Wednesday, December 17, 2014

5 Years On, The Flow History

When I began this blog, my second post was an outline of how I understood the civilizational competition I saw in the world around me. In the intervening half decade, the world has begun to move decisively on. The PRC has changed the most, Russia and India are increasingly dynamic and even Iran appears to be evolving beneath it's conservative-ism. In my analysis then, these competing systems were all hobbled to varying extents by internal corruption that prevented them from economically empowering their citizens. This domestic social policy failure robbed them of the power to compete with an American system where a residue of the New Deal still promised, if reinforced, to sustain the economic freedom that drove the productive growth of the US centered system.

In 2009 we in the US were in the depths of a financial crisis and had just elected a decisive majority of Democrats to resolve it: it looked for all the world like a replay of the Roosevelt election of 1932. The optimism was euphoric, to the extent that even the Nobel Committee bit on its "hope" rather than the unfolding reality of no "change" when it gave our new President a Nobel Peace Prize. I closed that essay with this, to my eyes at least, accurate statement: "The last thirty years, with the enfranchisement of cash by the Supreme Court in Buckley v Valeo, our system has converged to a dangerous extent with these competing systems. While I can vote, I can not get my representatives attention. I have a formal political power that has been robbed of substance by money. In the Peoples Republic of China, what the Party wants the Party gets. In the United States, the Republic of Cash, what money wants money gets." 

Money indeed got what money wanted. With control of both houses of Congress and the Presidency, had the Democrats really wanted to reform our financial system, all of the tools were in hand and the industry so profoundly disgraced any serious reform proposed would have had massive popular

Saturday, November 29, 2014

For A Public Conspiracy To Restore The Constitution

Sitting hear listening to the construction noise from the nearby work at Hudson Yards the energetic density of this human coral we call New York fills the lower half of my field of vision. A giant human reef, the city embodies technologies embedded in culture, animated by people who pass their wisdom, or lack of it, from generation to generation expanding or conserving or bleaching that coral. In Aurora of Empire, I tried to understand the political economy of this great city and map certain salient points about how those people have interacted with their artifact and the culture that channels their volition. My point of view there was focused on the evolution of the physical artifact of the city as technology and culture interacted through New Yorkers to create this present on which I now look.  Seeing what the thing has become, and living that becoming these last thirty years, direct experience of a corroding of culture has me concerned about the bleaching burn of Mammon's glow as it leafs the city to it's golden taste.

In Shadows On Liberty, when I was just beginning to write, I laid out my thoughts on how our intentions as embodied in the founding documents of this erstwhile Republic have always been more aspirational than their author's practical intent. An affect has been that these idealized notions sit out there generation after generation reinforcing their simple moral clarity in the minds of succeeding generations who, in venerating their predecessors tend to credit them more than history warrants. This salutary process results, however or has until recently, in these successors struggling to live up to ideals whose creators honored more in the breach. In How We Got Here I talked about how the visionary leadership of the New Deal and America's war effort in Europe created the conditions in which the "promissory note" M. L. King saw in the Declaration of Independence, endorsed by Lincoln with the Emancipation Proclamation was, in part finally redeemed with the Civil Rights Amendments of the late sixties.

As a child of the Jim Crow South and beneficiary of court ordered desegregation in the Austin of my childhood, the perverse values of the likes of Robert McCulloch sear my soul both with their reptile hate and their familiarity. Jim Crow consisted in a nutshell of this: employ a select class of people too little and for inadequate wages and then call them criminals when they try to survive. It was a stratagem to do with economic power what was prohibited politically. Our Kurrent Konservative Khristians, now

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ebola, NSA & Porn

While our "markets" based "health care system" has roundly flubbed it's first encounter with Ebola, it may have offered the serial liars and megalomaniacs at the NSA the best chance they're likely to get to redeem themselves. It's become clear in the last year the NSA pretty much stores and sorts data on all of us. If that information is in any way useful in our ostensible "War On Terror", it should be in the field of quickly tracking connections between people associated with some interest of the Agency.

Lets say, for the sake of argument, that Ebola is Terrifying. Further lets stipulate that a "health care system" designed to maximize revenue streams for its institutions and practitioners is likely to send people with symptoms of the common cold or flue out to propagate their various bugs to the benefit of sellers of treatments, whether lab tests, doctors visits or the spectrum of pharmaceutical products. That these symptoms happen to also include the early markers of our "Terrorist" threat has already confounded CDC, systematically enervated by de-funding low these last 40 years, and our above mentioned "health care system".

But! Since it's Terrifying, our serial liars and megalomaniacs are now well positioned to actually demonstrate the public service focus they claim as justification for their extra-constitutional intrusions into our communications. If their data sets have value, it should be in the sphere of tracking connections between people, a problem given new urgency in light of the CDC sending an Ebola infected nurse,