In my ceaseless grousing about how our free market system had evolved into its present crony-monopolist form I seem to ignore an important and pretty troubling component.
A free market probably can’t be anything but a starting point, similar to the introduction of a revolutionary new technology. In the automobile revolution of a century ago and the more recent tech revolution, a few new young players entered the virgin field. When the dust cleared some winners emerged and a few of them have grown to mammoth proportions. When that happens a stasis kicks in. The winners want to stay winners and they’ve accumulated the wealth and the political connections to play the system and straight-out purchase legislation that cements their advantage and allows them to buy up the competition.
That dynamic seems built into whatever economic model is adopted. Once a power center is established it’s impossible to go back to Step One. The only way to advance to the beginning is by way of gradual decline and revolution as last resort.
It seems to follow the way of the universe like a fractal. There’s birth, a growh spurt, maturity, rigid clinging to status quo, decline, death.
Maybe it’s no coincidence that America’s gradual return to the the monopolist, aristocrat / plebe dynamic of our colonial era is feeling like a relentless decline. Despite the metrics that somehow indicate a robust, growing economy, the populace is experiencing unparalleled inequaliy, dying infrastructure, an epidemic of drug addiction, mass shootings with no apparent social goal and a growing suicide rate. And the rise of an autocratic sociopathic savior elected for no other reason other than to destroy whatever it is the nation has become.
Damn, I’m depressed now reading what I just wrote.
— Polar Levine, News Goo Dissection, December 1, 2016
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