Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Tipping Point



                                              
Someone famous once said “Enough is enough and too much is plenty.” Too bad the person didn’t copyright it; Google shows it has been referenced out the wahzoo forever in most any context that implies a pending demolition of tolerance with shock waves of substantial force and destruction.

Studiously following current events – from the “mainstream media” to the Alternative Media, talk radio, blogosphere, ‘water-cooler talk’, it is not an overstatement to say: America is rapidly approaching its “tipping point."


 For a quick sampling, check out the Center of the News Universe: The Drudge Report. At any given time, there is a cornucopia of blazing headlines. A quick scan will create shock and awe, induce regurgitation, fascination, revulsion of all kinds on all levels. From scandalous, inhuman retchings to Freedom - raping politics in Washington and other capitals around the country, man’s inhumanity to man is scattered across the screen. In one incarnation or another, the absurdities, diminutions, atrocities are usually  a by-product  of the State’s abuse of power. People pursing peaceful interaction with their fellow man have no need or desire to abuse one another on any level. Indeed, as Murray Rothbard noted:

              The State is that organization in society which attempts to maintain a monopoly of the use of force and violence in a given territorial area; in particular, it is the only organization in society that obtains its revenue not by voluntary contribution or payment for services rendered but by coercion. While other individuals or institutions obtain their income by production of goods and services and by the peaceful and voluntary sale of these goods and services to others, the State obtains its revenue by the use of compulsion; that is, by the use and the threat of the jailhouse and the bayonet. Having used force and violence to obtain its revenue, the State generally goes on to regulate and dictate the other actions of its individual subjects…. The State provides a legal, orderly, systematic channel for the predation of private property; it renders certain, secure, and relatively “peaceful” the lifeline of the parasitic caste in society. Since production must always precede predation, the free market is anterior to the State. The State has never been created by a “social contract”; it has always been born in conquest and exploitation.” (Emphasis mine)

Rothbard’s last line is both excruciatingly accurate and easily comprehended by anyone who has been to the DMV, attempted to navigate the indifference of governmental bureaucracy,  audited by the IRS, confronted by local law enforcement or, worst of all, attempted meaningful  conversation with most any Elected Official. The growth and ubiquity of the State’s regulatory permutations, the emotional burden and monetary expense of the necessity for perfectly  uncontested compliance and the crush of penalties administered to those who don’t is building across the land an intense back-pressure that cannot end well.

Awareness of Rothbard’s observation is hardly calmative, especially to those  - in their new awareness – just discovering it. If anything, it ramps up the growing discomfort in the realization of pending doom; “conquest and exploitation” not being synonymous with “comfort and joy”.

An accomplice with the atrocities in the daily news is the palpable increase of rhetoric and vitriol in everyday conversation, on-line communication, texts and Tweets. Not just the growing flammable intolerance between races, sexes and income groups, but the overriding attitudes leveled at all things Government: Poling numbers of Congress, the President, even the Supreme Court are at historic lows. Such depths are richly deserved, unequivocally well-earned and  exacerbates the growing proximity to the Tipping Point. Even otherwise diplomatic members of the chattering class have broken ranks with their usual self-censoring and avuncular approach to sensitive matters, dropping pretexts of civility and collegiality, instead, aiming for the anthropomorphic jugular.
Among the Ruling Elite inside the Logic Free Zone, otherwise “back room” ideological conflicts have broken into plain sight on both sides of the aisle, even within their own ranks. However, the Ruling Elite aren’t so distracted as to fail in their never-ending quest to lord it over those who should be lording it over them. The historic sense of fairness (formerly known as “justice”) is rudely violated daily, without the usual prejudice catalytically necessary to achieve this level of potential explosion.

Such is the causative landscape that brings us to this Tipping Point. Yet provocative questions remain. Despite the strident level of bravado and swagger, from cries of Molan Labe to “…from my cold dead hands”, who will be among the first to take the lead? If there is to be a 2nd American Revolution as many seem to crave – even with a dyspepsian node toward restraint – what will be the “Archduke Ferdinand” moment? With terminally redundant references to the metaphorical  “Boiling Frog”, the Social Media is thick with confrontational comments that grow daily in calls for what the ever-monitoring NSA may beginning to think is approaching treasonous.
Then what happens?       

Have the posters and commentators, pundits and pod casters given serious thought to the consequences of their content? There are those who claim everything is in place for a Full Monte conflagration; that chaos and societal collapase will soon be upon us. Web sites dedicated to full-scale preparation for some brand of Armageddon abound. The Nat Geo channel even has a series of shows featuring “Doomsday  Preppers” (although at each conclusion, the off-stage announcer is haughtily derisive and condescendingly dismissive of those they have just covered.

 Are the FEMA Camps prepped and ready? The DHS and other Constitutionally dubious agencies are armed tooth and tonsil for….what? They were not created to wage war oversees. What possible use could a domestic agency have with enough guns and ammo to wage a war for 5 years?   Against whom? Tea Partiers? Conservatives? Libertarians? And  for what? Chastising Government programs and personnel, duly elected and not? “Tin Foil Hat Conspiracy Wack-Jobs!”, snorts the Official Government (Media) Outlets. Yet without honest and serious information to the contrary from these very agencies, the answers left are less than reassuring.

Interestingly, there are those who tirelessly promulgate the Good News. Certain professors, economists, historians and others maintain the Stiff Upper Lip from “We’ve been here before” or “The next election will change everything” or “The young people are our hope for the future!”  But even among that select group, there is a withering at the edges as some have changed from the balm to the ballistic as Freedom and Liberty shrinks as the Government Liviathan grows exponentially.

Since no one of great credulity denies we are in some serious depth of deep fertilizer and unavoidable change, ultimately, each of us will have to confront the Tipping Point and deal with the question: when “enough is enough and too much is plenty?

Good luck with that. Collectively and individually, we’re all going to need it.

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