The sentiment that seems most appropriate for the present moment is shock and disbelief. Disbelief over the financial crisis, and shock at how the value of things could collapse so steeply. There is incredulity at how once solid institutions have fallen apart at how the economic intelligensia could have been so wrong at a point in history when there was a greater accumulation of knowledge and expertise. Others are waking from disbelief that Obama is actually president. Suddenly nothing is as it was, and may never be again. The best of times may have already past. These sentiments seem to be increasing, and we have not yet seen the worst of things. Gloom feeds upon itself, eventually leading to despair.
The government is now involved in all aspects of life, which unfortunately makes politics all the more important as the stakes are much higher while the competence is much lower. The administration, rather than calming the waters is inducing panic, and causing the market to continue to tumble due to lack of confidence. Money will not flow, capital will stay on strike, as things move in the wrong direction. Companies cut back, people don’t spend, or pour money into things like gold that don’t produce anything. The manageable is becoming unmanageable.
There is little reason for confidence in the direction of things, which may get steadily worse. But out of this we may regain a sense, in this most optimistic of lands, that life is ultimately tragic. But once that realization sets in, it can be followed by a calm resignation that things are what they are, beyond our control, except for those that are yet most immediate and dear to us.