You are free to live your life the way you want to. Even if that means 100% dependent on the government for your sustenance. There are so many programs to help anyone and everyone that there’s no limit to what you might achieve either on your own, or at the public trough. The tax code and the laws are so complex that everyone is free to mangle them to their favor. The law is, as it has been for centuries, whatever you can convince a judge it is. The changeability of the system is extraordinary. I do not see the lawyers of this land as a blight, I see them as stewards of the complex society we have. Why, anyone might get a lawyer and sue someone for something. It’s a national pastime. It is liberty. The right to sue anyone. Can you imagine a more important right?
We have a system, yes. Unwieldy and cumbersome, and the bureaucracies to confound you – but it is nothing like in any other country. The countries we are supposed to emulate, for they do it better there, supposedly, are so bureaucratically hidebound that Americans would be in shock. If you think the government here has too much power, you’ve got no understanding of the rest of the world. What a marvelous right to be mostly free from pettifogging bureaucracies. We barely have to interact with them.
We have the right be left alone by the government, mostly. The government has been getting too big. On the one hand it’s sort of benign, on the other hand, it’s unsustainable. You can’t keep taxing people to then give their money back to help them. You can’t overprice your labor and your goods and your set up costs and expect you to get somewhere.
Taxing everyone and everything is not a good idea. When will the IRS be disbanded, and that infernal code be rid of? It is time for a flat tax – surely no higher than 20% – of income or expenditures – which are the same – so we don’t endlessly argue over who is getting what tax breaks and special favors.
It’s time to end the subsidies to every corporation and industry, the price supports, the guarantees, the mollycoddling of the too big to fail, supposedly. Time for some cut throat free markets and robber barons. The incredible system of wealth those evil meanies wrought with steel in the rails and factories of the late 1800s … when the life of every human on earth and especially here in the USA was so much bettered.
Instead of marveling at the elimination of virtually every disease of just a century ago – we complain that one or two are still not solved. It is said they are not trying for they can make more money in treatment than they can in cure. Yet why did they then cure every other disease? Even in the poorest nations there hasn’t been a good cholera epidemic in 50 years. The numbers of people living past 70 has never been higher. Yet it is said that every thing is killing us.
And there is this great talk of the erosion of religious liberty – because there’s oh my god gay folks who support ourselves and cause no troubles save for existence. The religious have the right to scream “god hates fags” … shout it out. But the gay folks still pay taxes and are entitled to equal treatment within the law. There are no “gay rights” — there are American and god given rights that gay folks always possessed. Too bad if your religion didn’t create gay folks … here we are. We too have the liberty to pursue happiness.
Indeed, the pursuit of happiness is the key. Many do it by making themselves ugly and walking around half-naked. Well, isn’t it their right to do so? Exhort them by all means, but ultimately, it is their right to do so. It’s everyone’s right to be a nasty clod, to be ornery, to be left alone, to hate, to not like, to avoid – this most precious right has not been stamped out yet. Some are trying I suppose. The religious should lead the way with “Love thy neighbor” and “treat others as you wish to be treated” – but those two admonitions haven’t overcome the condemnation yet. The religious find it better to find fault with people rather than worth. The political class too, and the media – Fault is what they seek. Good works are ignored, but the bad man gets the headline. We almost glorify the troublemakers. Perhaps it’s what those people seek, the attention.
We have this amazing culture of astounding diversity. No one is deprived of any cultural offering they desire. Especially with the Internet nothing is unavailable. And people avail themselves of it. And the puritans among us – which are legion – seek to stamp it out. Well, so we have black separatists and racist whites gloriously cooperating with each other and staying far apart and living in peace. How wondrous is that? Despising the other, they have recognized the best way to avoid the other, and yet be polite when they do have to interact. Like at the bank line, or the motor vehicle office.
The Christians and the Gays – who supposedly hate each other – have a wondrous way of avoiding the other. There seems to be so few incidents, that when one does occur it’s like a man bites dog story. What liberty the two groups enjoy. To be themselves.
People might live off the grid if they choose, the Mennonites and Amish doing admirably well, and a model to emulate for the liberals who decry the current commercial environment. Absolutely nothing but their own lack of initiative prevents anyone from eschewing electricity and the modern world. Even the fundamentalist Christians might return to their simplicity if they wish. The Orthodox Jews live their lives in relative peace. The Muslims function well in their place. And that’s the thing – people naturally separate into groups. Why this is a problem for some I don’t know. No, folks on both left and right insist everyone else be like them. Sure, they are the forces against liberty, but for conformity.
There’s so many groups, groupings, types, longings and sorts of humanity in this nation that instead of wondering how it functions so well, people are outraged that those people over there are living differently.
We Americans come from vastly different origins. With vastly different histories and circumstances. Somehow, for such a seething hotbed of problems, the most of it works. I live a daily life. I go to the store, I buy what I want. I meet and great people, they meet and great me. The day is filled with pleasant interactions with all sorts of people. Everyone is pleasant. Oh, some exasperating, for sure. Some who I only want to deal with for a few moments at best. Hell, the vast majority I wish well in their lives but stay away from me. And this is OK. This is liberty. The right to smoothly go through life and say “hello” to total strangers and be decent. Sure, it’s OK to be shocked. The Mennonite shocks the yoga pants lady.
But one thing missing of late is pay for it yourself. If you want to live off the grid and go full solar – pay for it yourself. Don’t expect some subsidy to assuage your fears. If you think more trees will help, then go plant them. Implore your local grocery story to allow you to rip out every 10th parking spot for a tree and some bushes … do something besides demanding another law to make everyone do as you wish.
Ah, liberty – we are free now to outlaw plastic bags, because we shall make everyone cut the forests for paper. Or perhaps grow hemp for the fibers for the bags everyone will soon be required to carry for the wishes of some.
Ah, Hemp – marijuana – end the laws against this plant. This is absurd that we imprison people for years for smoking a joint. It is cruel and unusual punishment. It is dangerous to society. The prohibition has not worked. The War on Drugs billions in unwisely spent money. The destruction of lives uncountable. The prisons swell with people who did nothing wrong but wish to relax after a hard day at work and life.
Yes, we are penalizing hard work more and more. Anyone caught working and making more money shall be taxed to help the slothful. And the slothful, quite rationally, will vote for the politician who hands them the goodies.
And look at the upcoming presidential election. Socialists promising more free stuff by raising taxes on corporations who will raise the price of their goods so the money can be transferred from consumer’s pocket to company to government to give back to the consumer, minus the 30% or 40% handling charge. Everything shall be free, but you will pay for it in taxes. Meanwhile, the Christian fundamentalists, not a small group, have seized control of the Republicans – and frankly, the only solution they seem to have for any problem is sissy smashing. They think that by denying humanity and decency to gay folks, the nation will be saved. That we all have jobs and are a net plus to society goes unnoticed. Hell, even the liberals don’t like talking about how entrepreneurial and middle class we all are – why, that would be white privilege – and raise the ugly specter of the taxes we pay and the restraints on our trade being sought and the money we pay in taxes to support the divorce courts and wife beating centers.
Ah, liberty, we Americans have so much of it we’re enraged. Why, those people over there are doing what they want to! – Stop them before it is too late and the nation not be filled with Americans doing what the hell they want. No, we shall claim liberty for ourselves while telling the other fellow he is a threat to the republic for living as he desires.
That’s just sad. And yes, you have to let people be assholes. They have the right to be curmudgeons. They just don’t have the right to make the government do its bidding. But by giving the government more power to control the society, we are now fighting over who will get to grab the machinery of government to squash those other people.
We shall pass a law. So many people demanding laws to be passed, that the government is pleased to oblige, and we shall legislate ourselves out of liberty faster than we can blink the eye.
Ah, liberty – plenty enough for everyone.
Never before has a society been as rich and free as America today. Never before have so many come to complain about the bounty. The police state of the 1950s, when the police would attack blacks and gays is over. The poor have endless resources to live quite well. The sick are tended like never before, and diseases that were commonplace are now gone. And still everyone complains about the state of America today. What is the State of the Union? It seems to be fine, but slowly edging into a Hobbesian war of all against all as everyone seems to complain about what someone else is doing.
The forces of hate have the untrammeled right to hate. They have an 8-1 decision, in the Westboro case, for anyone to say anything about anything. People seem to be concerned that there’s some lack of free speech – and they speak often about how their cherished right to hate is being impinged somehow.
The government, meanwhile, passes 1000 page laws no one has read, and the legislation is secret – then they give us a 72 hour time frame in which to read these 1000 pages promulgated at the last moment. Who knows what is in these laws?
The people are free to do what they wish – now more than ever. Hell, even gay folks can get married if we wish … while just 20 years ago we were felons in ½ the states … for daring to smooch differently.
People say they’re all for diversity – but god forbid if you’re not diverse according to the rules set forth by busybodies.
We turn to Washington to solve every problem – none of which can be solved by a few people in a far off city. The solutions are in your town, up your street.
We have black separatists – they wish to be left alone to pursue an all black existence – like a state within a state, or a reservation, like for the Indians – or Native Americans (which all Americans are native to the place.)
We are told by the media that there is this rampant racism, and yet in the streets and stores all I see are people of many races all comporting themselves with decency and dignity towards the people that they meet.
There are crazy people like there have always been … and so what? Don’t they have the right to be crazy? Don’t they have the right to be left alone? No, apparently not. But it’s not just the liberals with this “politically correct” nonsense – it’s the conservatives too. They wish the government and religions to trash people who are not of their liking.
Supposedly this or that side will “take the country back” – oh, I’m sorry – but it’s their country too.
Over every little thing that people do – there lies someone in wait, to denounce those other Americans as being “unAmerican” – so what the people want a socialist republic? They shall suffer for it, but that is their right. To be blindingly stupid on economic matters. But it wouldn’t make much of a difference if the federal government wasn’t trying to control every aspect of life.
