Original article was published by David Bernat on Artificial Intelligence on Medium
Capitalism in The Twenty-First Century: The Physics and the Civics
To understand nature we must study its transformations
Republican Economics and the Tragedy of Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell: Or, Fuck You and Your Little Dog, Too.
As a kid of Cold War Boomers and their Reaganite ilk, nothing troubles my twenty-first century mind like the simple realization that nearly all American macro-economic policy interventionism is drawn from one data point: the intervention into World War II exited America from the Great Depression.
This is technically and historically accurate. The manufacturing era of the post-agrarian industrialization of America, and its education of population, had reached full (enough) penetration by 1940s. The creation of a massive industrial works program and nationalized defense initiative was a natural and constructive economic solution to the confounding agricultural and labor decimation since the 1920s corporate economy imploded upon America.
The program of mass national construction was so effective, and so visible, with its roaring factories, manufactured goods, and transport routes that the hopeless political establishment took away one lesson: build out of recessions.
Never mind that nearly one hundred years later we still have one data point.
The United States effectively kept up its end of the bargain: massive science and technology development from secret works programs, like nuclear power, ballistic missiles, NASA, and the Apollo Program kept the big works projects pumping along in ever increasing sophistication and international leadership.
Never mind that we forced construction of a Cold War and nuclear stand-off.
By the late 1960s the civilization caught up with the technology, and so the same action that happens for all great democracies happened, too: politicians collapsed their institutions of higher and higher authority. Nixon resigned.
But then a great malaise settled over the land, children!
Inflation, the boondoggle boogeyman of un-started publics works reared its moderately unattractive head. Prices went up and employment went down.
And ever since America has been running scared.
Oh, sure, Reagan came around and played his part, read his lines, flashed his smile of integrity, and the secret economy of security theatre was put on the world stage and shuffled around until the Soviet Union collapsed. We won.
But the economy of the 1970s through 1990s was nothing really more than simple expansion of the white collar accounting and legal frameworks of the 1950s corporate age pushed through an unregulated international finance. And that apparatus was nothing more than a framework to wrap our arms around the Soviet Union until it collapsed within our nestled grasp. We sure did fuck up South America and the Middle East to do it though. America did.
And then DARPA stepped up with whip-smart buck-shot Bill Clinton to do his best Humpty Dumpty dance. And then Bush II bite the bitter apple of Bush I.
Which is to say we still only have one data point, America!
We good God damn the Great Covid Collapse gave us our one change to make the world a better place. Between the collapse of economies worldwide due to Covid-19 and the befalling of the world’s autocracies via… let’s say Facebook, we have the economic worldwide laboratory to see how the world puts itself back together… without our intervention. We have to build for the world the framework to economically measure their states of change, and we have the obligation to finance the reconstruction of the world and their infrastructure.
Congratulations, Captain America, you did effectively succeed in channeling your one greatest hit and franchise the damn model to the rest of the world.
Now, at least do the right thing and build the world its global Middle Class.
Or, as hippies sing: I’d like to build the world a home, and furnish it with love.
Luckily, at least Starlight and its central administration of entrepreneurs have been building for preparation of the inevitable forbearing of better times. But don’t call us Robin Hood and the band of Merrie Men. This ain’t socialism.