by Mike Meyer ~ Honolulu ~ September 19, 2020
Explain to me, please, how we will survive a full capitalist economic collapse with growing climate disasters and achieve a sustainable, nonexploitive planetary economy without a return to the commons for our digital infrastructure. While we do that, how do we get to general wellbeing with the elimination of all institutionalized bigotry and elimination of corporate greed without some form of Universal Basic Income or universal asset allocation?
I’m not talking about 20th-century politics but survival in the 21st century and beyond. Politics has little to offer now. I suspect that most people would rather not hear the term politics again, but we cannot escape the consequences of the two hundred year experiment that wore itself out and then went disastrously wrong.
That means that we must deal with those consequences and clean up the planetary mess that is now moving us toward extinction. To go extinct or not go extinct is a question far above politics. Unfortunately, a portion of our population has lost the language capable of dealing with this issue. What language they have is grossly distorted and jammed into 20th-century political molds that are far too small and deformed to hold solutions to the problems we face.
We understand that lies, conspiracy theories, and hate speech produce more of the same in support and opposition. As the situation worsens, the absurdity becomes normalized, and violence erupts at the fringe on all sides of the conflict. Right and wrong disappear into a politicized reaction to mythical purity rules.
If you are unlucky and have a criminal regime in power that seeks to stay in control by creating chaos so they can crush all dissent in the name of order, the violence grows and becomes endemic. For the last fifty years, people in prosperous countries, even if brutally unbalanced in asset distribution, try to stay invisible to the system and hope for some improvement that may never come.
People understand that anything but covert resistance plays into the hands of the authoritarian militarized rulers and their official and semi-official thugs. So options are limited, and the tools of representative government, once corrupted, are useless, serving only as distractions for the masses and further justifications for oppression. The only solace is that the inherent stupidity of the people drawn to fascist-style displays of power eventually destroy themselves.
The population, with no choice, pays lip service to the fascist rulers and waits for the disasters that will follow. Others begin to leave in growing numbers if they have that option. As always, the wealthy start to disappear as is already happening in the US. Queries from US citizens to the international investment citizenship market for countries with high levels of wellbeing and national healthcare has exploded for US citizens driven by the COVID-19 and political disaster.
The most significant difference in the mid 21st century is the lack of time to wait for the failure of incompetent regimes. With control of the national government and the judicial system, they can hang on for decades of misery and oppression. The US is facing this now and only slowly waking up to the reality of a fascist coup.
Let’s be optimistic, with the US as an example, and assume that the corrupt and crippled political system, with the help of a massive voter turn out, removes the Trump regime, its stooges, and the Trump party from power. In any semi-representative system, there will be pockets of racism and authoritarianism, and normalized corruption will remain. That will need to be dealt with later as a normal human social problem.
The best we can have after Trump is a government that will attempt to restore to a lower level of corruption and some token reduction of exploitation and economic oppression in an extreme capitalist state. This partial restoration is also wholly unsustainable but is an improvement. Bleeding to death slowly is an improvement over arterial gushing. Fighting the fires destroying the sinking national ship can begin, federal efforts to control the pandemic can finally start, and the pumps can start to slow the sinking. The vessel is already very low in the water, and the damage is not fully known.
I think this is an accurate analogy of what we will face in the US at the end of 2020 with a clear Biden-Harris win. All the horror, fear, anxiety, 300,000 avoidable pandemic deaths, and we are still sinking quickly. Unfortunately, the new captain refuses to acknowledge that the ship is structurally unsound and cannot survive the unavoidable storms. This semi blindness is what we will have to work with for the immediate future.
Now comes the hard part. The planetary systems of government and the entire economic structure must be rebuilt, and it cannot be rebuilt on the old capitalist, socialist, or communist base. Not if we wish to survive past the end of this century with hopes for broad human well being and a technically sophisticated human civilization. It must be rebuilt on elements of all with direct democracy and dominant communal ownership for planetary survival.
Ignore the old political terms. None of this is political in the sense of contentious party politics as we know it. We need to eliminate the 20th-century terms of capitalism, socialism, communism, racism, minority, politics, republicanism, democracy, and probably many more.
We have several thousand years of experience organizing human societies and administering them on a regional level. We have four hundred years of the rise of capitalist systems and states with various versions of autocratic administration and a few with forms of democratic or republican rule. The later conditions all were or became rule by an elite of some form. They do not survive long term.
Our centuries of economic evolution, predominantly more successfully in a free market and capitalist systems due to the ability to increase wealth, have distorted and overrun their usefulness by ramping up materialist production well beyond human needs. The hybrid socialist systems are much better but fall prey to the some disaster. That is the unsustainable part that has destroyed our planet in various ways while funneling money only to the small capitalist elite. And for which we will pay the ultimate price in the decades ahead.
Eliminating the words related to all of this does not mean starting over from scratch. It means the opposite. We need new, unpoliticized terms that allow us to repurpose and repackage all of our history. This challenge is a linguistic case of being constrained by word meanings that block the redefinition of concepts for new objectives. If the map of reality we have will not allow us to go where we must to survive, we need to make a new map. We need to look at everything with new eyes.
I clearly understand the need to redefine words and object identities triggers dogmatic war chants from elements of the population. That is itself, a symptom of the cultural disease that requires a new language to cure the underlying cause. We must depoliticize our economic and administrative language, or we have no hope of survival.
Words can no longer be sacred, but their meanings must be managed by society to adapt to new planetary disasters. Our terms only metaphorically represent something we can not know outside of our awareness. Those shared metaphors are our realities. Humans, and I assume, all sentient beings of any form construct their existence as a continuous personal and communal process of metaphor construction. When done well this is not arbitrary. Some people find this difficult to understand, but they will have to suck it up and deal with it.
This metaphorical source of reality does not justify making shit up. Science results from a long process of defining how we can verify the relationships we see between the broad categories of things that are also part of this universe. Those things that we can only sense and not know from the inside have all the universal object rights that we have. It has taken us thousands of years to get beyond guessing at this to finding some means of confirming these things. All of it fits together, and it is clear that homo sapiens are nothing special but another category of objects.
One exciting way to present this is Object-Oriented Ontology. There are many other ways around this elephant, but we are now reasonably sure that it is an elephant. That is a hell of an achievement. Please go check it out to see if it helps.
A very significant mental clean up is what is required. We need to dispose of all the old terms, old meanings for words that are still needed, and all the emotional baggage that has been corrupted by our failing political and economic systems.
Tragically, aging politicians and fully conditioned younger ones have devoted their lives to the old terms and their meanings. These are already discovering that patching is not the solution for a ship that is breaking up or a building sinking into the ground.
The question that will quickly come after Trump and his criminal gang are removed and the limited restoration fails will be when to abandon ship and build a new one.