There are periods in history when the old order had reached the point of no return but the actors of the period are unaware of it. I believe we are at such a time.
Looking back over the years, it seems clear that the old conventions no longer apply. The rules of society I grew up with are simply inoperable.
I'm not the first one to notice this of course, but today's screaming Drudge Report headline about the president imposing some sort of gun control by executive order got me thinking.
My first thought was: "Ah, so they forgot to give the veep his meds again." After all, Biden is the source and if there was ever someone who could be counted on to create a crisis simply by shooting his mouth off, the veep is our guy.
But upon reflect, I wondered: why not?
The goal of this administration was to somehow gain the second term. They promised everything and anything to get there, and now the goal is achieved. What's the point in hiding any more?
Even with media support, gun control is a losing political issue. One would think that the authors of Fast and Furious would be particularly reluctant to get into federal laws when so many have already been violated - but as I said, the old rules don't apply any more.
I don't believe that a Constitutional crisis is imminent or that our liberties are about to be abolished or severely curtailed. I am an optimist in that respect.
But I am convinced that we are at a point where the people who are in charge are out of their depth in predicting the results of their actions.
The classic cause of conflict is a miscalculation in the face of crisis and I see plenty of opportunity for that happening. Heated rhetoric is nothing new, but we are reaching the end of the financial tether. One need not be a doom-sayer to wonder why, after years of pumping new money into the economy, nothing is happening.
Right now much of our debt is being financed by a perpetual motion machine: The Treasury sells bonds to the Federal Reserve Bank, which in turn counts them as collateral against money it then lends out.
Most people don't know this, but I find it deeply disturbing. We are effectively debasing the currency and that never ends well - from the Crisis of the Third Century in ancient Rome to the revolutions of more modern times.
In all cases, the elites figured things were going just fine - until they weren't.
To be clear: I don't think the president or his advisors are purposely destroying the economy. All of them are very wealthy (don't let the rhetoric fool you) - and they all very much value the money they have earned.
They are certainly not going through the trouble of piling up all cash they have accumulated simply to watch it become worthless.
That's part of the problem: they really have no idea what they are doing. By now the economy should have recovered. By all precedent we should be in the third year of solid growth. And none of our leaders know why that hasn't happened. So they demogogue and have the Fed print more money.
And I think that is what frightens me the most - the awareness that the ship of state is totally out of control.
To put it another way: No one wanted the disaster in Benghazi to happen and no one could stop it once it started. Rather than address it, they are trying to hide it because they have no idea what to do if it should happen again.
I've remarked on the Abyss before and my fear that we may enter it.
What if we're already there and just don't know it yet?