Nonlinearity Is Mix of Optimism & Pessimism
Having spent most of my life living in Hawaii I know Aloha means both hello and goodbye. This article is pushing only hello, a linear view of evolutionary change. But evolution is, like Hegel’s dialectics, a mix of linear and nonlinear change, which includes goodbye. (see my article, The Doc Asks — What Do U No?)
Nonlinear change is good for some and bad for others. It includes both optimism and pessimism. Selling just optimism is, at a minimum, bad karma. (see my article, >^ Why the Future Ain’t What it Once Was)
To address your argument as presented
- It’s NOT “worrying” that got us here. It’s a system issue. We’re all part of nested evolving systems. In the immediate instance, its biology, civilization, our institutions and technology. (see my articles, Civilization’s Anti-Human, Not Machines, Doc Says — Our Emotions, Institutions and Technological Capabilities Are Mismatched, and Macroscopic Evolutionary Paradigm)
- Fear does sell when there’s no vision. There’s no vision because, as you say, “Getting elected means appealing to the least common denominator.” But, again, that a system problem. Despite the intent of this system’s original design, getting elected is about an upwardly mobile career, not public service per se. (see my article, One Story the Media Ignores Completely)
- The media is first and foremost a business, which uses the political system as cheap reality content for better ROI. (see my article, What Truthiness and Post-Fact Era Means)
- Finally, people are fearful because of the velocity of change (a) this political system has long been up for sale to the highest bidders, which has been at the expense of citizens, (b) struggling to survive information overload (see my article, Infinite Present — Our Digital Dark Age), and (c) a 200 year old economic system fast approaching a nonlinear change (see my articles, Capitalism and Post-Capitalism — The Whole Truth & Nothing But, and Funny Thing about Money and Machines)
4. While authoritarianism is on the rise, it less like overt repression of past German and Soviet fascist regimes (though those still exist, e.g., Egypt, Turkey) and more covert repression of the surveillance state — the velvet glove for the iron fist. (again see my article, Doc Says — Our Emotions, Institutions and Technological Capabilities Are Mismatched)
5. We are between stories but, contrary to your comment that problem will not be resolved in isolation, the new story must come from one country or not at all. Our biology is a mix of comparative analysis leading to scenario building. Aristocracies ended because they could be compared to republican ideas. Soviet authoritarianism ended because it could be compared to capitalist lifestyles. At the moment the only stories are about corrupt pseudo-democracies and efficient authoritarian capitalism. (see my articles, Missing The Vision Thing, We Don’t Need Another Hero, Reducing Education & Knowledge Gaps, Only 6 Possible Outcomes in Next 20 Years [ — 4 are Bad — ]
6. Beyond not acting to create a new set of institutions, people are not responsible for the current situation we are in. However, until recently the technological infrastructure did not exist to do this efficaciously. The issue now is whether those with resources have the vision and risk-taking orientation needed to create and sustain new institutions and change the political system. (see my articles, Is Silicon Valley Politically Brain Dead?, A New Process to Fix Our Political System, Reducing Education & Knowledge Gaps).
Failing that, a high probability, the machines will say hello and we will say goodbye. So much for the don’t worry, be happy stuff.