Recommended Read: "I Lived Through Collapse. America is Already There."

A photo from the outside of a protest or riot - there is smoke in the air obscuring the view of what is happening and people are standing on the outside looking in, trying to see.
Photo by Amber Kipp.

From the outside, I have felt for some time that America is on the verge of collapse.

According to Indi Samarajiva, who lived through the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka, America has already collapsed. His piece about it, "I Lived Through Collapse. America is Already There," is some kind of essential reading.

I am tempted to quote the whole thing, but I will restrain myself to this:

"This is how it happens. Precisely what you’re feeling now. The numbing litany of bad news. The ever rising outrages. People suffering, dying, and protesting all around you, while you think about dinner. If you’re trying to carry on while people around you die, your society is not collapsing. It’s already fallen down."

And also this:

"If you’re waiting for a moment where you’re like 'this is it,' I’m telling you, it never comes. Nobody comes on TV and says 'things are officially bad.' There’s no launch party for decay. It’s just a pileup of outrages and atrocities in between friendships and weddings and perhaps an unusual amount of alcohol.

Perhaps you’re waiting for some moment when the adrenaline kicks in and you’re fighting the virus or fascism all the time, but it’s not like that. Life is not a movie, and if it were, you’re certainly not the star. You’re just an extra. If something good or bad happens to you it’ll be random and no one will care. If you’re unlucky you’re a statistic. If you’re lucky, no one notices you at all."

Yiiiiiiikes. Hello.

My first reaction is to think, okay, but it's not that bad. He talks about bomb checks and stores exploding. The US doesn't have that kind of thing happening.

Then my mind shuffles through a small portion of news coverage I have seen from the US in recent months, which includes people getting shot and killed literally for going outside and existing in the world (let alone sleeping in their beds or attending protests). I have seen an ever-growing number of people dying every single day thanks to a virus that the president tells people is nothing to worry about.

Soooooooo, yeah. I don't know what proportion of people in a country need to have their lives ruined and live in fear for it to count as bad, but I'm inclined to trust a person who has lived through it.

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