Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Land of Unintended Consequences- The Sunday Collage

“Most of the harm in the world is done by good people, and not by accident, lapse, or omission. It is the result of their deliberate actions, long persevered in, which they hold to be motivated by high ideals toward virtuous ends.” 
 Isabel Paterson, The God of the Machine

No quote captures the essence of progressives/liberals better than that one. That of course, is my blog's subtitle.  After my liberal college indoctrination...

It took me a full 28 years to regain consciousness. 

Life is all about choices and it is most certainly relative. This is not an opinion. In a society that wants what they want right now, it seems we are always after the quick fix. The problem with that mentality of course, is that sometimes our solution creates a far bigger problem for us down the road. That is where we find ourselves today. In the land of unintended consequences.

We have become undisciplined. As we seek out the quick fix for everything, say a boob job for our self esteem-or a pill because we can't sleep- we suffer the ill side effects because those things are often unforeseen or delayed. We diminish any thought of the potential side effects because we want relief now. We think that money, drugs, and boob jobs will make us happier but those things always fail. They don't work because they are just symptoms of our deeper, spiritual dilemma.  

We have told ourselves this lie so many times- like the money lie- that we begin to believe it.

That's the problem. In a capitalistic society- a society that is always willing to give you what you want if you have enough money- people don't care why you are filling that Xanax prescription. They don't care why you think you need big boobs to feel better about yourself. 

When responsible purveyors of things such as Xanax and boob jobs attempt to find out why a customer wants those things- often the customers' become indignant and self righteous. The customers claim and it is always implied, that the reason that they want something is none of the seller's business. The customers threaten to go somewhere else to get what they want. And they do. Until such day that the people selling Xanax and boob jobs don't really care why you want those things anymore. If you have enough money- they just give you those things because they are in business and caring about you or your intentions gets them nowhere. If they don't sell you those things, they know their competitors will.

And so you get those things. You sleep better for awhile. After a six months or so, you realize that you are addicted to Xanax. You have now entered the land of unintended consequences. Perhaps you must continually up the dosage. Withdrawal leaves you incredibly sick, depressed, homicidal or suicidal. It interferes with other medications and you  lose energy and mental capacity. Your family and career suffer. Soon you discover that withdrawal takes months. You switch medications. Maybe you try  a rehab center but the addiction is strong. It never leaves you. You may even spend a lifetime in addiction.

That is our number one societal problem. This insane belief that these short term solutions work and that we can control them. There will always be some unscrupulous salesmen offering up some panacea to a sea of willing customers. The customers want relief now. The salesman knows this is his opportunity and even though he knows the product only works briefly and it has lasting ill effects- he wants the immediate reward of the sale. So he sells this crap to you while rationalizing that if he didn't- someone else would. 

So immediate relief meets immediate sale. Instant gratification.

That is where we find ourselves today. Forever and always it seems, trying to avoid pain while seeking the quickest remedy. Ignoring the long term ill effects of our inability to behave patiently or with discipline. That's too bad.

The long term ill effects are now arriving. The unintended consequences of letting American jobs flow east, of giving trillions of dollars away to bankers and stimulus, of financing eternal wars and the resultant economic hardship- are here. We have a bunch of cowards running our country. Nothing they will do will have any lasting or real effect. They will keep looking for the quick fix. All you can do in the land of unintended consequences is prepare yourself. There is no escape this time. It's time we paid the bills.

It took me 47 years to discover that the best intentions of people have caused all of our problems. As a country, we have been in the process of discovering that for five years. Our national malaise will continue unabated, until such time that men of courage step forward and undo what has been done. Until then, we are going to feel the pain of all of those unintended consequences as politicians squirm and lie- looking for the easier, softer way. The quick cure for everything that ails us. Taxes, health care, gun control. Un- fortunately, it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better. But that's just the optimist in me.

I think 2013 is going to prove that out. 


Anonymous said...

Americans know the price of everything, and the value of nothing.

Anonymous said...

28 years to regain consciousness? Me too. It took me until now, at the ripe old age of 50, to come to the realization that "liberalism" (or whatever one chooses to call it) is synonymous with stupidity. I despise the arrogance, the hypocrisy, the finger pointing, the hubris, the cowardice and the racism that typifies liberalism (and on this final point I am certain; liberals spend so much time and so much energy labeling everyone but themselves as racists, I can only conclude that they themselves are guilty of that which they accuse everyone else. Furthermore, liberals gave the world political correctness and affirmative action; two policies of pure racism which ignore slander by non-whites while discriminating against whites in job hiring).

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Marcus said...

Any system which thrives on destruction will ultimately destroy itself.

Love your Sunday collages, Brian.

Anonymous said...

We are born as blank slates. It is what gets written on those slates that dooms us.

So, in spite of it all, I hope you have a great new year, Brian!

Brian said...

Thanks Anon, Anon, Marcus and Jim. I appreciate the insight and the kind words.