Putting down the cherry stout and stepping away from the apple crisp for just a moment, I wonder if giving thanks to those who have served is enough. Do we really understand what ideals our armed forces serve? To what end our men and women in uniform sacrifice? Is it protecting our liberty? Our freedoms? The welfare of our nation? How goes the battle? How fares the health of our nation in comparison to the corporation? What’s the outlook for our future? What is the prognosis for our democratic republic that our service men and women who we honor fight for? What entitles an abstract private corporation to the same rights as a citizen? What chance have we for an informed citizenry, necessary to democratic society? Can we even know the state of our liberty in a nation of secret laws where ubiquitous governmental surveillance seems to supersede the basic constitutional right to privacy?
James Howard Kunstler’s blog takes an appropriate pause amidst the barbecues to ask just this question. Most of his post is assessment and context for his laundry list of “things to do” to get our nation healthy enough to realistically face the future.
All the lip service we give today to the memory of those who have served and died for our country is sadly empty if we do not take that next step and ask ourselves what state we are in today and what can we do to protect our democracy and plan for our future.
“First item on the list: restructure the banks. Other items: reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act; disassemble the ridiculous “security” edifice under the NSA; upgrade the US electric grid; close down most of our military bases overseas (and some of our bases in the USA); draw up a constitutional amendment re-defining the alleged “personhood” of corporations; fix the passenger railroad system to prepare for the end of Happy Motoring; rebuild Main Street commerce to prepare for the death of WalMart and things like it; outlaw GMO foods and promote local food production; shut down casino gambling.”
I wouldn’t argue for strict isolationism, but the future will certainly become more local as the complex infrastructures we know and depend on for everything from food to clothing to tools becomes more untenable due to cost in dollars and energy coupled with dwindling energy resources and increased global demand.
Nurture your community, your town, take care of your neighbors. The end of big box stores, convenience, and the eventually empty, languishing freeways will be replaced by what we can plan for and work towards today. If we are lucky, it might eventually be better. It depends on what kind of kids we raise and what skill sets we can give them. Time to take up gardening and home brewing!