A Sudden Paradigmatic Change
by Mike Meyer ~ Honolulu ~ June 18, 2020
We are finally coming to terms with the massive inertia of regional planetary empires. That inertia is, itself, complex and its movement chaotic. To add to the confusion are bright whirligigs, marching bands, carnival barkers, animals, elephants, and segments of the population walking backward while shouting ‘forward’ as loudly as possible. And those are the more sane people.
The nature of these empires was built into them from their inception. As an example, the American Empire was founded in the genocide of the Americas and made from slavery by a ‘superior’ white ethnic culture.
Over a century or two, cultural components of the emerging empire become dysfunctional, immoral, and criminal, so are camouflaged or marked as unmentionable but, never the less maintained. Discarding these things would undermine or cripple the traditional structure and remove privileges’ from some part of the ruling elite.
The weight of dysfunction and the moral decay resulting from ignoring evil and criminal attitudes continues to grow and reward most of the population. Inertia is also wearing, and that eventually comes to dominate. Problems and mistakes with policy and incompetent leadership, once able to be papered over or overcome by new successes, begin to cause structural issues and then partial paralysis followed by collapse.
As always, the planet and people continue to evolve, creating new challenges and opportunities. Paralysis and collapse make a change, and even cosmetic correction of more significant problems impossible. The management of the whole thing, having come to reward the lack of change as the priority, can do nothing but repeat old ideas and irrelevant activities.
But inertia is more significant than the administration of empires. Often this is called the force of history. This historical force is not some arbitrary abstraction but the daily embodiment of a conscious population recognizing change and the potential to improve or degrade their lives and wellbeing. Noisy minorities always demand attention with insults and outrage as they react to the implications of their own bad decisions.
The majority works through it all in some silence but with exquisite sensitivity. As dysfunction in the regional empires grows with the inertia of collapse, it makes decisions on what must change and what to discard. These decisions produce a directional force in human societies, which results in both incremental and paradigmatic change.
We are deep into a period of chaotic change and the fall of the last dominant regional empire. The complication of a planetary pandemic encouraged by the rising climate crisis and likely to be a near-permanent fixture going forward is a bitter pill to swallow. It complicates everything but does not change the direction of historical force embodied in the broadest population regardless of the nation-state.
It is fascinating to watch a reactionary and retrograde political symptom of collapse begin to be rolled over by something that its members cannot understand. That is what we are seeing and have been seeing for the last two decades. While the bands of shouters and haters drive everyone insane with their endless lies, they are one of the whirligigs distracting from a profound shift in the direction of human civilization.
As it has suddenly become evident in the US and to the planet that the Trump mess is entirely on the wrong side of history, the noisy people making money from telling people what they should think are left scrambling. How did the death of one black man at the hands of a racist and corrupt police force in one US city motivate a sudden transformation in the majority consciousness? The Floyd demonstrations everywhere were the marker of a paradigmatic change and, once started, could not be stopped.
We saw a similar sweeping change in the elimination of bigotry from the concept of marriage. Before that, we saw it when remnants of cultural prejudice in human sexual orientation fell at the end of the 20th century. All such changes occur at the broad population-level terrorizing the minorities who have built their reality on the finally discarded dysfunctional beliefs. These people become the keepers of past failures who are losing their last sliver of historical force.
There is nothing older and more annoying than a discarded piece of bigotry, but it takes decades for accepted new attitudes to become the default. But when they do, the world has changed.
As many people are suddenly saying, things have suddenly changed. The remnants of the discarded past are screaming of conspiracies that, now, most people have no time to hear. It is all suddenly as embarrassing as reading 19th-century justifications for slavery or watching mid-20th-century stories built on misogyny.
Now, the leadership of the Black and POC in eliminating racism is the reality. The centuries of immoral oppression and genocide are nauseating when revealed historically. The presence of people calling for a return to that time is now intolerable.
The move to redefine the concept of policing, the urgent calls to reform education by finally removing structural racism and apologetics for its forms and symptoms, the effective removal of the symbols of those, now, discarded ideas is suddenly dominant. This new dominance is the reaching of a critical mass threshold in phase shift.
My point is not that the battles are over but that the force of history has pushed us into a new world that redefines our languages and what we are willing to tolerate in our societies. There will continue to be a minority that has shocked and outraged their way to power in the vacuum while this change was still in process. Nevertheless, these people are consistently incompetent or mentally damaged. As social animals, homo sapiens excel in sensing social change from trivial styles to radical changing views of our universe.
Eras of significant change follow the same human patterns, but it is always a shock when an old paradigm falls. These are the structures of human society, but they work at a profound level of human consciousness, often defined as archetypes.
That means that we may not be able to articulate what these are clear but we know when they change and understand that the definitions of right, wrong, and evil have shifted. People readjust to the new social mores and move away from those people who don’t.
How well and how quickly this works forces surprising changes in our institutions. It has nothing to do with old political ideologies. High-level leadership suddenly begins shifting away from olf rules. As has been evident for decades, the concepts of politics in the US and other nation-states have discarded the old conservative and liberal, both of which contained now unacceptable assumptions about race and human wellbeing.
We have known for decades that change has been accelerating but is not an easy process. The superficial changes could be integrated or ignored, but the stresses on old social structures build until they begin to break. But even that is not fast. But the break is not, usually, full collapse into chaos but sudden transformation as if everyone knew when it was time. We have just gone through this in the last month.
These stunning shifts are not some mystical force. It is the same process that we go through in attempting to solve a difficult problem, confusion, inability to determine what is correct, and the need to study to understand how to solve that problem. That usually fails to leave us exhausted and frustrated. We often, finally, say to hell with it, get something to eat and go to bed.
Suddenly we wake up, and the answer is there. Not slowly but suddenly, and we know it is the correct answer. We know it, and now we can act.
We are now beginning to do this at a planetary level. If we can rid ourselves of racism, bigotry, authoritarianism, and greed, we might be able to make. Our species has been struggling with the old concept of race forever. But how we organize our societies and respect our planetary diversity has shifted.
Nothing in this critical process of human survival gets any more comfortable but, I think, we all have a more precise feeling for what must happen, finally. What should seem right now seems natural.