Strange Brouhaha

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Has America Crossed the Rubicon? Also, Tennessee Williams

This article by the always-thoughtful Chalmers Johnson tells us everything we need to do to get back on course (start digging out of our foreign debt, stop acting like crazed weasels on crack in our foreign policy) as a country. But as he points out in his Rubicon analogy at the beginning, it is only meaningful to talk about these steps if we're still on the northern side. We may not be. In re-electing George Bush and making "his conduct of international relations...our own," we might have waded across like old Caesar, bringing an end to everything we were before.

In which case, there is clearly not the will to stop borrowing money and stop acting like crazed weasels on crack, so, we're going to keep going the way we are, the world will dump the dollar and cut off our cash, and we'll "turn...into a North American version of Argentina." (Argentina is the Latin American country that went bankrupt. They have fortunately elected a leftist government that told the World Bank to shove it and invested in human development instead of paying off its debt. Argentina is now starting to recover and things look positive. This gives me some hope for our own country should we turn into a big smoking socioeconomic crater too, because anyone who has even briefly glanced at the history of Argentina knows that this is NOT a country of lefties.)

The thing is, if we do turn into a big smoking socioeconomic crater, we'd better be prepared for a whole new world: as Chalmers Johnson points out, "We who no longer produce much of anything valuable will...become a banana republic [if our economy melts down now]. Debate over our foreign policy will become irrelevant. We will...become dependent on the kindness of strangers."

Personally, I think we're already a banana republic and we just don't know it yet. We got a D on our national infrastructure; I look at all those concrete crumbs and little holes in the road in a whole new way now as I drive along. What's it going to look like ten years from now? Assuming we all still have cars ten years from now.

Yes...this *is* what I'm like all the time. Just ask Rob.


  • The key difference between us and Argentina (or any other Banana Republic) is...

    We. Have. Nukes.

    Which scares the crap out of me.

    By Anonymous david adam edelstein, at 12:37 PM  

  • Yeah, that does kind of ratchet up the exciting suspense a little bit, doesn't it?

    By Blogger Savannah, at 7:11 PM  

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