Warnings about the slippery slope have been around as long as deranged thinking. As an all purpose cathartic it quickly devolved to a cliché. But no one seems to be interested in what happens when you get to its bottom, or even how you can tell that you’ve arrived at its destination. Well, I think we can put aside all worry about this incline as we seem to have descended to level ground. Turns out that it’s pretty crowded here.
The USA, as as been the custom for the past century touched down first, though we were closely followed by the rest of what laughingly has been called The Free World. This group is the one that locked up people for a couple of years to protect them from a virus that turned out to be less harmful than the governments that were supposedly protecting them. Of course, the unfree world turned out to be no more farsighted. The lockdowns were a symptom of the problem not its core. The real problem is that homo sapiens has not figured out how to regulate itself. This failure despite our species wiles, cunning, creativity, technological prowess, and relentless tendency to mayhem when left unsupervised to itself.
The public, numb from screen exposure, is kept quiescent by a conventicle of churnalists who would be eligible organ donors in most states. Sexual deviancy has been defined out of existence. Children are allowed to be maimed or castrated without parental consent by doctors who have followed a new Hippocratic Oath. One that removes the concept not doing harm and which encourages any behavior pattern that has a constituency, no matter how small. Everything once in the psychiatrist’s diagnostic manual has been normalized such that the profession has nothing to diagnose or treat. It will soon have defined itself into oblivion.
The public, asked to keep track of 98 genders, is so overwhelmed by innumeracy that 98 might as well be Graham’s number. The calculator found on most of today’s phone is a mysterious totem that balks after 9 zeros which explains the passivity that greets most government budgets. They’re not budgets, but I can’t think of a better word. The status of numbers as mysterious relics of an ancient civilization also explains why the public is confused as to the total of illegal immigrants crossing our imaginary southern border. The difference between a thousand and a million is as fluid as the gender of the winner of a women’s swimming competition.
The governments, at all levels, seem to do little more than spend money they don’t have. There are so many dollars in circulation, with more on the way, that there will never again be a threat of a toilet paper shortage. These exist for no reason save to continue to exist. At the federal level the current preoccupation is to spend endless amounts of treasure to support the president of a corrupt government of an eastern european government against the intrusion of another corrupt east european government while ignoring the intrusion of millions of unvaccinated immigrants at our southern border now only an idea. A simultaneous fixation is to compare said president to Churchill while trying to send our former president to jail. No wonder the libertarians want to secede.
The reason for the current rage to replace Noah Webster with Humpty Dumpty (“When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”) is the rebuilding of graduate education to mimic the Academy of Lagado. Sorry to refer to ancient works displayed on paper and as current as The Bologna Torah Scroll. The modern university uses ‘in loco parentis’ with the Spanish substituted for the second word’s Latin.
About 50 years ago I got in trouble by commenting that the staff directory at the medical school that then employed me listed 50 people with “dean” or “president” as part of their titles. Today at Lagado U the janitors, the gardners, the carpenters, the electricians, the campus police, the groundskeepers, and the toilet attendants have “dean” or “president” as part of their titles. The rest of the administrative staff, with degrees in multiculturalism or diversity training from one of the 42 departments at State U that offer such majors, approaches a number near to that of Graham’s. They do nothing useful and have all the campus and environ’s parking places. Their salaries combined with those of the athletic department make up 95% of the uni’s budget. Neither Swift nor Carroll could conjure anything as colorful and nefarious as the modern campus.
Their uniformly diverse graduates, unlike the Bourbons, have learned nothing and have forgotten everything. But as money is cheaper than toilet paper, their student loans will be forgiven. They were never going to earn enough to pay them back anyway.
Loans raise the spectre of the Federal Reserve. The institution is charged with three contradictory missions – maximizing employment, stabilizing prices, and moderating long-term interest rates. Their main role seems to be to create and burst bubbles. They have more interest rates than Beethoven has variations. The setting of arbitrary interest rates has failed repeatedly over the centuries, yet those who have the power to manipulate these rates can’t resist the temptation to tinker. For a recent dissection of interest rates and regulation see Edward Chancellor’s The Price of Time. I’ll review it in a subsequent post.
Then there’s the always financially strapped Department of Defense. They have a budget larger than the next nine countries combined, yet they always plead poverty. When it comes to defense they don’t do very well. The two big attacks against the country during the past century caught them completely by surprise. They are doing very well, however, in making the Navy Seals open to transgender warriors. The Marine Corps is now encouraged to abandon the use of “sir” and “ma’am” when addressing officers. If we’re attacked by crossdressing commandos, we’ll be ready.
I wrote at the beginning of this screed that the bottom of the eponymous slope was crowded. What’s there? A decaying infrastructure that gets a lot of pork, but little beef. Our airports are barns in disrepair that specialize in subjecting passengers to the bastinado. Our roads badly need upgrading. Railroad crossings are death traps. They provide poor passenger service, often to nowhere. Train stations are decrepit and shelters for the homeless and addicted. Our cities are filled with the same population while being centers for unpunished and hence fertile crime.
What should we do about the mess the whole world’s in? We’re not alone, but per usual we’re number 1. Gallup is taking another poll. Netflix is still adding content. Despite the crowding, when you explore the bottom of the slope you will find an exit. It leads to another slippery slope. Happy sliding.