Author James Howard Kunstler writes about our current collapse in Crazyland.
In a confab of friends on a warm evening this weekend, someone asked: Do you think what’s going on is due to incompetence or malevolence? The USA is certainly skidding into a great and traumatic re-set featuring a much lower standard of living for most citizens amidst a junkyard of broken institutions. But so are all the other nations of Western Civ. If it’s not being managed by malign forces, such as der Schwabenklaus and his WEF myrmidons, then it sure looks like some sort of controlled demolition. The big question hanging over the 2022 election, then, is: Must America commit suicide?
What provoked the mental illness of the Left? What turned the Democratic Party into the Party of Chaos? It seemed pretty sane in 1996 when President Bill Clinton declared — to much surprise — in his State of the Union address that “the era of big government is over.” Of course, few understood back then how cravenly corrupt the Clintons were, even especially as Hillary launched her own political career once Bill’s turn was over. Few, I daresay, thought at the time that Hillary would come to eclipse Bill in influence — though not so few suspected that the first lady operated as the demented megalomaniac she has proved to be.
Gawd knows what went on in that Shakespearean marriage… but the Democratic Party in the post-2000 Hillary years discovered that its very existence required the government to get ever-bigger because the American economy — the real, on-the-ground economy outside Wall Street’s financialization hall of mirrors — was withering away with the off-shoring of industry and something was needed to replace it. And, by the way, let’s stipulate that the Republican Party mostly abetted all that, even despite transient rumblings from its Tea Party renegades.
Forgive me at this juncture for repeating my oft-stated theory of history: Things happen because they seem like a good idea at the time. Off-shoring seemed like a good idea at the time. Fob off all those filthy, polluting factories onto other countries, and pay the natives three bucks a day to make all the stuff we needed. Plus, pay for the stuff with US treasuries (IOUs). What a racket! But then every activity in America was turning into a racket — which is to say, making money dishonestly — until it became the immersive economic milieu of the land. Even the two most noble endeavors in our society, education and medicine, disgraced themselves with shameless moneygrubbing.
Something weird happened starting in 2004 when one Barack Obama came onstage at the Democratic convention that nominated the haircut-in-search-of-a-brain called John Kerry. The new star lit up the joint posing as a Great Uniter. And four years later he made a fool of Hillary, cutting her off at the pass from seizing her supposedly ineluctable turn — and supreme glass-ceiling-breaking triumph — as president. Where’d he come from? This pavement-pounding community organizer with the 1000-watt smile?
In retrospect, Barack Obama appears to have been manufactured out of some misty Marxist cabal of the subterranean Far Left that infested a sub-basement of the Democratic Party. He came on-board in 2009, just as all that skeezy financialization blew up the banks and launched the era of government rescue operations that heaped previously unimaginable quantities of debt on the USA’s already unmanageable burden. Republican George Bush II got the blame for all that and Mr. Obama proceeded to make it a lot worse.
Barack Obama served as liberalism’s bowling trophy, the capstone of the great civil rights crusade: a black president, proof of America’s moral uprightness. He managed to do next to nothing to change the conditions that had wrecked black America — namely, the paternalistic policies that shattered families — but he put up a good front while the country teetered economically. And notice that his DOJ, under Attorney General Eric Holder, managed to avoid prosecuting anyone but mortgage vampire Anthony Mozilo for all the banking crimes of the day. Meanwhile, President Obama took care of Hillary by anointing her Secretary of State, from which perch she grifted tens of millions of dollars into the coffers of the janky Clinton Foundation. Smooth moves there. In the end, Mr. Obama remained an enigma, passing the baton to Her Inevitableness in 2016 — which she commenced to blow utterly in overestimating her own political charm — she had none — and underestimating the appeal of her opponent, the Golden Golem of Greatness, Donald Trump.
Mr. Trump’s astonishing victory apparently disordered Hillary’s mind. She was reportedly too drunk late that election night to even appear at the podium to make the excruciating concession speech. But her Russian Collusion operation ginned up months earlier had already set in motion a great vengeance machine which partisans in the DOJ, FBI, CIA, and State Department ran with through the whole of Mr. Trump’s term in the White House, climaxing in the orchestrated election frauds of 2020, which installed Barack Obama’s empty vessel of a stand-in “Joe Biden” as president.
The amalgamated pathologies of Barack Obama’s reign — which includes the birth of Wokery, the Jacobin-Marxist crusade to trash culture and economy — and Hillary Clinton’s psychotic thirst for revenge has transformed the Democrats into the Party of Chaos, presiding over the suicide of America, and Western Civ with it. Which, of course, prompts the question: Who exactly is running Barack Obama? I don’t pretend to know at this point. Many people I know are sure it is an international banking claque. The part that doesn’t add up is the supposed banking claque’s utter lack of political charm. Nobody in Western Civ is for them, in the sense that they offer any salvation program from either the disorders of Woke culture or the disorders of crumbling economic globalism.
Mysteries abound now, and they are disconcerting to an extreme. How did the polite and rational society called Canada fall under the punishing sway of Justin Trudeau? Ditto the Apparently insane Australia and New Zealand? Ditto the Europeans, who followed America’s absurd campaign to make Ukraine a war zone, and who now face a winter with no fuel for industry or home heating — and possible a descent into new medievalism. Perhaps the Covid bamboozle did that, just drove them over the edge. (And they will soon learn what a deadly con that was, especially the “vaccine” feature.)
Personally, I think we under-appreciate the tendings of history per se, and that tending these days is the set of circumstances adding up to a Long Emergency, a.k.a. the Fourth Turning, a.k.a, Mr. J.M. Greer’s Long Descent. In plain English, we’re exiting the techno-industrial fiesta of the past 200-odd years and entering the uncharted territory of what-comes-next, and that is driving the immense anxiety of the age. Our business model for everything is broken, mostly because the fossil fuel situation has become so uncertain, and it is driving us nuts. Understand that and you will have enough mental equipment operating correctly to stay sane.
Suicide is hardly the only option. Resist those who want to drag you into it. We are going to carry on one way or another. We’re going to make it through this bottleneck. Let the insane bury the insane. Keep your eyes peeled, keep your hearts open, and keep your powder dry.