Friday, April 10, 2009

The downfall of the Icariens

I just spent some time on an interesting read in Wikipedia about the Icarians--the 'utopian' (communal socialist) group that inhabited Nauvoo after it was vacated by the Mormons. (Thanks for referring me to read about them, Chrstine.)

As I read through it, I found this summary interesting:

. . .

From start to finish, the entire Icarian movement lasted only forty-nine years. Like all utopias of this era, the Icarians met their demise from within their own community. Poor planning and poor financial management along with personal disputes seem to be at the root of the disbandment. Although the disagreements were never mentioned in complete detail, it was obvious that debt was their biggest downfall.

. . .

I find it interesting that one of the primary causes of the downfall of this community (which was, in essence, its own society and its own civilization) was cited as being financial in nature. From what I understand of most organizations, financing can be at the root of their downfall. It's true in business; it's true in marriages; and, as illustrated by the Icarians (and certainly a variety of other groups), it's true in organized civil societies.

I'm now a little concerned about our nation. The underlying question (that I don't think anyone is answering) is: How are we going to pay for everything we're spending? If the answer is "the citizens of our nation will cough it up" I'm even more concerned because the Icarians (again) proved that you can take EVERYTHING (in terms of property and wealth) from a person or a people, and STILL not break even on the programs you're running--and ultimately crumble as a society.

I do take comfort in the fact that the overall tone of the recent general conference of the church was extraordinarily upbeat. . . .but it seemed upbeat spiritually--not necessarily economically, socially, or politically. Any words of comfort here (regarding the long-term health of our nation) would be appreciated.


Lhone said...

that's right. If everyone else is rich, then we can buy whatever and they'll pay for it, right? Obama thinks so.

Wade Hone said...

I figure a couple of futures await us neither of them very bright on this point... (oh but first, I see there are a lot of blogs of yours that some how I have missed! it's late tonight, but soon I'll be back on to catch up and post comments.)

one possible future is we start taking from other countries less powerful than us, and using their resources to pay ourselves back... I don't think we like to think of ourselves as thriving off of colonies, or as an expansionist state though so,

option number two, which seems more probable, is that we keep on our 'borrowing' streak, and then china, which is going to continue growing financially will be able to swoop in and purchase all of our debt that we owe to ourselves, in effect 'buying' America. (keep in mind now that the government is now in the market of having a large share in the companies that probably own your mortgage, and this gets down right personal pretty fast.) then to go one demoralizing step further, when America realizes how much of there crap is now owned by china in 2016 - 2022 ish, then the chips Really start to fall as we decide we don't like it and that 'we aint gonna take it' as the twisted sister song goes... it's late and I ramble...

OK optimistic outlook future #3,

America does what it does best and it develops new technologies that it can sell to the world thus being able to pay itself back off of revenues of new energy, food, and Information Technologies developed over the next several years.

realistically we'll probably have a mix of all of these things plus lots of other happen over the next decade or so.

all that said, but, I think I remember form Economics 101, that you can't rob peter to pay Paul for very long with out peter getting pretty ticked off.

wade -out.

Christine said...

My pleasure Blaine. We as a nation MUST reevaluate the programs we're running. Or, America will go the way of the Icarians ... just another failed utopia.