Want to Democratize?


I got my car stolen on a cross-Canada trip last summer. I ended up having to use a rental car for several months before I bought a new, used Toyota for myself.

The loaner turned out to be a Chevrolet Cobalt. Wow, what a difference it was to drive an American car again!!! The Cobalt is only a compact car, but it was nevertheless built like a tank. Drove like a tank, handled like a tank, and felt like it had a motor as powerful as a tank when I nailed the throttle on the freeway.

I was thinking to myself, ‘Jeez, those Yanks still build their cars like tanks, man!!!’ It brought to my mind the whole concept of the U.S. economy, especially its machine tooling industry, being geared to a war-based economy.

The whole reason my Chev was built like a tank was, essentially, because the same machine tooling equipment that is used to produce it, and other U.S. goods like it, is government-mandated to be able to be transformed at the drop of a hat, to produce, quite literally, tanks! (Or machine guns, armoured personnel carriers, etc.)

It’s known as ‘general purpose tooling’. So ever since WWII, the Americans, and Canada, for that matter, have been refining their techniques of being able to switch over to and from a war economy. At the time of the first Gulf War in 1990-91, America had perfected the technique to the point of being able to switch from peacetime to wartime production in just nine weeks.

Maybe they should just put us all into a whole battalion of Chevrolets with bullhorns mounted to the top and have us all democratize some poor, unsuspecting emerging market country by having Guns ‘n Roses ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ blaring from the speakers. Instead of the Stars and Stripes, we could all fly flags of Axl Rose in his underwear and post Lithium-weight-gain-due to bipolar disorder physique.

Now that’ll send the natives screaming for cover for sure!!! U2’s prophecy from the song ‘Bullet the Blue Sky, from the Joshua Tree album, of the women and children of the emerging world being ‘pelted….into the arms of America’, will finally have come true. And we won’t have had to fire a single shot!!! (The poor people of the emerging world will probably lose their lunch, assuming they’ve had some, when they see Axl’s pudgy puss on the flag and hear his maniacally-gravelly voice over the speakers, but hey, we’ll save a bundle on ammo, and they’ll get to die another day, so to speak.)

Well, anyways, those who want to do that and drive a Chevrolet tank into battle, you go right ahead. I’m going to stick with my Toyota Corolla. The Japanese got two nukes lobbed onto them in 1945, so they had the honour of surrendering ‘unconditionally’, and being told that they were to no longer have a military-industrial complex capable of threatening anybody. So basically, they can build all of their Toyotas etc, nice and light and compact, not having to worry about having to keep their production machinery big and bulky, in case they need to switch over to building tanks to go democratize somebody.

Aren’t you all glad we got the Chalk River Reactor up and running when we did? That way we got to supply the Manhattan Project with the active ingredient that went KABOOM over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, so that sixty-five years later, we could have the option of NOT driving a tank down the freeway!!!

God Bless America!!!!

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