I didn’t celebrate Independence Day yesterday. At least not in any meaningful sense. Typically I like to watch Roland Emmerich’s classic film Independence Day and cheer on American exceptionalism with explosions and hamburgers.
Instead I’m abroad and trapped in a small Airbnb that has me tethered to the nearest air conditioner. Pollution and climate change isn’t very good for enjoying time outside. 100 degree heat and a lack of EPA pollution standards are not a great combination so best of luck to my friends in Texas.
Nothing breeds appreciation for capitalism quite like spending time somewhere it hasn’t existed for long. Even at the end of the empire, American capitalism is so effective, our living standards still eclipse eastern block countries and other experiments in strongman style socialism. There is a reason people want to come to America and it’s not because we make it easy on immigrants or offer a strong social safety net.
It will be better to live in America for another fifty years or so than nearly anywhere else. Even with all our problems and bullshit, America at its worst is better than most of the planet. Entropy is a bitch though so you may you may as well enjoy the decline as eventually our lack of infrastructure and crumbling institutional capacity will destroy us.
Eventually “the crumbles” and the “Jankening” will eat away at our quality of life lead over the rest of the world. And let me tell you having been reminded of how much it sucks to live without the comforts of modernity, life this life to the fullest while you can. You are not going to enjoy the average lifestyle of a Balkan or Baltic state.
Which might be optimistic given some of the reactionary types striving to be the next Victor Orban. So might I recommend going out to eat at some fine fast casual restaurant and then making a Target run for things you don’t need. It won’t be around forever.