Monday, February 14, 2005
Gore Vidal Rants
Just to remind us that not all leftist dinosaurs have passed from the earth, Gore Vidal gives a classic interview
in Australia:GORE VIDAL: He [Ben Franklin] said, "Well, I say 'yes' to this constitution, with all its faults. We need good governance for a while, and this constitution will assure us of good governance for a number of years." Then he said, "This constitution will fail, as others have before it, and that will be due to the corruption of the people, for whom in the end only despotism will serve." This was a famous speech in its day. I went through a dozen high school history books of the United States. Part of the speech is given; what I just quoted is never quoted. So that was the first "nay" vote to the constitution, which I think most thoughtful people - the good thing about it is the Bill of Rights, which guarantees us freedom of speech and so on. The bad things are the powers given to the President, which have now been absolutely inflated out of control, where the President is almost a permanent dictator with the power to declare pre-emptive war any time he likes. Now, George Washington would be out of his mind, and he was the first President. He didn't want powers to say, "I think terrorists might be livin' over there. I think we better hit Denmark. Denmark's a good place to hit. We'll hit 'em because there could be terrorists there." This is the rationale of the so-called Bush doctrine, and it is insane.
We invaded Denmark?GORE VIDAL: Well, of course. We've visited despotism many times before - never to the extent that we have now. We've never before gone in on two countries which had done us no harm, were friendly to the United States - Afghanistan and Iraq - and knocked them to bits.
Having read that, it's hard not to conclude that Mr Vidal is intoxicated. Is he seriously claiming that Iraq and Afghanistan were friendly to the United States?
Here's his prediction for the future:GORE VIDAL: Well, an unholy mess. The dollar declines in value. There is no way that you can up it. There's nothing you can do. The wars will continue. There will be an attempt made in Iran and Syria, other places that look exciting. The United States will go broke; it's as simple as that. That's what ended the British Empire. One of the reasons we got into World War I was that in 1914, under the Asquith Government, the government fecklessly ran out of money, and here they were, supposed to be fighting the central powers, Germany and so on. The same thing is happening to us. We don't have the money to pay the debts. Now, great nations that are rich in a sense don't go bankrupt the way individuals do, 'cause you can't put a valuation on them, but you can certainly show lack of confidence in their currency if it goes down, down, down, which it is now doing, and interest rates go up, up, up. As the interest rates go up, then we have the problem of inflation, which will give social insecurity to everybody, because the price of bread will suddenly get very high, which it has never been in the United States since the early '30s. So I would say that, in the long run, the world will be saved American despotism by the coming bankruptcy of the country. Now, that will have awful fallout for everybody.
Cheery guy, eh? And of course the price of bread plummeted in the 1930s, like just about everything else, because the demand softened in the depression.
Hat Tip: Tim Blair