by Mike Meyer ~ Honolulu ~ November 17, 2020
Since power was usurped by Trump using the electoral college in defiance of the popular vote in 2016, the United States' likelihood of ceasing to be united has increased. The extreme polarization between urban and non-urban areas, along with a split between education levels and poorer versus more successful states, usually coastal or with major urban centers, already defines two distinct national groups. The emphasis on racist tools to divide the population by fomenting hatred based on theft if white wealth is escalating post-election.
While the fear of civil war is openly discussed, the nature of 21st-century urban societies limits that to low-grade insurrections that can carry on for years at great cost to the economy. The broad mass media consensus is that this is only yet, a distant threat. Trump's use of neo-nazi and white supremacist gangs as the embodiment of his threats is depressing and frightening but not likely to be effective with Trump weakening by the day in his lame-duck role.
It has come to my attention that the US has already broken up. The overwhelming force of the COVID virus allowed to run free, specifically in Trump states, has both killed several hundred thousand people but also killed the United States. The US is becoming disunited border controlled states and city-states. The attacks on the West Coast and all asylum cities will only amplify the breakup required by COVID control.
While Indica’s article, cited above, identified the breakup, my interest is in how this will play out behind the scenes. Large scale paradigmatic change is mostly hidden from public view by changes in assumptions and conditions that make the old paradigm’s rules irrelevant. This is exactly such a situation.
At the media level, the focus is on the return to normal. The great question is still, when will we return to normal so that I can . . . ? Even after more than six months of planetwide change and repeated explanations of how things will never be the same again, the question is when will be back to normal? When will those things that are different now go away?
I’ve alluded to this many times, but the nature of these paradigmatic shifts is the shock of what has changed that wasn’t understood to be changeable. Those parts of the population that are most frightened of the future and its changes are most focused on returning, at almost any cost, to the past that they knew. In major cultural shifts, this becomes the battleground in a cultural war. This is the war against the future.
This is not a political war but a religious war based purely on emotional fear and absolute faith in defense of things that cannot be questioned. The irrationality, denial of reality, self-destructive insanity that makes the percentage of the population that has sold themselves to what Trump represents perfectly illustrate this phenomenon.
Thinking of this war against the future as an economic conflict is pointless. As a religious war, it denies all rationality. To people reacting to a future that they cannot understand because it is just not right, discussion or efforts to understand can only fail.
While most of the human population residents in international metropolitan areas have spent the last fifty years accelerating change, much of it exciting and rewarding even in tense political environments, those too uncomfortable with change have become increasingly isolated. This may be by remaining in rural areas but more commonly by suburban or religiously defined communities.
We now live in the land previously known as the United States of America. While many administrative and governmental structures survive, they do not work well above the local level. Just as Rome did not fall in a day, the US is now past, but it will take some years before the reality dawns.
The year 2020 will be the year the US fell, but it will be part of a planetary transformation that has begun but has no end in sight. More people each month will realize the things that no longer exist in a useable form, and the arguments will turn to what or whom to blame.
The driving need is for Biden and Harris to restore something like the old normal but most people, I think, realize that hope would be nice but won’t happen. There will be some revitalization and restoration of legal forms with the destruction attributed to the COVID pandemic and political incompetence, but the foundational causes are structural and conceptual.
To most people, these appear as illogical and unrelated problems producing surprising and unexpected results. But eventually, the new patterns emerge, and the broad perspective of what is normal changes.
The war against the future that has broken up the US will ultimately break up the regional nation-state concept by the conflict between city-states and the old geographical states with minimal populations. This is the US system's structural failure with antifuturist thinly populated states able to control the national advancement or refusal to advance. The majority of the population lives in diverse communities evolving in new ways now.
The nature of metropolitan life has also changed with the dawning recognition that a climate-threatening planet means constant epidemic and pandemic threats. Metropolitan areas are already spreading out more with the technical ability to work from home or various remote locations for health reasons already normalized.
I suspect that the steady decline in the rural population with small towns' abandonment will begin to reverse with cities claiming more distant suburbs linked by very high-speed networks. This will escalate the threat to the antifuturists as they age.