Political Commentary

The End of Nation States

Bookmarked The End of Nation-States by Tomas Pueyo (Uncharted Territories)

It’s 2050. The US government just defaulted on its debt. It’s not meeting its social security payments. Hospitals are going down: they can’t operate without Medicare and Medicaid income. Old people line up outside the hospitals. Hospitals don’t service them. They can’t afford it. There’s a run on the banks that held too many dollars. They are collapsing. All the governments around the world caught with too much US debt are defaulting. Those with their savings in dollars have been wiped out. They are looking at the last few decades of their lives like an empty ravine. 

Do. Not. Want. Need a dislike category for this one.

I see this devolving into dystopia, although I suspect libertarians see it as a utopian future. I have no faith in the free market to deal with externalities like climate change, or disrupt individual power imbalances like class and race and sex, and fix the distributive problems with capitalism that result in a few super wealthy people and everyone else just getting by…in short, more of the same shit we already have, except you’re stick with dickheads like Elon fucking Musk in control of humanity’s fate. I can’t blame desperate people for wishing to turn themselves into the wealthy few instead of the current billionaires, but if we’re going to disrupt the future I wish it were for something better.

At this point I am just desperate for the dollar to keep being worth something for the rest of my life so at some point I can stop working. I have scrimped for years to try to retire early, and I will be pissed if I lose those years of work and savings so some more differenter people can be super rich.

It is interesting timing though after hearing from someone into Bitcoin at Homebrew Website Club this week about why he believes in crypto’s power and has hope for the good it will do for folks in more authoritarian societies than ours like China where he was from. May Bitcoin do that good and build freedom, and not be a Ponzi scheme that screws desperate people in the short term, and not destroy the hope of a cooperative caring shared society.

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at She/her.

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