Competent governance is about more than throwing money at every problem.
Amber Lisa

How to make the best of political collapse . . .

We do not have a reset button on the human political system. As a result we have to wait for enough people infected with particularly evil sets of distortions on human society to die before we can move on. The range of evil distortions never go away as they are tied to human personality types so, surprise, they periodically reappear when old political systems collapse. That is our current situation. In fact this is a full phase shift and, as a species, we have only gone through a limited number of these.

This conversation, that Amber Lisa has evoked me into, is yet another example of the hopeless nature of discussion across the phase shift boundary. As I talk about often, we are facing human mental limitations in dealing with non-linear random complexity, to put it formally. On a more human level this shit is not simple. In fact it’s clear that the only way we can deal with it is by species augmentation, i.e. Artificial Intelligence. That is happening rapidly and we can only hope it happens rapidly enough. But, already, we’ve taken a majority of the US population out of the discussion because they have either no idea what AI is or have only wild delusions. So how does that relate to this discussion?

If we had a reset button it should have been pushed instead of the 2000 election in the US. Many of us thought Obama was a reset button in 2008. While in ways he was, he is primarily a product of the last stage of the hyper-capitalist, Enlightenment experiment in social administration. He was the best you could get in the final years of the old order but the American version of the experiment has been in collapse for over forty years. The technology driven phase shift is planetary and is changing language and perspective for everyone. And, as we have come to understand, paradigm changes change language first, social structure second and, then literally, our common understanding of how the world works.

The old political definitions are gone. Talking about left, right, or center is a discussion of historical artifacts. Hence the frustration of the metropolitan majority in the industrial and post industrial societies who want to move on but are blocked by the minority holding on to past language and old, irrelevant debates. And the split within that elite between authoritarian change denialists and progressive incrementalists is the conflict that is politically blocking the changes desperately needed. Unfortunately for those of us in the US the collapse is farther along as we were the peak of the old nation state capitalist system and institutional failures unique to US history, primarily racism and militarism, have crippled our ability to adapt. So, at this point, we are bearing the full brunt of failure and collapse. This is typified by the degeneration of the political parties in our rigid two party system. While the DNC tried to make a change under Clinton recognizing that our economy is planetary they had to accept the rule of the financial elite. The old Republican Party sold out under Nixon to the military and petrochemical branch of the capitalist elite. As is being increasingly realized the US the pattern is very similar to Roman Republic to Roman. Empire to Western Roman fall and breakup on a condensed timeline.

Oh yeah, Trump. He’s a useful fool and irrelevant except for the fact that he has stupidly been given command of the imperial forces of the US. Ironically this is following the Roman pattern (ok, it’s really a human pattern to fail in the usual ways in similar situations) of greedy people being used to fill the top spot based on political compliance when all others are blocked by the ruling elites. The absurd positions taken by the parties in complete defiance of the majority’s clearly stated desires is also indicative of how completely disconnected the government has become from the people supposedly represented. umair haque writes extensively on this and just published an excellent piece establishing criteria for state collapse.

This situation is filled with irony as Trump’s failure to accomplish any of the things he promised is certainly not surprising as his goal was adoration and money. If you are familiar with Roman history I very much suspect the pattern will hold. It became common to have short lived emperors who gained power by promising whatever the Praetorian Guard wanted and, when they failed to deliver, were helped to jump off the palace wall. Hopefully Trump will only figuratively be helped to jump off the White House roof but that day seems near.

While this is all interesting and could well be allowed to work its way out over time we don’t have the time. Climate change is beginning to drive regional disruption and is a factor in the destabilization of the Middle East and Africa. The disruptive flow of refugees is a traditional factor in broad scale regional collapse as the forces of evil (I don’t pretend that they are anything else) that attempt to foment a route to power and exploitation by playing on the fear of the ignorant is literally age old. These forces need to be stopped immediately. In this sense Trump is part of the evil and will not be missed when he disappears. And this sets up the next stage to determine what replaces the collapsing systems. That is what we need to be working on instead of arguing over the details of the failed systems we still inhabit.

The real topics of debate are:

  • Is there are place for politics in planetary society? If so at what level?
  • Large centralized governments were essential for large states. Is there now any reason for a large state at less than the planetary level?
  • The efficiencies achieved in provisioning services to the population via national bureaucracies may be replaced with AI that is more consistent and more intelligent. Humans are already being phased out. What do we need to do to manage this for our populations?
  • Metropolitan city states seem to be how a growing majority of the planet’s population is actually being administered. How do we transition to that?
  • In the new economic model that uses intellectual property as the basis of value the metropoles are the wealth generators, how are the populations in rural areas to be supported and valued? The reduction of natural resource exploitation, the old value proposition for rural areas, is critical. How will wealth be shared equitably?
  • How should Universal Basic Income be implemented? Should it focus on allocation of planetary assets as a source of universal capital based income or should it focus on income redistribution?

Just some suggestions. Many of these are being worked from within Medium and in other forums. This is much more important and more in line with the actual interests of the population than attempting to figure out ways to increase human suffering, deny healthcare and further enrich the mega rich. Perhaps the first and simplest step is to just ignore the irrelevant and stupid.