Friday, October 10, 2008

Is this THE point?

History was always my least favorite subject. Memorizing all those facts didn't appeal to me. I like literature because there are no right answers. But in history, Person A did Thing B which resulted in Catastrophe C.

There would always come a point when we had lectures where my professor would throw out a line like: And this was the point that changed the war, economy, crisis, revolution, etc. She would always describe one specific event that led to said event. Whether it was the overthrow of Russian communism, or the overthrow of the French Monarchy, or the American war for independence. Of course, I don't know any of THOSE specific turning points, mostly because I slept through much of class, but I do remember wondering to myself if the people in those times realized that they were living in a period people would later call a turning point.

Those thoughts came back to me as I read an article about the possibility of the government stepping in and partially nationalizing our banks. Will future historians look back and label THIS point, this time as the one where capitalism died? Or where the experiment of democracy failed? Or where the new American Kingdom was born? Or where Supreme Ruler of the World Hilary Clinton finally came to rule us all in benevolent harmony? I don't know. It feels like it though.

I know that the economy is taking a major dive. I know that people are scared, I'm scared (I'm petrified really), but I simply can't believe that government intervention is ever a real, good solution. Take my own life, for example. My late teens/early twenties were a period of major turmoil for me, as I fought for my own freedom. I made a ton of really terrible mistakes and fell pretty hard. But I turned it around and now I'm back on the path to good. Had my parents stepped in and paid my debts and started making my decisions for me, I might not have learned how to do it on my own. I think our economy is similar. Sure we're in a free fall, and we're going to go through massively hard times, but if the government steps in and fixes it for us, will we ever really learn?

I want this point in our history to be a point that historians look back on and say that we turned our economy around, that we fell hard and came back stronger for it, not the point where the American Democratic ideal faltered and failed. So say we all.

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