Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Polity, Declination, And Re-Boot, Pt. VII: Cheney-Gonzales 2008

Remember a teen-age ago, when the Cold War was over? At root, theories of governance are disagreements about how best to generate and apportion wealth. Precious few sources provide good views into the consequences. Rare is the surgeon of the human condition who can, more or less healthy and equally, be both dispassionate and sane. We didn't change the horsemen mid-Apocalypse.

I went to witness the Cold War's presumed end. I wanted to see Germany re-unify from the considered distance of an impregnable mountain redoubt in Switzerland. To me, re-unification seemed a certainty. An ecclesiastical organization I worked for bought land near Leipzig in 1983, when the Stasi still reigned supreme as the most ruthless, pervasive secret terror-service in the world. They knew what was up, and as a functionary I saw them break ground with a golden spade.

Then, on one rainy day in November, 1989, East Germans were allowed to travel freely to the West. There were celebrations, young German engineers leaping around for joy in my office, I mean they were really leaping, crying for joy, glasnost busting out all over the place. You don't see Germans do this much. Not unless they've maybe annihilated Caesar's legions in Teutoberger Wald or polished off a couple genocides. I misted up pretty good myself, and the beers and Jaegermeister helped. But at the same time I was thinking, "You poor bastards. Just wait until you see the bats. The Cold War's not over 'til we say so, bee-yatch."

Being a cynic was not my preference. Yet all the ideologies, philosophies, and theories which have steeped and brewed the world's conflicts for the past 50-60 years haven't changed, and they aren't exactly heading for detente anytime soon. After the wall was chunk by chunk hammered on down, I flew into New York to see my Wall Street mentor, a girl, and in a strange coincidence Robert DeNiro's Orthodox Jewish butler. Who was a cousin of Meir Kahane. My comparatively stable mentor was Joseph Palmeri. Over breakfast one Saturday morn in Tribeca he said that the stock market was primed to go up on "The Peace Dividend." Ever the sophisticate, I started to laugh but instead inhaled a fair portion of my blueberry and whipped-cream pancake (god, Joe, that was a great breakfast. Thank you forever.).

When the obstruction had mostly worked its way out of my lungs, my voice wheezed out through my tears: "Peace dividend?! Wha-da-fa? Yeltsin will be lucky to be alive in 6 months. The chances of a civil war are 50-50. Either way, generals will be looking to sell nuclear warheads, a third of which are in the Ukraine, gonna haul ass out of the Union. The Saint Pete girls really knock me out. Oh, yeah. Almost forgot. We're going to invade Baghdad. Is that the Peace Dividend?"

At the time, I had never heard of Leo Strauss or Paul Wolfowitz, and my mental space was nearly devoid of Dick Cheney. Blissfully so. Well. Once you name something, you can begin to deal with it. The Cheney. Drawing distinctions between communism, socialism, fascism, or capitalism is past history. A waste of time. I've been wondering what the word "conservative" means, and what's "neo-liberal" supposed to mean anyway? Does Webster's apply anymore? Up is down, down is up. Labels, logos, and brands often stoop to dishonesty, and all I know is they have pretty colors and always seem to say "New and Improved" on the laundry detergents. So let's apply Adam and Eve's naming power anew.

There are only two competing philosophies that matter today. One is the idea of purely free, unfettered Year-Zero market capitalism. The other philosophy is espoused by people who think massively inefficient regulations and standards are still needed. Free market utopianism, once derided as idiotic, is now as orthodox as Nike T-shirts made in Sri Lanka. Corporatism rules every meaningful roost. Regulations and standards are old hat, as if we wear hats anymore. I wear freebie caps when it rains, and when it's friggin' pourin', my friends. Effulgent markets decree that we should lay in a ready stock of RPGs. You Eagle Scouts should secure some 60 millimeter mortars. Very handy. I mean, look at Liberia, or Darfur. The Suzuki Sidekick, it's the Official Car of the Tsutsi Rebels. Good for mobile artillery, and an enterprising fellow could make some real money there. Back in '03 I wanted to fly to Baghdad in a bad way, and Lord Wife was dead serious about not letting me. Something in my gut told me they were flying 363 tons of $100 bills there, and that they'd spread out near and far. Lord Baby was new at the time, and my corporate prostitution conviction was recent.

The Cold War? Never cold. Never over. Russia, Iran, China and even Brazil are still out there stalking cozy Midwesterners sleeping soundly on their Sealy Spring-Air Mattresses. But speaking of cold...the Arctic Circle's warming up a little every day, you can still stake out a claim and make a killing. The Four Horsemen are hopped up on meth, Lipitor, and cumiden. They're running loose and free, and Cheney-Gonzales can still make the ticket in '08. If they run much further, please: Jesus Christ, Father in Heaven and the Holy Ghost help us. They hold the bridles yet, and could still win.

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