February 20, 2009

I admit it, I'm scared

Karl Denninger Gives Up on Optimism
Star Parker Sees No Hope of Return to Realism

When I was in high school I could not balance the books I read on my own with the things they were teaching in my classes. Case in point, Daniel Boone. I discovered the pioneers when I was ten or eleven years old and read voraciously everything I could get my hands on. By the time I took American History 1 (Mayflower to Manifest Destiny), I already knew all of the major players, had read most of their biographies, and was intimately familiar with their legends. So when our history book recited a series of legends about Daniel Boone and tried to sell them as historic fact, I objected strongly.

It took some delicate negotiations, but I finally passed that course. The way it worked out was I took different tests and wrote different papers than anyone else.

None of the other students complained. They thought, and told me often, that I was being given special treatment because I was too stupid to follow the normal textbook.

Those kids now work as business managers and investment consultants. Several of them are worth millions, or at least they were back in August of 2008. They honestly believe the current system works, and works well. When I tried to point out that their entire personal wealth was based on a circle of debt they could never repay and supported by federal debts their grandchildren would still be paying for, they laughed at me.

So now Karl tells me he is ready to head for the hills and Star reports the transition from failed capitalist economy to socialist economy on the skids is almost complete. Karl and Star are not alarmists. They were both critical of the Bush-Cheney comedy duo, but it has only been the past couple of months they have become genuinely concerned. So when both of them sound a trumpet of panic within ten days of one another, I get very, very scared.

Japan is still very much a closed society. If the next six months sees a global economic collapse so complete that airlines stop flying and ships stop sailing, they will quickly revert to something the world has not seen since the decades leading up World War Two. I do not want to be trapped in this country if the global economy grinds to a complete halt. My wife and children will be fine, but I will quickly be seen as an enemy of all that is Japanese.

No, I'm not being paranoid. History clearly demonstrates how the Japanese feel about foreigners in their midst when everything falls apart.

So, yeah, call me insane, but watching the world economy collapse scares me half to death. The one clear lesson of history is that no one ever pays attention to the lessons history teaches.

Japan is really not all that unique. Every country in the world has a history riddled with moments of sheer insanity, although some of them hide their past very well. If some of your friends are "crazy survivalist nut jobs", now would be a really good time to call them up and renew your acquaintance. Sometime between now and year-end you're going to need their expertise.