These Times We Live In

September 23, 2008

We are witnessing the greatest power shift that has crossed this earth in nearly a century.   

I used to worry that I was born too late, and that my generation would never have a great struggle, as those before us have had. Now I see that the opposite is true: we are the lucky ones, for we will be the generation that is most affected by this change. 

We will be the first Americans since our great-grandparents to live in an America that is not a hegemonic power. We won’t be able to fall back on military force to spread our ideas and policies, and we will, by necessity, return to real diplomacy and negotiation with other nations. Budget constraints will force us to abandon our military bases around the world, and will likewise reverse the agressive foreign policies of the past two generations. 

On the home front, we will return to sound, savings-based, monetary policy. Our current fiat system is unsustainable without other currencies backed against it, and so our generation will encounter and overcome massive inflation and in doing so we will learn fiscal responsibility. As a consequence of this financial collapse, we will shift toward local economics, with farming, manufacturing, and communal projects replacing foreign imports and individual isolation. Ours will be a collective generation out of necessity.

Ironically, our hardship will also help to solve other world crises.  The coming financial crisis will help to slow the rate of global climate change and also the wholescale pollution of our planet. As the global economy slows, factories will close and global commerce will slow considerably. As we are witnessing this year, increasing gas prices cause dramatic drops in travel. With our global economy dependent on cheap fossil fuels to transport good around the world, one can imagine what will happen as the price of fuel skyrockets. Those formerly cheap Chinese goods will be unaffordable to the average American as the dollar rapidly declines in value. We will be unable to depend on foreign goods, and we will create a sustainable economy to compensate.

Of course, this is not going to be a pleasant transition. The initial dive will be devastating to our economy, and the American people will suffer greatly.  (It is worth noting that we will not be alone in this collapse) In all likelihood it will be the worst dive since the Great Depression, and perhaps worse even than that. Massive unemployment, rampant unemployment, civil discontent, tent cities, and starvation are all ahead. However, within this great hardship is the potential for a revitalized and more stable America, true to her ideals, and no longer a threat to world democracy. We, as the generation coming into power, will learn firsthand the lessons of community activism, self-reliance, and social responsibility that our forefathers knew, and our grandparents learned in the great depression. We will be passionately involved in our governance, and we will take back our government from those who brought us to this great ruin.  We will come out of this crisis stronger, smarter, and more united. The world we grow up in will be more egalitarian, more democratic, and governed by the rule of law, because we will have seen the alternative, and we will have felt the consequences. Truly, these are lifechanging times we live in.

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