The Condition of Cafe Society

I'm a believer in--if we could get it--the notion of "instant karma": the instantaneous speeding-up of future time where the consequences of our actions (or inactions) in time present, whirl around and bite us in the ass while we're still drawing breath from the expenditure that brought it on. This would be good for everyone, self included.

Not having such an estimable benefit at hand, we are left with projecting future consequences to the Pre-9/11 crowd who have not the experience or the knowledge (and don't care) to understand the true threats this country faces. Laziness is a good part of it: witness the need to interpret those attacks within the tried-and-true categories of left-wing socialist animosity and vengefulness: Islamist fundamentalists attacked us because the USA is a capitalist country that tramples the globe's demands for distributive (and retributive) "social justice." Sure.

We've heard less of that since then, if only by reason of Bin Laden's very useful reiteration of his chaliphatic fantasies. They now know it ain't the anger of the deprived proletariat, though they're not sure what it is. The karma here is, at least to some extent, the consequences of never questioning the conceptual categories in which you put the questions, since it is these categories that determine what will and will not be the cateogories of the answers.

Posted by Michael McCanles at January 2, 2004 5:36 PM