Friday, August 26, 2011

"It's Over"

I've recommended National Review's James Lileks to you before and in the latest edition he does not disappoint:
...During the debt-ceiling festival of joy, former Speaker Pelosi summed up the progressive intention quite succinctly: "We're trying to save the world."  Oh, is that all.  By "the world" she means everything and everyone in the United States whose continued happiness is predicated on increasing transfer payments from their modern shameful levels.  Never again shall we revisit the dark days of, say, 2007, when skeletal armies thronged the White House gates banging empty bowls on the fence; and the less said about the horrors of 1999, when federal spending was 50 percent less than today, the better.  We still remember the heart-rending pictures of congresspeople with their empty eyes and swollen bellies, too weak to bat away the flies, barely able to muster the strength to increase the marginal rates.  For heaven's sake, we hardly spend anything on general welfare now--only 66.13 percent of the budget is spent on payments to individuals--and we're talking about going down to 66.02 percent?  Just so a handful of people can continue to sail on private gravy-lakes towed around by low-flying corporate jets?
Yes.  Because the old world is over.  The old world where a mysterious, secretive priesthood called "business" conjured wealth out of the ether so the governing class could strain it through a hundred institutions: done.  The idea that no child will be educated if the Department of Education shutters its doors: nonsense.  Uterus-to-quietus welfare: sorry.  Ever-escalating benefits, paid for by magic sacks of money: impossible.
A half-century experiment in draping steamship anchors around the necks of the productive class and expecting them to run a four-minute mile has ended in failure.  The confiscation of rights and property, the moral impoverishment of generations caused by the state's usurpation of parental obligations, the elevation of a credentialed elite that believes academia's fashions are a worthy substitute for knowledge of history and human nature, and above all the faith in a weightless cipher whose oratorical panache now consists of looking from one teleprompter screen to the other with the enthusiasm of a man watching someone else's kids play tennis--it's over, whether you believe it or not.  It cannot be sustained without reducing everyone to penurious equality, crippling the power of the United States, and subsuming the economy to a no-growth future that rations energy. (my italics)
To which some progressives respond: You say that like it's a bad thing.
"It's over", by the way, is just another way of saying the Great Reckoning continues.

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