I spent a wonderful week in Belize back about 1999 or so. I thought it would be a great place to move to. I've been thinking about it a lot for the last couple years (gee, wonder why) but I'm stuck here basically dealing with aging parent issues. That could last years or it could end next month -- totally unpredictable. My fear is that by the time I'm free, places like Belize will have already absorbed as many disaffected Americans as they can, and that I would simply not be allowed in.
A few years ago some friends and I were talking about how hard it was to leave -- not because we'd miss the Amerikan konsumerist lifestyle -- but because of things like family obligations, friends, and other really important emotional ties. And we came to realize why the Jews did not all just get up and leave Europe when the regimes got really obnoxious.
So what I'm getting around to asking, if you get a chance to answer, is what is your read on how long will the window of opportunity be open? If times were normal, I wouldn't worry about things. But I feel like we're running up to a point where things are going to happen rapidly and what looks very possible today may be extremely difficult next year.
I'd just appreciate any brief thoughts you might have on that. And if I ever get back down there I'll buy you a beer or three.
Well, that is the big question and fear in liberal American minds today, isn't it?
My own personal feeling is that there will be no specific or great cataclysmic event like Nazi Germany saw. I think the overwhelming majority of American people will simply continue to have their consciousness and behaviors modified by the consumer state without feeling any particular fear, other than a lack of things to consume or the ability to obtain them.
To the fish in the gold fish bowl, the unknowable great hand drops food and all beyond the glass bowl is but an occasional passing illusion -- colorful explosions in Iraq, rain forests, the melting Arctic. Their behavior adapts to the limits of their confinement, the walls of the glass bowl, bounded on one side by the local mall, on another by the workplace, all bound together and saturated by the televised state reality of eagles, church spires, digital games and illusions, beautiful cars and homes and desperate housewives. And besides, what are they to do? Leap from the bowl and challenge the hand by which they live? (which they have been told is the miracle civilization of the ages.) It is not even possible for the idea to occur to them, for the power that sustains them is a complete one that withholds as well as provides. The vital issue for mos t Americans is to stay closer to the hand, and strive ever harder to respond to its every move and remain in the company of the overfed.
I would not worry about any mass exodus of Americans. The great hand does not want to kill the fish. Not all of them, anyway. Just maintain complete control. And of course cull out the "undesirable," unresponsive or uncooperative (criminal) types of fish, from time to time. No, I would not worry about any mass exodus of Americans.
And besides, fishbowl breeds cannot survive in the ocean of humanity. That requires a mutation -- the kind that is taking place in people like you and me.
In art and labor,