Thursday, November 27, 2014

Who is Thankful for What?

Only a poet like Charles Simic could come up with a celebration of our annual holiday of gluttony with a piece entitled "A Thieves' Thanksgiving," his latest post to NYRBlog. His punch line definitely deserves reflection:
It ought to be obvious by now that if we ever become a genuine police state, it will not arise from an authoritarian ideology necessarily, but as the end result of that insatiable greed for profit that has already affected every aspect of American life from health care to the way college students are forced into debt. Huge fortunes are also made from spying on us and coming to regard every American as a potential enemy. They are right to think that way. If we ever as a nation grasped that criminality on such an immense scale is bound to lead the country into ruin, there might be serious consequences for the perpetrators. At the present time, the only ones likely to get in trouble are the leakers who want to let the rest of us know what goes on behind our backs. No doubt about it, in the coming holiday season our crooks will have a lot to be thankful for and a lot to celebrate.
The irony is that the "insatiable greed for profit" has wrought such havoc on our economy (and probably the world economy as well), that it is hard to imagine our having a police state with an effective police force. Whether the matter is investigating "white crime" or dealing with homicide, police resources at just about every level are so reduced that it is hard to imagine anyone doing anything right, particularly when the price for incompetence is so much greater than the price for negligence. Rather than facing the possibility of a police state, we are more likely to encounter anarchy at its most brutal, where those with the best survival value will be those criminals with just the right mix of street smarts and ruthlessness. Think about that after having overindulged in the day's feast.

No comments: