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The Hard Road Ahead

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by ATCclears, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. ATCclears

    ATCclears Seattle area, WA Well-Known Member

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    It was recently asked on here why people prepare, and my response was an earthquake and then a serious economic problem. This essay is a good summary of what challenges lie ahead for the country.

    Peter

    The Hard Road Ahead

    The latest round of political theater in Washington DC over the automatic budget cuts enacted in the 2011 debt ceiling compromise—the so-called “sequester”—couldn’t have been better timed, at least as far as this blog is concerned. It’s hard to imagine better evidence, after all, that the American political process has finally lost its last fingernail grip on reality.

    Let’s start with the basics. Despite all the bellowing on the part of politicians, pressure groups, and the media, the cuts in question total only 2.3% of the US federal budget. They thus amount to a relatively modest fraction of the huge increases in federal spending that have taken place over the last decade or so. (I sincerely doubt that those of my readers who were in the US in 2003 noticed any striking lack of federal dollars being spent then.) In the same way, those who protested the “tax increases” at the beginning of this year by and large failed to mentioned that the increases in question were simply the expiration of some—by no means all—of the big tax cuts enacted a little over a decade ago in the second Bush administration.

    At a time when the United States is spending hundreds of billions of dollars a year it doesn’t happen to have, and making up the difference by spinning the printing presses at ever-increasing speeds, a strong case can be made that rolling back spending increases and giving up tax breaks are measures that deserve serious consideration. Any such notion, though, is anathema to most Americans these days, at least to the extent that it might affect them. Straight across the convoluted landscape of contemporary American political opinion, to be sure, you can count on an enthusiastic hearing if you propose that budget cuts ought to be limited to whatever government payouts don’t happen to benefit your audience. Make even the most timid suggestion that your audience might demand a little bit less for itself, though, and your chances of being tarred, feathered, and ridden out of town on a rail are by no means small.

    The only consensus to be found about budget cuts in today’s America, in other words, is the belief that someone else ought to take the hit. As politicians in Washington DC try to sort out which of the many groups clamoring for handouts get how many federal dollars, that consensus isn’t exactly providing them useful guidance. I’ve wondered more than once if the whole sequestration business is a charade, crafted by the leadership of both parties and tacitly accepted by the rank and file in Congress, that permits them to impose roughly equivalent budget cuts on as many federal programs as they think they can get away with, while giving each party enough plausible deniability that they can still manage to keep blaming everything on the other side. If so, it’s an ingenious strategem; the real challenge will come when Congress runs out of gimmicks of this kind and has to admit to the crowd of needy, greedy pressure groups crowding close around the feeding trough that the gravy train has come to an end.

    That latter detail is the one piece of news you won’t hear anywhere in the current uproar. It’s also the one piece of news that has to be understood in order to make sense of the American politics in the present and the near future. When the economics of empire start running in reverse, as they do in the latter years of every empire, familiar habits of extravagance that emerged during the glory days of the empire turn into massive liabilities, and one of the most crucial tasks of every empire in decline is finding some way to cut its expenses down to size. There are always plenty of people who insist that this isn’t necessary, and plenty more who are fine with cutting all expenditures but those that put cash in their own pocket; the inertia such people generate is a potent force, but eventually it gives way, either to the demands of national survival, or to the even more unanswerable realities of political, economic, and military collapse.

    Between the point when a nation moves into the penumbra of crisis, and the point when that crisis becomes an immediate threat to national survival, there’s normally an interval when pretense trumps pragmatism and everyone in the political sphere goes around insisting that everything’s all right, even though everything clearly is not all right. In each of the previous cycles of anacyclosis in American history, such an interval stands out: the years leading up to the Revolutionary War, when leaders in the American colonies insisted that they were loyal subjects of good King George and the little disagreements they had with London could certainly be worked out; the bitter decade of the 1850s, when one legislative compromise after another tried to bandage over the widening gulf between slave states and free states, and succeeded only in making America’s bloodiest war inevitable; the opening years of the Great Depression, when the American economy crashed and burned as politicians and pundits insisted that everything would fix itself shortly.

    We’re in America’s fourth such interval. Like the ones that preceded it, it’s a time when the only issues that really matter are the ones that nobody in the nation’s public life is willing to talk about, and when increasingly desperate attempts to postpone the inevitable crisis a little longer have taken over the place of any less futile pursuit. How long the interval will last is a good question. The first such interval ran from the end of the Seven Years War in 1763 to the first shots at Lexington in 1775; the second, from the Compromise of 1850 to the bombardment of Fort Sumter in 1861; the third, the shortest to date, from the stock market crash of 1929 to the onset of the New Deal in 1933. How long this fourth interval will last is anyone’s guess at present; my sense, for what it’s worth, is that historians in the future will probably consider the crash of 2008 as its beginning, and I would be surprised to see it last out the present decade before crisis hits.