But then there’s the conspiratorialists who are quite sure the government is taking over everything – when they already have complete and utter control. There is fear of “martial law” when the martinents already rule the land.
The cities with the biggest problems are run by Democrats, often of African-heritage – and they then decry racism in their own cities – because people elsewhere aren’t doing their fair share to hand over their wealth.
We have politicians who speak in platitudes – and the people try their best to ignore them. No one likes the Demo-Publican party at this point. And so the people declare themselves “independent” in droves, while voting for the same cads.
What is the solution to any real problems? Another sensitivity training class – while the people are sensitive … and everyone is doing just fine.
Supposedly, the liberals are quite sure, every person of European heritage is a racist. But when blacks yell “nigger” in virtually every rap song this is not a problem. Meanwhile, the sports stars and entertainers earn millions and few seem to decry those rich blacks. Then there’s the trillion dollars we spent on the “war on poverty” and still we have poor people. Obviously whatever was tried is not working. And what is the solution? To some it’s just hand over more money … to others it’s cut them off from the tap and let them fend for themselves – and get the jobs that don’t exist because of the economic policies of the government which has been shutting down businesses for decades.
There’s the idea that if we collapse the current system then some nirvana will come about in its place.
There’s the idea by the conservatives that if we trash gay folks enough, all the heterosexuals will behave and get married and tend their children.
There’s this idea that we need the 10 Commandments posted at the courthouse door – but I don’t see any churches with them posted on their front lawns.
We get people arguing that everyone else should follow their dictates – for “liberty” we shall all follow one idea, apparently. For “individualism” we should all be on the same page, for “diversity” we shall all think alike.
We get people complaining about the mere existence of those other people over there, taxpayers who don’t do what some busybody wants.
And then everyone goes and votes for the scoundrel of their choice … who is always either one party or the other, both in craven disregard for the true wishes of the people – which is to be left alone.
We shall enslave the rich, it is thought, as if a man making a million a year is evil. And so then we shall take it all – and expect him to continue working. Why a person would work for someone else has yet to be explained. Anyone who is successful is suspect – despite the fact that everyone has more than what they need. After all, we supposedly have starving hungry obese people.
We should all be involved in every single political decision. Even not voting is now suspect as not doing your fair share. Thou shall have an opinion on every aspect of anyone else’s life – and if it does not conform to what you wish, those other people are terrible.
Still, the wealth and well being of the people has never been surpassed by any society on earth – and the politicians call for us to be like other countries, which send their immigrants to us.
65,000,000 immigrants to the land of racism and poverty – what the hell are they escaping if this hellhole is so much better than the others? We get people in this nation who threaten to move out at a moment’s notice if some politician they don’t like gets elected – when they do – they don’t leave anyway, so horrendous is the rest of the world.
We get the socialists arguing for an ever bigger government with no recognition that endlessly big government is the bane of the people. No, they think they will make it work here.
Then we get the theocrats arguing for some pollyanna land of servitude to this church or another, and the rest be heretics.
Well, it was a nice country for a decade or two. The 1990s through today have been the glory days of the Republic – and instead we’re trying to recreate what we all left – Europe. Hell, even the “people of color” (as if white folks are colorless) left their European inspired hellholes to come to this great land.
Well, I don’t know what to do about it other than avoid it. I’m tired of listening to how terrible the USA is. I’m tired of listening to people blame those other Americans for not living as they wish. Heaven forfend if people do their own thing – why, it might bring the end of civilization.
Eh, what a bunch of spoiled brats. A nation of spoiled brats, who don’t realize how good it is.
the link to the book on amazon-kindle
In the Beginning
In modern times, long after kings mostly were gone, men were born in times and places that did not predict their future. Then events overtook them and they were thrust forward into the public eye. How such men rose to the top was through ambition and work, to some degree. But also what happened in the society around them while they were rising to the top affected how far they would rise. That was Eric Robinson. There was also a whole cohort of these public figures who really didn’t want to rise to prominence, but were put there by forces beyond their control. Chris Tomas was such a man. There were, of course, hundreds of thousands, even millions of other people who were born about the same time into the social milieu known as Modern America who could have stepped into the positions these two men would step. They could have come from any of the different regions of the country, from different sorts of families, with different histories, with different outlooks. They were all part and parcel of the diversity of America. But on closer examination the country wasn’t nearly as diverse as many people pretended it was. For there was a uniformity of conformity that everyone agreed to disagree with.
Exactly when Modern Times began no one could say for sure. There were always convenient cutoff dates for those arguing a different viewpoint. There was the big idea of the Renaissance for sure. There was also the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution. Of course the French thought Versailles was a pretty good start to the Modern Era, or was it their Revolution? Both had its proponents. And many other times and periods, post war or pre-war, and which war it was didn’t matter. Though no one could be certain when they began, the dates being roughly from this year to that year, whichever was convenient. But one thing for certain was that man had entered the Modern Era. Things would be different because times were different, it was said. Each group living in those times and places thought surely they were in modern times. But so did the people who passed the first millennium in fervent hope that Jesus would finally come back among them. He did not and modern times had to be reconfigured with each new century.
Some people thought it was wars themselves that were the markers. The American Civil War, the First World War, World War II, the little wars of the post war era. Each group of people on earth could use their favorite war as the beginning of the modern era. The time when things would truly be different. It was because they won that they thought the world would now operate according to the benevolent ideas that they had to run the world. Who ‘they’ were was a bit confusing. To some it was the political leader of the nation, whether he be called prime minister or president, or still some as king and sultan. Still others took names like “Dear Leader,” and “Guiding Light of the Nation.” Still, they all behaved fairly much like kings of old, even if they did have to listen to a few more people. But while there was always the idea of absolute power in the hands of kings in fact they always ruled with advisers and councilors and opposing interests. About the only people who did not were the Americans, though this was not a popular theory at any time. To just let people do what they want without much interference by government was never a popular idea.
Which is why revolutions could serve as markers. There was the English Revolution, then the American and French Revolutions, and those of 1848 that raged across Europe. Each of these was considered the harbinger of modern times. They were to a degree, for they were rampages of violence. With some a bit more violent than others, but continuing mankind’s propensity to slaughter those who disagreed with them. The last great revolution was the Russian Revolution. Or was it the Chinese? It all depended on who was doing the reckoning. These were Communist Revolutions, so soon they began to be seen as the harbingers of the New World. Not the New World that Columbus discovered, but the new world of social harmony and peace and prosperity. Those were vague things. Some took it to mean that religious leaders would bring about the heaven on earth promised by all religions if only everyone would have complete faith, mostly in the leaders of those religions. Though other revolutions brought about other faiths that were just as strong. Such was the Chinese Revolution of 1949. Then there was the American idea of individual liberty. It worked well enough to be a magnet to all the world and led to the country being the most powerful on earth and an example to all. Though few would follow it.
The French revolution showed monarchs that the time of divine right was over. A bit lopsided towards violence in the application of the new principle of representative government, it served as a model for all other monarchs to begin to consider parliaments, constitutions and the trappings of democracy. Along came monarchs who were very reasonably disposed to stay quietly in their palaces and castles and accept the multi-million dollar civil lists which kept them in the lap of luxury. More than a few kings were very willing to give up the messiness of governance for the good life. And who could blame them? No one was plotting anymore to steal their throne. They gave up their divine right but not their privileges. These people were not stupid.
Other people used reason and philosophy as their markers for the beginning of the glory of the modern era. There were the first like Bacon and Occam, and the genius of Michaelangelo and Da Vinci. Then it was Locke and Hume, and Rousseau and others of the 1600s and 1700s. Some thought it was Adam Smith, who everyone said invented Capitalism, when he did no such thing. He never even used the word. He merely described the reality of England in a mercantile system of ever shifting royal decrees. He pointed out that the less rules and regulations there were the more likely the wealth of the nation would increase. Where the line between the proper amount of regulation and over regulation was he was not at all sure. Nor did he even begin to hazard a guess. Then Marx came along and really threw the world a bone. His social and economic theory was seen as revolutionary different.
It was not. What it was was boiled over Cromwellian puritanism coupled with royalist mercantilism and divine right of the state to rule. That it was divine could only be deduced if you thought that the inevitable condition of mankind was ordained by a higher power. This higher power for people of faith was God. For the Marxist it was History. That it comes with a heavy dose of religiously inspired peace and happiness if only everyone would think alike was inscrutable to nearly everyone. After all, it was “Scientific,” which was the antithesis of “Faith.” Yet Europe was bedeviled since the Dawn of the Modern Era with Christian Socialist parties in a variety of hues and with a variety of names. By 1900 every political party in Europe was on the Socialist to Communist spectrum, which dovetailed neatly with the Christian ethos of charity and living together and believing together. Individualism never got a stronghold in Europe. That all the individualists were leaving for America did not help the situation.
Still others thought that the great age of invention, starting with the steam engine, going through the steam boat, then the train, then electricity and then the computer was the bringer of modernity. Any number of inventions were said to have brought the modern era of peace and prosperity to mankind. Why, these ideas were said to be newer and better than sliced bread, though itself of recent vintage. There were partisans for any industrial thing. The assembly line and mass production worked well as harbingers. The light bulb was incandescent in its position in the pantheon of harbingers of the modern world. And too the automobile zoomed in as the harbinger of modern times. Drinkable water was a distant runner up. The petroleum era was the modern era, too. Yet, surely no major innovation could possibly compete with the computer as the start of the modern era. That it was merely a very fancy abacus was lost in the discussion.
