Tuesday, 8:00 AM. 39 degrees F, wind W, calm. the sky is overcast, the humidity is up a bit and the barometer predicts rain, which we have had some in drips and drops over the last twenty-four hours, but it doesn't look like anything big will happen, which would be good, as we are on our way to the Minneapolis Airport this morning to, reluctantly, return Leslie an Allison to Texas.
It seems to me we are on the verge of having a new economic system imposed on the United States and perhaps the world. Let me coin a term and see if it sticks.
“Consumer Communism” will have the same end result as traditional communism, which is the elimination of economic classes and the subjection of all to the will of the state via the “dictatorship of the proletariat.” The difference is that violent revolution will probably not be necessary, since the masses will go to that end willingly, enticed by the promise of more and more “free stuff.” It will eliminate the need for mediums of exchange, such as money and credit cards and even loans, since everyone will receive everything they could possibly want or need from the government, by vouchers in their mailbox or deliveries in their driveway, all appearing like manna from heaven. If this seems crazy, please be advised we are almost there, with nearly half of the population of the United States receiving things they don’t pay for (and most pay no taxes either) and the enticement to take more and more is constant. We are at the tipping point.
Does business care? Big business at least does not, as the government buys things from them to distribute to the masses virtually at their asking price, and all it takes to be successful in big business is a modest and constant contribution to the purses of the government and its controlling party. Small business also distributes governmental largess, through food stamps and other programs. With Obamacare the health industry will be firmly embedded in the system. Do the people care? Seemingly not, as few are turning down the deluge of free stuff, and a majority readily vote for the party that is their benefactor. The enticement is perfectly logical; why work when you can get everything you want and need from on high?
We are becoming like the strange cargo cultures of the South Sea Islands, whose inhabitants sit and wait on the beach for things to was up on the shore, while singing the right chants and a making a few sacrifices to the sea gods to ensure their delivery.
Marx and Engels must be spinning in their graves wondering why they hadn’t thought of this route to communism. “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need,” has become “From each according to his influence, to each according to his greed.” And poor Stalin and Mao, what crude dolts they were, slaughtering millions and millions to force society into the slavery of communism, when all they had to do was use the carrot of consumerism, rather than the stick of terror to gain their ends.
So here we are; on the verge of yet another New World Order.
Will this one be more successful than all the others that pretend to be built upon the perfectibility of the human being and his society? Of course not, but who cares? It will last long enough, perhaps even be Hitler's vaunted Thousand Year Reich. It will last at least long enough that those at the top who institute it and rule in splendor and abundance will be long gone. As the French Sun King said, “After me, the deluge.”
But my guess is that Consumer Communism will last only until the Chinese demand their money back. Or perhaps they will settle for Taiwan and South Korea, with maybe Japan thrown in. Closer to home they might demand Hawaii or Alaska. Maybe they would take California instead, but I doubt it.