President Barack Obama has turned fearmongering into an art form. He has repeatedly raised the specter of another Great Depression.
In 1930, the economy shed 4.8% of the labor force. In 1931, 6.5%. And then in 1932, another 7.1%. Jobs were being lost at double or triple the rate of 2008-09 or 1981-82.
Repeated warnings from the White House about a coming economic apocalypse aren’t likely to raise consumer and investor expectations for the future. In fact, they have contributed to the continuing decline in consumer confidence that is restraining a spending pickup. Beyond that, fearmongering can trigger a political stampede to embrace a “recovery” package that delivers a lot less than it promises. A more cool-headed assessment of the economy’s woes might produce better policies.
Hope, Change, and Fear. This man rules us through emotional symbols that do not correspond to reality, and yet he is more popular than people who present difficult but necessary truths. This means we have reached a stage in decay where people believe what is convenient for them to believe because there is no consensus as to what reality is and how we should approach it.
Then, like Athens, we’re reaching out for mercenaries:
The United States army is to accept immigrants with temporary US visas, for the first time since the Vietnam war, according to the New York Times.
Until now immigrants have had to have permanent residency – a “green card” – in order to qualify for the services.
Army recruiters say their job has become easier in recent months as unemployment has risen in the US. But even so, they regret having had to turn away many immigrants because they had only temporary residency.
However, the Times said there appeared to be some opposition from officers and veterans, who expressed concern that some foreigners might have divided loyalties or be terrorists seeking to infiltrate the US armed services.
When we cannot produce our own fighting forces, we become dependent on others whose interests do not lie solely in our success. That fragments us further.
All civilizations, as they prepare for death, go through these stages and others which show they are no longer unified by values, or consensus as to what is right, what defines them, and what should be done. This empowers people to act selfishly, and soon the civilization is not one but many small worlds, each pulling in a slightly different direction.
The resulting chaos causes third world conditions, which then demand tyrants who promise hope, change and fear to keep everyone in line. This cycle can be easily stopped but first it must be recognized.