How to stop this bail-out madness? I think I have an idea that might help.
One of the most valuable things that the internet can do is state ideas of the sort that you definitely do want said, but which it would probably not be wise for heads of state or front bench politicians to be saying for definite, for fear of it all getting out of hand.
One of the most important memes that the internet has circulated during the last decade has been the extermination option, when it comes to Islam. Extermination of all muslims. Not now, you understand. Just if there continue to be serious muslim-perpetrated terrorist incidents (and especially if there are some much more serious muslim-perpetrated terrorist incidents), and if muslims continue to equivocate about whether they support them, and seriously try to conquer the world with a kind of good-muslim-bad-muslim routine. Which in a lesser way is what they are doing anyway, just not on a scale and with a degree of nastiness that elbows all other problems to one side. But, if you guys crank up the nastiness the way you say you want to and that we deserve, said certain voices on the internet, including certain voices commenting here on postings soon after 9/11 (including my voice), and you’ll get the exact war of Us against You that you are spoiling for, and guess what, we’ll fucking wipe you off the face of the earth. See: Dresden. Don’t make us angry. You really wouldn’t like that.
This is not the kind of thing you want Presidents and Prime Ministers to be saying, until such time as things like that actually have to be done. But I sincerely believe that having some people saying things like this, as and when the need arises (therefore including me), is a force for peace and harmony in the world. Seriously. I think the fact that the internet said this stuff to muslims – did a good-infidel-bad-infidel act right back at them – meant that since 9/11 most of the terrorist crap has been strictly amateur. The heavy hitting muslims have confined themselves to propaganda. Good. We can win that one. Certainly we can argue and low-level-fight them to a stand-still. Not everyone on our side believes that, I know, but I do.
One of the biggest reasons why major conflicts (and major catastrophes generally) happen is because the participants don’t realise, until it is too late, what they are letting themselves in for.
This was one of the major causes of World War 1. They just didn’t realise what horrors they would soon find themselves doing to one another, or (in that case) for how long the horrors would last. Maybe if they’d had the internet in those days, the few people who did realise might have been heard, and that might have caused the contestants to hold back.
These apocalyptic recollections have been prompted by the realisation that there is now another extreme meme which the internet now needs to circulate. I refer to the government default option.
It needs to be said that under certain circumstances easily now imaginable, many Western citizens would argue, strongly and vocally, that those idiot foreigners who are now lending money to Western governments should in due course be told: sorry sunshine, you ain’t ever going to get it back. Our governments are bankrupt. Why the hell should we and our descendants in perpetuity be paying tribute to you? You knew that the money to pay you back would have to be stolen from us. You assumed we’d just cough up indefinitely. Well, we damn well won’t. You are now a definite part of our problem, and telling you to take a hike is going to be part of our solution. Our thieving class is now “borrowing” money from your thieving class like there is no tomorrow, and we are not responsible for the actions of either gang. A plague on both your houses.
We want you foreign thieves to stop lending to our thieves, now. And the best way for us to convince you that you should indeed stop lending, is to tell you that you are extremely liable never to see most of your money back.
Which has the added virtue of probably, approximately, being true, already.
The usual way such threats are phrased is to talk only, and very vaguely, about how “nobody wants” and “nobody is recommending” the extreme scenario in question. It’s all just too too frightful to think about with any clarity or seriousness. Well, I think that the internet should now aggregate all the voices of those who, like me, think that under certain thoroughly imaginable circumstances the default option would not only be highly likely to go into effect, but also highly desirable. We would support default, argue for default, now.
Just circulating this meme in an angry whisper (i.e. in postings in and comments on blogs) will raise the interest rate, a bit, for our thieves, as they frantically mortgage the future tax revenues that they still think they are going to get from us. And that’s good, because it will bring the current craziness to an end that little bit sooner.