Others looked at the religious Reformation as the font of modern ideas for the organization of society. Yet others thought that the Reformation that brought the world from the paganism of the Romans to the Catholicism of Rome as a ripe date for the modern era, and they had the calendar on their side. The Muslims thought Mohamed had brought in the modern era as was clearly said right there in the Koran. Each religion had a creation time when it became the start of the modern era. Even such rather small groups as the Pilgrims, the Quakers and the Shakers thought that they were the start of the modern era. They, like every other proponent of modernism, thought that if only everyone was on the same page then everything would work just fine. It was always said that those people who did not want to believe that the modern time was here were mucking things up. They were expendable to some degree. Either in mind, or if need be, in body, they could be eliminated. But what distinguished all these fond thinkers was that they had a theory. It was people who didn’t quite conform to it, and that had to change. The theory was paramount, the people secondary.
That’s what all the theorists of modernism have in common. The belief that if only everyone would act in concert then the modern era could really come into full swing. Until that happened, they could not bring peace and harmony and prosperity and good health and living through application of the theory. If they had to eliminate a few people, a few bad eggs as it were, along the way, then so be it. It was Lenin who famously coined the phrase “you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet.” In fact, another thing these believers in the faith of theory had in common was the idea that society was very malleable, controllable and directable. It was, to them, exactly just like making an omelet. Social engineering might not have been the term used by 12th century popes, but they had the idea that they could work miracles if only people would give up on the sin and heresy. Which, amazingly, was yet another thing that theorists had in common. To not believe in the faith that was promulgated as the modern thing was to be sinful and heretical. Even if the words used were “against the people,” and “certain criminal elements,” which didn’t sound too religious. Theorists always got bogged down in words. With new words they thought they had created new systems. But the system didn’t change, the words did, and who uttered them. What every believer in a given faith had was the certainty that they were the ideal leaders to bring the people into the modern world. Even if they, the people, didn’t want to go there. The leaders knew best, and providence, by whatever name, brought them to the forefront of their people. Finally things were going to be alright. But now, truly in modern times, since they were the times we lived in, there were so many beliefs that the world was a very mixed up place. At least it seemed so on the surface.
But underneath it was all astoundingly the same. What each believer in religious faith had in mind was to return to, or go forward to, that ideal time of peace and harmony. The problem was that they all had a different date in time as their reference point. Religionists looked back to the future. Somewhere back when people were innocent, before the excess of too much modernism crept in, was the modern world they wanted to take us to. Some thought it was the Garden of Eden, others the coming of Mohamed, or Christ, or some other Messiah. What they did know was that there was not enough adherence to the faith that was true and pure and exactly what God or the Goddesses wanted.
Scientifically minded people looked forward to the past. This group thought that whether it was the science of economics, or the science of political theory, or the science of social-enviro-peace living they would bring us to the same place that the religionists wanted to go. They didn’t think they did, though. Indeed, they could be quite adamant that they could return to Nature and live like so many Adams and Eves just like religionists wanted to return to the perfection of the first couple. Surely these are the same places, gotten to by different means? Each said the other was taking the wrong bus to the shining city on the hill. Each said the other was on the bus to hell. Each worked on the road of good intentions. In the way were the road blocks of anyone who didn’t think like them. Yes, astoundingly similar beliefs hidden in a blizzard of words, theories and ideas. Even worse were those who maintained that there was a teleological, etiological and dialectical analysis that could enlighten the unenlightened. Not that the not-so-bright would ever understand those words. It was a good thing, therefore, that the leaders all had vast shelves of texts backing up their central core scripture. Some scripture was more literal than others, but still they were mere words to be interpreted by the leaders of the faithful as they led us into the land of milk and honey. Make no mistake about it, every faith and theory had its scripture, no matter what they called it, or how much they likened it to anything other than the received words of a higher power.
In the midst of this froth of similarity bobbled the small ship of liberty. An idea that had been around for millenia, too. But it was a weak theory. For it could have no scripture. It could have no received texts for interpretation. It didn’t even want a leader. What liberty was was the absence of all that preceded it. There was no divine right, there was no order of belief. Nor was there anything like a plan or a theory. What there was was what everyone actually did. Liberty was simply the actions of men and women doing what they thought best at any given moment. Systems had power and a plan, a leader and a mission. Liberty was defined by the system as anything that did not conform to the system. Liberty was not about systems as a general whole. It was about how you could survive as comfortably as you could within the technological means at your disposal. Liberty was the ideal for some people, but far fewer than were needed to bring about such a true time of peace and happiness. For liberty always tended to create wealth, which allowed people to pursue their interests. Which kept them peaceful. Liberty had had a rough time in the five millenia of human history.
At least until the United States was born. Until then, not one country on earth, not one inch of the landmass of the planet, was ever set up on the basis of liberty. That the United States was not a perfect example of the ideal was a simple matter of history. The anti-liberty forces had come first. They left behind powerful vestiges of their system; things like slavery and excessive laws and religious institutions. But finally in one place and time there were enough people who were liberty minded and constrained by the limitations of technology to have to be for liberty. They had no choice, for they were in a literal wilderness. They had to cooperate within the dictates of liberty. They had to operate without a system, for there was no system present. So the country was born. For the next nearly 150 years the idea of liberty spread. The nation went through wrenching periods of bloodletting like the Civil War and civil protests, but liberty spread. Yet, the ideas of systems lurked underneath it all, for systems had 5000 years of human history on their side. Plus, typically, system planners lurked in the corners of society plotting their come back. For systems gave power, and power over other men was a powerful aphrodisiac.
Planners were helped along by the confusion of words. They were helped along by their own failed plans, which lead other self-proclaimed founders of the true faith to rise up to solve the problems of this world. Slowly the forces of the system reasserted itself. By the Second World War they were in control of the mechanisms of the press, the government and more importantly, the language. For their mush words began to be the received wisdom. Soon the language went further and further afield, to such things as the disappearance of the tax cut. Now it was a revenue expenditure. Actually letting people keep their own money was now considered more properly described as the government not taking it. And systems people always thought all the wealth belonged to society, as they had for five thousand years.
There were tens of thousands of other examples of the debasement of the language. There was even a word to describe it, Orwellian. As the post war years of the modern era rolled along, the incremental increase in the power of the state, of the system and the planners, continued. The belief that there was one and only one best way to do something came creeping back. It was an ancient idea, writ large in the pyramids of Egypt. It was insidious, and seemingly unstoppable. The world was caught up in it. To a degree, the United States caught the disease because of two infections. One was the influx of people who never completely lost their faith in systems. The other was our close involvement with the systems of Europe and Asia. The biggest problem, though, was that liberty has virtually no defenses against word confusion and planners. People with liberty were too busy doing whatever it was they thought they should be doing to pay attention to those who were seizing the power of the state.
That’s what everything really boiled down to. The power of the state was overwhelming. The majesty of a leader with men with weapons at their side is a nearly unstoppable force. People of liberty merely wanted to be left alone. And because they were alone it was them against the state. Organizing liberty minded people was like nailing jelly to a wall. The power of the state was what theorists wanted. It was what great and grand men, and women too, wanted. They knew what was best for the people. Their faith told them so. The faith was true, it was unquestionable. It was the received wisdom of the ages. All else had been tried and found wanting, said the new planners of our generation. “We have the way,” they said, “follow us.” They said it after each failed system brought about an angry mob to listen to the next promiser of a perfect world at peace and harmony. “Follow me, do what I say, and we shall arrive at the promised land,” they said, in one way or another. It didn’t make a difference what the actual words were, it was the sentiment that counted. As it had for millenia, it all sounded so believable. So these new leaders were followed, and those who did not want to follow were taken care of according to the precepts of the leaders. Some were nastier than others, true, but all had to practice and perfect oppression to create their Nirvana.
The forces of liberty, however, wanted to be left alone. Alas, they were hemmed in tighter with each passing year. As always, it came almost to the point that to argue for liberty of action and thought, deed and ideal, was suspected as being against the people. Our modern times were no different. That’s where we were in the early part of the second millennium reckoned by Christ, and the 5th reckoned by writing and the umpteenth reckoned by archeology. So said the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. So said the security forces and the peace officers. Their line went something like “Liberty thinkers are dangerous to society for they are against togetherness.” It was nigh unto sin and heresy to think of liberty as a goal. “People of liberty did not have society in mind,” the powers that be said over and over again. Though never saying it as clearly, succinctly or as eloquently as that. Thus the people of liberty could be, and were, construed to be against society. It seemed obvious to the system promoters that society had the interests of the people at heart. What was their proof after so many examples of failure? The promoters of society clearly said it was true. They had a theory. What more did they need?
Now, here, in supposedly the most modern time in world history, and things were not so much different than they were when Hammurabi was writing the first code of law. It only seemed different because of the technology and the words used. The forces of planning according to theory were in power in even the most liberty minded place on earth, the United States. The cost of liberty is not eternal vigilance during times of war. It is eternal vigilance in times of peace that is more necessary. For it is in times of peace and prosperity that the demigods of planning could claim to know what to do with all the resources so that everyone got enough. The goal of every religion is for everyone to have an equal share and cooperate in getting it. The goal of every social engineer, socialist and communist, and fascist and authoritarian is for everyone to have an equal share and cooperate in getting it. Astoundingly alike goals that are presented as different because of the words used in their self-created and self-appointed jargon that proclaimed themselves different. Each purveyor of these vials of snake oil was like any other salesman. He had a better deal for you and don’t listen to the false claims of the other snake oil salesmen.
