The collapse of America is both shockingly quick and tragically slow. That quickness is a product of both the age of rapid change we are in and the cultural failure to recognize structural degradation and the antecedents of collapse.
The process of collapse is occurring in a bizarre silence. It is very much like watching the helicopter videos of the massive March 11 tsunamis in Japan. The cars and trains are on their way and, mostly unaware that a massive wave is descending. The sheer inevitability of death is dictated by normal decisions that placed thousands of people in harms way. That cause was an act of nature but this one was premeditated and the product of decades of greed, manipulation of hatred, and willful ignorance.
While the majority are very aware of what is happening, a portion of the population have been blinded to what they have caused. They have been programmed to deny their own senses and to ignore years of warnings as lies. The inescapable reality is and will continue to be a brutal surprise but it is inevitably a slow tragedy as a great national and international economy comes apart.
Incompetence and insanity are slow but inevitable agents of destruction. These elements add a great amount of random noise to the disaster. The media have long decided that information is only valuable if it meets their criteria. Disrupting a corrupt system is not acceptable as it reduces profit on the bottom line. However absurd, the pretense of a normal political race will be maintained. Nothing else maintains viewership so nothing else will be allowed.
It would be possible to spend thousands of words reviewing the errors of ignoring the power of an emerging planetary economy in attempting to play schoolyard protectionist games. That power, with the problems of neoliberalism fully acknowledged, has driven the amazing advancement of the last forty years. This was based on expanding markets and opening borders to trade and movement.
The mistakes of what is now called the neoliberal economy are well understood. These were the failure to manage both national and international markets to ensure equitable wealth distribution. That included full expansion of free movement of both populations and goods to fill planetary employment needs. Those are the only major problems of strong economic growth in open trade for forty years. These are critical failures but correctable and could have been prevented with proper human welfare goals and systems.
Instead, driven by greed, the oligarchs who gained most of the wealth from years of economic success refused to change. To maintain complete control they risked everything by allowing fascist opportunists of even greater greed to incite anger, racism and xenophobia where they could gain power to support the oligarchs first and themselves second. No one else matters.
The greater neoliberal failure was refusing to face the reality of the human created climate disaster. But this could also be corrected and would be supported by equitable distribution of wealth by allowing production of goods by workers in all markets. With an integrated and successful planetary economy managing open markets with borderless movement of both goods and people, the need to drop fossil fuels and move production and consumption as close as possible to the source market would be difficult but much easier than now.
We are now facing the loss of the greatest planetary economic success in human history due to incompetent management and unbound greed in deformed capitalism. Allowing failed fascism as a populist force is the ultimate stupidity. The price of that will be greater than at any time in human history.
America opted for stupid in 2016. While the inherent inertia and stability of the planetary system of trade and alliances has continued to maintain growth, the loss of America as a force for rational change has finally committed the ultimate crime of triggering increasing international economic chaos.
The goals of fascists are always chaos driven by outrage and absurd claims. Power is all and everyone else must be made powerless by confusion. There is not rational discussion and no compromise is allowed. Any compromise offered is the result of fear and will be immediately denounced if narcissistic confidence is allowed to return. Compromise is surrender to these people.
There is no longer any room for stupid. There is also no more room for innocuous traditionalists.The cries of “people aren’t ready for these big changes” are as ridiculous now as demanding that people ignore the listing Titanic because they are not ready for the lifeboats and the freezing water.