HOUDINI Magazine

Erik Houdini

A Nation on Borrowed Time: The Dying Breaths of a Capitalist Empire

Folks, let me shoot straight for a minute. I'm about to drop some truths that might just leave a mark. If you're looking for another liberal feel good story about a kid slaving away to pay off his lunch debt, you've clicked on the wrong damn blog.

You ever feel like you're watching the grand finale of a circus act that's gone on way too long? That's the US Empire for you. If I were a betting man, I'd wager this circus ain’t got another 20 years left in its juggling act.

This empire? She’s gasping, wheezing, clutching her pearls and checking her will. Our dearest American empire, with all her imperialist cruelity has entered hospice. I’m telling you, in my prime, I’ll be pouring one out for the death of the US Empire. But here's the twisted, gut-wrenching catch: If we don’t act, if things stay "business as usual", we're diving headfirst into a millennium of late-stage capitalist techno-feudalistic misery. Earth so hot, humanity's just another tombstone in the graveyard of species we’ve buried with our insatiable greed. Imagine a truly hopeless world, a world that can't be rebuilt, a world without Tigers, or Elephants, or Wolves, a world in which all of humanity must bear the sins of our present. That's the future we are rapidly barreling towards under the current system. That's a fucking fact.

But there's a silver lining - this bleak forecast makes the "it won't be pretty" part of the revolution seem more appealing. If you're searching for hope for the future under capitalism, sorry to burst your bubble, but it's in short supply. And I know this firsthand, being a young man in this world. Everyone I talk to is starved of hope, from my peers right up to my own mother, bless her heart. She once told me she didn't expect things to get so damn bleak when she decided to have kids. Can you grasp the sheer desperation and disillusionment required to confess something like that?

Those greedy pigs in power have no desire to provide a better future, instead they'd rather gorge themselves on a troth of human suffering, Our culture’s become this grotesque show of cruelty.It's deemed acceptable for our elders to have their lives cut short, or for thousands of children to fall victim to COVID annually. When a nation sacrifices its own for the mere illusion of economic growth, it's a telling sign that the end is near. And whose prosperity are we really enduring all this for? Certainly not the common people's. Despite all the rhetoric about the economy from our President, Joe "Mandatory Minimum" Biden, and despite the sacrifices made by innumerable workers, it's evident that it's all for the rich. All so those same fat, gluttonous pigs can bask in infinite wealth and pleasure.

Reflect on this: Do you genuinely want to bring your child up in a world like ours? Can you stomach the idea of your child being offered up to the insatiable gods of capital? How will you feel explaining to your young one the fate of those living on the streets, right before stepping into a decaying supermarket that strains your budget? How will you confront the haunting possibility that the future awaiting your child might be no different from those bleak scenes at the storefront? The capitalists are wagering that you'll simply accept it. Will you?

Remember Thomas Paine? He penned "Common Sense" - the manuscript that ignited the revolutionary spirit, turning the average colonist from "Why should I care about that rich prick Washington?" to "This joint's on fire, time to tear it down!" We’re overdue for a sequel, a new "Common Sense" for the 21st century. It's not about if the storm's coming, but when. Sure, the American Revolution was the bourgeoisie's show, but Round 2 won't be. Whenever it happens, it's going to be a revolution for the people, by the people, We The People.

Ever swallowed the red pill? Once we all get it, once we all see that the show's over, the curtain drops. They're slapping RICO charges on protestors for handing out flyers. Flyers! Stuff with public addresses of murderous cops with itchy trigger fingers. SO you're man enough to kill in cold blood but not man enough to see some protestors? Pathetic. This is what I mean when I say "As conditions deteriorate, as basic rights are stripped away, as state-sponsored violence escalates, a revolutionary mindset begins to take root. Each rejection of democratic principles, every breach of the social contract, each new person cast out into the streets, and every blatant attempt to manufacture consent serves only to fuel the flames of revolutionary thought." How can you look at this case and not see clearly a government that is loosing it's grip? Hell are they gonna arrest me for writing this? Might just see Erik Houdini in the next set of political prisoners.

If this government's legitimacy isn't in question, then I'm not sure what legitimacy means anymore. I might as well wipe my ass with The Constitution if basic tenets like the Freedom of Press, speech and assembly are disregarded. Sure, it's a documents that's seemingly crafted to prop up the ultra-rich while squeezing every drop from the working class, all under the guise of noble intent. But once we, the collective, see through the masquerade, the entire charade collapses. The minute we cease to buy into the narrative, the moment we reject the interpretations of those nine unelected god kings, this so-called "legitimate" government's days are numbered.

The "social contract" they peddle? Work your ass off or get a bullet. Or maybe a one-way ticket to the slammer. Pile up debt while the boss man gets richer, and our future, our kids' future, their kids' future, gets auctioned off. There ain't no social contract beyond "the only reason you exist is to suffer and enrich the ultra-wealthy" and I don't know about you, but I want to live for more than to make some cocksucker boss another Ferrari or Yacht, I want to live with freedom, real freedom, not the freedom to work or get forced to work in as a slave in a prison.

We stand at a pivotal juncture: embrace socialism or descend further into barbarism. And damn, it seems like we've cozied up to the latter. A world where our elderly and frail become mere footnotes? Where every alleyway is someone's living room? Where mental illness is a death sentence? Where taking joy in others' demise is a badge of honor? I've not forgotten the cash windfall that the shooter of Jordan Neely, that monster, pocketed. Is this the legacy we want? A place where killers get accolades and the marginalized are mere cannon fodder for the elite? How far off are we from an purge night? And who'd be cheering for it? The soul of American society is festering. It's time for an intervention. Are we really meant to swallow this twisted 'normal'? The sand's running out on this neo-liberal hourglass. We're merely rats aboard a doomed vessel. And from my vantage of 27 years, the horizon isn’t brightening unless we topple this behemoth. This isn't a warning. It's an inevitability.

The second American revolution? It's coming. In our lifetime. We either bask in the dawn of a brighter future or get swallowed by an endless night.

Yegor Gaidar said it best: "When we all realized it was over, it was." The clock’s ticking, folks. To echo the late, great Pete Seegar, which side are you on?