The entry into the new year of 2011 brings the same set of challenges that every year brings. The primary emotion is always the sense of renewal, that the worst of the old year’s mistakes can be averted, and new ideas can flourish that will bring a general betterment for all. That’s the way it’s supposed to go anyway. 2011 opens the new decade, the “tens”, and hopefully this will be a decade of more realistic assumptions, more crisp and insightful analysis, and more determination to preserve the gains mankind has made in making the world a generally more comfortable and individually conscious world than it was for our ancestors. We can only hope. The first decade of the new millennia was framed by two dark, backward looking medieval philosophies. The first islamofascism, predicated on forcing the world to accept the edictual interpretations of a 13oo year old concept that women shield themselves from societal interaction, religious diversity be banned, individual expression and freedom be reduced to dust, and death be the revered expression of individual sacrifice. The second, global warming fascism, borne on the individual as the perceived medieval sinner, wantonly improving his own personal comfort at the expense of “others”, based on misrepresentations and pseudo-science, and proselytizing against the future “hell” unless the environmental sins are addressed with severe reductions of personal freedom to achieve, travel, and create. Both philosophies are shown to be empty and wanting when exposed to any critical scrutiny, and hopefully will be dispatched to the dustbin of history by a more self aware and watching world in this coming decade. With 2011 comes almost immediate framing of what we as defenders of civilization must keep in focus, and we must be attentive on the ramparts.
On the first day of the 112th Congress of the United States of America, the defining principles of what it means to have a participatory democracy will finally again be p;laced in the position of prominence it desires. Word to word, line by line, the Constitution of the United States will be read into the congressional record. For too long the elements of what makes this democracy unique, the precise rights of the individual and the precise role and responsibility of the state, have been subverted by those that feel that principles and rationalizations are interchangeable. It doesn’t mean that this congress will be different than any other in following through, but there is an inkling of hope that the strong reaction of the citizenry with the most recent national election to restore principled leadership will not be wasted.
The overwhelming burden of what is to come may not yet have sunk in yet to the general population. Multiple states are teetering on the brink of default. State and federal government budgets predicated on the the progressive enriching of the government employee have maxed out, and it is unclear the reaction that is bound to occur with unions when the harsh realities that the “permanent” gravy train may have reached its zenith and is rolling backward. In Europe this was the stimulus for riots and strikes. The United States is certainly not immune and there is bound to be friction. The malfeasance of government to ignore its fiscal responsibilities to support a special interest that guarantees its return to power in return for votes is a dangerous, anti-democratic trend that needs to be stopped now, however painful, to make the future viable for all. (Graph courtesy of C. Houghton)
The world elite continue to have a love affair with the most reactionary, freedom destructive leaders and this western personality flaw shows no signs of abating. The lack of outrage and continued pandering to pathetic authoritarians like Fidel Castro in Cuba, Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, and Kim Jong Il in North Korea despite their catastrophic policies that have left their countries collapsed and starving remains a ugly sore on civilized clarity in action. A frank romance with Marxist ends of less individual freedom, expression, and capacities remain a bizarre cultish yearning by those western elites who can’t stand the fact that prosperity has been shared with an ever larger slice of humanity without the reins of control they have always dreamed about. Ugly. Ugly. Ugly. If this decade gets anything cleaned up, it would be nice to see the end of rewarding the worst of us with our continued blind eye to their self aggrandizing and delusion.