April 26, 2011

American decline: the infrastructure problem(s)

Mmmmmm. Don't you love the smell of a good diatribe in the morning? Nice! Here goes . . .

Americans are aware of our collapsing infrastructure because they've seen bridges fall and buildings explode. They couldn't help but notice. Yet we're doing nothing about this deficiency. We know it's there, smoking silently in the background but so far our only response has been to hope it doesn't blow our way too soon. The future? Meh. We'll just try to sneak by for now.

There are other types of infrastructure, too. And in America they are all collapsing. For one, our system of rules is collapsing (or has already collapsed). We no longer have to follow "our" laws. Torture? Fine. Imprisoned without trial? Fine. Money taken from poor people and given to the rich? Check. Illicit wars? Bang, we're there. You see, there are no rules anymore. They collapsed. That infrastructure is gone.

History is gone, too. Now it's whatever you want it to be. Federal government officials haven't read the constitution, don't know what's in it, and have no interest in remedying their ignorance. The heck with rules and history and understanding, they say. But government can't function without a basic understanding of how society, civilization and logic work. All these are missing from our elected officials. They lack the mental infrastructure to govern and as a result, real progress has become impossible.

And just a passing note about knowledge. It, too, requires an infrastructure -- one that agrees on what is, and isn't, true. When all parties can have their own version of "knowledge"-- knowledge has left the building. It too needed an infrastructure: one of trust. That is gone.

On our newscasts, once a vital counterpoint to any threat to the American way of life, we now have a sea of Ted Baxters. They not only don't understand the issues, they don't even understand the words. They will happily read a story that is illogical, where one part is in fatal conflict with another, without batting an eyelash. In truth, they don't even notice. Without a comprehensive background in anything, these generic, soulless mannequins have become the collective voice of our land. They lack the mental infrastructure to think their way out of a paper bag -- and they are the ones who deliver essential news to the American people. 

There is a basic, mental infrastructure required for civilization to function. We now lack that infrastructure. And what little we have will soon be lost because there is no knowledgeable next generation, ready to take the reins of our country. America's schools provide education that is clearly inferior to the education provided for students in all other developed nations. Apparently, we don't care about this. In fact, state and local governments are currently slashing at school budgets with the intensity of a Freddy Kreuger. Without educated Americans, where will America be in 25 years? We are eating our young.

Mental bridges are collapsing all around us and I don't think many Americans are aware of this. And so the decline continues unabated. It is invisible. No one sees it; no one talks about it. The collapse is upon us.

1 comment:

Artichoke Annie said...

"Could you pass the salt please, these children are delicious. Thank you, and yes, I will have another glass of wine."