Four hundred thirty five more days ’til the election and the world is no longer safe for democracy, It appears that many of what I’d call thought leaders are now afraid that income inequality will lead to chaos on a national – or even global – scale. They want to protect what is theirs, and are looking to history as a warning to act before it’s too late. You know all the historic examples – the fall of Greece, Rome, Bourbon France, Tsarist Russia, Soviet Russia, Libya, Syria. These falls were all caused by income inequality to greater or lesser degrees. A hungry mob is a dangerous mob.
Opiates deadened the pain of unemployment and poverty for a while. Drug companies used databases to locate parts of the country where there were the greatest number of prescriptions being written, and flooded those areas with more opiates. Brings to mind soma from Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World – deadens the body and the mind. Hard to join the revolution when you can’t tear yourself away from the couch and the video game (notice the treadmill behind him..)
The DEA was aware of all this, keeping a database themselves that detailed the drug companies’ actions. It took multiple FOIA requests and lawsuit threats to get them to turn over the data, and it contained some fascinating information – a clear example of Pareto’s law (20% of pharmacies responsible for 80% of opiates prescribed). The hypocrisy and corruption of state and federal government officials, both appointed and elected, is rampant. All this is just another brick in the wall toward – wait for it – dissolution of the various parts of this country, when enough people finally get fed up with a central government that no longer cares for its citizens.
I have no confidence that there’s a path to turn away from this inexorable slide into a breakup, any more than Franklin Pierce could have done anything to stop the civil war. It took Abraham Lincoln being elected president to set the spark that led to secession. But as I pointed out in a previous post, the south effectively brought dissolution to a reality by having three different candidates for president, since none of the three could defeat Lincoln, either in the popular vote or the Electoral College.
But there was an interesting court case reported last week. An elector voted contrary to the rest of the slate from Colorado, where he was supposed to vote for Hillary Clinton. Instead, he voted for John Kasich, and the Secretry of State nullified his vote. A federal appeal’s court said the Secretary couldn’t do that, that voters are actually voting for electors, who are not bound to follow their wishes. Confusing, ain’t it? I expect this’ll go to the Supremes, but in time for the 2020 election? Surely..if not, OMG!
But now that all this is coming out, will anything change? Not until we hit bottom and a critical mass of angry and disgusted citizenry effect change. But who will emerge – Madame Lafarge with her knitting? Or Boris Yeltsin standing on the tank, supported by the Afghantsi (the returned Russian soldiers from Afghanistan that kept the KGB from successfully ousting Gorbachev and then Yeltsin). The odds of a smart group like our founding fathers emerging from the chaos are slim..we’re so past that point of innocence.