Monday, November 18, 2013

Turning Of The Screw

Regular readers of this blog, site, column (there, something I like) will know how often I champion the need to have "adult conversations" about the many issues of the day that so vex our society.

From comments you leave here, I know that there are a good many who share my frustration at, to borrow a phrase from Krugman, "the great unraveling" being played out before our eyes.  Like punch drunk prize fighters, we reel from it and rail against its affront to our sensibilities.

How are we to cope with this constant onslaught?  Let me share my personal coping mechanism.  Yes, this is a turning of the screw but it is also the approach of a breaking point, steadily ratcheting up, that will inevitably lead to a sharp fracture and the demise of the forces that fueled it.

Why am I convinced that lies in our short-term future?  Only because it must.  The existing order that keeps shoving its noxious face into ours cannot survive without growth.  It has no means to generate growth on its own and it is rapidly exhausting its ability to purloin much more from us.

Over the past three decades the few, aided and abetted by their government enablers, have effected the greatest unearned transfer of wealth - from the many - in the history of mankind.   Now, as we, the many, have less for them to pillage, they, the few, must become increasingly hostile and aggressive in pursuit of dwindling returns.

As a society, we're encountering an era of inelasticity.  The more the screw is turned, the greater the inelasticity.   You can only stretch an elastic band so far before it breaks or snaps back.  It's one or the other.

And so I have decided that, beginning today, I will digest these outrages under the heading "Turning of the Screw."  It really does seem only fitting.


Dana said...

You mean the people will attack each other and burn one another's homes down? Like Watts?

I don't believe there will be anything approaching an extended offensive against the people and institutions doing the stretching.

I believe people will take their rage out on one another while the wealthy and connected take extended vacations.

The Mound of Sound said...

Dana, your vision is far darker than mine. If you're right, we're indeed lost.

What I foresee is something more akin to the progressive movement in the States at the turn of the last century. A public that reaches a point of social inelasticity, that won't be stretched and ground down any more. A point at which the many compel their own Square Deal, a leveling of the keel. At least that's what I hope for.

What I fear is the rise of a charismatic of the type we saw in Europe in the 30s.

Dana said...

You articulate what I would rather believe, Mound. By far.

But who will be the articulator of the progressive movement? As time rolls on I see fewer and fewer progressive minded people willing to stand before the onslaught. Linda McQuaig is being silenced by the leadership of the NDP for example. By the time the moment arrives progressivism will be a historical artifact and will have to be re-invented.

A charismatic type is the probable outcome of the scenario I envisioned.

Anonymous said...

I could not agree more.
That said the Canada we now live in is a far different Canada to the one I migrated to in 1974.
It has become much more selfish , much less caring be it government policy or the person on the street.

The Mound of Sound said...

We seem to live in an age rich with charismatics. Rob Ford is one. Who else could admit smoking crack while in a stupor and see his popularity rise? They can be extremely dangerous and destructive.

Anon, I agree that Canadian society has changed quite a bit since the mid-70s. As a people, we were much more cohesive then. Harper's standard wedge politics has created a "them versus us" condition in which one segment of the population is presented as the enemy of the other. Remember Vic Toews proclaiming that anyone opposed to his legislation supported child porn? Was he tossed from cabinet for that? Of course not.

Anyong said...

Canada is not the country I left in 1999 and returned in 2011. I have to agree with everyone is so disheartning and the reason progressives are giving up. Now...all I want to do is find a spot that provides some comfort through its pleasant visual view, in a well built cabin and mix with the locals. Just returning from Mexico and while teaching got very ill and had to fly home about three weeks ago. Can you imagine my utter disbelief at how our medical system has gone down hill after spending almost three weeks in hospital? Mexico has become much more dirty than it was not to long least where I was and have been has.

The Mound of Sound said...

I don't know about our health care system, Anyong. A couple of my friends went through some pretty extensive medical troubles this past year and they got quite good treatment. I, personally, have no complaints.

It's been a few years since I was in Mexico but I've heard others make similar comments. I wonder why that is?

We, you and I and others of our generation, managed to enjoy what may come to be seen as Canada's golden years. The world in which the Canada of our early and middle age was formed is long gone and the generations that follow us will have to face a much more challenging world. It's too bad we can't leave them something better.