Friday, August 6, 2010

More on the collapse

Our long emergency continues unabated:
It's probably also worth noting this Wall St. Journal article from last month -- with a subheadline warning:  "Back to Stone Age" -- which describes how "paved roads, historical emblems of American achievement, are being torn up across rural America and replaced with gravel or other rough surfaces as counties struggle with tight budgets and dwindling state and federal revenue."  Utah is seriously considering eliminating the 12th grade, or making it optional.  And it was announced this week that "Camden [New Jersey] is preparing to permanently shut its library system by the end of the year, potentially leaving residents of the impoverished city among the few in the United States unable to borrow a library book free."

Does anyone doubt that once a society ceases to be able to afford schools, public transit, paved roads, libraries and street lights -- or once it chooses not to be able to afford those things in pursuit of imperial priorities and the maintenance of a vast Surveillance and National Security State -- that a very serious problem has arisen, that things have gone seriously awry, that imperial collapse, by definition, is an imminent inevitability?
Greenwald notes that what is happening here is much akin to what one would expect see in developing nations during their economic downturns: the oligarchs get bailouts while the rest of us get squeezed. Personally I won't lament the end of the US' run as a hyperpower or whatever you might want to call it. What I worry about is the kind of society we will evolve into over the next couple decades.

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