    During the interval before the explosion, if history is any guide, the one thing nobody will be able to get out of the federal government is constructive action on any of the widening spiral of problems and predicaments facing the nation. That’s the cost of trying to evade a looming crisis: the effort that’s required to keep postponing the inevitable, and the increasing difficulty of patching together a coalition between ever more divergent and fractious power centers, puts any attempt to deal with anything else out of reach. The decade before the Civil War is as good an example as any; from 1850 until the final explosion, on any topic you care to name, there was a Northern agenda and a Southern agenda, and any attempt to get anything done in Washington DC ran headlong into ever more tautly polarized sectional rivalry. Replace the geographical labels with today’s political parties, and the scenery’s all too familiar.

    If there’s going to be a meaningful response to the massive political, economic, and social impacts of the end of America’s age of empire, in other words, it’s not going to come from the federal government. It probably isn’t going to come from state governments, either. There’s a chance that a state here and there may be able to buck the trend and do something helpful, but most US state governments are as beholden to pressure groups as the federal government, and are desperately short of discretionary funds as a result. That leaves local governments, local community groups, families and individuals as the most likely sources of constructive change—if, that is, enough people are willing to make “acting locally” something more than a comforting slogan.

    This is where the dysfunctional but highly popular form of protest politics critiqued in an earlier post in this sequence becomes a major obstacle to meaningful change, rather than a vehicle for achieving it. As that critique showed, protest is an effective political tool when it’s backed up by an independent grassroots organization, one that can effectively threaten elected officials—even those of the party its members normally support—with removal from office if said elected officials don’t pay attention to the protest. When that threat isn’t there, protest is toothless, and can be ignored.

    That distinction remains relevant, since very few of the groups gearing up to protest these days have taken the time and invested the resources to build the kind of grassroots support that gives a protest teeth. Yet there’s another way that protest politics can become hopelessly dysfunctional, and that’s when what the protesters demand is something that neither the officials they hope to influence, nor anyone else in the world, can possibly give them.

    If current attitudes are anything to judge by, we’re going to see a lot of that in the years immediately ahead. The vast majority of Americans are committed to the belief that the lavish wealth they enjoyed in the last half dozen decades is normal, that they ought to be able to continue to enjoy that wealth and all the perks and privileges it made possible, and that if the future looming up ahead of them doesn’t happen to contain those things, somebody’s to blame. Try to tell them that they grew up during a period of absurd imperial extravagance, and that this and everything connected with it is going to go away forever in the near future, and you can count on getting a response somewhere on the spectrum that links blank incomprehension and blind rage.

    The incomprehension and the rage will doubtless drive any number of large and vocal protest movements in the years immediately ahead, and it’s probably not safe to assume that those movements will limit themselves to the sort of ineffectual posturing that featured so largely in the Occupy protests a couple of years back. It’s all too easy, in fact, to imagine the steps by which armed insurgents, roadside bombs, military checkpoints, and martial law could become ordinary features of daily life here in America, and the easy insistence that everything that’s wrong with the country must be the fault of some currently fashionable scapegoat or other is to my mind one of the most important forces pushing in that direction.

    Right now, the US government is one of those fashionable scapegoats. The pornography of political fear that plays so large a role in American public discourse these days feeds into this habit. Those people who spent the eight years of the second Bush administration eagerly reading and circulating those meretricious claims that Bush was about to impose martial law and military tyranny on the US, and their exact equivalents on the other end of the political spectrum who are making equally dishonest claims about Obama right now, are helping to feed the crisis of legitimacy I’ve discussed in several posts here. The habit that Carl Jung described as “projecting the shadow”—insisting, that is, that all your own least pleasant traits actually belong to whoever you hate most—has a great deal to do with the spread of that mood. I’ve wondered more than once if there might be more to it than that, though.