These were the times we were in when the final descent of the nation began. It was a long and tortuous process, but one that was clear to those who would see. The sounds of it were available to those with ears to hear. It was plain to those who watched the geometric crescendo of laws and plans and rules and regulations. Only the words had been changed to the American vernacular. So it confused the same purposes of the European religio-socialist powers that ruled there. And they were different than the communist words of the last dictatorships of the proletariat. The words could have been uttered by Eastern potentates at any point in history, too. But it was the same siren call of planning, working together for the common good, and fed with calls for “let’s all get on the same page in a non-partisan manner.” That was the mantra of the era. It was the post-World War II era and the need to all cooperate together was expressed in countless fashions. Not least of which was the United Nations, and the European Union, and the World Health Organization and the forces of Global Warming. Yes, we were all in it together. And we were heading for hell in a hand basket that we ourselves were carrying.
From among the people born in these times came the future leaders of the country. It was no different than another generation of America. It was Ronald Reagan who had pointed out to his Modern America the ever renewing nature of America. But even he too was part of the renewal, for as far long ago as De Tocqueville’s travels the constant renewal of America was obvious. As were the contradictions between the religiosity of so many and the secular nature of the government. Of course, this tension, so difficult to understand, was the very essence of what made Modern America the most important nation on earth. For it is the tension born of liberty that feeds the creative and productive juices of a people. Conversely, the more alike everyone is and the more alike what they are allowed to do, the more stultifying was the culture and the more poor the economy. It was obvious, but most people refused to look at the reality. They wanted the myths and the hopes, and the theory and the plan that would enable their dreams to become reality.
So too, when you thought about it, were all the generations that had come before this one. For from such tension and renewal came such men as all the presidents of the United States since Truman took office. Franklin Roosevelt was patrician enough that one could think he was groomed for the presidency since the day he was born. He was part of that peculiar institution called American Royalty. Many people thought it was a continuous group of families since before the Revolution. But that was not the case in America. People rose up from humble beginnings and took the public by storm. Then they would have children who were said to be the new generation of American Royalty. Then those children would fall flat and the family would disappear as the wealth of the first generation was dissipated by the profligacy of the second and third generations. So powerful people, and their families, came and went in the dynamic society that was America.
There were, however, large numbers of people who held the idea that there was some indeterminate number of rich families in America controlling the country since its inception. These families were said to be a constant fixture in America. Somehow, they were keeping everyone else down. It was bandied about that these families were in control and no matter what anyone else did they would never rise to the top of the heap. This was not the case, of course. But it sounded good. And in modern times just sounding good was enough. Logic and reason, facts and figures, reality and rational thought had long been tossed away. What was left was emotion. The residue was mere hormonal impulses. “Knee jerk response” was another phrase that was applicable. After all, how exactly anyone was kept down was a mystery, for more and more rich people came along. How anyone was prevented from climbing up the social ladder was never exactly defined. It was merely said to be happening. There was no evidence. But what was evidence anymore? Why bother with it, when emotions could be stirred? Still, with each generation or two a completely new cast of characters came along in the public and political scenes. No one could ever predict who would rise to the top of the stew. For America was not a deterministic society, it was a dynamic society. Not everyone liked that dynamism. Certainly less people truly understood it, and it is hard to explain. These people longed for a return to the stability and constancy of royalty and theology, and their modern counterparts, socialism, and determinism. For dynamism scared them.
“People can just do what they want?” That’s what the deterministic asked themselves, and everyone else they encountered, too. “That’s just too dangerous for me to contemplate,” was their response to their own question, for they were afraid. Just as kings of old were afraid when people did their own thing. “That’s dangerous to society, and we can’t have that.” Of course, the question was asked in a thousand different ways, and the answers were legion. But these sentiments summed it up: Freedom to do what you want? What? And be against society? And thus systems got their supporters. And supporters got their presidents. Though, few people actually referred anymore to those old words of royalty, theology and socialism and their theory of determinism. They were freighted with the baggage of the past. Instead, things were couched in new words. People were now commanding, and progressive, and socially responsible, and a host of even more innocuously seeming labels that hid the true philosophical underpinnings of their thoughts. And that underpinning was determinism as determined by a leader, as had been the case for millenia.
The fact that Chris Tomas was born in 1974 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana was not that noticeable. Only later was it considered an event of note. That Eric Robinson was born in Baton Rouge ten years before Chris was another unimportant fact at the moment when it occurred. When Eric was a 10 year old boy running around in shorts on a summertime lawn it could not possibly be foreseen that he would have a major impact on the country. When Chris came along, he, too, was considered to be just another child born into the freest, richest, most complex dynamic society that the world had ever seen. And yet people said they were not part of American Royalty, so they could never rise to the top. The playing field was not level. Life was unfair, and perilous and filled with vagary. And it was said by more and more supporters of each succeeding president that this was not good for America.
The United States hummed along quite slowly, despite seeming to be a land of action and change. But in fact, the nation was two separate entities. One was the dynamic of the people. The society was rich and complex because of what people did and were not prevented from doing. It was the government that moved along at a snail’s pace. There was no rushing the machine that was the federal government. It was such a lumbering giant that all the people who called for change with each new president were sorely disappointed when they realized that it was impossible to ever really affect change as it is commonly understood. The country wasn’t revolutionary, it was evolutionary. Things that in the private world would take days and weeks, or at most months, in the public world of the nation took months and years, if not decades. Thus Eric and Chris grew up in a complacent society. No one expected real change, except of the most incremental sort. It was also apparent to anyone who bothered to look that the majority of the people in the nation didn’t want change. They wanted the stasis and security of the status quo. The few people who were always calling for radical change were always just humored, if not shunted aside, because they didn’t seem to grasp that the nation was a lumbering giant. It was not a quick moving beast at all. The nation did not move at the word of the president. It was sloth-like in its slowness and people just did what they wanted. This made some people clamor for more power for the president. “For real change,” they argued. “Change we can see and feel. Change for the better.” They were mantras, though for exactly what sort of change no one could say. Or worse, they would not say.
Change was a vague institution in America. Everyone wanted it, but no one could define it. Plus, each thing that could be subject to change had a lot of people behind it wanting to keep it exactly like it was. So any change clamored for had to be vetted and approved by people who simply did not want change. Thus there were far more sweeping proposals made while far fewer actual incremental tinkering with the laws and the rules and the programs occurred. This, too, made the people clamoring for change angry. They were, however, hopeless to affect the changes that they wanted. They lulled themselves into a stupor thinking that one day their man would become president and then things would really change. They were delusional, pretty much, for that hadn’t happened since the Civil War. The whole system was rigged to make sure there were no real big changes, which did not satisfy reformers of any stripe.
Young Eric grew up and got his influences from the church he belonged to and the evangelical milieu in which he traveled. It was a world that called for change. Radical change if necessary, to bring the country to the moral values which this group of people thought had been decaying for a century or more. This group of Christian Evangelicals thought that the country was on the road to ruin if major changes were not affected. They had supported Republican presidents for decades in the hope of change that they wanted. What they got was the incrementalism that was the hallmark of the American political system. They were always disappointed. Yet, the only thing they could do was rally behind the next Republican who said he would bring about the moral reawakening of the nation. Instead, the courts kept expanding rights and bringing more people into the fold of the American Republic and spreading liberty. And the people got richer. This was opposite to what the evangelists wanted.
It was the gay issue that really set the Evangelicals on edge. For with this issue they thought they had the clear word of God on their side. They thought that history had shown that empires always fell when gays achieved any rights or acceptance. They pointed knowingly to the Roman Empire. They were wrong, of course, for history showed no such thing. What history showed was that the Roman Empire rotted out from within because of ever increasing taxes and an ever more powerful central government that trampled people’s rights. While at the same time the Empire was beset by hordes of invaders that were simply far more numerous and dedicated to winning than the Romans were. Anything gay that went on in the Empire was pretty much hidden and non-existent. It was later historians who dwelt on this, especially since it was the early Catholic Church which wrote the history of the Roman Empire and laid her demise to decadence. They did this so that they could convince people to be Catholics. Especially when in fact the Empire fell not that much after it adopted Christianity. In a sense it could be said that Catholicism is what destroyed the Empire. It was perhaps even prim and proper rectitude that wrecked the dynamic society. In any event, it was very ancient history. So ancient that no one could really say for sure what happened. That was because there were no records, no documentation and no evidence beyond the later writings of people with a political ax to grind.
Chris, 10 years behind in everything, grew up with the free thinking anti-government ideas that his Eastern European heritage brought to the table. Eric was from the law and order side of listening to the rules set down by elders. Chris was from a far more libertine environment. One that revolved around the free ideals of individual rights. Thus these two men saw the world in different ways. There was little they would ever have agreed on if they ever had the chance to meet and discuss things. Except perhaps they could agree that the sky was blue and the grass was green. But they never met. Why would they? They were 10 years apart in age; they traveled in different social circles and they had completely different life experiences. In fact, Eric was from the sort of family that thought that immigration was not good for the country. They had long thought that. And Eric learned it from his grandfather and his father, and his uncles and other relatives and family friends. Chris grew up not only thinking that immigration was good, but knew it was because he was part of it. He was the direct product of his grandparents moving to America. In his family it was impossible to be anti-immigrant. Eric’s family were immigrants once, of course. As all American families were. But it was such a long time ago that it was impossible to know for sure when any member of his ancestry ever arrived. It was like the Robinson family had simply been created in the United States and there was no need for further discussion on the issue. This produced two very different men. Two men who would come to clash in a way that history would be made. A history that was not part of the usual America experience, and yet something which the nation seemed destined to get to even before either of them were born.
