Sorry, it looks like I’m continuing here in a recent mini-trend of escaping what I’ve termed my usual €S “brief” and pointing out to you notable contributions in the (gasp!) English-language on-line media.
In this case it’s really a matter of an on-going “contribution,” i.e. an e-mail newsletter I can really recommend, namely A-Clue.com, written by Dana Blankenhorn, an IT business analyst of long experience. It’s weekly, and unfailingly a very informative and also entertaining read. And, I say again, it’s free.
What caught my attention in particular in this week’s issue was the following political commentary which, because Mr. Blankenhorn gives his subscribers permission “to forward this newsletter widely,” I assume he won’t mind my reproducing below:
November 2 dawned clear and cold. But even where it rained, people took it as a bad omen.
Exit polls were out by 10 AM, on Drudge and the National Review. Despite a 40% approval rating, despite a 20% approval rating for Congress, President Bush and the Congress had been returned to power overwhelmingly. Senator Kerry, soon to be Senate Minority Leader Kerry, had won just two states, Hawaii and (ironically enough) Vermont. He had fallen in his home state of Massachusetts 53-47. Surveys indicated few found much real difference between the candidates. Both were Yale men, from the same secret society called Skull & Bones. Both were backed entirely by corporations. Why not go with the devil you know?
How could this be, people asked. And what happens now?
What would happen is that economics would take over where politics had failed. The dollar would continue falling and Russia would lead moves to start making more loans in the more-stable Euro. The economies of China and India would rocket along, the former beset by growing social unrest, the latter by religious strife, but all this allowing yet-more nations in Southeast Asia – like Vietnam and the Philippines – some time in the economic sun.
Australia and New Zealand processed a tsunami of visa applications from white Americans, many of them college-educated, all claiming a fear of persecution. In Canberra the Howard government urged continued processing, suggesting (sub rosa) that this would offset growing immigration from Asia and the Muslim world. In Auckland experienced LA techs took 1/10th their former salaries to work on Peter Jackson’s “King Kong,” hoping against hope he might sponsor their staying.
The “brain drain” of American intellectuals, who would not be replaced by foreigners for the first time, was hardly noticed at the time. But the air of American triumphalism would be short-lived. For it’s intelligence, the “high bandwidth mind” as they say at Microsoft, that is the great engine of economic growth in a post-industrial age. With fewer of these on-hand, American power, influence, and the American lifestyle would slowly wither away.
Even as the Republic was replaced by an Empire, the American Century had ended.
Pretty interesting to read, at least for this American working and building a life in Amsterdam.