Precipice

As a nation, we’ve reached a dangerous precipice.

I’ve been complaining about things like Shenmue II lately, but my mind is elsewhere. The president is clamping down on international student visas, Massachusetts has created an international student database to keep an eye on their foreign students, and the nation has seen an outbreak of violence against people from the Middle East.

We haven’t reached the worst.

The killers could easily do more damage. There has got to be another plan out there because we’ve reacted in just the way the world expected. There has to be another plan, something just as unexpected as slamming planes into buildings. How many will die from that?

September 11 did bring us to a precipice like we have never seen before. The last time fighting took place on our soil we knew our enemy — the British, the Spanish/Mexicans, the Japanese. We knew who our enemy was and what to expect from a fight with them.

But we have an unseen enemy now, leading to paranoid behavior on the part of the goverment. Another massive attack, like the one of September 11, and we could see things bordering on martial law (the president does have the right to suspend the writ of habeus corpus, as Lincoln did during the Civil War), and, scarily enough, we could see a true proto-facsist nation begin to emerge.

So I’m now trying to think what would happen. In the world of my Singularity book, what happens? If I scrap the earthquake and the mass of latinos running for the US border, what happens? How does the US and its democracy destabiliize into the facsist state of the novel?

I’m concerned about terrorist attacks (I’m not worried about them), but I worry about the government overreacting and the people supporting it (which I don’t think is off the mark). A relative’s rather reactionary view of “erasing” ethnic identities is part of the problem and such arguments make it sound as he would easily support a program to help forcibly integrate foreigners to the US — resulting an extreme danger of pushing a national identity over a shared national/ethnic identity. That type of attitude is one I’m beginning to see a great deal of, and to say it worries me would be an understatement. Difference is not being seen as good, after such work since the 1950s. The repressed white males who seem to have the idea that they are “owed” are going to be very, very dangerous when and if a new attack is made.

Between the country’s current behavior, the (almost) guarantee of a new attack, and attitudes like that of relative’s, I have no doubt that I will soon witness a similar genesis to what I imagined…