Back in the heady, go-go 1990’s, when the Internet was bubbling and Capital could do no wrong, we all looked at what was going on in the US federal government, and saw deadlock. Nobody could get anything done because they were all wrestling for control. Bill Clinton squandered whatever political capital he had on the whole Monica thing, the government got shut down a few times over budget deadlocks, and we all thought,”What the hell? Maybe it’s better that they can’t get anything done–that just lets the status quo roll, and the Internet/stock market/wealth-generation zeitgeist will make everything alright. Government is irrelevant. People (business, the Internet, stock options) can get together and fix things on their own.”
Today, we look at New Orleans post-Katrina, at the arguments over funding, at the ongoing war in Iraq, and we say:”What the hell? Government can’t do anything right. They just let the status quo roll while people are dying and the crap gets deeper, and they keep giving the money to allegedly fix everything to their friends. But if you want to get anything really done, the government is irrelevant at best, and a hindrance at worst. People have to get together and fix things on their own, because we aren’t getting any help from those idiots.”
The more things change, the more they stay the same.