Mandarins

This seems to be the Century of Magical Thinking. While most Americans are watching Dancing With the Stars and wishing their son-in-law had a job, a few superior people are struggling hard in vicious hit-and-run raids up and down Wall Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. They all want to be the toughest kid on the playground, se are the fuhrers–sorry–leaders of  The tea-party folks are few in number, but they glow from within, armed with the sure knowledge that they are saving the country from, uh, me. Their coffee-klatches, their newsletters and the paint for their bizarre signs portraying Barack Obama now as a monkey, now as Adolf Hitler,  is paid for by the Koch brothers, whose family fortune comes in at the very least at tens of billions of dollars.

David Koch, Libertarian

The Democrats, sharp as ever, dance anxiously around the subjects of our vanishing public school system, our literally insane healthcare system, and the emergence of a huge unemployed underclass, hoping to avoid pissing off the corporate leaders who throw them bones from time to time just in case the party manages to seize control of the Senate for a couple of weeks.

y manage to   with the help of Somehow the Leftists have ruined our logical, gentle society, but we can get it back if we only get rid of every possible way in which people cooperate with each other to make life easier. The best thing to do is to turn everything over to the people who really know how to do things—corporate managers.

Anybody else here ever work at a big corporation?

I’m a little skeptical about the triumph of rugged individualism. I remember when I was a kid. On one salary, my parents were able to raise four children and build a house. And rack my brains as I might, I don’t remember stepping over unconscious homeless people in our driveway. The auto companies cranked out new behemoths each year, and everybody expected the oil companies’ profits to grow. As they should. A triumph for capitalism. And yet we got polio shots at school—an early warning of the coming socialist takeover. I guess I just didn’t know, as I saw the union plumbers and truck drivers passing by, that we were all Soviet dupes.

It cannot have escaped your attention that we in what we choose to call “The West” are in a crisis of confidence. From financial commentary on the Charles Schwab site to the most innocuous movie reviews on the CBC, “Doom” is the tolling bell in the background. doom is the

Steady Drumbeat