Last year, in our escape from lockdown Colorado, we visited a riverboat museum near Kansas City, and that was….. bizarre.
No, not the fact we went to the museum. Given how starved we were to see human beings, how addicted we are to museums, the weirder the better, and the fact I grew up on Mark Twain, it was almost guaranteed we’d go and poke about the museum.
The museum itself was also not bizarre. It was an interesting snapshot of life just before the civil war. (We incidentally found that one of my husband’s collateral ancestors (they were the only family of the name, in the town, but the name is not in his ancestry, so a brother or cousin of an ancestor) was bringing guns into slave states, in boxes marked “bibles.” Which frankly is no more than we expected. It’s rather annoying we have no idea what happened to that young man.) However, I grew up in a house that had been in the family for generations, and among people who never threw anything away that could still be used. So a lot of the dishes and the glassware looked like the stuff I used every day as a kid. Heck, a lot of the shoes and such looked like stuff you could find poking around the attics and outbuildings of the area in which I grew up. (And of COURSE we did. We were kids.)
I mean, it was interesting, but not startling or revelatory.
What was startling and revelatory was where the boat, which had sank some 150 (? I’m too lazy to look it up. Bear with me) before discovery was found: In the middle of a wheat field.
Apparently rivers, in the great flatlands of America have a tendency to meander wildly. Okay. I kind of get that. But the fascinating part is that no one had noticed. The boat sank in a time of newspapers, and reports, and writing and more importantly property records. And people have been looking for it pretty much since it sank. BUT THEY WEREN’T LOOKING IN THE RIGHT PLACE.
The family that owned the wheat field in which the riverboat was buried, had no clue it had ever been anything but a wheat field in living memory. A river deep enough that a floating palace was lost with all its contents (but no lives, save for a poor mule left tied up) just changed course slowly enough that…. well, it sort of became a wheat field.
Now, I understand that due to modern engineering this doesn’t happen anymore. Or at least it’s not supposed to. But all the same, bear with me a moment.
One of my favorite blogs was casting doubt that the republic still exists.
This is a little…. How do I put it? I love the blogger, but d*mn if you’re more depressive than I am you need to start reality-checking obsessively. (I do.)
The republic is sort of a schrodinger thing. If we’re going on “We only have a republic if it obeys the constitution as written”…. it probably ceased to exist twenty years in.
Of course it didn’t. There are…. meanderings and latitudes given and necessitated by the fact that we’re humans and that frankly tech innovation has thrown us a few curve balls that our founders, also being human and therefore fallible, no matter how amazing, could never have anticipated.
The biggest curve ball, though was mass production, mass communication and generally mass everything, which might have been a logical step in the industrial revolution, but the level to which it went was definitely had to see from centuries before.
The Mass Everything age almost necessitated the antithesis of the constitution: centralization of power, power in the hands of an unelected bureaucracy, all of it aided and abetted by the press covering it up.
If the republic is gone, it has been gone since at least the 30s, probably the 20s. Sorry, but nothing we’re seeing, from political prisoners to outrageous treason of both the People and the Country in the seats of power is new. FDR did it. Woodrow Wilson did it.
What is new and revolutionary is that we’re no longer in the “Mass Everything” age.
The left, who are the natural people — hyper social, power-craving, etc — to ascend that type of hierarchy are in control of the commanding heights of mass communication and bureaucracy, etc.
Their problem is that this is increasingly less relevant. And every time they make a major power grab, like the psy-ops we call the Covidiocy (NOT the virus. Yeah, the virus exists. It’s a severe flu, that fortunately kills very few people under 80. BUT the measures taken around and supposedly because of it, and the fear mongering in the mass media) loses them power. I’m highly amused in the grocery store by the — I’m sure corporate-enforced — announcements coming over the loudspeaker thanking us for wearing masks for “everyone’s safety.” Mind you, there’s usually ONE person in the store in a mask. Someone whose eyes look perfectly deranged and who is often dragging a masked toddler (poor thing). The rest of us at this point are treating it as “Something only crazy people and corporate entities believe is needed, anymore.”
And it will be hard, if not impossible to gin up the next panic. (which is why I’m sure the next grab will be a world war. But that’s something else.)
At this point everything those who belong to the old structures and long for centralized, massed power and communication can do only turns us against them and their obsessions. It’s sort of like…. a vaccination.
Look, America is an idea so powerful that though honored mostly in the breach, it has changed the world. Granted the echo-revolutions abroad were mostly crazy. But the fact that even the worst regimes have to FAKE being elected tells you the power of the idea.
It won’t perish. And we have a chance to ah…. really …. I hate it to say this but we have a chance to build back better, closer to the infrastructure the founders gave us, one better suited to a world of fractured production and communication.
Look at the people who supposedly have power. Note the trail of flames from their hair. No one who is winning is that scared.
But Sarah, you say, then why haven’t we revolted already.
Well — ask anyone on the left — we are revolting. Okay, jokes aside, we are rebelling. In a hundred different ways, we are turning our backs on the idea that “the best people” have our interests in mind, or that even if they did they could be trusted to carry them out, or any of that.
It used to be the institutions no one would doubt were the medical establishment that flew under the flag of ‘public health’ and public schooling. I mean, we screamed, yelled and pointed to abuses (and slow ratcheting thereof) and got told it was still mostly good. Oh, yeah, and the collection of statistics. Even when it was obvious they were lying, they were still used to slap us into silence.
I won’t say that’s a thing of the past but it’s becoming so. And it will become more so faster, the more they struggle.
Most of this type of movement is invisible, until it isn’t.
Today someone shared a meme lamenting that the right doesn’t just have right wing stations, etc. but is creating their own separate structures for information and commerce. Well, duh. The fact this is a surprise for them is amusing. For most of us, though, it’s news. We know we need it, but the movement is as yet slow and if you’re not looking in the right place you’ll never see it.
But it’s like that. This is how society changes. Not from above with fiats. That only distorts it. But slowly, from the bottom up. First almost imperceptibly and then all at once.
And then we forget that there was ever a wheat field there, and return to thinking that things are “as they ever were.” But they’re not. And you can see the signs if you look. The left is looking and getting scared. And scared people make stupid moves, which unfortunately affect us too.
Look, after a hundred years of psy-ops to make us feel isolated and small and like theirs was the inevitable future win, the surprising thing is that the worm is turning at all, not how slow it is.
Yes, we went along to get along, because we really thought we were small and isolated and because in the absence of alternate structures, we had to earn a living in their world.
For many of us it’s still that way. But the water is shifting. The silt is moving in to what was once river bed. Culture is on the move.
And there are far more of us than there ever were of them. And we’re an ornery bunch. Had to be to stand looking at mass-communication, mass-education, mass-entertainment and mass-bureaucracy, and plant our hands on our waists and say “No, you move.”
We’ve got this. It’s slow. Infuriatingly slow, because we’ve been standing (we thought) alone so long. And cold is the brotherless back, as our Dave Freer tells us.
But it’s changing. And it will heal over the break, and function again, at least for a while.
America is not dead. It is asleep. But it’s stirring. And it’s opened one eye. The rising will be swift and startling.
Keep your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark. And be not afraid.