I'm not saying that 9/11 was anything but a sick, evil disaster. Nor am I placing blame for it on any person or group; I'm not interested in wasting time in that quagmire.
What I am saying is that the status quo in America – compliance without question, shutting our eyes to abuse, and forever finding reasons to believe – was aided by the 9/11 event more than anything else in our lifetimes.
This has had consequences and will continue to have consequences, and not good ones. A compliant populace is an open doorway to abuse, and the American populace has set an all-time record for compliance since the event.
Whatever the reasons behind it, we have to admit that the ruling classes in the US played 9/11 to the hilt. Consider:
The warfare industries have seen their greatest and most prolonged boom times ever. The war in Afghanistan (not to mention Iraq, the War on Drugs, and all the small ones) has gone on for 17 years – as long as US involvement in World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam combined – and has kept an ocean of money flowing through the war industry's coffers. Young Americans are still being killed and dismembered for no clear reason, but the money keeps flowing. And every significant sporting event begins with a worship service to the military. These are the times of legend.
A huge number of aid agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are drinking deep from the streams of war funding. I'll forgo details, but those with experience know.
The myriad bureaus and agencies of government are funded like never before, have more exorbitant pensions and benefits than ever before, and are questioned less than ever before. Concerns about "big government" are far behind us; this is the era of mega-government. And it reigns inviolate.
The Fed and big banks have more power and protection than ever before. Bailouts are made first and laws changed afterward. Banks borrow at nearly 0% and buy Treasuries at about 3%. The Fed purchases trillions of dollars' worth of houses and stocks.
The investing class, as a result of Fed purchases, has been provided with massive gains in both stocks and bonds. The tax man has taken in record amounts as a result.
The PATRIOT Act – literally pulled out of a drawer and passed in record time after the 9/11 event – has continued unabated for 16½ years. Spy agencies are funded beyond all previously imaginable limits. The number of spy units has exploded, and the number of consultant firms has exploded even more.
Major corporations have been strip-mining the American populace. In the face of mute compliance, they simply pay for laws and regulations to be written as they like. Easy-peasy. Are we to believe it's accidental that our health insurance rates are skyrocketing while the quality of care tumbles? Are the doctors suddenly worse? Did all the nurses suddenly go crazy? Of course not; the mega-corps – from insurance to pharmaceuticals – paid politicians to write laws their way, leaving a helpless populace to cover the bills. Like taking candy from a baby.
The news channels became cultural influences like never before. These outfits (and I mean this very literally) addicted millions of Americans to fear and politics. And they have profited thereby.
The enforcer class (police departments, etc.) has been worshiped as perma-heroes, has had rivers of money and military toys thrown at them, and has been authorized to force Americans to prostrate themselves. That's a lot of ego-cocaine.
Trend Without End?
The beneficiaries of the 9/11 event will most certainly try to keep their good times going, but in the end it all rests upon the unquestioning compliance of the populace. And so we ask:
Can the military-industrial complex rely upon ever-more terrors? And if not, won't the necessary fear fade? Will their partnership with evangelical Christianity hold forever?
Will government officials reverse the course of history, with more power producing less corruption? And if not, won't corruption matter again someday?
Can the mega-corps strip-mine the populace even worse?
Can cops (or their bosses) get the populace to enjoy being intimidated, searched, and raided?
Can Hollywood and government schools produce yet another generation in the baby boom model?
We've been at peak compliance for nearly 17 years, and it's hard to see the trend continuing forever. "Trend without end" is one of the worst bets in history after all.
It's time to move on.
* * * * *
A book that generates comments like these, from actual readers, might be worth your time:
I just finished reading The Breaking Dawn and found it to be one of the most thought-provoking, amazing books I have ever read… It will be hard to read another book now that I've read this book… I want everyone to read it.
Such a tour de force, so many ideas. And I am amazed at the courage to write such a book, that challenges so many people's conceptions.
There were so many points where it was hard to read, I was so choked up.
Holy moly! I was familiar with most of the themes presented in A Lodging of Wayfaring Men, but I am still trying to wrap my head around the concepts you presented at the end of this one.
* * * * *