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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

(Slightly) Unfair Comparison

There was someplace, when I was young, where people struggled hard to not get very far. Where travel was hardly affordable, difficult at best, generally discouraged at worse. Where security was tight to keep the people safe. Where they mistrusted anyone "foreign" to the point of having watchers trail them. Where people were fed a daily dose of misinformation about how wonderful their lives were and how horrible everybody else in the world was doing. Where the government fought wars in other countries to try and instill their own virtues. Where they threw people in jail for long sentences for minor infringements to help keep the streets safe. Where pensioners had to choose between eating or heating their homes. Where the people we told myths about how wonderful, powerful, and smart they all were, not to mention lucky to live when and where they did. Where the people were given a regular dose of popularism by those in power, who would then retreat to their million dollar mansions in gated communities. Where the patriotism and loyalty of dissenters were called into question, and they could easily be labeled, "unfaithful" and dropped down a hole. Where they spent egregious amounts of money in foreign lands to prop up the myth that they were prosperous, while borrowing from those foreigners to keep up appearances. Where the "haves" continued to gather more unto themselves and impoverished whole new classes of "have-nots" all while suckering the new have-nots with speeches saying, "We're all in this together." Where the haves honesty felt they were in the same class, even as the looked out from their luxury class cars on the have-nots and convinced themselves that deserved what they had, had done what was necessary. Where the haves skewed the markets and business practices to help themselves. Where the people were told by the politicians that if everything went right, things would all be wonderful, in five or ten years. Where the people felt, and were generally encouraged to feel, disenfranchised and eventually became apathetic.

So, how are you feeling lately, comrade?

When I was a younger man, back in the early 90s, I read a white paper by a True Believer UFO-ologist. HE was talking about The Plan(tm). How Russia would fragment, the Russians would gain greater freedoms, but still be economically enslaved to an oligarchy. How in the US, we would tout winning the Cold War, then slowly lose our freedoms all under the guise of "National Security" (I believe he even said that fear of terrorism after an attack would be the signal). Until we, the masses "we", ended up in the middle, paddling in the same canoe in the same river. I laughed back then, categorizing the author as one of the Tin-Foil Hat Legions. I just remembered that paper recently. It's not so funny now.

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