Summary: This post provides a big-picture view of America. Where we are, how we got here, and where we are going. It is subjective and speculative, and more valuable than the thousands of fact-based reports that are our core content.
Welcome to the new America: Clownworld.
The spirit of an age, its core nature, can only be seen in terms of metaphors. Or, as we say today, memes. During the past 16 years, I have documented the evolution of America. In the 1960s we had the bright dreams of the Boomers (best seen in the original Star Trek shows, and later in Enterprise) for the continuation of the post-WWII technological and social progress. That quickly went rancid in the slowing of economic growth, rising inequality, and social disintegration. Social change and politics went off the rails in the 1970s, as we entered the Crazy Years.
The Crazy Years
“The Crazy Years: Considerable technical advance during this period, accompanied by a gradual deterioration of mores, orientation, and social institutions, terminating in mass psychoses in the sixth decade, and the interregnum.”
Heinlein’s future history stories allude to the “crazy years” but do not describe them. Now we get to experience them. I have dutifully noted our slide into the crazy in many posts, such as these.
- A key to understanding the news: the unexpected rules in our age of wonders.
- America is becoming weird. Here are some recent examples.
- We live in the crazy years, but can choose a different destiny for ourselves and our children.
- The common thread that explains so much in America — We have collectively chosen to send America into the “crazy years”. It is not too late to change course.
- We are living in the crazy years – Documenting the decay.
America had a party to celebrate the fin de siècle, the end of the 20th century. A tech boom, a stock market boom, and a feeling of resumed progress.
This all fell into the toilet beginning with the Y2K madness, another of the many bouts of hysteria about imaginary threats to America that are a special feature of our time. Other examples are satanic ritual abuse, massive sex-slavery (e.g., debunked here and here), sex abuse at daycare centers, the child kidnapping hysteria, the rape epidemic at colleges, the 2015 Ebola non-epidemic, the massive Russian interference in the 2016 election – and many more.
While we worried about these things, we slide down the slippery slope to Weimerica. Registered sex offender busted reading in the Draq Queen Story Time. Also see Second Child Sex Offender Unmasked at Drag Queen Story Time. Parental approval needed for ear piercing, but schools facilitate children’s abortions and gender “reassignment” (even young children are being “reassigned”, although they’re far too young to give consent). Parents exploiting their pre-teen sons as “drag queens” (here and here). CNN: “Cuckolding can be positive for some couples.” Wild euphoric experiments on our society.
The Left leads us to Weimerica because they hate America’s culture and seek to destroy it. The leaders of the Right do not care, as they focus on the extractive needs of the 1% (e.g, tax cuts, busting unions, reducing services to the public, deregulation, building monopolies, lavish “defense” funding of corporations). Both have become our foes. This is a key aspect of Weimerica.
- The similar delusions of America’s Left and Right show our common culture – and weakness.
- Programs to reshape the American mind, run by the left and right.
- We are alone in the defense of the Republic.
- Who lies to us the most? Left or Right?
- Delusions of the well-educated and intelligent on the Left and Right leave us nowhere to hide.
- Facts are the enemy of both Left and Right in our America.
- Dreams of apocalypses show the brotherhood of America’s Left & Right.
- Our Right & Left have lost their way. Saul Alinsky points to a better politics.
- Left and Right use race as a way to divide America.
- Watch the Left and Right move against America.
- DEFCON 2: both Left and Right have turned against us.
- America’s foes reveal themselves. They are many & strong.
As a result, the middle in American politics has died – now extremists rule. Was our future a choice like that of people in post-1929 Weimar Germany, where their choices were communists or Nazis? No. America’s evolution continued to a worse future. What comes next in our journey into the crazy years? ClownWorld.
ClownWorld – the final meme
ClownWorld is something we do to ourselves, as Bill Bonner explains. He writes about finance at The Daily Reckoning and is a founder of The Agora (see this article about it). He is a doomster and perma-bear, but has an interesting perspective on our situation. See these terrifying words from his column “Corrections” in March 2001, describing the essence of ClownWorld.
“Men do stupid things regularly and mad things occasionally. And sometimes, the impulse to self-destruction is so overwhelming it overtakes an entire nation. …The best a person can hope for when he goes mad is that he runs into a brick wall quickly …before he has a chance to build up speed. That is why success, in war and investing, is often a greater menace than failure. …
“People seem to make such obvious and moronic errors that it seems as if they were driven to it by some instinct of self-destruction – like lemmings periodically exterminating themselves in a march off the cliffs. What’s more, this diabolical instinct seems to report for duty at the very moment when the future seems the brightest – that is, when it is most needed! Just when men are most proud, most confident, most expansive in their ambitions and hopes …that is when they make the most lunkheaded judgments.”
