We Need to Say Goodbye to Those Who Don’t Get It
I’m trying to make myself feel better by writing this. Achieving Type I status as a civilization just got pushed out a ways, I’m afraid. That, of course, is relative and the result of living in the US and watching the collapse of the hyper-capitalist and related nation-state political systems. From the scientific and technological perspective we are fully on a geometric expansion that will force the removal of the archaic cultural baggage that is dragging us down. Other places on the planet have been able to shift much more quickly, as you mention, not having the burden of pride (hubris is more accurate) in once having been the leader. From a purely historical perspective this is simply the new replacing the old except we have never had a paradigm shift of this order, I think, since the rise of urban civilization in the development of agriculture.
And therein lies the biggest problem. We have had roughly fifty years to come to understand complexity and the concept of paradigmatic change but this remained part of the intellectual and academic world. The overall decline of the American century that had taken us so far was obvious during these decades but it is easy to say it will be an issue somewhere down the road and we will have to time to get more people up to speed. And then, suddenly, the illusion is shattered and the time has come to play the hand we have been dealt. That hand has some good cards but, perhaps, not enough.The question is what do we do with the bad cards.
If we had time we could maybe ride out the situation and wait for something more than a plurality to begin to see what is happening. But there are too many forces at play here and a big part of the problem is that it requires at least a slight familiarity with things like non-linear processes and Complex Adaptive Systems to realize what is happening around us. While we have, in the US, a majority who are working toward this and realize enough to know that old ways of thinking are not only useless but deadly, there are still no clear models of where we are going and how it will work. Unfortunately this is precisely the split that has polarized the population not really by choice but by inevitability of changes in thinking that are the essence of a massive paradigm shift in problem perception. So we have the nearly blind attempting to work with people who do not know that they are blind. The inevitable reaction is confusion and growing outrage. This is complicated by rapidly diverging lifestyles further exacerbating the anger caused by non-urban areas bearing the burden of the transition to post-capitalist, non material value systems. There is really no good way to make a living in a non material economy from a rural area unless you are already connected in the intellectual economy.
The US is crippled by it’s corrupt political system and underfunded educational system. This is primarily a result of a long history of periodic anti-intellectual hysteria used to keep a significant part of the population ignorant enough to be manipulated politically and controlled by equally corrupt set of religions. So we have a case of the chickens coming home to roost big time.
I think there are so many of us who understand just enough to know that we need change all of this stuff and finally put the toys of our species youth away for good. But the number of people who don’t have a clue is the feed for fascist demagoguery just as we are seeing in the US and Europe. And, I’m afraid, this outrage has hardened to the point that we are wasting our time trying to change it. As much as I hate to say it I think we need to break this apart and isolate those people who not only cannot see but now refuse to even listen. We don’t have time and the collapse of the old economy, old political system, and climate are not going to wait. So we need to build the new world system not as a planetary government but as a set of urban regions that form alliances to both isolate and offer assistance to those who have chosen to rush backward to a past that will not support them.