    It’s hard to think of anything that would give more delight America’s rivals on the world stage, or play out more to their advantage, than a popular insurgency against the US government on American soil. Even if it was crushed, as it likely would be, such a rising would shred what’s left of the American economy, cripple the ability of the US to intervene outside its borders, and yield a world-class propaganda coup to any nation tired of the US government’s repeated posturing over issues of human rights. Funding antigovernment propaganda here in the United States without getting caught would be easy enough to do, and plenty of hostile governments might find it a gamble worth taking. I find myself suspecting at times that this might be what’s behind the remarkable way that American public life has become saturated with propaganda insisting that the current US system of government is evil incarnate, and that any replacement whatsoever would necessarily be an improvement.

    Now of course that latter is a common opinion in revolutionary eras; equally common, of course, is the discovery that as bad as the status quo might happen to be, its replacement can be much, much worse. Those who witnessed the French and Russian revolutions, to name only two examples, got to find that out the hard way. It would be helpful, to use no stronger word, to avoid a repeat of that same unpleasant object lesson in the postimperial United States. As long as Americans keep on trying to convince themselves that the limits to growth don’t matter, the profits of empire never came their way, and the reckless extravagance that American popular culture considers basic to an ordinary lifestyle is no more than their due, steering clear of some such outcome is going to be a very tricky proposition indeed.

    It would be helpful, in other words, if more Americans were to come to terms with the fact that deciding what kind of future they want, and then insisting at the top of their lungs that they ought to have it, is not a useful response. Instead, it’s going to be necessary to start by thinking, hard, about the kind of futures a postimperial, postpetroleum America might be able to afford, and then trying to make the best possible choice among the available options. Making such a choice, in turn, will be made much easier once we have some practical experience of the way the various options work out in the real world—and this brings us back again to the question of local action.

    Nobody knows what political, economic, and cultural forms will be best suited to thrive in the wake of America’s failed empire, or to deal with the broader consequences as the industrial world stumbles down the long, ragged slope toward the deindustrial world of the future. Plenty of people think they know; there’s no shortage of abstract ideologies proclaiming the one true path to a supposedly better future; but betting the future on an untested theory or, worse, on a theory that’s failed every time it was put to the test, is not exactly a useful habit.

    What’s needed instead, as the United States stumbles toward its fourth great existential crisis, is the broadest possible selection of options that have been shown to work. This is where local communities and community groups can play a critical role, for it’s precisely on the local scale that options can be tested, problems identified and fixed, and possibilities explored most easily. Furthermore, since the whole country isn’t committed to any one response, options tested in different places can be compared with one another, and the gaudy rhetoric of triumphalism that so often fills so much space online and off—how many projects, dear reader, have you seen hailed as the one and only definitive answer to the crisis of our time, without the least bit of evidence to show that it actually works?—can be set aside in favor of straightforward demonstrations that a given option can do what it’s supposed to do.

    In an earlier post in this sequence, for example, I discussed some of the possibilities that might come out of a revival of traditional democratic process. The simplest and most effective way to launch such a revival would be by way of existing community groups, which very often retain the remnants of democratic process in their organizational structure, or in newly founded groups using democratic principles. These groups would then become training grounds from which people who had learned the necessary skills could proceed to such other venues as local government, the organization of new political parties, or what have you, and put those skills to good use.

    The same principle applies to almost any other aspect of our collective predicament you care to name. Whether the issue that needs a meaningful response is the impending shortage of energy and other resources, the increasingly unstable climate, the disintegration of an economy in which accounting fraud is nearly the only growth industry left, and so on down the list, the scale of the problem is clear but the details are murky, and the best way to deal with it remains shrouded in blackest night. For that matter, there’s no way to be sure that the response that works best in one place will be equally well suited to conditions elsewhere. Tackle the issues locally, trying out various options and seeing how well they work, and the chances of hitting on something useful go up sharply.

    It will doubtless be objected that we don’t have time for any such program of trial and error. Quite the contrary, we no longer have time for anything else. Spinning grand theoretical programs, waiting for the improbable circumstances that might possibly lead to their being adopted on a national or global scale, and hoping that they work as advertised if they ever do get put to the test, is a luxury best suited to those eras when crisis is still comfortably far off in the future. We don’t live in such an era, in case you haven’t noticed.

    Over the decades ahead, the people of the United States and the rest of the industrial world are going to have to deal with the unraveling of an already declining American global empire, the end of a global economic order dominated by the dollar and thus by America’s version of the imperial wealth pump, the accelerating depletion of a long list of nonrenewable resources, and the shattering impact of rapid climate change, just for starters. If history is any guide, the impact of those already inevitable crises will likely be compounded by wars, revolutions, economic crises, and all the other discontinuities that tend to crop up when one global order gives way to another. It’s going to be a very rough road—quite probably at least as rough as the road the world had to travel between 1914 and 1954, when the end of Britain’s global empire brought the long peace of 19th century Europe to a messy end and unleashed a tidal wave of radical change and human blood.

