For at least a couple of weeks now, one word has repeatedly returned to mind as all the crushing implications of the world's economic collapse emerge.
The process of devolving.
Think 180-degree turnabout in most everything modern America has embraced as our being entitled to, justly or unjustly.
Not many folks are at the stage yet where they can comprehend the meaning of what is coming. Change is a process. Those in the locomotive are themselves just coming to grips with the strange new landscape. Many of them are not yet accepting the fact that there is no going back to the best of the good old days, that were largely illusory anyway.
Most of the rest of the riders are not even yet over the bridge. Those of you in the caboose will be the last to take it all in. Eventually, we'll all have to come to grips with it, though I suppose it will take some time before we call it what it really means.
Most of us have grown up in a nation where we learned to expect success. To expect prosperity. To believe in our superiority. To in fact want it all and not have to give much of anything of value in return.
We embraced the mirage. We celebrated the wizards who conjured the illusions of mass levitation.
It was certainly entertaining while it lasted. Oh-oh ... pssst ... don't look down. (There's no landing gear on our magic carpet, but keep that to yourself for now, OK?)
The opposite of evolution, which implies progress and improvement. Turn back the clock, give back the ill-gotten gains and then some. That's what we have up ahead.
Denial is the natural first stage in any major, forced change. As a rule, the ones who get through the denial quickly and accept and adjust accordingly will be among those with minimal pain and the most to gain.
Thing is, devolution is not a familiar template to map out or on which to formulate new strategies and tactics.
Economically, culturally, systems-wise, policies, laws ... the very power structure that has kept the world at relative peace for the past several decades ... it's all up in the air in the immediate future. Can we comprehend this as yet?
America will devolve. How far, how fast? I have no clue, to be honest. But the scenery out the windows as the train picks up speed, going bass ackwards will be like a ride into the past. Don't forget to pack warm clothes.
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