James Kunstler is such an extraordinary writer that you don’t even have to agree with anything he says to enjoy reading his weekly posts. He can write about the most depressing things and still make me smile.
For example, “This is the last month of the Great Pretending over on that lovely continent [Europe] of exquisitely preserved towns and the corniche winding down to the crashing green sea, and the lunch table under the grape arbor… I mean, compared to, say, the universal slum vista of tilt-up, strip-mall America along the deafening highways, with the wig shops, tattoo dens, pawn shacks, dollar stores, parking lot swap-meets, and supersized citizens waddling through the greasy 100-degree heat of a new climate regime. When things blow, as you may be sure they will, at least the Europeans will sink amid all that loveliness while the American experience will be more like getting flushed down a toilet.”
Can’t you kinda see it, even if you don’t think the world is going to end abruptly any time soon?
A great orgasm shuddered through the money world last week when Mario Draghi paused between scamorza con arugula tidbits to remark that the European Central Bank (ECB) would stop at nothing to keep the financial blood of Europe circulating. Of course you wonder how many pony glasses of Campari he knocked back before that whopper came out. The markets squirmed with glee. I suppose it feels good to have quantities of smoke blown up your ass.
This is the last month of the Great Pretending over on that lovely continent of exquisitely preserved towns and the corniche winding down to the crashing green sea, and the lunch table under the grape arbor… I mean, compared to, say, the universal slum vista of tilt-up, strip-mall America along the deafening highways, with the wig shops, tattoo dens, pawn shacks, dollar stores, parking lot swap-meets, and supersized citizens waddling through the greasy 100-degree heat of a new climate regime. When things blow, as you may be sure they will, at least the Europeans will sink amid all that loveliness while the American experience will be more like getting flushed down a toilet.
The more you reflect on the Draghi remark, the more you wonder whether absolutely anyone out there is paying attention to the fact that there is no money backing up these pledges of continued bailouts. All the major banks of Europe are functionally insolvent and all of the nations that charter the banks are structurally insolvent, and the economies that depend on the circulation of funds around this Euro organism really cannot escape some sort of cascading collapse. The big unknown element of the story is how angry and batshit crazy the citizens of all these countries will get when summer ends. I don’t believe they will fight each other just now, but it is very likely that the lampposts of all these lovely towns and cities will be decorated with swinging corpses of bankers, ministers, and a choice selection of politicians while a fight over the table scraps of a 30-year-long debt banquet occupies the folks in the streets.
Over on this side of the Atlantic, the question arises: where are the good guys? Why is there not one national political figure in the USA who has a comfortable relationship with truth? Perhaps the elimination of truth in our banking and governing affairs is so complete now that there is no truth left to have a relationship with. Or perhaps no American person of integrity believes in the system enough to defend it. Which raises the corollary question: where are the brave persons who would oppose this baleful culture of lies, swindles, and rackets?
I never tire of reminding readers that life is tragic. Individuals and groups in societies make bad choices or fail to meet a challenge that history presents. When persons fail, events take over and lead all persons where events will. Hence, events will take over the election clown show between an errand boy and a horse’s ass. The distracted, degenerate public of tattooed soccer moms and men wearing baby clothes have no idea how quickly the supermarket shelves can go empty. The banking system is headed over Niagara Falls and it will take all our comforts and conveniences with it as it goes over.
Generally people prefer order over chaos, so don’t be too surprised if some general in the Pentagon reluctantly decides that there is no choice but to step in and become the government. This would be an awful and momentous thing in our history, but it is exactly what we’ve asked for with our pornographic politics of lying, grifting, swindling, and racketeering. What I describe, of course, is the flip-side of martial law. Once civilians declare it, things have a tendency to get martial real fast – meaning that the feckless and hesitant civilians who allowed the situation to develop get swept out of the way in favor of anyone who can get something done. And what will have to get done in short order is the reorganization of a banking system to get money flowing again and the reopening of supply lines for food and medicine in particular.
This is not an outcome I promote, you understand, but it is the scenario that a foolish people in a depraved nation are sleepwalking into. Take away the pizza pockets and the Pepsi and anything can happen. We may even live to see Mitch McConnell roasted on a spit in some Kentucky parking lot.
Pic credit: Banksy