach was maybe less severe and was wrapped with false good intentions, when we didn't get what we wanted, we fell back on the tried and true methods of military intervention.

This mentality or should I say this geopolitical approach has a finite shelf life. History has proven it time and time again starting back as far as recorded history records. The predictable cycle is now turning a corner for the United States. Just as Europe had to adjust to the US shoving it's way into the top tier, the US needs to come to grips with the idea that we need to make room at the top for others.

As much as I would like to think that the times we live in are somehow different than the times experienced in the past, the scenarios remain the same even though the riches being sought and coveted are different. Our world seems to be set up on the idea that power flows to those who control the most people, land, resources. The US no longer enjoys even controlling one of these vital things. We have become the 21st century version of 19th century Great Britain. A nation that consumes the most but produces almost none of it. We have created our own decline.

The sooner we accept this notion, the sooner we will begin the right kind of recovery. But nothing nurses a grudge harder than a nation realizing it is falling by the wayside. We are a wounded animal and I fear that rather than think our way through the upcoming shuffling of power, we will strike out and try to retain or regain what we have lost. These are very dangerous times. And so far, I am not pleased with how we are handling it.

19 comments:

The Blog Fodder said...

The March of Folly marches on. Well thought out and well written. We have met the enemy and he is us.

Utah Savage said...

Of course you are right. I was pissed off and petulant when I wrote my little rant and appreciate this more thoughtful take on what I whatI was wailing about. Let the decline begin in earnest so we can make the course corrections necessary to carry on.

robin andrea said...

I like how you see history and the eventuality of our decline. I agree, but I think the decline will only begin in our country but will engulf the entire planet (and probably has already). I found this nifty chart the other day. It pretty much describes how I see the future. There's plenty of blame to go around. I expected the stupidity we got from Bush, but not what we're seeing from Obama.

robin andrea said...

Whoops that link doesn't really go anywhere. Sorry about that. Try this.

sunshine said...

Great post! It was nice to read your view on all of this. :)

((Hugs))
Laura

Suzan said...

Thank you for answering the question "Why are we continuing to annihilate Afghanistan?"

And thus ourselves.

We are a wounded animal and I fear that rather than think our way through the upcoming shuffling of power, we will strike out and try to retain or regain what we have lost.

Hope you don't mind if I blogroll you.

Thanks again.

S

MRMacrum said...

Blog Fodder - Indeed. Pogo had it right 40 years ago.

Utah - You aren't wrong. As you said, you are just pissed. And Bush offers such a convenient target.

robin andrea - That chart is not packing much optimism is it. I can see Pollard put a lot of thought into it. I hope he is wrong.

sunshine - Hmm. I guess it has been awhile since I really vented in a civilized manner.

susan - of course you can blogroll me. But only if I can blogroll you. I had some4 problems uploading your site the first time. I rebooted and will now try again.

BBC said...

We put too damn much stock into our national identity, as if we are special or something as a country.

No, our ancestors were terrorists that took this county and then brainwashed us all into thinking that was the right thing to do.

Well, maybe it wasn't, just look at the government and political system born out of it.

Can I fix it? I think so, if you have enough bombs I can borrow.

BBC said...

It must fail before it can be fixed. And for a while there will need to be a monarch, a strong and wise ruler, in charge while a new and more sensible government is being formed.

But personally I don't think these monkeys can govern themselves, I damn sure wouldn't let them govern themselves on my planet.

BBC said...

I like how you see history

Monkeys look back at history too much. Pretend you don't know squat about it and just look ahead and decide what the future should look like.

Fuck what is behind you.

Beach Bum said...

Actually I read some conservative no less suggest a couple of years in that fine bird cage liner National Review ago that in a hundred years we will be where France is now.

The guy meant no disrespect to France (neither do I) but as far as he was concerned China would not too many years down the road be the top global dog with the US being the piss ant trying to stay on the world stage.

