by Mike Meyer
Predicting the future is really hard but you can feel it closing in on you. That’s the feeling that results from fears becoming reality, worst case scenarios squeezing out better options, and time running short. It certainly feels that time is running out with darkness descending for America and the old lead nations.
I’ve spent a lot of time writing about these problems, disasters, and changes over the last three years. There are positive things that have started to happen but they are few and the horrors are many. But the difference from any time in the past is the lack of time to effect change.
We are running out of time and unable to even begin to make the changes that would ensure or even just improve our chances of survival. And we are dealing with levels of failure that can mean the end of the US as a political entity, the collapse of the Western liberal world order, the failure of limited representative democracy, and a massive (perhaps fatal) blow to our species’ survival.
My preference has been to be as positive as possible because we are on the cusp of a new human civilization. Scientific knowledge is steadily building a future that can eliminate scarcity and implement full universal rights for all of us. The amazing thing is that ‘all of us’ will soon mean a lot more than just homo sapiens. The rapid development of Artificial Intelligence will tremendously enhance our own intelligence while massively challenging our understanding of morality, ethics, paradigmatic flexibility, communication, and reality itself. At some point we will face sentient artificial entities.
Genetic engineering will change both homo sapiens and begin to uplift other species placing a completely new level of responsibility on us to manage relations. The retrograde appearance of racism in this context is stunningly ignorant. The logical evolution is to more sentient species in various combinations of electronic and biological.
It’s hard to imagine anything more exciting and frightening than that. But we do have much more including our rapid expansion into the solar system and the creation of new habitats that may take some of the disastrous burden of humanity off of our home planet.
But first we have to survive. And then we have to restructure our societies to implement and protect universal rights and universal opportunities. This requires a completely new balance between rights, opportunities, and responsibilities.
This is massive in scope and in the changes required. Because of that it may be impossible to do in the time we have left before the level of climatic disasters trigger political chaos. But this is, I’m afraid, our only chance.
The global, regional, and national problems that we face and are struggling to deal with using antiquated and broken tools, look very different from the perspective I’ve just outlined. The key to starting the critical change needed to identify and begin to solve the most important problems for our survival is moving to that perspective.
Unfortunately that perspective is denied and denounced by a small but still significant minority of the planet’s population. In America this is the minority that has gained control of a very broken governmental system. They hold that control strictly for power and greed by manipulation of an antique and failing constitutional system. This minority is just large enough, having played several decades of increasingly criminal acts to accomplish this, that they can frighten low grade politicians with fear of losing who have no real idea of what they should do.
This basically sums up the plight of the American political system. We have known for several generations that the system represents only corporate and, increasingly, predatory, capitalist interests. The distorted concept of government that has resulted makes it almost impossible to act on the basis of what the majority of the people want.
With complete loss of any ideal, policy, or ethical standard in one party and institutionalized refusal to risk anything in the other party, only large scale disaster could produce any positive change. This is the dark future closing in on us now.
Fifty years of rigidity, corruption, and media control by corporate interests have shut down all but the slightest pretense of democracy. While a majority of the population is frightened and understands the large issues facing us there is no place to go and no one to represent sanity.
While there are a significant group of politicians who realized that basic services and rights need to be maintained, they have only been able to attain their positions by limiting their criticisms to minor issues. The belief is that the American system is still working and the only way to correct the accelerating collapse is to compromise and play by the traditional rules.
But those rules are now killing us and have become so nihilistic that widespread suffering and death are considered acceptable by the small ruling elite and their hardened supporters. The great power of personalized and planetary network information has, ironically, allowed the indoctrination of groups of people into something very much like a death cult.
The result is endless circular arguments that are so formal as to be mindlessly ritualized. The game in America is so rigged that a functionally insane criminal was elected president by circumventing the popular vote with massive foreign assistance. This successfully set the federal government on the road to self destruction in order to allow a full fascist dictatorship to be implemented.
This same irrational anger against all others has produced similar disasters in Brazil, the Philippines, Turkey, Poland and other states. These states are becoming failed systems dragging down millions of people and, ironically, guaranteeing themselves to be areas of climate collapse while loudly denying reality around them. These reactionary minorities are linked together by racism, xenophobia, willful ignorance, and hatred. They are probably best seen as a form of species insanity resulting from the rapid paradigmatic transition to a new human social structures.
The elimination of everything but greed and the power to satisfy that greed has left few ways to clear the corruption and remove the criminals from power. The authoritarian ideology that has been locked in is dedicated to an archaic economy dedicated to profit in order to satisfy the corrupt actors in the system. Unfortunately that includes the leadership of both political parties in America.
While the availability of planetary level information sources have begun to seriously transform the planet this has also make it possible to target the reactionary minorities with propaganda. In America this represents several generations who were prepared with life long racist indoctrination making them unable to understand anything but reaffirmation of the social, economic, and poltical fantasies that they have always known.
This would logically devolve into armed violence and some sort of civil war but that is being prevented by the majority who have managed to keep working and trying to ignore the minority. As that minority is predominantly semi isolated in suburban and rural areas life continues. The only result is increasingly rapid paradigmatic chnages in urban regions that is causing the minorities endless chanting of their keywords to become angry nonsense to the majority.