    Equally, the hard road ahead will likely be comparable in its scope and impacts to the harrowing times brought by America’s first three rounds of anacyclosis. To live through the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, or the Great Depression was not an easy thing; those of my readers who are curious about what might be ahead could probably do worse than to read a good history of one or more of those, or one of the many firsthand accounts penned by those who experienced them and lived to tell about it. The records of such times do not give any noticeable support to the claim that we can have whatever kind of future we want. The kinds of hope they do hold out is a point I plan on discussing next week.
     
  2. 1stklass

    1stklass salem oregon Well-Known Member

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    good read, pretty spot on. Unfortunately most people dont want to put that much thought into what is going on when all they want to do is wake up tomorrow and believe the world is a rosy place. The only difference between us. and any other empire is we are bigger....."the bigger they are the harder they fall"
     
  3. Oathkeeper1775

    Oathkeeper1775 Coast Range Well-Known Member

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    An interestingly accurate (however a little grandiloquent) paradigm for sure. For someone who grew up and is still gratefully living at the trail end of the Baby-boomer generation, I feel like more people finally see what I have been seeing my entire adult-life.

    This is not to say that I enjoy what is happening, but eager to see how well we are going to fight this monster; because I love my country and I'm F*&^king proud to be an American!

    Picture the cartoons where a fire hose is turned on and a bubble moves along the hose; my life is situated on the backside of the bubble, where the hose has been slamming shut (going back to it's original size) on me since the late 70s.

    I remember when a person could cruise main street until any hour of the night without having to wear a seat belt. I remember legally drinking beer when I was 18. I remember when the police used to call the parents to come & pick you up, hell, I remember when youth had parents. I remember when I could shoot 7 Pintails and 6 geese without a special test/permit and without steel shot. I remember watching people drag-race on a country road, roller-skate, ride a bike (and a motorcycle) and snow-ski without a helmet. How about ridding in the back of a pickup truck....like on buckwild, OMG! I remember when the Hell's Angels were just a bunch of beer-drinking motorcycle riders.

    I remember life BEFORE it was determined that I can't make decisions on my own; before the point in time when self-discipline preceded obedience.

    Not everything in my/our place and time was/is a misfortune; I/we owe my/our freedom(s) to the warriors (and their families) who laid down their lives from the beginning of recorded human history. There is no way we could have fast-forwarded to all the technological advances (good things) without the processes of time, so thank you to all the generations before me; for your triumphs and mistakes (aka creative destruction).
    ................................................................................
    What I am looking for is our next era; we all (most of us) know what the preceding eras were, but what comes after a post-industrial era is (I believe) the great question of our time.

    I feel like we are sitting ducks without a national agenda like in previous eras.

    I can't see anybody going to go back to work in a factory for $10/hour, I can' see how anyone can afford to simply farm without GMOs & subsidies. Who is going to join the FDR-type work corps when Obama gives away free phones and free welfare?
    ..................................................................................
    A polite note to anyone who is coming through their life after me (pre 40s or 50s):

    Do as I did, not as I am doing!

    Forge your life out of raw steel! Get it white-hot and beat it with a hammer until it looks right. Sharpen and polish it.

    Make it happen for yourselves!

    Sweat your a$$ off! Get a career, do your time, and suck it up before you decide that you are entitled to have what you see people like me having and living the life you see people like me living, which happens to be retirement after two decades+ of mental and physical pain, family separations, and generally eating a lot of $hit (metaphorically speaking...) for a living.

    Then hold onto it with everything you've got.

    I believe some will meet the challenge and to those brave souls, you have my respect and I salute you; your rewards will be much greater than mine.

    Many will not; if anyone still thinks that the government is supposed to or will take care of you, you are doomed to be awakened.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2013
    timac, mosinguy1, ATCclears and 15 others like this.
  4. Blue Devil PA

    Blue Devil PA Boise Active Member

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    Both very good and timely written opinion pieces. I appreciate the obvious amount of time and effort put into these. I could only wish those at the trough or in comfy seats on the gravy train would REALLY understand that they are trashing our country, our future and our children's future with their actions. So many brave people fought and died, sacrificed limbs, careers, dreams and family members to make this country what it is and it is being sold out each and everyday by those who will do anything, say anything to get one more term at the trough.
    The public frustration is only beginning, but when it peaks, there will be someone who is the answer to our problems. I only hope it isn't the next Hitler.
     
