The Decline of Western Civilization: RIP Amerika, Christianity, Capitalism, Democracy, etc…
Well, we had a good run, we did, Western Civilization, that is, as first articulated by Greece and Rome, before taken up again by London and Paris some 1000 years later, then New York, Toronto and Sydney for the final roll-out. Democracy was our method, Christianity was our mantra and capitalism was our madness. It worked spectacularly, until now, until we’ve run out of resources and ideas. Now we’re put to the test: what’s next?
Well, it doesn’t look good for the home team; seems capitalism is something of a pyramid scheme—works fine when you’re on top, with lots of resources and free time. Now other non-Westerners can play the game as well or better than us: first Japan, now China, with India, Brazil, and Russia hot on the horizon. Where does that leave us? Well, it should leave us defining the next era, beyond capitalism, beyond consumption, beyond die-hard democracy. But it’s not.
We’re totally unequipped for what comes next, all of us Westerners, Amerika the least, screwing up the Mideast, sowing our dreams of democracy, and leaving nothing but chaos in the wake—enough, already. We Amerikans have nothing to teach the world about politics, least of all democracy. We can barely get a budget bill through Congress to pay our debts. Now we’re destroying the environment, while still pushing the political and economic agenda of growth growth growth. We’re sick.
This is not the time for swagger. This is not the time for bluff. We need help, and we need it bad. Bernie might have all the answers, but I doubt it. I don’t think any of the current crop of politicians has many, if any, of the answers, in Europe or Amerika, though I suspect Europe would come closer. The new age of decentralization—that’s a nice word for it—is fast upon us, and the politicians have their thumbs where the sun don’t shine. Hopefully the new Dark Ages won’t be so dark, greener the better, in fact. That sounds good.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The future should consist of gardens and green spaces, bikes and blue skies, peach cobbler and apple pies, brotherly love and celestial wisdom, hard at work and hard at play, full of arts and letters and science and philosophy. LA should not have to deal with its burgeoning ever-expanding ‘Hobo Town’. We should all be a little more hobo, a little less capitalist. What else is there? No guns. Now what was the question?