(Evolved Editorial, originally printed in '93)
There are still a lot of people who are sickened by the deterioration of our country, and a handful (who apparently retain some faith in their fellow man) are on the lookout for outside forces which can be targeted and brought down, specific enemies whose defeat would go very far in bringing America back to its founding principles of limited government and individual liberty. You know, conspiracy nuts.
Didja ever see They Might Be Giants? It's a 1971 movie with George C. Scott, Joanne Woodward, and a cast of dozens. While not a great flick by any means, it is worth catching for its detailed examination of the Moriarty Complex. Scott's character is a nutball ex-judge who thinks he's Sherlock Holmes, and Woodward is a shrink named Watson. The pair spend much of the flick skedaddling about the scummier sections of their town, encountering sad-sack character actors whose various grubby little tales of woe Scott ominously deduces are evidence of the diabolical machinations of his arch-nemesis. The obvious irony of the film is that the fake Holmes usually comes off as the sanest one of the bunch, because he has both focus and a purpose.
I used to make fun of folks who twittered on endlessly about the Trilateral Commission or the Illuminati. Now I just try to steer the conversation back to the original point, or smile wryly and walk away. I no longer find them any crazier than the people who think that the country would be simply perfect if we could just get rid of the drugs, or the firearms, or the pornography, or beat the swords of the Defense Department into timeshares for all the members of the NEA. I almost wish that I could be like them, eyeing about for a single nefarious throat to throttle. I'm sure that it must be somewhat comforting to think there might be an eventual positive end.
Unfortunately, the actual struggle facing this country is a heck of a lot more mundane in origin, and will prove much tougher to overturn. The cause of all of our problems is us.
While there are certainly groups dedicated to establishing a variety of One World utopias, the fact that most of our fellow citizens espouse many of the same sorts of notions is not due to their being "gotten to," at least not by some shadowy organization fearful of exposure. These ideas have been with mankind since the beginnings of civilization. Envy and stupidity are not modern inventions, after all. Fantasies of magnanimous charity and sweet revenge are not dangerous in themselves, but when our elected representatives rush to obey the clamor, the inevitable outcome will be a bloodbath. Since everyone has different tastes, once all those "well, if we only did this and this"-es are added up, there ain't gonna be one hell of a lot of wiggle room left.
We are now living through the same sorts of conditions as pre-Nazi Germany, where for decades there were no voices arguing against socialist principles -- just numerous factions squabbling over exactly who should end up holding the reins of absolute power. Hitler's eventual ascension can be attributed to the fact that his adherents were more ruthless and ideologically consistent than those of all his opponents. We already live in a police state, the mark of which is a mind-numbing number of vaguely-worded laws, which permit anyone to be killed, imprisoned, or impoverished (via asset forfeiture or legal fees) for anything at any time by any number of agencies. The only thing our nation lacks is a consistent ideology to direct the mailed fist so lovingly crafted over so many years by those on the Right, Left, Top, Bottom, and Center. That final goodie shouldn't take too much longer to evolve.
I'm a gun nut, so I spend a lot of time thinking about the anti-Second Amendment forces. Do you reckon that the "Deep Environmentalists" who wish to reduce the Earth's human population to (at most) a few tens of millions will ever be able to come to some sort of peaceful accord with the Welfare Statists who insist upon rewarding repeat public-assistance breeders? They may present a united front while clamoring for the destruction of the "rights" that some of us still consistently value, but they will fall on each other like crazed stoats once their handful of shared goals have been achieved.
In a nation with a properly-conceived government, the rights of free citizens will not come in conflict with the tightly-delineated, minimal duties of the State. In a socialist country of any imaginable stripe, every pressure group that remains standing must constantly fight to rip a larger portion of the dwindling supply of crumbs from all of the others.
The title of this piece refers to the U.N.'s international collection of Keystone Cops, who in many conspiracy theories have been accorded a leading role in bringing about America's destruction. This assertion is backed up with evidence showing that the troopers have been gaining more and more Washington-approved access to our soil over the past several years. While the suspicion that information breeds among some is understandable, I'm inclined to pass it off as Uncle Sugar simply providing yet more taxpayer-funded "foreign aid" to Third World hellholes that can't house and feed their own grunts.
I'm much more worried about my neighbors and their grand ideas.
Up the spout