13 February 2006

James Howard Kunstler tells us:
The failure to lead in this country now includes all the major fields of enterprise and resolves into a general and total failure of authority that threatens to drag us into darkness. Leaders in politics, business, the news media, science, medicine, education, and the organized religions have all failed to prepare the public for the hardships that will attend a global energy crisis supercharged by climate change, disorder in the financial markets, and almost certainly more war.
The rest of his post substantiates all this, though in the end, he argues:
When the public finally discovers how they have been let down or played by these leaders, there will be a convulsion more severe than the one that tore this country apart in 1861.

This would certainly be a felicitous conclusion to the mass-delusion problem currently experienced by the United States. But it is unlikely for two reasons:

1) What Gramsci called "organic intellectualism" is today in the same state of decline as the "intelligentsia" that Kunstler excoriates. Very few people are putting the pieces together in anything approximating a serious fashion. Institutional education has become of little consequence toward enlightenment anymore, as the public schools crank out test-takers while the college population is obsessed with the market value of its degree efforts.

2) Continued confidence in our existing consumer society continues for the same reason the US dollar is still the world's pre-eminent currency: there's no place else to go. Create a transformative alternative, and people will go there.

In short, the whole of society is still on a "capitalist development" path, and the "failure of leadership" is only a symptom of the direction seleced by that society. Those of us in the know are merely not going in a favored direction.

Meanwhile, anticipating an assets freeze, Syria has started to dump its dollars for Euros. Financial collapse looms closer...

Furthermore, a raging debate has morphed onto Swans as regards Venezuela...


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