05 November 2008

Turning point for America?

Well, the two elections of which i wrote in my last post are behind us now. Americans at least have voted for a change. But the task of electing someone other than a white man as president, enormous as it seemed a couple of years ago, pales in comparison to the challenge of reversing the headlong U.S. drive toward self-destruction — which is rapidly taking the rest of planet down with it. The Democrats may be in charge now, but they are taking over a government that is insolvent in the technical sense of the term, just when the resources which could have been used to make the transition to a sustainable society are nearly all used up.

In my last post (about the real economy), i neglected to mention the real effects which the money economy can have on both natural and social ecosystems. That was partly because i don't know much about economics, especially on the national or global scale. Since then i've learned a lot from an online ‘crash course’ which explains the situation in terms accessible even to dummies like me. It's a series of 22 talks by Chris Martenson, illustrated with graphics and totalling a bit over three hours; you can go through it in whatever time-slices suit your schedule. I highly recommend it, unless you already know how the United States came to be scores of trillions of dollars in debt, and how the American people have been systematically hoodwinked into burning their bridges before them.

I don't think any president has ever taken office with the country in such dire straits — we can only hope that Obama and his colleagues have the right balance of hope and realism to make a difference. They might start by telling the American people the truth about the situation they're in (and no, it can't all be blamed on Bush and the Republicans, the roots are much deeper than that). Even that would be an unprecedented revelation.

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