Saturday, February 1, 2014

Would I go back to the '70's?

My answer to "28 Points Of Comparison Between 1970s America And America Today – Which Do You Think Is Better?" by Michael Snyder,

The US of the '60's Rocked because the US Ruled. The US Ruled by the amazing productivity, health, vitality, education, ingenuity and self-confidence of our people, the amazing power of our Hollywood and Television fantasy machine, the credibility and moral authority of the nation that won World War II (in our own minds anyway,) our fabulous natural wealth, and by the ruthlessness and sheer raw terror of our armed forces.

Much of this was already starting to fray. Watergate and Vietnam had shaken us, a great reality check. But it was in the '70's that it really started to come apart.

Our health and vitality are seriously declining. The food is tainted, the medical system a fractured overpriced subsidiary of the pharmaceutical companies. Drug reactions, hospital infections and mistakes have become leading causes of death. Obesity, chronic environmental and hereditary diseases and disabilities are exploding. We're something like 40th in the world in infant mortality, 30th in maternal death rate, life expectancy is declining, and the government is lying to us about that.

Those of us with jobs are still fabulously productive but it has been turned against us, exported and used against us, and we no longer share in its fruits. Our living standard has been sinking slowly, along with the quality of the goods we consume.  That decline is accelerating now.  Our education system, once the envy of the world, is decaying into an over-priced pit of self-inflicted mediocrity, a great fear-driven job-training and debt-creation machine. Our once-fabled ingenuity, a land of back-yard tinkerers and garage entrepreneurs, has been largely lost as we've become a nation of sedentary game-players glued to our electronics devices, profoundly ignorant of how our machines and toys actually work.

Our natural wealth has been and is being squandered. Vast stretches of land are being ripped up and poisoned by fracking and strip mining. Our farm land is being destroyed by ever-increasing applications of pesticides and herbicides, the once rich living soil now a lifeless powder being washed away by acidic rain into acidifying oceans with growing dead zones no longer able to support life. Scores of aging, under-maintained nuclear plants like ticking time bombs dot the land, each a potential Fukushima. Our atmosphere, our greatest natural resource, is being poisoned.

As for terror, the US still rules by terror, whole lands live in constant fear of mercenary death squads and armed drones flying overhead, piloted by pimple-faced computer-gamers in Nevada, but now terrorizing US seems to be a growing part of its mission.

We watch helpless as the governments we elect to deal with all this ignore their mandates, Our once great democracy feels like, and is, a hollow shell, for sale to the highest bidder.  The crowds that chanted USA NUMBER ONE still chant, but it no longer the exuberant boast of a self-confident people. It almost feels like a protest now.

On a more hopeful side, the great media fantasy machine spins on but its credibility is gone. Government statistics about unemployment, growth and prices have become transparent lies.   Failed wars based on lies and coverups stand exposed. The great Security State blackmail machine stands naked.  Honest news and information still diffuses over the Internet and it's reach spreads. The contrast between our reality and the one reflected back to us by the media has gone critical. All that remains is the media-generated illusion of "all those other stupid people" who believe it.

The inflation of the '70's was a big deal. By 1973 the economy, in terms of its natural cycles of the past 200 years, was primed and ready for the next Depression. It never happened - or rather we're only getting to it now. Instead, the money supply was decoupled from any underlying real value and step by step the doors were opened to a new "bubble economy".  The financialized, monetized, privatized, leveraged-to-the-max economy that resulted is finally imploding, sucking what's left of the real economy into a black hole. 

So would I go back to the '70's? Some of us pretty much saw this all coming back then.  We had our wins, wins that mattered, but overall we were helpless to stem the tide.  Why would I want to go through that again?  Right now is sufficient unto the moment, and what comes next will be a little different because we're still here fighting.  

And at least it won't be more of the same.