James Howard Kunstler -- World News Trust
Nov. 7, 2016
A mighty nausea wells up across the land as the awful day cometh.
Who will receive the black spot of fate on Tuesday? I wouldn’t want to be him or her on that dreadful day. The flagship of Modernity has lost its vaunted mojo and nobody knows what to do about it as the USS-USA pitches and yaws into the maelstrom.
Much opinion “out there” contends that we will have to suffer an election overtime, with the results contested on every hill and molehill from sea to shining sea. That scenario suggests various outcomes, all of them pretty bad:
FBI Director James Comey’s 11th hour reprieve of Hillary in the email server case sent an odor of rotting carp wafting across the political landscape. Like, his peeps actually vetted 650,000 emails in a week? I’m sure. Of course, the FBI does not issue indictments; that’s AG Loretta Lynch’s job over at the Department of Justice. The FBI only makes criminal referrals to such. But this puts too fine a point on the matter because the much more serious issue is the Clinton Foundation case, and the arrant sale of influence while HRC ran the State Department.
That currently overshadowed case is not closed. It sends up the odor not of a single rotting carp but of an entire whale pod dead on the beach. Half the emirs in Arabia dropped millions on the foundation to facilitate arms deals or to influence policy at State, and that was only part of what looks exactly like a classic racketeering operation. The Clinton Foundation story is not going away anytime soon and it will suck all the air out of the public arena for as far ahead as anyone can see when Hillary is in the oval office.
All of that obscures the gathering calamity in banking and finance that drives the waiting, whirling maelstrom. Thanks to eight years of central bank experiments, the engines of capital are hopelessly gunked up with political additives like QE and ZIRP™. Nothing is priced correctly, especially money. It’s all kept running on an ether of accounting fraud. We can’t come to grips with the resource realities behind the fraud, especially the end of cheap oil. And the bottom line is the already-manifest slowdown of global business. The poobahs of banking pretend to be confounded by all this because everything -- their reputations, their jobs, their fortunes -- depends on the Potemkin narrative that ever-greater economic expansion lies just around the corner.
Not so. What waits around the corner is a global scramble for the table scraps of the late techno-industrial banquet. Scrambles like that are liable to foment kinetic conflict. Neither Hillary or Trump appear to have a clue what this means and so they are likely to misinterpret the true signals amid all the noise and start an unnecessary war. Hillary is already hard at it with her cawing over supposed “Russian hackers” in the election.
The tragedy of Trump is that he represented a roster of legitimate grievances but argued them so poorly and then betrayed them with behavior so oafish and crude that he often looked not sane enough to hold high office. His partisans brushed that aside, saying it was good enough that he personified a giant “fuck you” to the political establishment. No, that wasn’t good enough because in the process he de-legitimized the issues.
For instance, There are excellent arguments for a “time-out” from immigration. Congress acted on that in 1925, after a half-century flood of immigration needed to man the factories of the early 20th century. The consensus on that policy change was arrived at with minimal rancor -- and just in time, by the way, for the Great Depression, when manufacturing employment crashed. We’re also in for a collapse of activity, only this time it won’t be the few remaining factory workers. It’ll be everyone from the McDonalds counter jockeys to the bond packagers of Goldman Sachs.
The establishment will get its “fuck you” anyway. I do go along with the argument advanced by others that it would probably be better for Hillary to win, because that way the right people (the gang already in power) will be blamed for the descent into the maelstrom and will be expeditiously swept away.
Just about anything may rise up across America after that -- the true corn-pone Nazi who succeeds Trump in the meshuggeneh branch of conservative politics… a second civil war… or a World Made By Hand. I detect a general awareness that the country must pass through some epic ordeal to straighten itself out. Well, here it is, just in time for the holidays.
Me? I’m going to write-in my vote for Homey D. Clown, because he don’t mess around.
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency, and Too Much Magic: Wishful Thinking, Technology and the Fate of the Nation. His novels include World Made By Hand, The Witch of Hebron, Maggie Darling — A Modern Romance, The Halloween Ball, an Embarrassment of Riches, and many others. He has published three novellas with Water Street Press: Manhattan Gothic, A Christmas Orphan, and The Flight of Mehetabel.