Economic salvation

The US economy is in great shape—at least, Goldman Sachs is doing well, and politically that’s what counts. Still, unemployment is worrisome. Good Christian Americans might be distracted from the excellent work they’re doing in defense of health insurance companies. (At least, opposing any change in our wonderful health system seems to be a major preoccupation of the Christian radio station I listen to.)

Thing is, we can’t solve that problem by having Good Christian Americans actually make stuff anymore. Good Christian Americans can be kept quiet by the availability in Wal-Marts of cheap crap made by slave labor, but it would be nice to have some real income, rather than more ways to get into debt.

So, let’s export what we’re really good at. Financial swindles to allow the upper classes of other countries to divert their extra cash here is a good start, but they can’t be enough on their own. Too little of the money sucked up by Wall Street trickles down. Military services are better. After all, military technology is the one undisputed thing Americans are world-beaters at. Too bad we also have a habit of getting bogged down with occupying too many Muslim countries. So, perhaps what we really need is to combine financial bloodsucking with mercenary militarism with something even better. Export religion. That, after all, is the true American genius.

There are some remarkable synergies to be realized, if present practice is any guide. Good Christian Americans send out a large number of missionaries to less fortunate places of the world, converting many to fundamentalist and Pentecostal styles of Christianity. These converts are also reliably economically capitalistic, support local right-wing elites, and should provide a reliable constituency for the establishment of US military bases. In turn, the US military is increasingly evangelical Christian in character, and, if it were not kept under leash by liberal troublemakers, the military could be a great instrument for spreading the True Faith. With a more intensive program of exporting American-style religiosity, we could get even more wealth plundered by local elites transferred to US investment instruments, more local insurgencies and terrorism to provide a rationale for military operations, and more opportunities to trickle down money to Good Christian Americans in the form of defense contracts and jobs in the armed forces overseas. The next bubble we inflate could be a religious one! It may even breathe extra life into flagging financial and military bubbles, giving us extra time to continue raping the planet.

Nothing else seems likely to work. We’re not capable of sanity in this country. So we might as well do better exploiting even greater stupidity wherever we might find it overseas.

About Taner Edis

Professor of physics at Truman State University


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