Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Total system failure?

Michael Bérubé:
Hockey is the only source of good news in the entire world. ...

Really, I was going to try to write something this week about how the financial collapse of 2008 and the Gulf disaster of 2010 are such enormous, systemic failures—so clearly the result of deeply dysfunctional institutions in which both the primary players and the “regulators” were rotten to the core—that they should have provoked sweeping, wholesale reviews and radical changes in business as usual. We’ve known for some time that there will be no radical changes in business as usual on the financial front. I’m guessing that we’re not going to see any radical changes in the oil industry or in American energy policy either. I could be wrong—it’s just a wild guess. But for almost two years now I’ve been haunted by one sentence from a blog comment by Roger Gathman—“I figure we are in the Soviet endgame zone—say, USSR, 1985, with trivia pursuing corruption as one institution after another fails.” Perhaps President McCain is our very own neo-Konstantin Chernenko, and in 2012 President Issa can be our neo-Boris Yeltsin. We already have our neo-Chernobyl, thanks.

As for U.S. policy with regard to Israel, of course it is possible to hope that the attack on the Gaza flotilla will be the tipping point that finally provokes a sweeping, wholesale review and a radical change in business as usual. Last I looked, Turkey was a NATO ally, after all. You’d think that would count for something. But for some reason I’m not giving in to that hope. And I’m not writing that post about total system failures, either.

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