Sorting through the wreckage as the crash happens
This is an interesting conversation that comes near to addressing some of the differences that are critical to understanding the phase shift that we are entering. Amber Lisa, you did outline things very well. Before getting to that level the conversation seemed to be addressing the role of feminism and changes to the university/education system. I’ll admit I didn’t go all the way back to read the full thread so apologies if I misinterpret something.
Within the historical context feminism is part of a large and profound shift in gender roles and social structure. This was driven by population growth and technology including a steady increase in communication technology. It’s interesting that we have multiple shifts that have become naturally entangled with the fight against racism and against gender dominance, paternalism in the dominant cultures. Some of the things said in this exchange are very interesting but in the larger sweep this is the movement to diversity and self determination. On the personal, social and practical level, this is viewed as anathema to the percentage of the population identifiable as conservative. I’m using this not in the American sense of racist, misogynist,etc. but in the broader sense of heightened paranoia and discomfort with change and choice. This is roughly tracked as about a third of the population on a standard distribution. The American situation is extreme and symptomatic to me of pending political collapse as the distortions are tremendously exacerbated by the longer term political failure of the 18th century enlightenment model nation-state of which the US was the earliest pilot experiment.
The conflict between neofascist nationalism and neoliberal globalism is a matter of human survival. The problems that triggered a broader response in support of neofascism, now beginning to be reversed with a better understanding of what that stood for, are tied to the failure of capitalism. Again the US is an extreme case resulting from the rise of hyper-capitalism in this country and, to a greater or lesser degree, followed by other industrial nations. The inherent failings of late stage capitalism, producing unstoppable movement of capital into the fewest possible hands, is the cause for stagnant wages and loss of opportunity for the majority of people not reduction of trade barriers. This confusion is understandable as the oligarchic rulers, financial and corporate who own the political leaders, have directed them to generate maximum financial returns for that elite completely disconnected from the needs and desires of the population. This incorporates a whole range of culturally unique problems in the US including institutional racism and high levels of endemic political corruption. So it’s a mess. And I and a growing range of people expect this country to break up because of it.
So, the issue of what is called nationalism now is the final desperate attempt of the old to deny the changes that are already foreshadowing a new planetary age. But this is difficult at the level of nonlinear complexity. And the planetary part is not an idea or even an option. There does not appear to be a way for our species to survive climate change and the challenges that will create without a functional planetary decision making system. And that is the crux of the confusion now. Our concern, that Amber Lisa was summarizing, is how to get people out of the downward spiral represented by the easy answer of racist nationalism. Whether you call that fascism or any other pseudonym it is basically authoritarian feudalism and has a very short lifespan as it is inherently unstable and brutal. By it’s very nature it cannot support the high complexity of virtual societies dealing with planetary problems. The pathetic disaster of someone like Trump shouting demands for a return to a life that is not only long gone but deadly in the world we inhabit puts slapstick comedy on the edge of epic tragedy.
So at this level of understanding these are no longer political options if they ever were but a matter of our species success or failure. The only response that the desperate minority has to this is a blank look and expletives about how absurd it all is. Ironically they are correct. We shouldn’t be dealing with people like Trump or the other third rate politicians drawn into the flames of political collapse driven by greed and dreams of power. They will go down in flames but we need to build a social system based on urban metropoles (fast approaching 90% of the population), direct democracy, and AI based administration. This planets major cities area already acting as city states and forging trade alliances that first their unique resources and population diversity. Many ironies will be found as smaller governments, directly ruled by citizens eliminating politics as we know it, and efficiently managed with AI augmentation, meets the ideal of true, small government conservatism while implementing publicly managed market economies in post-socialist systems.
This looks as if it is happening very quickly as it is the natural order for the just coming of age generation. But it does not appear that we have the ten to twenty years needed for it to evolve naturally as climate change and massive population movements will completely disrupt what could be a new golden age. And, I believe, that is the age that would take us off of this planet to a very different way of living. But that is only a vision and a guess. But we need to make sure that the reality has a chance to happen.