The most depresing thing I’ve read so far this year is this post from Popehat:
The older I get, the more I see, the more I read, the more clear it becomes to me that the entire game is rigged. The leftists and the rightists each see half of the fraud. The lefties correctly note that a poor kid caught with cocaine goes to jail, while a Bush can write it off as a youthful mistake (they somehow overlook the fact that their man Barrack hasn’t granted clemency to any one of the people doing federal time for the same felonies he committed). The righties note that government subsidized windmills kill protected eagles with impunity while Joe Sixpack would be deep in the crap if he even picked up a dead eagle from the side of the road. The lefties note that no one was prosecuted over the financial meltdown. The righties note that the Obama administration rewrote bankruptcy law on the fly to loot value from GM stockholders and hand it to the unions. The lefties note that Republicans tweak export rules to give big corporations subsidies. Every now and then both sides join together to note that, hey! the government is spying on every one of us…or that, hey! the government stole a bunch of people’s houses and gave them to Pfizer, because a privately owned for-profit corporation is apparently what the Constitution means by “public use”.
He goes on with more analysis with which I suspect that some of my readers will agree wholeheartedly. He concludes:
The system is not fixable because it is not broken. It is working, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to give the insiders their royal prerogatives, and to shove the regulations, the laws, and the debt up the asses of everyone else.
His prescription: burn the whole thing down.
That’s the one thing that puzzles me about the post. What makes him think that doing that would result in an improvement? A better new system rising from the ashes of the old is not inevitable. I don’t believe it’s even historical. What’s much more common is more misery for the people at the bottom of the social hierarchy and us “regular peons” and a new group of amoral opportunists supplanting the old ones.
I think there’s some reason for hope. For example, here in Chicago recently. After noting that those attending the “town hall meeting” didn’t appear to be much interested in the meetings convener, Rev. Al Sharpton’s topic of gun control:
A second surprise was that many black attendees were so critical of corrupt local Democratic lawmakers, who one person called the “Chicago machine,” according to Breitbart.com.
“We don’t have a gangs, guns, drugs problem,” said one panelist. “We have a nepotism, cronyism and patronage problem.”
“The manner in which we have been voting needs to change. I’m here to say to you that we have been trained to vote in a specific manner,” said Wendy Pearson, an activist against Chicago’s recent school closings, according to Breitbart. “We need to start looking at the manner in which our elected officials have been voting…if they have not voted in a manner that is beneficial to you, yours, and your community, then you need to start voting them out.”
“I would call a serious town meeting, like the town meetings Republicans would call,” said an 82-year-old preacher. “They call it a Tea Party.”
My own prescription is small steps. Kaizen. Improvement will be slow. But it can happen.