Saturday, October 29, 2005

A Separate Peace: The Blade Runner Century

I sometimes fear that we are witnessing the second fall of Rome, and that chaos will ensue, the new Dark Ages. This will be the "Blade Runner" Century, where people will retreat into their little fortresses in their own separate peace and try to keep anarchy at bay.

I don't always think like that, but in dark moments, I do, yes. Looks like I'm not the only one:

A Separate Peace

I think there is an unspoken subtext in our national political culture right now. In fact I think it's a subtext to our society. I think that a lot of people are carrying around in their heads, unarticulated and even in some cases unnoticed, a sense that the wheels are coming off the trolley and the trolley off the tracks. That in some deep and fundamental way things have broken down and can't be fixed, or won't be fixed any time soon. It's beyond, "The president is overwhelmed." The presidency is overwhelmed. The whole government is. And people sense when an institution is overwhelmed. Citizens know. If we had a major terrorist event tomorrow half the country--more than half--would not trust the federal government to do what it has to do, would not trust it to tell the truth, would not trust it, period.

I think those who haven't noticed we're living in a troubling time continue to operate each day with classic and constitutional American optimism intact. I think some of those who have a sense we're in trouble are going through the motions, dealing with their own daily challenges. Our elites. I have a nagging sense, and think I have accurately observed, that many of these people have made a separate peace. That they're living their lives and taking their pleasures and pursuing their agendas; that they're going forward each day with the knowledge, which they hold more securely and with greater reason than nonelites, that the wheels are off the trolley and the trolley's off the tracks, and with a conviction, a certainty, that there is nothing they can do about it. I suspect that history, including great historical novelists of the future, will look back and see that many of our elites simply decided to enjoy their lives while they waited for the next chapter of trouble. And that they consciously, or unconsciously, took grim comfort in this thought: I got mine. Which is what the separate peace comes down to, "I got mine, you get yours." Not all of course. There are two groups. One has made a separate peace, and one is trying to keep the boat afloat. I suspect those in the latter group privately, in a place so private they don't even express it to themselves, wonder if they'll go down with the ship. Or into bad territory with the trolley.


At October 29, 2005 2:51 AM, Blogger John Sobieski said...

Fjordman, I can understand that feeling sometimes that our leaders and much of our elite have sold out.

There never was a Bladerunner II. Not sure why? The stylistic sets were great.

At October 29, 2005 8:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My husband and I were talking about this a few weeks ago. We decided we don't want to live in the city, but somewhere remote so when the anarchy hits we won't be in the middle of it.

Peggy Noonan (one of President Reagan's favorite speech writers) has a knack for saying things that many people are thinking, but can't or don't put into words. Her story about the girl and the earrings was sad. Her assessment of the parents motivation was right. ("the fear parents have that we're at the end of something, and they want their kids to have good memories.") I think she is right about the elites of this country--that is why people don't trust the government to tell them the truth and act on their behalf in times of crisis. As the recent hurricanes in this country have made abundantly clear, people need to be prepared individually to take care of themselves.

At October 29, 2005 8:13 AM, Blogger ik said...

There is one more group of elites in the media and institutions - those who are "actively hostile" - the communists are still around and commies are by definition sworn to destroy the nation state as an "oppressive entity"

1. In Germany if you look at the Red/Blue after election map the CDU would have won the last two elections if not for the East Germany voters - on David's Medienkritik people comment regularly saying that the anti-Americanism is driven by ex-communists.
2. The most anti-American people in India are the communists and they have infiltrated all the critical institutions so it is almost impossible to dislodge them.

The biggest mistake the West made was that they went complacent when the Berlin wall fell - there should have been an intensive "de-commification" programmme all over the world where there were functioning communist parties. (just like the deNazification programme)

Yes I do realize that what the commies are doing is stupid and they will be among the people who will be swallowed by the fires they have ignited - but these are the people who gave you Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot - their brains work in ways I do not understand.

At October 29, 2005 12:58 PM, Blogger José said...

May be the elites behave in that general way, but there a suspicion that some of its member know where they lead us, and it is to a world totalitarian government. I think they promote in some way all the wars and conflicts to prepare psychologically to everybody for that end. Satanism in other words.
I don´t think they will succeed but the possibility is there.

At October 29, 2005 2:49 PM, Blogger tefta said...

We are uneasy with good reason.

There’s a concerted effort among those who hate freedom to destroy Bush and the fragile coalition of the anglosphere and with it our last hope for a peaceful world.

Sound like hyperbole. Yes, but it's true nonetheless. Terrorism will continue apace all over the world to keep the pressure on and to scare people into voting for the opposition not realizing that liberal regimes with their foreign policy of appeasement and UN sanctions are responsible for the rise in terrorism.

It’s the scare mongering from the left who made up out of whole cloth lies about nuclear energy and oil exploration that made us dependent on corrupt regimes like the Saudis.

A damaged Bush can’t move his agenda forward. The ridiculous charges against Libby (30 years in jail!!!). While the prosecutor went on and on at his news conference yesterday about the danger to national security, etc., Libby isn’t charged with endangering national security or outing an agent, he’s charged for allegedly lying to the grand jury about who told him about Valerie Plame.

What could endanger our national security more than Fitzgerald bringing these charges and keeping others in the administration swinging in the wind by hinting at other ongoing investigations. Fitzgerald looked and sounded mighty nervous. Unusual for an experienced prosecutor. What’s his angle? Running for public office?

This while Sandy Berger who confessed to removing documents from the National Archives, doctoring them to remove notations damaging to Clinton and then putting them back, is still walking around, a free man. Many, many more examples, including Joseph Wilson who lied so many times and in so many media, is un-indicted. Senator Patrick Leahy outed CIA agents in the Achillo Lauro affair and those agents died. The list is endless.

The left is bent on impeaching and convicting Bush to vindicate Clinton and elect his blushing bride in 2008. If you want nightmares, think of the little woman in the White House and the self-confessed perjurer, not in jail where he should be, but as head of the U.N.

At October 29, 2005 4:06 PM, Blogger sissyblue said...

I agree. It gives me great comfort to own 100 acres in the mountains in Washington. If the cities go to hell in a handbasket, we're heading to the mountains! There's lots of mountains in Norway too! Muslims are largely ignorant about living in the wild (and actually quite fearful of even driving through the countryside). They pretty much stay put in the cities.

At October 29, 2005 6:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Very well stated--you should submit this to the NYTimes letters to the editior and see if they have the nerve to publish it. (Don't hold your breath)

At October 29, 2005 6:50 PM, Blogger tefta said...

nordic, thanks for humoring me.

I don't send letters to the editor anymore, not only because it’s unlikely they will be printed and if they are printed they’re "edited" so they make no sense, but because they want your real name, address and telephone number and my kids are somewhat well known and don't want my name in the papers spouting off my radical rightwing views.

I was having withdrawal until I found the blogosphere and now I can spout off to my heart’s content whether anyone reads it or not, agrees or disagrees, doesn’t matter. I love it.


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