  5. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    It's like 1930's Germany and WW2 is on the horizon. Zeke wants a new war to seal his Lifetime thenure in the WH.
     
  6. 1stklass

    1stklass salem oregon Well-Known Member

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    Very very true Oathkeeper! What has happened is liberal people have and are trying to convince everyone that the only successful existence is a long safe one following their guidance and handholding so you are safe. NO ONE LIVES ANYMORE!!!! Its pathetic! Portland mayor considering banning earbuds and headphones in the city limits because it causes deafness! Bloomberg and his soda ban! when is the government going to provide a crosswalk guard for adults at every intersection? I would rather have a short happy ALIVE life than a long boring dull one. Quantity NEVER makes up for quality.
     
  7. Oathkeeper1775

    Oathkeeper1775 Coast Range Well-Known Member

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    I pulled this post; it appeared histrionic at second glance
     
  8. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    As the first 60 days of Obama's Regime turns to 6 months we will see ever more obvious signs that the nation is being turned into a Soviet Gulag.
    People are chosing sides, and that's good but the BGs will always have the advantage because they have no quams about theft, rape, violent intimidation, and as sociopathic predators they instinctualy know that disarming their victims by keeping their actions just below the critical threat level that will generate an wide spread response. Of course having the media enroled in their sceme helps them as well.
     
  9. ATCclears

    ATCclears Seattle area, WA Well-Known Member

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    The WSJ had an article today noting that 57% of the population has less than $25,000 saved for retirement (excluding what equity might be left in their home, if they own one). The article may be paid content such that the link may not work.
    Workers Saving Too Little to Retire - WSJ.com

    Here is the last sentence of the fourth paragraph of the article The Hard Road Ahead:
    "the real challenge will come when Congress runs out of gimmicks of this kind and has to admit to the crowd of needy, greedy pressure groups crowding close around the feeding trough that the gravy train has come to an end."

    You can draw your own conclusions about how this will go down...

    Peter
     
  10. Blue Devil PA

    Blue Devil PA Boise Active Member

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    "the real challenge will come when Congress runs out of gimmicks of this kind and has to admit to the crowd of needy, greedy pressure groups crowding close around the feeding trough that the gravy train has come to an end."

    You can draw your own conclusions about how this will go down...

    Peter

    I agree, except for there WILL be a scapegoat(s) named to absorb the blame.
     
  11. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    "The problem with Socalisim is that you eventually you run out of other PPLs money"
     
  12. 9MilMan

    9MilMan Milwaukie Active Member

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    Also in that article, I believe, is that half of all US households could not raise $2K in case of emergency? Really? That is really scary.
     
  13. 9MilMan

    9MilMan Milwaukie Active Member

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    Can anybody remember what REALLY pulled us out of the great depression? A little thing like WAR. Nothing like a war to fire the industrial economy. Conveniently, it is also really useful in making us forget our internal struggles. Tell me I'm crazy. A little Black Swan event? Let's see now, N. Korea alegedly threatening war on S. Korea, abandoning the peace treaty. We have added B52s to our S. Korean exercises to provoke them further (or in response, who knows). POTUS in Isreal (after 5 years) drawing a line in the sand for Syria and accusing them of using chem weapons (weather true or not, who knows yet), arming Egypt (Oh, wait, Egyptians and Arabs really don't like Persians, do they). Deploying new missile interceptors in Alaska to counter N. Korean threat. A new policy for preemptive cyber attacks............and a little matter of substantially increased drone program. But, silly me, Dems are peaceniks and the world now respects the US since the annointed one came to power. Nothing to see here.....go back to watching Jersey Shore, Honey Booboo, or whatever you do. It'll be FINE.....
     
  14. ATCclears

    ATCclears Seattle area, WA Well-Known Member

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    I agree, 9MilMan. I've read elsewhere that a war would be a convenient distraction from the internal problems, stimulate the war machine, and likely allow the DHS monkeys to assume their desired SS role in this country.

    Peter
     
  15. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    Every time we get a Leftist Progressive in the WH there is another trageity:

    Wilson WW1 weeks after he took office, supported the oppression of American Citizens, Blacks oppressed, military segregated, as well as Veterans whom he turned tanks against and murdered civilans including women and children.