Chris’s family had been fighting theologists for centuries. The whole tradition of Central Europe was to fight the Catholic Church. The Reformation started in Prague, not Wittenburg. Chris was only dimly aware of the history of his heritage. He knew he had to explain his last name often enough, but that was the extent of it. He knew something of the teachings of Jan Hus if only because his grandparents had spoken of it. But there was no Hus Church in Baton Rouge, so the family fell back on the Freethinking religious traditions. They did not attend a physical church. Their church was where they were. Their deeds were more important than the protestations of faith that the Robinson family set forth each Sunday. While Chris was taught to help his fellow man, Eric was taught that the other people, however defined, were somehow inimical to the existence of the Republic and good God-fearing people. While Chris learned tolerance and a live and let live attitude, Eric was imbued in a sort of undercurrent of hatred. Hatred for those who were not Evangelical Christians to begin with, and hatred for the system that allowed such apostasy to reign across the nation. Eric and his family saw cities like San Francisco, Miami and New York as hotbeds of heathenism. Chris and his family saw the same cities as the font of much of the wonderful things that technology and the culture gave to the nation. These were two very different world views. They were bound to clash. If the two men would have have met each other perhaps it could have been avoided. Eric was a determinist who determined that change was needed. Chris was for liberty and didn’t really care what people did so long as they left him alone.
That two such different men, from two such different backgrounds could be born in the same city and know the same place was part of the American miracle. It was the envy of the world. Yet there were nefarious forces at work to destroy it. Both of these men would play their part in the sweep of history. Yet, then, as kids in the heat of summertime, they were unaware as to whether they would play a part in the process at all. They were just two kids growing up in a mid-sized American city. They were oblivious to nearly everything except what was going on around them. Yet, both showed that spark of intelligence and drive that was not part of so called normal kids. That set them on the paths they were to follow, and that would bring them to their monumental clash.
There seems vast hordes of Americans who hate other hordes within the nation. Nothing but hate everywhere. Hate for the rich and corporations – hate for the poor and destitute. Hate for Jews and Muslims. Hate the gay folks. Hate those who don’t think like you. Hate anyone successful. Hate those who tried but failed, by your measure. Hate spews from from the political and chattering classes. They hate those other Americans from whom they will “take the country back” as if those people, those hated people, have no right to the country.
Hate spews for from the pulpit. Such pile as to call for the slaughter and death they don’t like. Kill for Jesus the mantra of the day.
Hate for unborn babies, and hate for any kids that don’t conform to some preconceived notion of how they should live their lives.
Hate for immigrants while the immigrants seem to hate where they came to.
Hate for foreigners and those not like you.
For “religious liberty” hate those not of your religion. The Catholics still hate the Protestants, and the Protestants still hate the Catholics. Hundreds of years of slaughter were not enough, perhaps there should be more killing for the gory (sic) of your “god.”
Hate the opposing sport teams, and hate those who don’t play sports. The weak hate the strong and the strong hate the weak – for we shall all be alike or hate the other one. For liberty we shall all be the same and we shall all hate the same people.
Hate the bankers, and hate the companies which seem to provide us what we need. Calls for crushing them under taxation, so we can hate the government which will take them over.
The environmentalists hate anyone who will not save a snail, and the snail haters hate the environmentalists for giving a damn.
Hate the president, hate the contenders.
The feminists hate the men for being who they are. And the men seem to hate the feminists for supposedly emasculating them.
There is hate for the weather and the climate, and we have the gall and hubris to think we shall set it right and make it perfect.
The perfectionists hate every foible of mankind, while ignoring their own mistakes and possible wrongs and their less than prefect status.
We are to hate the too thin and the too fat as if there’s ever been some magical perfect human form.
Hate consumes the land. Everyday the news feed is filled with who hates who.
We are to hate those who relish history, and they in turn hate those who dare question the notion.
The hate billows up from the morass. We shall soon hate the Greeks, too, I suppose, for bringing about the economic travails to come. Though they too hate those who would point to the obvious problems of the Greeks. How dare anyone question it?
The Occupy forces spew hate towards an economic system that provided them well, and who wish to switch it for a system which not only can’t they define, but so long as it hates any who question it, it is good.
Hate is now good.
The politicians of one party hate those of the other party – and proclaim anyone not on their side to hate America – for daring to be American.
Hate pours out of the word “Liberty” in a way quite unimaginable.
The Liberty to hate! – The Muslim haters wish to incite the Muslims no end, and then hate when those goaded hate being treated that way.
The fundamentalist Christians, long of hating this world, are seemingly quite sure we should suspend an active life in this world, to pursue the hateful god which they proclaim hates everyone to hell for not being such perfect humans as they proclaim themselves to be.
Everyone who hates hates the others who will not hate as they do.
For “religious liberty” we shall enshrine hate into law. They might scream “our god hates ….” and fill in the blank – and that is not enough, they wish the hated to hate themselves too. Lest they be accused of hating mankind themselves and the nation.
And other nations hate ours and we hate theirs, lest any difference surface.
The races supposedly hate each other for being human. Symbols of hate are lauded as “Liberty” as the Right to hate.”
On and on comes the people declaiming how they hate this or that. They hate the foods, the drinks, the music of others. And those others, well, they hate anyone who even just wonders about their likes. And so the hate fest spins.
Hate so bad that I’m afraid it will lead to civil war – when everyone can hate everyone and we descend into a Hobbesian war of all against all.
And if one hates someone else, they claim the Liberty to Hate. The right to hate.
How sad. Frankly, I hate it.
These are a few sections of my travelogue about my trip as a 20 year old young man – from NYC to San Francisco, where I knew no one.
The link … http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00T01OYW0
Something odd for San Francisco:
As Mike Kilgallen and I were walking down Polk Street one evening. We were headed toward our hotel, when three bare chested guys came from the opposite direction. One said, “Hey, have I got something for you guys” while grabbing his crotch. To draw our attention to it. One said nothing. While Mike said something to the effect of ‘com’n grow up.’ ‘Cut it out.’ I don’t recall exactly. As we passed them the best looking one turned around and with extreme hatred, malice and disgust says, “You scum.” And I turned around and looking straight at him, said, “Yes, but at least I like him.” Less than ten minutes later a car drives past and as usual I checked out its occupants. When one guy smiles and leans out the window and says “Hey fags” I immediately counter with “hey straights,” though I thought later that I should have said something better and more sarcastic. Though those type of incidents happen everyday somewhere it is very odd to see them in San Francisco, and on Polk Street, and 10 minutes apart, very odd indeed. And after that the relationship between Mike and myself deteriorated, very odd indeed.
Late at night at work, all of a sudden I remembered the flight and first landing at San Francisco airport. Bobby, Karla and mom drove me to the airport in NY, where I said goodbye to Bob at the car, and inside the terminal mom cried, and Karla said to make sure I get a window seat, which I did because I sat alone in the plane. We waited in the lounge for about an hour and a half before boarding, due to the weather. After we finally got on we waited another couple of hours. We were supposed to takeoff at 9:30 NY time, and arrive 12:15 SF time. Instead we took off 12:30 NY time and arrived 3:15 SF time. Still, I was extremely excited by it all. With sixteen hundred dollars in my pocket I was going to the west coast. For the first time in my life going to a place I didn’t know nor know anyone. And also being on a plane for the first time. It was pretty much as I pictured it. But I was also in a state of euphoria, having smoked a joint before leaving home and listening to Stairway to Heaven, thirty seconds before leaving the house.
Just sitting on the runway was great to me, seeing everything through the window of the plane. All the lights of different colors blurred by all the rain, which delayed our takeoff for three hours. Finally the pilot comes across the PA and tells us we are switching runways because of a wind shift, but he says we are still the second in line to takeoff. From my window I can see the planes taking off one by one, and lined up behind us far into the night. Then I see the plane in front of us take off, and the sheer exhilaration of being there at that moment, totally free of all bullshit and hassles of the last twenty years, only having to worry about myself and to think of all the wonderful things that would befall me in the Golden State of California, and in the gay ol’ city of San Francisco. Then the final moment of truth with the pilot saying fasten your seat belts, and that we are going to takeoff, and feeling the plane takeoff, and speed up, and seeing the lights go faster and faster, into a spiraling blur and quickly without warning having the ground drop away from your side, gave me that feeling of inner joy, like I’d like to jump for joy, to run up and down the plane screaming and yelling “I’m out, I’m out,” finally away from all I’ve known, and the hassles of mom handling the fact that I’m gay, knowing that she’d be forced to think of me in a different light while I’m gone. To realize that I am me, a person of flesh and blood who thinks, feels, emotionalizes, and actually has fear, hopes, joys, and love and hate, that I’m not just another sicky test case.
[I suppose there was some tension over the gay thing … but it wasn’t nasty so much as utter confusion on her part. I wasn’t being chased away or told to go away or get out or anything. It was all just emotional claptrap of ‘where did I go wrong’ nonsense. But one thing that did happen in the months before we three boys left is that my mother wanted me to see a psychologist. Whatever for, I wondered. She said something like ‘do you know what you’re doing to your brothers and sister and me?’ and I retorted – ‘I’m not doing anything – you folks have the problems, you go see a psychologist.’ So we all agreed that I would pay for a session with some counselor … and we all went. I spoke first alone with this women for about 10, 15 minutes. She pronounced me a ‘happy homosexual,’ and I was like ‘I don’t need anyone’s damn approval.’ So the rest of them went in … and lo, they had the attitude and adjustment problems, so they all continued for a while longer while I just refused to go. ‘There’s nothing wrong with me,’ I said … ‘there’s something wrong with you folks.’ I’m fairly sure that’s not the way they thought I would respond. But, that’s heterosexuals for you – they think gay people have a problem being gay – and the only problem is really heterosexuals who have a problem. Well, still, like I said – it wasn’t nasty so much as just something new to deal with.
Decades later, in 2013, I found in my mother’s papers after she passed away, a letter from my Aunt Barbara (her sister) from 1978 about me talking about the gay thing and an article on how gay folks weren’t that crazy from the NY Times. It’s so Alice in Wonderland to read such things from heterosexuals trying to figure out gay folks. They still haven’t done it completely … it’s still an enigma.]
