There is a lot of ruin in a nation.
Glen Bleck predicts catastrophic instant inflation completely collapsing the currency and government in a single two week crisis. That is not the way hyperinflation happens.
Hyperinflation consists of a series of hyperinflationary crises. In a hyperinflationary crisis, the value of money falls abruptly, typically to two thirds, half or a third of its previous value. The collapse occurs so suddenly that by the time most people realize that the hyperinflationary crisis has begun it, is already over.
And, after the crisis is over, people think normality is returning. After all, most of the government’s debts have been inflated away. And sometimes normality does return. But usually the irresponsibility, criminality, and incompetence that led the government to run up unpayable debts is still present, so suddenly, when people least expect it, there is another hyperinflationary crisis. And then another. And another, until the government gets its act together or people just stop using its currency.
So when will the first hyperinflationary crisis hit? Europe is in worse shape than the US, and Europe still stands. So probably not for a few years.
Government probably will not collapse in the first hyperinflationary crisis, but there is a good chance it will collapse or undergo some fundamental change not long after. In 1994 I predicted governmental collapse around 2016, 2020, or 2025, or so. The American government has lasted a lot longer than most other governments, but there are numerous indications that its run is ending. That the buildings damaged or destroyed in the 9/11 attacks are still down is an omen, a manifestation of loss of cohesion and internal discipline withing the ruling elite. Park 51 cannot be repaired because to repair it needs permissions from lots and lots of authorities, and each authority wants the largest share of the vigorish.
Reflect on the proposed victory mosque at at Park 51. The factory at Park 51 suffered extensive damage in the 9/11 attack, due to parts the plane and parts of people landing on it, and could never be repaired or replaced, because any repair would require too many permissions from too many different authorities, each wanting the lion’s share of the vigorish, so stands damaged and empty to this day, with bits of the 9/11 passengers still in it to this day.
But Imam Rauf, unlike the owner, has no trouble getting all the permissions he needs for a victory mosque, because if anyone creates difficulty for him, instead of paying off the bureaucrat making trouble, Imam Rauf drops a gentle hint that if Rauf does not get what he wants, some other Muslims, immoderate Muslims quite unlike the wonderfully moderate Rauf, might blow up the offender. Rauf, of course, understands that Islam is the religion of peace, but if he does not get what he wants, might inspire some of those dreadful misunderstanders of Islam to blow you up.
In the final stages of state decline, presaging final collapse, broader and broader state power, the power to destroy, is delegated to more and more people subject to less and less state discipline. Patent trolls are merely one more consequence of irresponsible judges with too much power and not enough restraint, and irresponsible overpowered judges are merely one more consequence of the expanding bureaucracy and regulatory apparatus that has prevented the towers from rising again.
The left rules, but like the Soviet Party, has lost faith in itself: Mencius remarks:
Passion and casuistry seem naturally incompatible, but in Gladstone they were most curiously combined.
The perfect leftist is the fanatical hypocrite. While his beliefs correspond precisely to his own advantage, he believes in them furiously just the same. His opportunism does not even slightly detract from his sincerity, which is palpable and enormous. Indeed, if the situation changes and so do his interests, his mind will change as well. And change sincerely.
Alas, this character is easier to describe than find. In the day of Gladstone, liberalism was young and crazy and full of juice. Today? The movement exudes the overwhelming odor of fatigue. It remains both fanatical and hypocritical – but not in one person. Its fanatics, who could be broadly described as the amateur left, are devoid of any tactical cunning. And its hypocrites, who despite Robert Gibbs constitute the professional left, are as passionless as an eggplant.
They try to care. They moan, they gasp, they writhe. But their eyes are dead, whore eyes. Now that we’ve seen it in the White House, we’d know it anywhere. You have to be an awfully blind fanatic not to see what you’re looking at. Can the amateur left, the audience, the chumps who buy the magazines, find a professional leftist who actually cares about his ideals? They’ll need a much brighter lantern than it took to find B.H. Obama.
In 2010, there is nothing fresh about the revolution industry. The idealistic professional leftist is the exact counterpart of the romantic porn star – a human impossibility. A porn star is a prostitute. It’s simply impossible for a prostitute to feel, or even simulate, normal sexual passion. If any ordinary, amateur leftist were somehow transported into the White House, “enhanced patdowns” and Afghan wars would end tomorrow. But once a pro, always a pro. And who gets elected, but a pro?
And why has the ruling elite lost faith? The gate keepers to the elite demand proof of sincere radical leftism before anyone can be allowed in, require a demonstration of sincere leftism so extreme that no genuine leftist is likely to manifest it:
Gonzalo explains in Selecting for Cynicism in the Ivy League
Chatting with my new classmates on my first day in Hanover, I quickly learned that none of this do-goodism was genuine. That wasn’t my verdict—it was the verdict of my peers: The very ones who had done all this do-goodism admitted to me that it was not genuine—had never been genuine.
But community service or volunteer work was key: Any student serious about getting into an Ivy simply had to do community service or volunteer work.
Four years of high school meant eight “community service” extra-curriculars—one per semester. Anything more would seem like you were a “dabbler”, and therefore “weren’t serious”. But anything less would show a “lack of commitment”, which was equally bad. And the extra-curriculars had to be more or less aligned: You couldn’t read to blind people one semester and then go save the whales in the next. Rather, you had to work on saving the whales in one semester, and then volunteer to work on an organic farm in the next: That showed you were “environmentally aware”. Or else you had to tend a soup kitchen for the homeless, then read to the elderly in the next semester: That showed you were “socially engaged”.
My fellow Dartmouth students, as well as students at all the other Ivies that I would get to know over the years, did all this do-goodism as a requirement, in order to get into a good school—an Ivy League school.
They did it in order to get ahead—and they were openly encouraged to do it: Not just by their parents, but by their high-school guidance counselors, their college prep advisors, even the visiting admissions deans of the very universities they were applying to—
—it was simply part of the admissions process: “It’s like taking calculus,” I still remember a girl named Debra, from Nebraska, telling me on the bus ride back to Hanover from Moosilauke Lodge. “You have to grind it out, and get it over with.”
In 1985 I predicted the Soviet Union would fall, because the party had lost the faith.
A ruling elite sticks together, and presents a united face to all their inferiors. A ruling ideology, a theocratic state, like the Soviet Union, like the leftist ruled west, is a state where the elite derives its cohesion from shared belief. And when the theocrats no longer believe, the state will collapse at the first serious challenge.