(Some readers have spoken of my “proposed” rules of regency. It has sparked a vigorous – and somewhat useful – debate here. It is useful because after the Rescue is complete, people will have to decide how to govern themselves on a long-term basis. It is only somewhat, though, because it has obscured the main focus here. I am proposing nothing. Rather, I am informing you of how it will be during the period of Regency as we enter into Restoration after this broken culture finishes its collapse.
Periods of transition are tough. If you move from one house to another, you were comfortable in the first house, will be comfortable in the next, but the moving from one to the other can be chaotic and is always stressful. We are in a big period of transition right now.
I will write more on that this weekend, then put up the last piece on the Rules of Regency Sunday. Yesterday, our reader who goes by the screen name of ‘Storm Tracker Ed’ made a lengthy comment that brought the focus back to where it should be. It is a truly inspired piece. I reprint it here.
By Storm Tracker Ed
I am getting a bit distressed that the discussion here of late surrounding the Government, and its services and its workers is knocking us off the important thought process which drew me and I’m thinking a lot of people here in the first place.
I say this as a retired 35 year Federal Civil Servant.
I think a lot of people have made a lot of valid points and also have perpetuated a lot of stereotypical misperceptions about Government.
Let me just say it all seems fairly irrelevant to the situation at hand. Griping about how bad Government is when Government is about to fade away from our lives perhaps altogether in a new kind of Regency is like griping about the crew and the Captain of the Titanic as the band plays Nearer My God to Thee. A little late in the game.
I’d enjoy a spirited discussion of the relative efficiencies of large private enterprises vs a vis the efficiencies of large public bureaucracies and my own personal interactions and experiences with both but frankly it is just not worth the effort and folks are pretty hard to persuade or convince on much of anything these days.
Charlie is documenting The Storm which has been building for quite some time. It is raging all around us right now. For some the Storm has made a wreck of their lives already. Killed them. Injured them Ruined them. Flooded them out. Burned them out. Run them out. Turned them into refugees. Cost them their jobs. Cost them their homes. Cost them their neighborhoods. Riots. Massive unemployment. Nearly 100 million Americans out of the workforce. Hunger. Homelessness. Poverty. A loss of Hope in the future.
Coincident to all of that turmoil is the collapse of our most basic institutions. All of them. From the Family on down. The Church is in turmoil. Not just the Catholic Church. Academia. Our financial system is near collapse awaiting one stiff breeze or misstep by the Federal Reserve. Businesses are failing. We are failing to create new businesses. Our services and products are increasingly shoddy and defective.
We are experiencing systemic breakdown of major, major civilizational infrastructure needed to hold the whole thing together. It is eroding not just at the edges but at the core. It is obvious. It is alarming.
Add to all that our Government at virtually every level is failing in increasingly obvious ways. Government is too remote and too unaccountable and lacks any kind of transparency and now increasingly credibility or the trust of the people.
There are lots of reasons and many places to point the finger.
How to organize a collapse of society? Without specific orders from a Divine source that everyone recognizes as Divine?
Arguably the last time America faced anything close to our current predicament was the Great Depression. At that time FDR faced a lot of hungry bellies and did what he had to do to put food in those bellies and clothes on those backs and hope in those hearts. He entered into Office inheriting a miniscule Federal Government and a small budget. A Government TOO SMALL for the problem facing it. A Government inadequate to the problem. A Government too small to be effective or efficient. FDR’s task was to build it up to something capable of addressing the catastrophe he faced.
Today, the Storm presents a problem for a different kind for Government. Today our Governments are TOO BIG. Too big to be efficient. Too big and paralyzed by its own Leviathan ineptitudes as rather exhaustively discussed and lamented on this discussion board.
Who cares whose fault it is?
Charlie is pointing toward a very far reaching dismantling of the Federal apparatus which, take it from me, is a very dicey operation from a practical perspective. Some would like to use dynamite to implode it like the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas. Boom. Down in one heap. Won’t work. Not even in the short run. Especially in the short run. Here’s a fact: It costs more to shut down a Federal Government operation than to keep it going. Think of it as the comparative cost of the Death Penalty vs Life In Prison. Costs far more to end a criminal’s life than to keep him in a cell.
The Federal Government needs to be transformed into something closer to Herbert Hoover’s kind of Government. Focusing on the essentials. To tame it. To clean it up. To make it more transparent and more accountable. To make it more comprehensible to the elected officials sent to Washington to control it. As it stands those people are too unequipped for the job. As well, they are not interested in doing that job. Because for the most part it is a boring and tedious task. Reading through bills. Nobody reads through bills. Especially the 2,500 page variety. Nobody.
Stick by stick. The Federal Gargantua must be taken down stick by stick. Carefully. A little bit like it was put together. Pull off a piece and stand back and see if the whole thing collapses on the people causing more harm than good. Then go on to the next stick. Carefully.
Problem with that is that approach clearly takes time. If Charlie is right we are out of time. There is no more time.
An imploded Federal Government in a very short time is a huge problem for not just America but the whole world. It doesn’t work well now. Large parts of it fails to deliver anything useful. It has got to go. But HOW it goes does make a difference.
I believe we will be forced into doing something that perhaps not many of us reading and commenting on this site have ever done much of before in the aftermath of a total collapse of our society…..GET INVOLVED.
We will be called on to undertake a much more intensive type of Citizen Participation. We will have to show up. We will have to speak up. We will no longer BE ALLOWED the luxury of “I don’t want to get involved”. Our very lives will depend on more active participation in the communities that will be around us.
Another thing we will have to get used to. Hard work. Hard ,hot, heavy physical work. To grow our food and make our dwellings and put clothes on our backs. Without a lot of complaining.
We all ought to study Pope Francis’ Angelus Message on WORK a year ago this month.
“….St Paul would not fail to warn Christians: “If anyone will not work, let him not eat” (2 Thess 3:10) — that’s a good recipe for losing weight, you don’t work, you don’t eat! The Apostle explicitly refers to the false spiritualism of some who indeed live off their brothers and sisters “not doing any work” (2 Thess 3:11). Commitment to work and the spiritual life, in the Christian conception, are not at all at odds with one another. It is important to understand this properly! Prayer and work can and must be in harmony, as St Benedict teaches. The absence of work damages the spirit, just as the absence of prayer damages practical activity.”
We are going to work in this new post-Storm world. All enterprises are going to have to WORK in the sense that they contribute something positive to the common good. We are going to work in community. Together. Helping each other to live and thrive.
Our present form of Government with its negative inducements and perverse incentives to getting work done. That kind of Government, the kind we have today, has a short shelf life remaining. If it doesn’t “work” it won’t prevail. It won’t be tolerated. It won’t be allowed to exist. Because there won’t be the resources to waste on such madness.
Going to work, stepping up to our newly required by necessity active Citizen Participation, is, IMO, going to be a defining characteristic of The Next Right Step. And the fallout from that will be a sign of Hope for all those around us.
And the inefficiencies of our present system or lack of system at the Federal level?