Sunday, February 8, 2009

Downsizing Empire

Needless to say, 100 billion dollar bailouts to rich banks is not exactly the way to downsize an empire. The truth is that no one knows how to do it because it has never been done. You may point to England after WWII, but that was more a case of empire transfer. There is no one to transfer the American empire to, even if modesty were suddenly to strike Washington like a bolt from the blue. China is busy stopping riots; Iran, despite the warnings of the far right, is not ready; Lebanon, although having protected its banking system somewhat, is a bit small. Is that a tall bearded man I see smiling in the distance?

But I’m getting off the subject. I was speaking about downsizing, not collapse. My assumption was that Washington would, if things get bad enough, eventually realize what was necessary, would do the right thing for the people rather than just absconding to…hmm, where would they go? A gated community in Tahiti?

There are other options, of course…marshal law, dictatorship, fascism, revolution. All were possible during the Great Depression. But what if the government decided to lead the country toward a stunningly responsible, mature future of living within its means? Exactly what does that mean? How would we calmly, safely get there?

I just thought I’d ask.

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