Funny thing is that even now would could change things to at least stay on a more equal footing with China but no disrespect to anyone of faith but prayers and mindless dogpack patriotism don't keep a country in the geo-political major league.

Oh yeah, got my segment of the Spoltchy story done.

BBC said...

but as far as he was concerned China would not too many years down the road be the top global dog with the US being the piss ant trying to stay on the world stage.

The all, I guess that no one really understands what the all means. Or maybe they just don't give a shit with all their tribal ways.

BBC said...

but as far as he was concerned China would not too many years down the road be the top global dog with the US being the piss ant trying to stay on the world stage.

The all, I guess that no one really understands what the all means. Or maybe they just don't give a shit with all their tribal ways.

Demeur said...

You need to realize that Obama is fighting an up hill battle. I'm sure he realizes what this country could be but he's getting no help from the other side of the aisle.
China is changing faster than you think. In the last 20 years they've made a massive leap forward and are looking to move even faster. I think they will replace us as top dog very soon.
For a generation that was supposed to turn on tune in and drop out we sure did buy into comsumerism of our parents and it looks the same for our sons and daughters yet they will not see the same benefits we did.
The real solution will be population control. Funny how the Chinese have realized this already.

MRMacrum said...

BBC - You fit in perfectly with your opinion about history. But don't you think some lessons shouldn't have to be re-learned the hard way time after time.

Demeur - Both sides of the aisle have contributed stupidity over the years. Obama is just continuing it.

MRMacrum said...

Beach Bum - Right After Nixon opened relations with China, my conservative dad predicted they would be the next top dog. That they have risen so far so fast and we have fallen so far so fast might surprise him, but he and many others have seen this coming for years.

Kulkuri said...

I put the blame for our current problems on St. Ronnie. Nixon had his private war with government and the media, but Ronnie led a crusade against the government (government isn't the solution, government is the problem). aWol and Bushco weren't intelligent enough to be the cause of all our problems, they just pushed senile Ronnie's agenda to the Far Right extreme.

I think you are right in that China will be the next SuperPower. Not only do they make most of the shit we buy and own a large part of our debt, they are doing things we aren't like alternative energy. They are building more wind and solar power (we'll know we are fucked when we start to import wind and solar equipment from China) each year than we are. (They are also building a lot of coal-fired powerplants cause they have a lot of coal.) They can see the future while we refuse to look and keep our heads buried in the sand.

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

I'm still convinced that "walk softly and carry a big stick" is the way to go.

Interesting to see the good press China is getting lately: "next superpower", "economic giant", etc. China has very good short- and medium-term prospects, but in about twenty-five years, they are going to be groaning under severe demographic strain. The country is ageing badly, and there are too few people in the age group required to work and support their elderly parents.

But this could come back to bite the USA, too. Instead of being in a position to hold US debt, China is going to have to retract a lot of its capital. And guess whose bonds they're going to be dumping?

Demeur, re: Obama: I'm sure he realizes what this country could be but he's getting no help from the other side of the aisle.

Setting aside any differences in opinion on Obama's vision for the country, I'd just like to point out that Obama doesn't need any help from the other side of the aisle. He has close to super-majorities in both houses. If he can't get his favourite legislation passed now, he should be slapping about those in his own party who aren't toeing the line.

@Crum: A very interesting piece you've written. As is often the case, I'd probably come at this issue from a different angle, but you present an interesting point of view, and very wisely written.

Maybe I'll steal a note from your post and start a trend: blaming President Monroe for everything gone wrong. I could coin the phrase "Monroe Derangement Syndrome". I mean, the bastard probably let the trappings of office go to his head, since he replaced a guy who was only 5'4" and weighed maybe 110 pounds soaking wet. That probably put things in the wrong direction right there.

"Let me be clear: most of this shit was started back in the Monroe Administration." - President Barack Obama, about a month or two from now

Randal Graves said...

Excuse me, but no one, NO ONE, produces more high-quality porn than we do. USA! USA! USA!