Our Entangled Disasters

Understanding the nature of the reality we have created

by Mike Meyer ~ Honolulu ~ August 5, 2020

Is there any hope for the humans caught in neofascism, racism, and archaic nationalism? Can these people be brought back into the emerging planetary community now dedicated to radical social and economic change?

We have only a little time. The failure to control the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and our scattered, intermittent response to the climate crisis is a growing source of fear. Decades of growth in other parts of the planet with decades of slow decline and economic distortion, officially ignored in the leading states, triggered power opportunists to sell hatred and magic solutions to the depressed and indebted.

These old patterns of social failure were almost extinct, we thought, but that was an illusion also. Racism had been removed and repressed in the most advanced states, but the removal of economic opportunities rigidified class and racial boundaries allowing those self-defined as privileged to ignore the downward slide.

Refusal to see repression and the illusion of no alternative to endless economic growth were weaponized by the power opportunists, producing the disasters overwhelming us. While we realize the loss of our world, there is no effort to link the pandemic with other tragedies.

That is now the most significant, unrecognized problem. This problem has helped make the human-created climate crisis so easy to deny by fringe opportunists of various types. But the pandemic is not affected by human denial and is sweeping around the planet at a rate that humans cannot ignore. Sickness and death are genuine and real.

The climate crisis is also unaffected by human delusion, but it is slow enough that obfuscation may still work. These distractions are becoming very tattered, but the pandemic holds everyone’s focus.

What is allowing delusion, illusion, lies, and ignorance to flourish is the absence of unified public awareness of the full entanglement of these tragedies. The world we have, just in a few months, left behind is the world of significant but discreet problems and emergencies. Our new world is an entangled disaster.

None of the things we face are discreet problems even if they are presented as such. The pandemic links together population growth, resource exploitation, human-caused climate change, supply chains, and planetary travel. At a social level, the current pandemic spreads based on lies and ignorance that come from opportunists exploiting others for power and greed.

Short term opportunism, the critical characteristic of capitalism, drives greed and rapid, continuous exploitation. We are involved in a planetary experiment that is revealing how hard it is to counter that greed and opportunism to control a highly contagious, aerosol-based virus in an extreme capitalist state. The distorted leadership of such a country sees mass death as acceptable to avoid redistribution of assets from the billionaire elite. Grossly distorted and deadly asset distribution must be maintained, and no explanation is required.

While this must be, at least partially, hidden, the extent of the entanglement with all other disasters can never be mentioned. But not everyone is willing to believe the delusions and lies or accepting of the information omitted. The power of the SARS pandemic in our thoroughly entangled world makes containment impossible when some nation-states are unwilling to implement even minimal shutdowns for an extended period. Those shutdowns need to last for a year or more. At the same time, an effective vaccine will help, but it will not reduce the need for consistent pandemic social and economic controls.

The key links preventing containment of the pandemic are economic and social failures in the US and other large states. The failing extreme capitalist economies refuse to consider supporting their populations without continuation of mass, unsustainable production that also prevents the correction of the climate-carbon crisis.

Black Lives Matter is now the most massive revolutionary movement in US history. The vicious oppression of minorities in nation-states is an economic requirement to allow capital, the only permitted value, to be accrued by the racial or ethnic elite.

The link between this selective, long institutionalized racial and ethnic exploitation and materialist economies is evident in the US as low paid, predominantly minority workers must risk their lives to maintain the system. That certain ethnic groups and classes of people are more susceptible to the viral pandemic adds another layer of tragedy to this accelerating social failure.

The foundational link for this tragedy is the refusal to allow anything other than mass materialism (capitalist realism) as a social goal despite human suffering and loss. But this is also entangled with the delusions of neofascism and archaic nationalism. In a multi-century climate crisis that risks our life forms survival, the concept of nation-states and geographic exclusivity must die, or humanity will perish.

But why do the elite and their opportunist puppets so desperately push these long failed ideas? These immoral ideas are to protect against the humane redistribution of assets with communal management of land and food. There is no ideology or point of political contention here except policies from unsustainable greed and selfishness. They rely on all the entangled linkages of our disasters remaining hidden from enough of the population to manipulate them against their self-interests.

The use of 20th-century ideological buzzwords is a distraction and invalid. The need for collective action at the planetary level to manage our shared resources is a matter of survival for a billion or more people over the next twenty years. The need will not end then but will only be starting and will extend over the next several centuries.

The constant return to weaponized words with no real meaning is a part of the process of denial performed by stooges for the vastly wealthy elite. Yet is works for a significant portion of our population. So how do we recover and save these people while protecting ourselves?