    FDR, WW2, 3 terms in office which prompted a Constitutional Amendment

    JFK, Limited VN war, Cuba, numerous Coups and murder

    LBJ, VN war expanded

    Carter, allowed Iran to fall to the Islamists, allowed our citizens to be taken hostage untill he was voted out of office, aided Nicaragua to fall to Communists, allowed US navy personal to be seized by Cambodian Communists, Abandoned VN and Cambodian civilians to Communist Death Camps, did not aid escaping refugees

    Obama? too many betrayals to list, an active traitor, war? U-betcha
     
  16. Oathkeeper1775

    Oathkeeper1775 Coast Range Well-Known Member

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    I was kind of a punk growing up; barely graduated high school in 79. When I look at our history now I can recall the bull crap I was being fed by my elders and the school system.

    "Don't argue, get along", "Share", "How great FDR was; how he ended the great depression, how he was such a good man", "everybody loved him", "Oh, the poor Lindberg Baby", "How terrible the logging industry is", "How stingy the rich people are", "How the union dues are set aside for people to retire", "How wonderful are they who decide to live in poverty so other people can have what they need.", "If you gamble, you are rich", "Don't you dare go into a second hand store, they will think you are poor", "If you have a new car every 4 years, you are rich", "just go bankrupt, its the American dream", "Everyone gets a trophy............."

    BS, all of it! We have been conditioned to fail and it is coming to pass.
     
  17. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    Anyone that pushes a Utopia is a Drug Dealer; the entire Hippy Movement was a Utopian Dream and the only ones that survived were the Commie Sheep Herders Like Ayers and Dohrn. Please watch their personal "Documentary" that is shown in every collage in the US, "Weather Underground" and be sure to listen to Bill Ayers/Dhorn Commentary Trak, it's eye opening. Tax funded sex orgys to draw in brainless dick-wads, drugs to make propaganda sink in. radical parent hate!@
    Hey guess what? the exact same BS today along with Ayers/Dhorn written school teachings disguised as (name your PC Poisen, they are discovered, rename the "Program" and it is snuk in year after year. Himmler said "Give Me The Youth For Ten Years and I Will Give You A nation") it is even in TX, turning amefricans against the nation that has given them everything
    They still want genocide!
     
  18. Oathkeeper1775

    Oathkeeper1775 Coast Range Well-Known Member

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    This email exsert (I received today) may appear bland to the active posters in this thread, but I thought it would serve as a good-grounding for all the posts. I believe the greatest question of our time is what era comes after this "Post-Industrial-Era"; I hope it helps to answer it. I cannot vouch for the political facts, and I do not believe the "nit-noids" are that important in the grandious scheme of things.
    .........................................begin exsert............................
    [FONT=&amp] In 1887 Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the
    Athenian Republic some 2,000 years prior: "A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent
    form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse over loose fiscal policy, (which is) always followed by a dictatorship."

    "The average age of the world's greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, these nations always progressed through the following sequence:

    From bondage to spiritual faith;
    From spiritual faith to great courage;
    From courage to liberty;
    From liberty to abundance;
    From abundance to complacency;
    From complacency to apathy;
    From apathy to dependence;
    From dependence back into bondage."
    The Obituary follows:

    Born 1776, Died 2012
    It doesn't hurt to read this several times.
    Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University School of Law in
    St. Paul, Minnesota, points out some interesting facts concerning
    the last Presidential election:

    Number of States won by: Obama: 19 Romney: 29
    Square miles of land won by: Obama: 580,000 Romney: 2,427,000
    Population of counties won by: Obama: 127 million Romney: 143 million
    Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by: Obama: 13.2 Romney: 2.1

    Professor Olson adds: "In aggregate, the map of the territory
    Romney won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens
    of the country.

    Obama territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in low
    income tenements and living off various forms of government
    welfare..."

    Olson believes the United States is now somewhere between the
    "complacency and apathy" phase of Professor Tyler's definition of
    democracy, with some forty percent of the nation's population
    already having reached the "governmental dependency" phase.

    [/FONT]
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013
  19. ATCclears

    ATCclears Seattle area, WA Well-Known Member

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    Oathkeeper, interesting post. Wikipedia notes a few differences Alexander Fraser Tytler - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia , but then again Wikipedia is not a reliable source either. I think something between the two is still good.

    I would say we are even further as a country - between apathy and dependency.

    Peter
     
  20. knuckle Head

    knuckle Head southeast Well-Known Member

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    I think this round will uglier than any of those seen in history, preppers are preparing to resist enslavement while non-preppers are asking for a second and third dosage of the cool aide.

    Its not going to be pretty my friends
     
    mosinguy1 and (deleted member) like this.