This is being played out where ever backward segments of the population come under the influence of 20th century style fascist opportunists. These opportunists foster hate and fear in order to promise a salvation that is based in an antique and tattered fantasy.
The effective popular attitude seems to be that the crazy people causing this disaster are old and can be ignored until they die. They live in their communities and spend their time hating everyone else with no idea of what is happening. They also are clearly not very bright and have made a religion of ignorance. This is accurate to an extent. The difficulty is identifying those who have no real grasp, except reactionary anger, of a rapidly evolving planetary culture and an older form of human criminality. But for all of us time is running out.
The great danger is that those who understand that we must move to the new perspective have traditionally been the ones managing the process of change. These people are often almost completely caught up in managing the constant creation of imaginary emergencies and ignorant claims that are designed to sow confusion.
The tremendous reluctance to publicly admit that part of the population is functionally insane and the government is in the hands of self destructive criminals is preventing effective action until the collapse becomes personally threatening for the majority. At that point it may be too late to salvage the existing nation state.
Moving to a new perspective
This is happening slowly but steadily. The problem is the slowness. The majority of the planetary population is very clear on the threat of climate change. Younger and more educated people understand that this must be made the human priority now. The denials, foot dragging, and efforts to sabotage what has been accomplished is no longer acceptable. The world children’s climate protests shows that even the youngest realize that they are the ones most threatened by an aging and ignorant population where this group has been allowed to retain power.
Existing governments that are not acting immediately and aggressively to eliminate fossil fuels while reducing production of goods to move to a fully sustainable planetary economy need to be removed and replaced.
At this point that will need to be the responsibility of that government’s population. Given that we have, at most, fifteen years to have any hope of reducing the severity of climate change means action must start now. Logically we should have significant change by the end of 2020.
Socially and economically it will take ten years, at least, to remove fossil fuels from our planetary economy. Is that possible? Maybe not but certainly not if we don’t start now.
The first stage of this should be maintained at the national or regional level. If a country can achieve an effective leadership change through existing electoral and/or governmental systems or if they already have a planetary responsible government., then they become leaders in the planetary movement.
This can be shown by making climate change and carbon reduction the highest national priority publicly. Making the statement and failing to implement changes that will achieve the latest Paris levels must result in trade sanctions and isolation.
Criminal governments that are not removed by 2020 will require international legal action. They cannot be allowed to remain in power. This will required international agreement to sanction and isolate with the option of respecting requests for military support directly from the population of that country.
Exactly how and when this becomes a necessity will need strong public support. I would suggest that decision must be made by the end of 2020 or early 2021. At that point a planetary organization will need to be chosen or created to evaluate all national actions in terms of the international goals and to declare the status of each state for carbon reduction and sustainability on this planet.
A new type of government
The actions required and described in broad terms above will, of necessity, lead to new types of government that can directly reflect the policies needed to protect the population who owns that government. This ownership by the people is a basic democratic ideal as the population are the owners and managers of the government that acts on their behalf. This is, of course, a radical change. All existing governments in the 18th and 19th century model are ruled by minority elites without regard for the needs and demands of the people they govern.
How this will evolve is going to be interesting to watch. I strongly suspect that the nature of the new will be virtual with direct online democracy handling. at least, the broad policies of that state or nation. This will require the transformation or complete removal of a variety of authoritarian regimes and redefinition of the concept of executive leadership.
I cannot see how this will happen without strong, online, mass action to take control of each nation who’s demand for policies able to achieve sustainability and equity for all of the people are not being met. We’ve had early instances of this, usually successfully crushed or sabotaged by existing power elites, in the Arab Spring movement and mass actions in China.
If these changes are attempted by something less than a majority of the population I don’t see how the change can hold. Effectively we will have to do this by direct democratic management setting the policies and goals in conjunction with all other sovereign groups on the planet. The authority required to change nearly all aspects of human society from uncontrolled greed to full sustainability in globally networked civilization cannot be done without a majority in each state actively invovled.
What happens to the dysfunctional, evil, or simply insane segments of the population? The goal should be, I think, to establish a more rigorous standard for full citizenship. Universal rights apply to all with the right to receive an agreed and livable minimum resources allocation but with direct, online democratic rule there must be minimum educational standards for those actively managing their nation.
This should also include a new process and standards of morality. The broad rise of scientific understanding in the new areas of quantum reality and universal actions at a distance is creating a new, rational morality. Sentient entities as observers are also actors and embody the new concepts of teleology in physical reality. Stated simply we are inherently significant in this universe and must act with understanding of that power and its implications for all elements of this universe.
All citizens must have full formal input and automatic voting rights to their primary administrative government. There should be educational (determined not by formal education but reasonable standards that can be assessed) for direct voting rights on planetary policies. Perhaps this could be an international developed and administered certification for planetary climate policy. Species survival definitely changes the perspective.
Talk. Begin and continue to discuss how we will manage our states, nations, and communities to survive in a complex and disastrous planetary climate environment. We have the power in mass numbers to make these changes. Active resistance to this by an existing governmental system is not just a disagreement or different political opinion but a direct assault on human survival.
But we must take this into our own hands around the planet. Otherwise the incompetent minorities and esiting ruling elites will continue to block action until we are destroyed. The counter to that is the we also live in the first human era that mass, direct democracy is possible.
If we can make it work. We may lose civilization if we don’t make it work.