Friday, October 10, 2008

Economic Crisis and Empire

As the savings, investments, and retirement hopes of millions of Americans have essentially stepped back in time 5 or more years, shedding in three or so weeks virtually everything they have gained in the past 5 years, the Empire teeters on the edge of utter disaster. The entire world economy is crumbling along with us and the reality is that no one knows or has the will or insight to really help. I am ashamed by both candidates for President. What I thought was an election that might, in fact, change things no longer appears that way to me.

With both parties, the president, and both candidates for president essentially supporting the nationalization of American financial institutions out of sheer panic, I find myself wondering how increasing the size, power, and control of empire will really help the average citizen. Here is the point I'm pondering. Most of my friends, who are critical of empire, support Barack Obama. But my question is this, if we are truly skeptical of empire, skeptical of its evils, skeptical of it as an ideological machine, why do we support the radical increase of American imperial reach? Congress cannot even balance the budget of their cafeteria without a multi-million dollar deficit, how then can we trust them to manage our futures, retirements, health care?

I am cynical, truly skeptical that either candidate will create change so that my daughter may grow up in a world not worrying where her next meal will come from. Such a statement one year ago could readily be dismissed as fringe-pessimism. However, with the global political and economic climate in the shape it is in, I find little if any energy left to "hope" that either candidate will positively affect the direction of this country. I think both candidates are going to expand the empire in a radical way, such a radical way that before long, before anyone has time to notice, the very fundamentals of America will no longer resemble what we once called "America." Maybe it will be for the better, or maybe not... What may be worse, however, is that it will no longer be able to sustain a reasonable standard of living for any of its shivering denizens. Will expanding Empire's reach really save us? If the banks are nationalized, if the health system is nationalized, if the power base of the government continue to grow, will the well being of the people really be affected? I remain skeptical, for I simply cannot trust empire, no matter who is at the helm. Now I wonder whether I can vote at all, should I elect not to vote? Will it matter?

As a Christian, I cannot pledge allegiance to the flag. As a Christian, can I, or should I vote?


Stephen Lawson said...

I think making a universal stance against voting is giving the ritual more credit then it is due. I'm abstaining from the vote, but I am refraining from universally condemning the practice.

I wrote more about my thoughts here:

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Rob G. Reid said...

I'm not sure I have a universal stance against voting. Maybe I should re-read myself, but I don't know what my stance is other than disillusioned.

Whatever I'm doing, I haven't yet fully condemned the practice. However, despite most of my friends going for Obama, I'm not sure he isn't just another empty suit dressed up in populist garb. In the end, can he, will he deliver on his words... call me cynical but I doubt it.