By Mike Meyer ~ Honolulu ~ December 11, 2020
Defining the new normal means mapping our future. That requires us to build a future history, not as fortune telling project, but as a modeled reality or ontology.
This is not a guesswork process but a logical effort to define what should and should not be part of our future. We cannot predict or control the details, but we can certainly toward the desired model.
Among the original leading cultures of late modernity, the process of modeling our future has been lost. The result is confusion and the reversion to failed forms from the past such as fascism, radical nationalism, predatory capitalism, and feudalism.
The historical process becomes one of collapse as the previous structures based on ideals and standards fail into the hands of those seeking power without the limitations of rights or an articulated goal of human wellbeing. All of these structural forms lose everything but the demand for unmanaged power. The dominant and longest-lasting forms are military/police power for oppression and conquest.
As the modern economic variation, capitalism substitutes material wealth as an abstract form of power for more efficient exploitation of natural and human resources. Because of structural errors, it becomes identical to fascism and produces financial kleptocracies.
The oldest of the leading cultures of the modern era are or are becoming kleptocracies. The only goal is to retain their power for exploitation and defense against any challenges or demands for ethical accountability. That translates into a war against the future.
The quest for untrammeled power is as old as our species, but we have fought for centuries to achieve a wide goal of acknowledging abstract rights. But this requires a constantly evolving vision of the future, an ontological model as the ideal toward which to strive. This kind of future is abstract, dynamic, and requires redefining the world in which we live.
The reactionary elements of our species automatically reject a future. Throughout most of our history, we have been ruled by a past golden age model. The fact that it has changed over the last three or four hundred years is a stunning reversal of the human pattern. The fact that the accelerating rate of change has triggered a desperate bid for the old rules should not be a surprise.
That a majority of the people in the most future-oriented and richest countries are appalled at the low-level irrationality and violence of the reactionary population shows how far we have come. Sadly the unanticipated consequences of our most successful and most destructive economic system are beginning to make our planet uninhabitable for our species have removed most of our options. The biggest of those options is the time to allow the human population to evolve, again, to a positive future.
Our mindlessness and mental separation from our universe and the planetary biosphere have caught up with us too early in our evolution. We need to have worked out an ethical distribution of our planetary resources for the human population to remove the fear and anxiety of loss inherent in the traditional predatory social structures. This is what drives the most limited human segment to reaction and warlordism for protection.
We are just beginning to understand, rediscover in the Western world, the error of demeaning all other life forms and objects in this universe to total human ownership. We came to dismiss these realities as animism or magic to deny their spiritual importance and equality with us as a form of matter with sentience. We are not the exclusive source of sentience that exists at many different levels and forms.
Our self generated climate crisis means we must learn these lessons and implement them at a planetary level in the next twenty years. The population of America, among many others, are learning this right now. Speed is now of the essence.
We need to remove the evil attractors of feudalism and tribal denialism while building a majority model of the future that eliminated authoritarianism by removing its motivations. Greed is a foundational motivation given distorted importance by the structural errors of capitalism in our planetary economy. It needs to be discouraged and removed.
The related anxiety from predatory social and economic systems produces hatred and xenophobia. A civilization based almost exclusively on legal exploitation and a winner take all mentality must be eliminated. Competition is healthy, but the competition to survive is primitive with our vast wealth and our technologies' evolution.
Many trials of Universal Basic Income show the power of removing anxiety for basic needs and the well being of children’s future. We have learned how important this is and disastrous the failure to ensure basic income in a planetary pandemic. Nation-states providing UBI equivalent as a pandemic relief are infinitely better off and more resistant to the COVID-19 disease for many reasons than those that cannot afford it or refuse because of reactionary collapse. The US is an example of how massive this failure can be, and we have not seen its full extent yet.
A look at the last hundred years shows the importance of wellbeing and the benefits of diversity in human populations protected by the beginnings of universal rights. Yet, we are ensnared in pointless and senseless political arguments against our own survival with the problem groups advocating the destruction of human rights and representative government.
We are fighting ancient authoritarianism advocated by people who are committed to destroying a sustainable and compassionate future. Sustainable and compassionate futures are not built on greed, exploitation, and denial of physical reality. They are also not built on mythological stories in some insane competition with science.
These broad elements outlined here are the component we need to use to build a new ontology to restore our future. Notice that none of this list of future characteristics includes political terms from the past. Compassion, human rights, representative government, sustainability are conditions and not ideologies. In one of many forms, Universal Basic Income is not political but practical tools being used, as mentioned above, in many countries during the pandemic.
Diversity is the only term that has been weaponized as somehow bad, although it is the foundation of creativity and innovation. The reality is that we are a planet of diverse species and material forms, and humanity has survived because of its diversity. We need to remove political propaganda from our planning, and that enrages the reactionary. They have no care as they have abandoned any future, but what looks like the past they have never known.
Humann rights must be maintained. But the freedom to destroy others' rights and an entire planet’s future is not a right. It is a threat.