by Mike Meyer ~ Honolulu ~ September 8, 2020
We waited too long and now need to begin an emergency restoration and expansion of our cultural rules. We need to do this at warp speed for America, and, still, it may not be enough to salvage the US as a nation-state.
The great disaster of the Trump regime has destroyed the pretense of functional political culture. While most everyone is aware of the failure of the US political system as well as that of the general western representative political model, most have accepted the commentary that this is a product of the corruption of political parties and individual politicians.
There is more than enough political and economic corruption to go around, but that assumes, similar to racist police forces, that the problem is a few bad apples. That is a mistaken assumption in all cases. The bad apple metaphor ignores a related metaphor that ‘one bad apple spoils the barrel.’ Somehow we see the first in our general media but not the second.
There are always some bad apples, damaged, worm-eaten, or beginning to rot while most may be good, but the bad ones need rapid removal from the barrel, or all will be lost. While we have, in the US and many other nation-states, glaring problems with pervasive police, political, and business corruption, the public conversation in these cultures fails to define basic morality for these groups.
When the public conversation is unable to articulate a moral standard for these primary social structures, the culture built on them will fail. In this situation, the cultural voice becomes mute, and no shared definition of truth is identifiable. Confusion becomes the norm. That, I think, fully describes American culture at this point.
One US media example illustrates this perfectly. The following headline from AP on September 4th read: Dueling versions of reality define 1st week of fall campaign. The article that followed is what you expect of mainstream US media. It disregards reality.
There is only one reality. The detailed description of all elements of that reality is subject to interpretation, but that is not “dueling realities.” In this case, we have a political statement on one side and s fabrication of lies on the other. This error is the result of laziness motivated by cultural corruption.
At a slightly more profound level of the US cultural conversation, this problem is a significant cause of national failure. Usually referred to as the ‘he said, she said’ style of reporting that makes no effort to define reality to avoid loss of any advertising revenue. This form says that there is no reality and no standards beyond profit. It is, of course, justified as objective reporting, which it is not. In this form, the statements that the moon is green cheese and the moon is rocks and regolith are equally valid if two different people make those statements.
The US political collapse now being consummated in the effort to remove the failed Trump regime may destroy the US as a nation. The damage, in the best case, has crippled the country. While we can hope for a miracle, there is no miracle in sight. The destruction of morality and scientific as distinct from fiction has left us with a choice between lies and not lies. ‘Not lies’ is better than lies, but neither allows for a firm policy or plan of action that we and the entire planet desperately needs.
We have the beginnings of a solution in the paradigmatic shift in media and communication, but there are corrupt components to remove and missing pieces that we must add. The transition is the same shift that is prevalent, although the object of violent oppression, in the rise of direct democratic action at the local urban government level in Hong Kong, Cairo, Libya, the US, etc. In the new media, this is not Facebook or Twitter that represent mutant versions of the old media companies in a new interactive media form, but Wikipedia and Medium as representative of direct media.
The denigration of Wikipedia as an ’invalid’ source is another illustration of the effort to oppress the new to maintain the power of the discredited old. At the same time, the growing repression of full Medium article links on Facebook is a further illustration of denial of the new direct media for data theft and financial gain.
The result of this failure is the disaster that has destroyed America and made it the pandemic version of a nuclear war zone as we approach 400,000 deaths. That is what happens when you are unable or unwilling to deal with reality, leaving people at the mercy of opportunistic idiots.
Thanks to Dave Pell’s NextDraft for calling attention to the failure in the AP article linked above.