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Growth or Decay ... Take Your Pick

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America is and has always been a work in progress. It is a very different country from the one I was born in, which itself was not the country that fought the civil war, nor the one founded by the writers of the constitution.

Change is inevitable and directed. In one direction is progress and growth; in the opposite, regression and decay. Growth is the defining characteristic of life - its "sine qua non'; decay is that of death.

Progressivism, a.k.a. liberalism, is the provenance of democracy and economic security for all - the stuff of a living and vibrant society.

By contrast, conservatism is committed to conserving the privileged status of the wealthy and fashioning a neo-feudal oligarchy where the wealthy few prosper hugely and the many are at their mercy to survive or not, as these latter day barons see fit.

Today America has degraded to the point where politicians of both major parties blatantly grovel for the financial support of wealthy individuals and corporations who, like Shylock, require their pound of flesh. Indeed if the corporations comprising the military-industrial complex require a war to increase their wealth or influence, politicians of both parties accommodate them by providing one; Republicans being only marginally more accommodating than Democrats.

Like Josef Goebbels, American politicians, with the cooperation of corporate dominated media have channeled the propaganda techniques of Edward Bernays to maintain the people in a perpetual state of paranoid fear of the boogeyman du jour: communists, Al Qaeda, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, ... whoever, because a frightened populace is more easily manipulated to buy whatever they're selling, whether it be a war for the benefit of oil companies, a worldwide empire of 700 military bases in 130 countries or military related expenditures equal to those of all other countries of the world combined.

The current state in America is unstable and if not changed can only end in revolution (violent or not) as has happened throughout history and in my lifetime in dozens of places as diverse, for example, as China, South Africa and Cuba.

As I am writing this it appears that the Conservatives have won their battle to assure that the wealthiest among us will be given a tax break that will increase the national debt by at least $700 billion dollars over the next decade based on the pure fiction that they will create jobs. Don't hold your breath. Businesses don't need tax breaks to hire people; they need customers.

In his 1922 cautionary poem, "Four Preludes on Playthings of the Wind", (Google the title), Carl Sandburg describes the fate of a society on a treadmill to oblivion that smugly regards itself as exceptional, mindlessly chanting, "We are the greatest city, the greatest nation, nothing like us ever was." Ultimately the only things left of the self-proclaimed "greatest nation" are decayed ruins, rats and lizards.


Bob is a retired engineer and lives in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He contributed significantly to the post-Challenger redesign of the solid rocket boosters for the space shuttle.
He has taught engineering at several universities and was (more...)

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Given the conditions we currently find ourselves i... by Bob Regl on Sunday, Dec 5, 2010 at 10:32:45 PM