Cultural driftwood

It seems I'm sharin' the air with the jueditas in Indy...first Roberta and now Tam:
In talking with various smart people over the last few years, I have developed a pretty bleak view of the immediate future of our republic. I really don't think it's going to get better in my lifetime. I really think the system is irretrievably broken.

In my opinion, the Republic was truly killed off a couple of generations ago and it's only now that the corpse is starting to smell. The level of decline in America's social cohesion has been masked by the amazing growth in wealth and technology that we've experienced since WWII. But that growth is by no means guaranteed to continue, nor is it an inevitable product of our superior cultural organization as a lot of people seem to think.

Technology has given us a previously unimaginable level of autonomy, so don't read this as me shouting about being repressed. If you really want to opt out of the system, it's easier than ever to do so -- if you can decide to live your life without using a National ID card. But it's oh so seductive...just crouch a little and lick the hand, now...

In our lifetimes, I don't forecast a truly huge crisis that will galvanize people into action, either. There won't be any large-scale crossing of lines in the sand, no manning of the barricades. It's more likely that ...nothing will happen, and our culture will just drift along into greater and greater dependence and infantilism. No uprisings, no catalysts for action -- just a nation of lotus-eaters for as long as the system can avoid collapsing. As the Derb said, we're living in a Golden Age...enjoy it!