Then the stewardesses came around and gave out food and beverages. [That’s what they called them in those days, yep.]
All during the flight I was looking down at the ground, and up at the stars, all the cities looked so small. Even Chicago was a just a few square inches of lights, and the father west we went the fewer cities and lights, which I expected, all the way to California, which is where the lights light up and became strangely beautiful and eerie again.
[I remember asking the flight attendant if we were almost there yet, somewhere during the flight, and she said ‘No, we’re only over Denver, it’s another 2 hours. It was one of the longest flights I ever took.]
Upon landing I walked through the airport like I was there before. I seemed to know exactly where I was going. And needed not to ask any questions. I even found a mail box by myself so as to mail my letter to Charlie. [Have no recollection of what I wrote my brother.]
When the plane taxied over to the terminal seeing the words ‘San Francisco International Airport’ made me get that feeling of extreme happiness, even thought the words looked so fake, like a movie, or a mirage. Waiting for the luggage took about fifteen minutes, during which time I observed a few cute guys, and the fact that everyone was being met and picked up. There was involved kisses, hugs, jumps, salutations, and words of love and other appropriate exclamations.
Then I went to an expensive hotel, near the airport. There I crashed out for a few hours, since I was still on New York time. I arose at nine o’clock, but I had to be out at 11 anyway. I checked out and stood around waiting for the bus to the city. I missed it because I expected some writing on the vehicle, which there was none. So I took the hotel’s bus to catch a Samtrans, which is the bus line for the San Mateo county transit system. It cost 1 dollar and thirty five cents. Upon first getting into the city it looked so strange. It was something I had never seen before. Nor had any idea of what it looked like at all. I was standing on the corner, and must have looked so perplexed that an old Chinese man asked me what I was looking for. He helped me find a hotel near to where I was, which was at the East Bay Terminal. Since I didn’t know where any hotels were I was greatly appreciative of his efforts. He finally suggested two places a few blocks down on Mission street. Which I now know pretty good. I went to the Pickwick Hotel, which cost seventeen dollars, which I realized was far too much for me to survive for any length of time on. I stayed there two nights. The first night I was walking around in circles looking for Polk Street and some action. I didn’t meet anyone the first night. But on the second night I met this forty year old guy, with red hair, from Oregon. He was a teacher on vacation, or so he said. Anyway he told me about the Grand Central Hotel, which I said I’d check out, which I did and I stayed there for my month in San Francisco, after he had asked me to his room, which I politely declined. I left him and met Jimmy Neely, which is described elsewhere in this book.
My hassles with the bureaucracy of California during the day I attempted to establish a checking account and bank account [blew me away.] Banks were easy enough to find, the problem arose in that I didn’t have a picture on my identification, and all I had was a board of elections card. When trying to explain to several different bank personnel that New York State did not issue ID cards nor any form of ID with a picture on it it reminded me very much like talking to a brick wall. And then came up some bullshit that I had to be twenty one to open a checking account. I said forget it, shove it and thanks but no thanks. I then went to the DMV which is on Gough Street, and the directions the lady gave me were hopelessly inaccurate. And really had nothing to do with what was going on. Anyway, the scene was even more hopeless than NYC’s DMV. But not to worry, for they wouldn’t give me a card because I had no idea what they needed, a birth certificate for one. I lied and told them I had none and none ever existed, but the thing behind the counter kept repeating the same thing over and over and over and over.
At that point I decided to say fuck it with moving to San Fran. And I decided to make it a vacation. Secure with that knowledge, I went back to my hotel and started cruising. Right here I should include the fact that the water gave me a slight case of the blahs. So slight I couldn’t eat for one full week after arriving, not until my body and digestive system acclimated itself to the different water. As soon as I decided not to live there I went back to the bank so as to get a safety deposit box. Now you’d think it would be easy to get one, as you pay for it immediately, and all you do is put money or belongings into it. Not so my friends, first of all you need ID, with your picture on it. Then comes the ever present fatal question “Are you over 21?” – “What the hell for?” Do you ask who knows and who cares? Whatever the reason, I had to beg for them to give me the box, it had to be OK’ed by the section manager. I’m surprised they didn’t ask me to get the president of the company to approve it. By this time I was getting mad, here I am with 1500 dollars in my pocket, cash and travelers checks, in American currency, more than willing to open an account with them, so both of us can profit from the transaction and I meet up with:
“Are you twenty one or over, young man?”
“Well, no ma’am.”
“Then I’m sorry, your money is no good.”
“Your ID has no picture on it!”
“Well, yes I know, but New York State does not issue ID with pictures nor does it issue ID’s.”
“Well, then I’m sorry you don’t exist.”
It really got me disgusted. Anyway I would never live in California for that reason alone
[That I went there with the intent of staying for a while was just dashed on the 21 and ID issue – I was flummoxed. But I had no intention of returning to NY … so it became an open ended vacation, as this book recounts.]
The Seventh Annual San Francisco Gay Day Parade, June Twenty Fifth, 1978.
To commemorate the raid on the Stonewall Inn and subsequent riots in Sheridan Square, Greenwich Village, NY. It started at 11 AM in the morning, and is to whenever. It wound down Market Street from Main to the City Hall Plaza and Civic Center. There were people already lining up at nine, which is when I left my hotel and went to see what I could see. I saw a few drag queens, and folks on skates, and kids and a few nice guys on skateboards, it was all very festive and entertaining. The official police estimate was two hundred and forty thousand persons. Most would agree that it was closer to three hundred thousand people. There were contingents of gays from almost every state, and from several major cities. Also doctors, lawyers, business men, clergy, drunks and every imaginable type of person. It was just as disparate and overwhelming as a Baldwin Fourth of July parade, only longer and with more people. It was most political and passionate, and passive, at the same time, and it really showed the diversity and creditability of gays. Watching that even I was very proud to be a part of it. I understood most of what one and all went through. And I knew the pains and the joys, the hopes and failings, the aspirations and disappointments. I really felt a part of a parade for the first time, except maybe for the several national marijuana day parades I attended in NYC.
The floats ranged from beautiful to funny, to political to just plain great. There were floats to disco music, and to anit-Briggs campaigns, and to oh so many different things. And during the parade is when I found out about Gays Under 21, though for some very strange reason I was unable to introduce myself to anyone at the parade. While in the place where there were booths and shows I lay down and rescued a rose from the passing crowd, and I still have it pressed in an envelope. [Strangely, I still do have that rose pressed. Anyway, it was the first gay pride parade I had ever been to, and I didn’t quite know it was going to happen until it did. I mean, I didn’t plan my departure to be there for that time.]
I just published another book – some excerpts …
From the book:
It was painful reading, to go over his notes from decades ago, and to see if there wasn’t a book in there. There was, actually, because he had lived through interesting times, with friends dropping dead all around him, and he survived. He had high hopes and plans, and things to do, and people to meet. Life was new and fresh back then. And then, because the more things change, the more they stay the same, he was in different places with different people, and still he had high hopes and dreams. They sustained him over the years.
Nowadays he sat around reading about the decay of our times, painting bright scenes of places he had gone, composing strange music on the computer, and writing up his novels and memoirs of his times. And not doing much else. Barely even leaving the house, really. Now was the time to look back, to see what he did, what he wrote about. Now he was going to work on a collection of events, described at the times, spread out over two decades.
He had written the notes back then with the bizarre idea that one day he would work them up into something. What that would be, he couldn’t tell. It would be something, a novel, a memoir perhaps, or a combination of the two. Why bother with spilling the beans, when making up a confection would be to the same purpose? To tell little stories of life, and how it didn’t quite turn out the way he thought it would, if he had even paid much attention to it. Now he could, because of free self-publishing services. It was like a miracle. No longer did he have to wait for someone else to approve his work. Nor could he be rejected. He published because he could. It was as simple as that.
Ah, but back then, before age came, before the Internet and social networks where he spent too much time, back then he had a life. Now he was sitting down to look at some episodes of it.
And then like that, it was over. My time and life in New York City came to a screeching halt on March 9th, 1990. That was the day I packed the goods of my house into a truck, tied the car to a trolley and started to drive it all to Louisiana. The 10 years at Estebans ended. I gave up my apartment! But I survived the AIDS crisis. Amazingly so, to me, like a miracle come down on me. So many people had died by now. More were ill. I was not. The friends had petered out. The Ninth Circle wasn’t like it used to be. My political aspirations, that which drove me for so many years, through college, and even afterwards, were up in smoke. And smoke was something I was unwilling to give up anyway. I had not made a million dollars. Not even $10,000 really. I was muddling along and I saw nothing but dead ends.
I had already insinuated myself into Louisiana – for there was 1985 through 1990, when I sort of lived in both states and traveled back and forth between them. I tried to start a business with that too, which came to a crashing end. But that’s the topic of another book. Now I was just moving to Lake Charles, Louisiana, where I wouldn’t stay for long. But it started a whole new adventure in my life – with nearly the exact same circumstances, in a different place, with different people. I still barely had money, but lived well enough. I didn’t really have a job, but worked all the time. I didn’t quite live anywhere, but wasn’t homeless. I didn’t have a boyfriend, but I had short relationships.
I had learned how to drive in 1985 … after I graduated college, as a sort of graduation gift to myself. Though now I had no goal, I wasn’t sure where I was going, or why I was going to wherever it was that I wound up. In a way, though in a more organized fashion, I did just what Tom did a decade earlier – I gave it all up and headed out for something new and different. For the next four years I wouldn’t set foot in New York.
