By: s.i. wells
I have observed that certain natural laws exist which control outcomes no matter how hard man tries to overcome them. Gravity is one of those laws. Man has figured out how to build and fly airplanes that clearly defy gravity, but not forever. Generally, it is a safe bet that what goes up does eventually come down.
I have also observed that certain human behaviors seem to be both common and predictable over an appropriate span of time. Financial history is littered with periods of booms followed by busts despite man’s attempts to manage the business cycle simply because it is very hard to know when an economy is about to fall off a cliff and equally hard to know when a bust has run its course.
I have also noticed that hegemonic empires, famous for concentrating power and fostering the appearance of force, make great reading for those prone to histories - the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire…the British Empire…and today, the United States of America. The comings and goings of garden-variety hegemonies have been textbook fodder putting high school students to sleep for centuries.
So, as I ruminate on the exact position of the United States’ century-old hegemony, I wonder where America really stands between the earth and the sky. Are we rising in a gravity-defying trajectory or at the beginning of a death spiral that will end in a very messy crater? Clearly, those enjoying the fruits of a particular hegemony believe that natural selection has endowed them with a gene capable of defying gravity.
Which brings me to lemmings - rodents who reproduce so quickly that their population booms or busts depending on the food supply and the abundance of predators. We have all heard the myths about lemmings running headlong off a cliff and falling into the sea in an inscrutable migration to the great beyond. Of course, if you bothered to inquire of a lemming, you would learn that lemmings, as they launch themselves into the air, actually believe they will defy gravity and ascend directly to heaven.
Simply summed, what makes the policy-makers of today, the great men of finance and the custodians of national treasures think they can defy economic gravity? What makes them believe they can rewrite history and prevent the fall of an economy that has been busily ascending toward the heavens? And, what makes these people so confident that they can control the ebb and flow of hegemonic forces and so arrogant as to truly believe that man is able to rewrite the laws of nature?
The answer is really quite obvious – they have all come to believe that lemmings must be right.