More and more lovers of liberty – self-professed libertarians/Libertarians or not – are more vocal in their critiques of our current circumstances. Not just the governmental system we Americans are saddled with, but the ever more bizarre society and the increasingly unstable economy. Doug Casey’s rants (at International Man and often found on ZeroHedge) on solving the problem of an evermore factionalized Fifty States has some good thoughts. One of the best is this one:
“The United States has devolved from the land of the free and the home of the brave to something more closely resembling the land of entitlements and the home of whining lawsuit filers.” (Doug Casey at International Man) Doug seems to be a master of understatement, doesn’t he?
Zero Hedge had picked it up about the same time that they also posted a rant by Daisy Luthor, a gallantly-outspoken lady on many subjects. Our system, she tells us, is crumbling before our very eyes. She is right. The signs are all around us.
As she references, many people warned that it was NOT the virus that we needed to worry about. It was the systems: political, governmental, social, economic, even transportation and agricultural. That is even more so the case now than it was, say, in September or April of 2020.
Indeed, after our last several trips into the dens of iniquity (from a free-market anarchist’s point of view) of Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah (traveling from the relatively free state of South Dakota)? It is clear that our systems HAVE crumbled in the last twelve months.
Events are driving us. The cultural war has morphed into an actual civil war. A civil war becoming increasingly violent. It is still “retail” violence: ones and twos – whether it is protesters or rioters, counter-protesters, cops, or innocents. But wholesale slaughter, at this point, seems inevitable. Many of us are surprised at the constraint and mildness of the post-election situation in November. Even more surprised that the unpleasantness in early January was limited to the Capitol in DC and a few armpits like Portland and Seattle.
All the various trends impacting on the news and our daily lives before 2020 are now far more extreme in their impact. And our reactions are also more extreme. Life as we knew it HAS broken down, and more so with each passing day. Some recent examples:
Texas Power Crisis of 2021
The unusually harsh winter weather and power problems in Texas this week are not the only time in recent decades that Texas (and many other states, ignored in the twitterstorm and vicious attacks on Texas as a Red State) has endured. Much of the nonsense being spouted today has little or nothing to do with the reality. Yes, the insane dependence of 2021 Texas on wind-power is a part. So is the refusal of politicians to allow improvements and changes in the system. But when we look at the root of the problem, it comes down to two things:
- Growing government control of infrastructure – and therefore more and more potential for stupid political decisions. The grid, even in Texas, is micromanaged by government, regardless of who or what actually owns the pieces.
- Growing centralization of infrastructure – growing interconnection of systems and therefore increasing the opportunity for government and political control of things which should be based on engineering.
Unfortunately, the Texas Power Crisis of 2021 will speed up BOTH these trends. Primarily by the FedGov, of course, as Biden and crew seek to prove what kind and caring rulers they are. With the claims being made, the potential of a Texan Democratic regime in a couple of years is greater also. Democrats will take new power for Austin at the expense of most Texans. (I’ve already heard of people planning to flee Texas, which they say is rapidly turning blue.)
Supply chain problems
In a recent trip to Colorado, we were shocked by the emptiness of more and more store shelves. Not just products made overseas, or supplied from distant places. Rather, items produced locally. Added to this is the slow response of the wholesalers and distributors for basic, common repair parts and materials. We hear in Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming, and even South Dakota, of delays of months in construction materials, spare parts for popular vehicles, and even popular food items.
Some was blamed on the weather, though the weather in these states is typical for this time of year, and not as bad as many. More is blamed on lack of workers – or poorly-trained workers. Some is blamed on the Lockdown and related problems. But whatever the excuses given, this is a common problem plaguing the nation more and more in the past year. The supply chain is collapsing.
The sheer viciousness of the actions of Democrats now controlling Congress is not surprising. What is shocking is the broad scope of their efforts to “punish” Trump and anyone who was nice to the man in the past five years (since he began his White House run).
Definitely not surprising. Consider the extreme nastiness posted time and again against anyone (well-known or not) daring to question “the science” regarding masks and all the rest. Consider how badly people are treated for defending others, or even for not condemning them “strongly enough.” Yet another indication of the end of civility in political life.
This behavior in Congress matches the behavior of social justice warriors. Responding to any action, by any person, in mean, nasty, and outrageous over-reaction. These people are more and more eating their own: disowning and trashing other so-called liberals and progressives for something said or done years ago. It is not just a crumbling of civility and a breakdown of the consensus which (in many ways) allows government to function in this country.
Why? Ideology is now the dominant force for most political actions in DC. And the natural cowardice of politicians is obvious. They fear their political opponents AND their allies. Because the system is crumbling.
We must be prepared.
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According to the Cato Institute, South Dakota is less, not more, free than Colorado. Any idea why that might be?
Tom, I’ve not read the article, so I am not sure. Having lived and worked and operated businesses in both States for 30+ years, I would say that South Dakota is more free. And the last 13 months has made the contrasts even greater. Colorado state and county government agencies – and the myriad of local governments – exercise far more control over their people and business than comparable in South Dakota. It is much harder to start and run a business in CO. It is harder to home-school in CO. The Colorado General Assembly is far more corrupt than South Dakota’s legislature. The rules and regulations are more costly, more onerous, and more irrational in CO. Both SD and CO have gotten LESS free in recent years, but SD is still more free than CO. This has particularly been obvious because of the Pandemic Panic and Lockdown. While some cities (and tribes) in SD have gone crazy, in CO, the entire state has. Even though many of the mandatory provisions are often ignored in some parts of Colorado, the lockdown is harsh and very restrictive. Colorado agencies (state and county and special districts) spy on businesses to enforce these edicts, and the General Assembly does nothing to call the governor and the departments to heel.