The speed of change is a long-recognized factor in social disruption and personal stress. We’ve been dealing with this and complaining about it for several centuries, but the last fifty years have also been qualitatively different. These decades provided critical training for what we face now.

Unfortunately, this shows us that planetary-scale disruption will catch most people by surprise, no matter how long these emerging tragedies have been discussed. The size of the transformation required produces a more substantial portion of the population unable to understand and adapt. Yet, we cannot wait for them to catch up slowly.

There is no longer a way to fix those parts of our world that are no longer functional. We must shut down and rebuild. But there is no forum to begin this discussion, so it is happening in the street. The majority of our population has identified the Black Lives Matter movement as the starting point for mass change. But that, too, ignores the complete entanglement of our failing attitudes and processes. In the US, that is a battle that we must win, but it must be won concurrent with effective pandemic conquest.

The political war with reactionary neofascism is secondary. That is theater for the population that has already lost everything. Their desperate erection of monuments to the past festooned with criminal conspiracies is devoid of answers but drives hatred and fear that produces a violent reaction to inevitable change.

Our most important action will be to deny them access to any authority. We cannot reach these people with logic or reason but must isolate them as gently as possible. They may well become violent, but we need to avoid that if at all possible with sheer numbers committed to fundamental change.

We are seeing the future implementing itself around us. This is part of the process of fundamental paradigmatic change. While historical instances of this, the scientific revolution in Europe’s 17th century, were instances primarily of educated and political elites, the need for a broadly educated population has made this spontaneously democratic.

Oligarchic governments do not produce democracy other than as a façade. The focus is always on police state control to prevent direct democratic control. The convergence of nation-state collapse, long term climate disaster, and planetary pandemic entangled beyond the ability of traditional thinkers to see, let alone, understand is the catalyst of the 21st-century cultural revolution.

As we all have learned, if we paid attention to our university history classes, modern political revolutions, the US, as a classic example, are led by elite groups that replace the previous elite group in power. They require broader popular support to gain control but, inevitably, begin working to make traditional representative political bodies into members of their elite or to remove them entirely. Within a generation, they start approaching oligarchy.

Even if this is held off or has a period of democratic resurgence in the face of disaster or threat, the weight is on the side of authoritarian, elitist control. A majority of the population understands the profound changes required for our survival, and the failure to understand and implement those changes are driving a decentralized revolution via a new form of direct democracy.

The rise of this new form of democratic change is the cause of unified and desperate efforts by the ruling elite to impose full authoritarian rule while denouncing this new, predominantly peaceful revolutionary form as violent and criminal. But that, too, fails in an age of personalized media. In the US, and other oligarchic states, we see this is in the government-led attempts to create urban conflicts directly against BLM and the antifascist momentum.

The crude propaganda in the US endlessly repeated by Fox News and others reaches millions but is just above humorous in its duplicity. These actions and their significant audience are still dangerous as their audience is the frightened, lost, and dysfunctional, the objects of our concern. The most successful approach has just been used by Modi in India to directly support the construction of a Hindu temple on an ancient Islamic site, fomenting internal conflicts.

When all else fails, religion is a reliably explosive source of hate. Fundamentalist Christianity in the US exists almost exclusively for this, although that is in decline. The Trump regime is now betting on the new religion of QAnon as a source of hatred powered by ignorance to create violent conflict.

The mass movements that have arisen and evolved show the stunning reach of the new paradigm of revolutionary change that should succeed because of mass support. But we have little time. The massively entangled environmental problems, pandemic and climactic, will not pause except on their schedule. We need to communicate continuously to refine our shared belief in what must come to be.

We see that happen, also, in efforts such as Seattle’s CHP, Portland’s successful blocking of a Trump Gestapo tactic with Walls of Moms and Veterans. Week after week of peaceful, though violently attacked, demonstrations in cities around the world put this on a planetary level where it must exist.

On a cultural level, the rise of Black Women as representative of all demeaned ethnicities and genders is a theme for all who know the past must disappear, and only profound change will make the future possible. Even among the ruling elite and its corrupted functions, the change appears. The confirmation of much of Oklahoma as controlled by the resident tribal nations is also an example of the changes that must happen.

The processes in motion can be sabotaged, and massive force could be used to, again, repress human populations, but this will not happen darkness or silence, but before the eyes of the new source of democratic rule, the people of this planet.

Educator, CIO, retired entrepreneur, grandfather with occasional fits of humor in the midst of disaster. . .

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