What Replaces Right and Left?
There is a trope about media (and Medium) having a ‘leftist’ orientation. That’s answered very well in “What’s odd exactly?”. I would just add that the old, already badly worn, left versus right orientation died last November. Its death was incidentally administered as a coup de gras in the US election but could have happened anywhere in the post industrial world and would have only delayed by a Clinton win. Yes, the old designation of leftist was originally egalitarian versus rightist authoritarian built on the European split between royalist, conservatives and democratic, capitalist liberals. That fell apart in the US as the economics merged and authoritarian governments were recognized as simply less intelligent and poorly managed. In the end the split was between authoritarian neoliberal with no policy except ignorance, racism and greed and egalitarian neoliberal with a vaguely racial and gender neutral orientation based in higher intelligence and education.
Since both parties were hyper-capitalist there was no reason to develop any kind of sophisticated political philosophy. The leftists steadily abandoned politics as boring while the right was allowed to harden around racist and neofascist authoritarians who settled on ignorance as virtue (along with greed and power). Hence the nearly complete inability of the right in Congress to create any kind of policy since the political system collapsed into their laps. They were having trouble doing anything against an intelligent, mildly democratic president other than hold endless hearings on imaginary topics and are now in the final stage of collapse. Their (right and left) desperate last stand is panicky passing wild bills late at night or trying to contain the violently impulsive idiot that was forced on them. On the right you have some of the stupidest people ever to sit in Congress and on the left old boys waiting to retire and very young, third stringers looking for a career and realizing they made a bad choice. So much for right and left.
I would suggest we now begin looking at this as Forward versus Back. This a little closer to the reality of the lines of contention. The Back is ranged between pure neoliberalism and racist fascism with their goal something like the late 19th century with all non-white people kept in a new third world or at least across town and in their place. Technology and planetary demographics combined with spreading climate change driven disasters, wars and massive migrations make this an obviously stupid idea but the people who like just aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer. The pure neoliberal end is struggling to keep the old petrochemical powered hypercapitalist economy afloat with trade and another trillion dollars in debt. This requires some knowledge and ability to struggle with several Complex Adaptive Systems before revealing itself to be hopeless based on paradigmatic change. Fascism is at least emotional and easy to understand. We begin to see the nut of the problem.
Forward is hard going and requires figuring out both a new sustainable economic order as well as public administration and politics split between virtual social orders and AI process managers. All of this will have to be done while preventing complete descent into chaos (see above). Forward is the biggest challenge our species has ever faced.