Friday, September 23, 2005

Ian Welsh: the coming Winter of the American Republic

The Blogging of the President: "For over thirty years now deliberate government policy has impoverished the working and middle classes; burdened them with debt and bled them dry – put their wives to work and taken from them their rights. Athens was born of debt relief and so was America – of the right of men who had failed to start again free of their debts. The post war America; the most prosperous society in history was created on the back of the GI Bill – the flood of veterans into universities, the refusal of men who had fought for their country and seen their friends die to accept that they were worthy of anything less than a full role in their country.

"Such an America – where debtors were not enslaved to creditors; where the poor had defense against the rich; where any man might be educated, is in decline. Education is for those with money, and not for the underclass – year after year the price of university rises faster than incomes; the sources of public funds dry up with those that remain requiring the aspiring scholar to place himself in debt till middle age. And creditors have packed bankruptcy courts with their hand-picked judges while changing bankruptcy law to allow debt to chain their borrowers such that they might works decades for their new masters.

"Such an America is an America where only those who have already may dare – only the truly rich can risk failure in such a society, and so only they can truly dare the risks required for success. Such an America; one where education is for those who would already get it; and good education is only for those who are affluent; is an America where the chains of ignorance weigh heavy and where bigotry and intolerance can rise again.

"And so we find ourselves in late autumn. Winter, truly, is not far off. Winter, for nations and people, is not a fixed thing – not a fixed span of months, years or even generations. When Spain fell to winter – how long before a new weaker spring arose? Still, for some, the thaw does come early and a new cycle is begun.

"For America winter is no longer avoidable. The course was set over 30 years ago, and the choice to make the final plunge, to make the final liquidation of good will and cold hard cash, was made in 2004.

"So now, near Autumn’s end, with the wind howling outside, there are two tasks for the wise: to provision for winter, and to prepare for the struggles during that time. Will there be a new American Republic? Will there rise a true Empire? Will there be a long wasteland, redolent of the fall of Spain? Will there be civil war? How will the new America be forged? And whose blood will it be quenched in?"

On this blog, the question has often been posed: are we waiting for a perfect storm to sweep the Republican fascist state away, or are we lobsters in the pot, waiting for the water to boil?

Ian makes the case that we are simply watching the rapid decline of the Republic, in the autumn of its years.

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