In ClownWorld, the experience of reading the daily newspaper puts one in a surrealistic painting. The president is a clown, tweeting nonsense. The Democratic Party’s candidates for president are a collection of the elderly, publicity whores, and extremist weirdos (advised by economists who believe in lotsa free stuff for all). The Democrats leaders flail helplessly while the GOP’s leaders polish the shoes of their plutocrat overlords.
Discussions about politics quickly become gibberish, as the demon Screwtape explains (they know us well) in C. S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters.
“It sounds as if you supposed that argument was the way to keep him out of the Enemy’s clutches. That might have been so if he had lived a few centuries earlier. At that time the humans still knew pretty well when a thing was proved and when it was not; and if it was proved they really believed it. They still connected thinking with doing and were prepared to alter their way of life as the result of a chain of reasoning.
“But what with the weekly press and other such weapons, we have largely altered that. Your man has been accustomed, ever since he was a boy, to having a dozen incompatible philosophies dancing about together inside his head. He doesn’t think of doctrines as primarily ‘true’ or ‘false,’ but as ‘academic’ or ‘practical,’ ‘outworn’ or ‘contemporary,’ ‘conventional’ or ‘ruthless.'”
America today is well described by these words from “White Rabbit”, written by Grace Slick and recorded by Jefferson Airplane for their 1967 album “Surrealistic Pillow.”
“When logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen’s off with her head …”
There are two common reactions to ClownWorld. The first is horror and disorientation. The second is acceptance. Science fiction author James Blish captures both in this scene from his great book, The Day After Judgement (1971). In it, Father Domenico wanders though a world which makes no sense.
“By luck it was not a bad position; from here he had quite a clear view up the staircase and between the towering statues of Mars and Neptune. The great doors had already been opened and the cardinals in their scarlet finery were ranked on either side of the portico. …The combination of bell and trumpets was solemnly beautiful and under it the crowd fell quickly silent. …a cardinal cried in Latin: ‘We have a Pope, Summus Antistitum Antistesl And it is his will that he be called Juvenember LXIX!’ The page now stepped forward. He called in the vernacular; ‘Here is your Pope, and we know it will please you.’
“From the shadow of the great doors, there stepped forth into the sunlight between the statues …his face white and mild as milk, a comely old man …the demon AGARES.
“An enormous shout rose from the crowd and the trumpets and the bell resumed, now joined by all the rest of the bells in the city and by many drums and the firing of cannon. Choking with horror, Father Domenico fled.”
ClownWorld is the final meme because what probably follows is chaos. I will continue to document it, but with a sense of futility. I see a dark future for America as our institutions fall like ten-pins (crazy people cannot operate the complex machinery of a developed nation). I fear that we have passed the last exit to a smooth resolution of the chaotic forces unleashed.
I have no idea what lies beyond the coming chaos, but I suspect that much will be broken before we get there. And we might not like what lies beyond. But remember, the future lies in our hands. We will build it through inaction or action.
For more information
This post changed everything about how I see the world: A new, dark picture of America’s future.
Ideas! See my recommended books and films at Amazon.
- Important: On this Independence Day, See The Future of America.
- A third American regime will arise from the ashes of the present one.
- For America to prosper it must first burn.
- Lewis Lapham explains why America needs a Third Republic.
- We’ve worked through all 5 stages of grief for the Republic. Now, on to The New America!
- Our institutions are hollow because we don’t love them.
- Let’s recall the lost meaning of Independence Day.
- America isn’t falling like the Roman Empire. It’s worse.
- The Republic’s foes reveal themselves. They are many & strong.
- We have forgotten who we are. Let’s remember, and win.
Inspirational books for the 4th, now and in the future
The Founders looked to the Roman Republic for ideas and inspiration. In this time of peril, we too can do so. See two books about the people who were the poles of the forces that could have saved the Republic, but instead destroyed it. From these, you can learn more about our situation than from most books written today’s politics. They give what we need: perspective.
Rome’s Last Citizen by Rob Goodman and Jimmy Soni – The life and legacy of Cato, the mortal enemy of Caesar.