A clean break from the past was what I wanted. A change in the weather was what I needed. For some reason it was a combination of growing tired of New York, and becoming enraptured with Louisiana. After all, I moved from Manhattan to Lake Charles. Big city to small town, hustle and bustle to somnolence, something I knew to somewhere strange and exotic, scintillating and exciting. Moving south was a grand adventure. But I no longer had great dreams. I no longer had grandiose aspirations. That was stripped bare from me over the course of the 1980s. The 1990s were going to be different. Somehow, in some way I couldn’t begin to imagine. And I wasn’t quite sure I would survive this decade either.
… almost … we’re 15 years further on and I’m still going strong. I’m still healthy. Still broke. Ah, but one thing I figured out – I’m Asperger – get a load of that! That was the trouble all along. That’s why I never got anywhere. I couldn’t ever stop the thinking, I couldn’t deal with the people I was supposed to deal with. I had too many quirks, they couldn’t handle me. I discovered I really could play the piano, so that’s what I went into. Came out with 5 CDs already. That last list of books I mentioned? I did them, or most of them, and they’ll all come out, this is one of the them. It’s my job. And I do other odd jobs. I gave up the search for steady employment – even denied I ever had “jobs” and started to call them “projects.” All of a sudden instead of a guy with lots of jobs, I was a project manager with lots of projects under my belt. With the Aspergers and string of jobs I was able to get Social Security Disability. Not rich at all, but comfortable. Not a lot of money, but I float along. Yes, gone were all the dreams, the plans, the hopes, the ambitions and aspirations. In came the living serendipitously, by the seat of my pants, through sheer luck. I’m alive and kicking through sheer luck. Someone should study this – why I survived the AIDS thing, why I survived the morass of my life, how come I play piano the way I do. I don’t know – it’s all still so weird. And it’s been spectacular, too. Yet, it’s such a sweet life. Like I live in a perpetual picnic.
There’s been a War On Poverty now for nigh on 60 years – with poverty as prevalent as ever. There’s a war on poor people, as shown by the endless attacks on who might by what with food stamps. There’s a War on Drugs, and a war of drug users against the police. There’s a war on black men, if the endless shooting of blacks by cops is to be believed – but there’s a war by blacks against police, the establishment – as is amply shown in the riots of late.
There’s a war on Christians supposedly, stemming from ever questioning a thing they say, while they call for a war against gays including shooting us. Supposedly, gays are at war against humanity by merely existing.
There’s a war against science and there’s a war of climate change against reality.
There’s a war over free speech that leaves everyone breathless when speaking about how their rights to speak are being sundered
There’s a war against medical care – and a war against lack of medical care – as both sides argue over who is to get what services and who will pay for it. But they are at war with each other, they declare.
There’s a war against Muslims through Islamophobia as Muslims wage a low grade war of actually killing people here and abroad.
The Muslims and the Jews have been at war, of course, for some time.
There’s a war against corporate interests, what with Occupy movements, and protests at G-8 meetings – and the corporations are at war against the people as shown by the Koch brother, Walmart and the Citizens United case.
There’s a war for more contraception and a war against contraception.
The feminists have declared the patriarchy is at war against women, while the white patriarchy is at war against the feminists for daring to insist they are at war with women.
There’s the War against Obesity, and against cancer and heart disease – as these three killers are at war with humanity – while Big Pharma is allegedly at war against cures.
There’s so much war almost anyone is at war with someone over something.
How many more wars can I recount? The number seems endless. There’s the war against trees, and the tree huggers at war against the loggers.
There’s a war against education by not being for the latest reforms, regardless of what they are, and a war against children for not educating them – or educating them too much, lest they be better than the others.
There’s a war against the president and the president seems to be at war against the constitution … onward and upward come the wars of our times.
Everyone speaks in militaristic terms – we are at war with them, we shall win the battle, those people should die and get out of the way of progress or tradition or keeping things just as they are.
Never before have so many been so much at war with so many others.
It is astonishing the nation is even holding together.
And I didn’t even touch upon the wars of China, Asia, the Middle East, South America – there too – endless war – sometimes with real shooting.
I have just published my travelogue of 3 months in the Czech Republic …
This is the story of my 70 day adventure in the Czech Republic, with 20 days in Dresden, Germany in between. I went in the summer of 2006. Sure, I was a tourist, but I was more. I was visiting cousins that I had met before. I was a speaker at a history conference. I was on a mission to vastly improve my Czech speaking skills. I went to see the land of my heritage, the land from where my four grandparents came from. I wasn’t going to be in a tour group, seeing the sights from inside a bus, or following someone holding a banner. I was going to wander around by myself, and go meet people, and I met dozens. I went without much of a plan. I knew I would go to different cities, but I didn’t pay attention to any details about where I was going to stay or what I would do. In each new place I just winged it. I went, and then figured it out. All while speaking a passable Czech. I didn’t even have a guidebook. I knew the cities I wanted to go to. And from a lifetime in a recently arrived Czech family to America I had a fair idea of what there was to see. All my life I had seen photographs and paintings of these places. Now I was off to see them in person. I had wanted to go for decades, time and money conspired against me, now they came together.
My home base would be my cousin’s house in the Hlubocepy section of Prague. My watering hole would be the small neighborhood bar they operated in their basement. I would head out from there to different cities, then return for a bit, then go out again. My cousins don’t speak a word of English, so it was going to be interesting to be totally immersed in Czech. I would be meeting a few dozen family members on both my mother’s and father’s side of the family. In the middle of it all I would take two short trips to Dresden to see a friend I knew from New Orleans, and speak some English. Along the way I would finish my book on the Czechs and Slovaks of Louisiana. And all the while I would be visiting castles, palaces, churches, museums and historic sites. It was such an active trip I exhausted myself, and even had a significant medical problem. But well, I made it through, and now this is the story of the adventure of a lifetime.
There is no way for a person to be both a senator or governor and run for president. Somehow, either one of the jobs will suffer. And it’s hedging one’s bets, that is, if one doesn’t get nominated one still retains the office they hold. But how can the do the job of senator or governor if they are so very busy running for president? Time is limited even for the best and brightest of people. What do they do, put their currents job on autopilot? And in what other profession can one take known time off from one’s job to go look for another?
Ted Cruz just missed a vote for attorney general Loretta Lynch while he was hobnobbing with a gay couple in Manhattan while pushing for a Constitutional Amendment against gay folks … and spending more than ½ his time on the hustings … so who is representing the people of Texas at the moment? My my, he must be a busy fellow with three such big jobs going at the same moment. Or is the anti-gay thing merely a way to get votes in the primary and he’ll “evolve” once he gets nominated. He’ll have to anyway.
Obviously Cruz, Rubio, Jindal, Walker, all feel they are qualified to be president – but they can’t be putting all their energies into it. Cruz and Rubio have announced they’re running – surely they have also then just announced that they are going to work part time at their real jobs – serving the people of their states. And yet they’ll draw full pay.
And Governor O’Malley or something of Maryland, (so unknown, and I can’t be bothered to look him up,) is out and running now too – though “unofficially” he officially goes around looking for the highest office in the land. Perhaps no wonder President Obama can spend so much time golfing and on vacation, the job doesn’t seem all that important.
But at every level of government, when a politician seeks to jump from state representative to state senator, or to governor, or major to representative at either state or national level – they to a person keep their current jobs while all but abandoning them to slog the hustings. Who is doing the jobs we elected them to do if they’re gone all day seeking higher office.
I’m half of the mind of wishing no one in one office could even run for another office. There’s enough Americans to not have to see the same people all the time. The machinery of our government can’t be that complex to have them spend their entire lives in politics. Surely it should be a temporary thing, this involvement in politics.
But really, now, to say you’re both going to be the best elected official you can be – as they all promised when they ran – and then just drop what you’re doing and go spend all your time running for some other office is not fair to the public – who we deserve a full time representative.
The link … http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VO76C50
The first four sections:
This is not a book of policy proscriptions. It is a compendium of ideas on 150 subjects – or all the different issues that we face in our times. It’s my iconoclastic way of looking at the issues of our day. It’s no idealogical in that it is neither conservative or liberal. It is, however, practical. And practical thought on the issues of our times seems wholly lacking. Instead it is bombast from either side about what the other side is supposedly doing, and doing wrong. And indeed, modern political discourse isn’t about solving anything, but instead about blaming some other people for what is going on. I hear often “We need to take the country back” … take it back from whom? The country belongs to all of us – not just to liberals or conservatives, one or the other. Neither one has the ideas or programs that need to be instituted to actually do anything to solve anything. But both sides have some piece of the puzzle. However, solving anything seems to be about the last thing on anyone’s mind. To the degree that solutions are offered by politicians of late, it’s always some new law, more government, more control over the many by fewer and fewer.
But I’m not sure most people understand the complexity of it all. There’s lots of dots. I’m not sure people connect them all, or even know they exist. And so in a series of short essays on many subjects I believe I go through all the different areas of policy and ideas that percolate among our political discourse. You won’t find me touting one political party or politician over the other, except perhaps Liberty and the libertarian movement, which despite being so well hidden, is actually the growing political force in the nation as the two party system atrophies. The numbers of people claiming to be “independents” is growing, the number who claim to be either Democrats or Republicans is falling. Almost everyone agrees that the system is rotten to the core. But instead of coming up with solutions, everyone currently seems to blame some group or person for the way things are, as if they are so powerful as to have affected it all.
The book isn’t just about domestic issues, or foreign policy, politics or economics, but instead touches briefly on all of them. It would take an encyclopedia to truly explore it all, and that’s not my purpose either. My purpose is merely to point to the myriad of issues facing Americans – and the world, and to show how perhaps there is a great shift in perception happening.
I suppose I could get clearer if I was to expand everything to the treatment it deserves. A book might be written on every one of these essays. But by that time everyone’s eyes would glaze over and they would cry “stop!” Instead I only hoped to put it all into bite-sized and manageable proportions so that at least you, the reader, has some idea of the enormity of the morass we are in.
