This is an ongoing exploration (beginning HERE) of the ways to fix our failing pseudo representative political systems that are threatened by resurgent fascistic nationalism resulting from technological social paradigm shift.
Where we are
The base assumptions here are accelerating technology driven change disrupting the dominant, eighteenth century Enlightenment based social order and related political systems. This has created a sudden and unexpected resurgence of racism, xenophobia, and antique nationalism masquerading as a populist response to planetary neoliberalism. Most of the response to this has been focused on the “problem” of social media in allowing fringe social groups to generate regional awareness with no authoritative editorial control. To put it simply, the work-arounds developed in the 18th and 19th century to to make a limited form of democratic rule possible in something larger than a village were based on limited citizenship and a complex process of selecting representatives for those citizens who were safe for the traditional authoritarian rulers. The American revolutionary experience eliminated the traditional authoritarian ruler but retained the the dominance of the landed gentry in the Senate and the Electoral College. As it was impossible to administer the gathering of information except with massive logistical difficulty, the representatives were nearly permanent and had to make all decisions on behalf of those they represented.
A great deal has changed since then but the only significant change in the governmental system has been the expansion of those potentially allowed to select representatives. But even that change has effectively been blocked after 150 years of effort. The great majority of the population has come to recognize the pointlessness of the process and does not participate.
The bad part
The steady rise of popular media via newspaper, radio and then television made official information readily and quickly available to the mass audience but the corporate editorial control and traditional interests of the media owners kept the gathering of information from the population limited to commercial data and casual surveys used primarily as partisan propaganda tools in the political arena. The rapid and steady rise of the internet and social media was not recognized or, if recognized, not accepted as transformational until the election disaster of 2016. A significant portion of the US population still does not recognize the full extent of the change that destroyed the foundations of two hundred years of political and social organization. This despite over fifty years of description and analysis of paradigmatic changes that laid those foundations roughly 300 years ago in western Europe. The last major paradigmatic shift took nearly 200 years to transform the western world to scientific objectivity and logic in a newly perceived infinite universe. The difficulty of these massive ideological changes can be easily seen in the part of the population that have retained shreds of the closed universe of magic and religion destroyed over 300 hundred years ago.
It’s no wonder our systems failed so suddenly as we have just done in 20 years what took nearly 200 that last time this happened. And, as noted, there are still people refusing to accept that reality. The social and political system failure has been so sudden that most people are still trying to determine if something happened. The shock and pain are just starting to be felt by some and the wailing and gnashing of teeth are yet to come. We ain’t seen nothing yet. To add to the misery we have inherited the planetary destruction of the last paradigm shift which is denying us the time needed to work through all of the changes. Unless we move smartly along into a completely new social structure we will be swept away by the environmental disasters that we have caused.
The good part
We have been building to a geometric rate of change for at least fifty years, or maybe seventy-five or one hundred depending on how you want to time it. The nature of that change starts small and then become incredibly massive and overwhelming. We are beginning to feel it. On the good side the technologies that caused this rapid transition are increasingly understood and it is possible to attribute this to a positive metamorphosis. This is not just wishful thinking but obvious once your realize what is happening and look at how it has happened.
It may be helpful to go back and reread the first article in this series at this point:
Making it all work for us for a change . . .
We’ve been stumbling from one disaster and/or mass shooting to another since the great election disaster of 2016. Yes…
We’ve been falling apart for most the last one hundred years. While science, technology, industry, and knowledge have been accelerating for the nearly the entire planet, the problems have been the steady failure of our ability to organize and communicate in a way that was different from our primitive ancestors. Our collapse into authoritarian systems have evolved from incredibly brutal wars to endless and continuous low grade conflict and suffering. This resulted despite the ability to produce food, goods, and services to meet the entire planetary populations needs. The organizational and ruling structures have blocked every effort to implement logical resource allocation, medical services, and the creation of a truly democratic administrative structure for the planet. Not only is this now technically possible but it is essential if we are going to even survive the next fifty years.
As suggested in the first article above the social media tools that has destroyed our current political system is the basis for a new, actually democratic system. But first we need to get rid of the old which has become incredibly dangerous and septic. We also need to replace the old capitalist economic structure with a completely new decentralized system (blockchain based) that is first and foremost sustainable. It appears we already have the tools for that also as AI and robotic production can leave more people time to work out the human problems of this transition.
I suspect that the simplest route to avoid full on violent conflict with those who are still completely immersed in the old universe is to allow them to isolate themselves in their own communities. This will necessitate the loosening of the structure of the old nation states. This is already happening with globalization, and, yes, I know that took jobs but that whole system is dead anyway, but it gives us the means to flex for environmental disasters and new, more efficient, sustainable economics. The key is to prevent the authoritarian opportunists or true believers from the old, failed systems from exerting any power except among those clearly happy with that. And that is a moral issue also that we will have to figure out. I think we need to give those people as much room as we can afford but with the understanding that they are limited to their own areas and have no part in any larger decisions. That is, in fact, what they have been insisting although that is obviously a sham. So it goes.
How do we start the final stage of this process? Yes, it is that close. We must act.
Add your suggestions or rants and I will try to respond to those also if they are rational. We need millions of voices involved in this. That is the nature of the new, personal, democracy. And more on that next . . .