I find this recent trend of people carry guns at anti-Obama rallies disturbing and fascinating.
Whether any of these recent events will result in any actual violence against Obama or any of his supporters I do not know. I certainly hope not. However, what I find strange about all this is that Obama is not really very radical. Outside of the US none of Obama’s policies would be perceived as radical and even within the US Obama has really proposed very little serious changes to how the US government operates. Yet these right-wing extremists are coming out in droves to protest with guns in threatening ways as though Obama were actually the reincarnation of Eugene Debs or something.
Meanwhile, out of pure necessity the US is consolidating the power of the State to act as an economic force. I read a statistic the other day which if true is amazing: twenty percent of salaries in the US now come in one way or the other from the government. There is no doubt a serious change in formation. The model of capitalism that neo-conservatives ushered in after the long boom is falling apart and a new model of capitalism is forming. Russian economist Nikolai Kondratiev developed a theory in the early 20th century concerning the ‘long-waves’ of capitalist development. I wonder if economists in the US are taking a new look at the work of Kondratiev? Interesting times….