The Future of Mankind
What is the future of mankind? 5000 Years of human recorded history has shown war, hate, death, mayhem and destruction led by a few who believed they had God (from the beginning of history to about 1600) or Science (from about 1600 to about 1980) or Thought (from 1980 to today) itself was on their side. All at the expense of the people they ruled. Some of those regimes still exist. It took some bloody revolutions over 100 years, starting with Cromwell in England, then the United States, and then France to start a slow but steady progress to freedom and prosperity for all. England and France faltered in their step from time to time. The United States has stayed on course towards greater freedom and prosperity for all mankind, achieving what no one ever thought possible. That steady progress is accelerating, and thought we falter, too.
It was WWII which pushed the rights of all men forward, at the insistence of the United States. It will probably take WWIII to truly bring peace on earth. Pushed along by the insistence of the United States that all men are born free. Intentionally or unintentionally, the recent Bush Administration was beginning to articulate and define a policy of active intervention in failed states with the express purpose of removing despots and liberating people; taking them into the modern and civil world.
We are in the midst of WWIII right now, the adversaries are two: Freedom vs. Statists. You either think that individuals should own, control and develop the means of their own survival or you think the state should own, control and develop the means of survival
And now finally we shall enter the Age of Reason. Oh, supposedly we did a while ago – but with all the problems the world has to say the world is reasonable seems a little farcical. No, we are in the age of Thought … which shall lead to Reason. Everyone seems to be thinking of some new way to do things. And realizing too that there is far too much unreasonable behavior by many still.
The idea that individuals are better equipped at handling their own survival than they are at surviving while the state doles it out to those it thinks are most deserving of survival is slowly percolating to the top. The main problem with the state is that it is always lead by individuals. Those individuals who believe in some sort of divine right, intrinsic right, to their leadership and their decision making prowess. They have glorified themselves to rule over people. Whether it was an ancient pharaoh or communist party president, or great leader, the same idea process must occur. Somehow this person, with the support of most of those around him, believes that he is entitled to rule because of some greater force of history, some higher power. Ah, sure, they’ll claim the Christian God, or Allah, or the Science of Socialism, or even just for the glory of recapturing the people’s historical land and place in the world. Some claim the right of divine rule in the name of the people. It’s all the same idea, no matter what the name is.
The problem is that there are more statists than there are voices of freedom right now. And the forces of freedom have to fight statists at home and abroad. The United States has few allies in this current Muslim war. Not even the most liberal of Europeans are wholly on our side; they remain wedded to their statist beliefs. It is only the American military stationed in Europe and Japan which kept these countries from going to war with each other as soon as they could. Over the past near 80 years we have worked to bring them peace and understanding. We have not been 100% successful, but it has been a remarkable transformation from continents at near constant war to continents that is for peace and prosperity. And now it’s time to deal with the Muslims and Africa.
It was the American taxpayer who was willing to pay the costs of this near occupation so that we can have peace. It is we who continue to pay the price. We have come to accept that it is better for us to pay for the military that changed Europe because we couldn’t let them have armies again or they’d go back to slaughtering each other. We turned Europe into a bunch of pacifists and spoiled brats. It took us 80 years, but we brought Russia, and Eastern Europe along with us. And we’re trying with so many other countries.
But there can be no doubt that the future of mankind is in fact worldwide peace and harmony and prosperity and freedom. It might take another 1000 years. But it will come about.
Oddly, the one best thing that is happening on the planet today, and everyday, is the future. Nothing beats it. The glories of the past are usually sung by romantics who ignore some rather brutish realities that we do know about. The old ways of historical New Orleans? Oh yeah, without air conditioning and penicillin, when the city came around in the morning to collect the dead. The same thing happened all over the world.
Complaints about the troubles with cars are ludicrous when you consider what was in the streets of just 150 years ago – an unmitigated slosh of mud and horse manure and the waste of humans, mixed with the excrement of dogs and pigs and goats and chickens. Oh, yeah, the grand old past.
But it is the future where we should look to our solutions to today’s problems. We will not find them in the past. We are everyday finding new ways to deal with the problems of today by looking to the future – what should we have? What should be the way we order our affairs? How can we make it better tomorrow? The only thing we can really learn from the past is what not to do.
The biggest problem with the future is, of course, that we can’t know what it will bring. And that right away brings consternation to people. “But we don’t know!” those who want to preserve the current and reactivate the past will cry. It’s true, too, and that’s what makes people who look to the future all the more suspect.
Virtually every single thing, idea or product, that looked to the future or proposed a remedy that would work in the future has been attacked by nearly everyone. The great future dreamers are always considered a little wacky. Because the only thing they can explain is how this or that from today or yesterday will be combined into something new in the future that will be better.
Since the vast majority of the people can’t see the vision, can’t bring together now unrelated things into one thing, they are against the future.
The world today is a confusing place. But no more or less confusing than it was to our ancestors in their time. For some forty years I have been observing politics from a number of angles. What currently exists is wholly unsatisfactory. When it comes to politics there is much disagreement on every single subject matter. What I have tried to do here is sort it out. There is no particular order in which to consider things because not only is everything related and based on the others, but from no matter which point you start you can reach all the other subjects. Start from where you are comfortable.
You should be aware that none of the ideas and opinions expressed here fit the usual mold. This is a whole new way of looking at things. Neither ideological, or polemical, or prescriptive, the ideas are merely practical explanations and solutions.
For the first time in human history the ideas of rights and individualism and entrepreneurial endeavor are transcendent over all other systems of societal organization. There is not a place in the world that the forces of freedom are not pushing ahead, and the forces of divine right are receding.
Not every region or every country is in the same stage of moving towards individualism. Not every region within a country is in the same stage. Indeed, often, the two opposing forces are fighting it out on a number of fronts.
The reality is that we are only at the beginning of what could be a hundred or more years of movement towards freedom. Those of us alive today will not see the dream enacted. The reality is also that those who have the most to lose in the quest for freedom, namely those who are in power holding the belief in divine right, are going to fight to the bitter end. Anyone who thinks there is going to be some sort of wholesale enlightenment is mistaken.
The forces of divine right have millennia of history, tradition and culture on their side. The forces of freedom have only a vague idea of the future. This is not because freedom is vague – but rather because what happens with freedom is unknowable. It is unknowable because no one can predict what the energies of a free people will produce. It is easy to see what history did. And it is easy to see, even quantify, what tradition and culture will bring to the future. After all, the future in this view is merely more of the same. And that’s easier to grasp than the unknown.
Star Trek Future
If you watch the TV how Star Trek you will see that there is total information available, and yet total privacy and respect. That is the goal many Americans, and like minded people around the world, are striving for. It is the ultimate, if unstated goal. It is hard, actually, to be serious while claiming that the fantasy world of a TV sci-fi show is your goal, and yet Star Trek is the best example of a world vision where peace and harmony and prosperity exist.
The problems of the world seem intractable, but in fact, a fixed time can be applied to efforts to lift every country out of poverty and war. People in rich countries who are worried what will happen when all the world is rich are really just calling for the continuing poverty of the rest of the world because they are blinded to the great propensity of humans to solve all problems. People and States who call for the glorification of specific leaders, states, languages, cultures, political parties or religions are in fact statists, no matter what their name for themselves is. They believe that the collective has a right above and beyond the individual and that individualism itself is detrimental to the survival of the glorified entity. Each country and region has separate problems and thus the practical steps at implementing changes will differ in each. However, development and reason comes at the “cost” of the elimination of many features of the world’s cultures. In strict Muslim cultures there will always be a lack of jobs and wealth because many of the things which generate jobs and wealth are prohibited. To bring prosperity there cultures will have to change.
If everyone wears the same outfit there is no fashion or model industry. Less retail becomes less warehouses, less shipping, less packaging, less everything that people could be gainfully employed at. The diversity of fashion is one way that jobs and businesses are created and that individualism is expressed. Banking restricted mean less jobs. No night clubs or entertainment equals less jobs and less wealth.
When the people of a country are consigned to the Glory of the State, the leader or the God there are no productive activities, and thus poverty ensues. If fact, if all there is is religious study, the economy will stagnate, just like under communist regimes where political thought and study was part of the day, so instead of concentrating on making wealth, wealth was deemed evil and political theory was sacrosanct, so less money was made.
All the cultural highlights of Western Society is what makes the jobs that drive the luxury market which pulls along everything else. Steel manufacturing is necessary because there is demand for appliances and cars and buildings, all demanded by people making more money to buy nicer things. In America keeping up with the Jones’s creates the necessity for ever expanding commerce.
In the rest of the world keeping up with the Jones’s is impossible because the Jones’s have rigged the culture against those struggling to make more money.
The Internet is the direct product of the war machine which the peaceniks are using to argue against the wars in the Middle East. Oddly, this military tool is now a worldwide phenomenon which mitigates the very military is was set up by.
Eventually, though many decades away, the entire world will have satellite Internet. The current organization of the websites, found through search engines, will get much more specific, as the technology for searching large databases grows.
The Internet is nothing less than the cataloging of all known human knowledge. The project is so big that it will take millions of people. The vision that is being followed is Star Trek, where you will be able to get any information you want simply by asking. Already, cellphones are voice activated.
Though it seems wondrous now, the Internet is actually still in its primitive beginnings. The addition of information to the Internet is growing exponentially. But it is limited to those countries which are either wired into it, or allow the free use of it. We are being deprived of vast amounts of information, products, goods, services and ideas by countries who prevent the free use of the Internet.
Those people who say they don’t want to be on the Internet are fooling themselves into thinking that in America today you can even avoid it. Any interaction with government and large corporations, and even many smaller companies now comprises some element of the Internet, either directly or indirectly.
and well, then there’s the rest of it.