by Mike Meyer
How do we pull out of this death spiral? That is the basic question that we face. At mid 2019 I think we can say with confidence that is the question on the minds of a large part of our planet’s population and nearly everyone in America.
Depending on where you are, the problems are generally the same but regionally nuanced by local culture and the local level of authoritarian control. While areas under authoritarian rule are increasingly sophisticated in controlling information and censoring internet sources the education level and internet experience of the population in general is also much higher. That means a constant war of information with a large part of the population working to counter the censorship. China is the preeminent example of that.
America is the other model of authoritarian control. Control of the mainstream media has succeeded for a significant part of the population by use of misinformation aimed at race and class populations. This created a self censoring population who have been told that only one source of information is valid and all else are lies.
Since this is done through fabrication and lies combined with social media manipulation, the inherent contradictions produce social disruption and family conflicts and, ultimately, abandonment of public life. Current percentages at around 30–40% of the population who actively ignore national news as emotionally distressing indicates the success of the Russian technique. This population has abandoned any voice in government.
Yet the overall condition increasingly illustrates the failure of these authoritarian and 20th century fascist objectives. It appears that the peak fascist resurgence has been reached and broadly active resistance to the inherent corruption, racism, and incompetence of these groups is growing.
The current examples are the growing demands for impeachment or 25th amendment action in America, the loss of Istanbul’s election in Turkey, the failure to topple the government of Venezuela, and the size and continuity of the anti-extradition movement in Hong Kong.
While none of these events represents any type of final victory, they are strong indicators of growing commitment to direct action by select populations. This is another level in the move to direct democracy bypassing the antiquated bureaucratic authorities who have ruled almost unchallenged for several centuries.
This is not the old Western model of political revolutionary change but a new model that is exploring direct action based on planet wide networking and communication. This new type of action is not organized and managed but a spontaneous resistance when authoritarian limits have been crossed.
Early examples of this include Occupy Wall Street, the Arab Spring, and the varieties of ‘soft power’ movements that are now becoming ubiquitous. Many of these were followed and then declared as failures depending on what we achieved before the were suppressed by traditional authoritarian forces. But the traditional media has consistently been applying the wrong criteria and end up fostering confusion.
I would identify this as primary paradigmatic change that will, ultimately, become part of a new type of human social administration. This will include AI based administrative management and eliminate the problems inherent in oligarchic human rule based on emotions and fear. But while that may be the end result we will need to watch this evolve as it is a completely new approach.
Much of the confusion, seen in the Occupy movement in New York and other cities was the absence of a leadership group with a revolutionary plan. The failure of the Arab Spring movement was perceived as the absence of such an agenda. The authoritarian rulers were able to reassert control and nullify the immediate changes being sought. Yet, there is no doubt this will happen again. These mass participation movements are a new form of direct popular rule.
Because this is a result of very large paradigmatic change the old criteria of success and failure no longer applies. The goal is not to take over the government but to force the administrative system to perform desired actions or to abandon abusive changes. This is particularly visible in China and Hong Kong. The Chinese are very comfortable with a more authoritarian style of administration but they retain the right to demand changes to government plans.
This, I think, is the point of transition. National or metropolitan governments are huge and complex. People don’t want these to go away as these provide efficient delivery of public services that are critical for life. At the same time very few people want to work in managing these organizations as they are too complex and filled with criminality and corruption. People, i.e. the youngest generations, seem to feel, intuitively, that these systems are at the end of their life but there is nothing, yet, to replace them.
The definitions of this dislike are termed populism but this is traditionally hijacked by authoritarian opportunists as a demand for authoritarian rule. This was often true of the oldest and least knowledgeable parts of the population but for the younger majority this is now dislike of economic and social exploitation with unquestioned corruption. The problem is delay of a new administrative structure efficiently delivering public services in response to local public needs.
Put simply this seems to me to be a demand for expanded public services, e.g. universal healthcare, free higher education, minimum basic income, and open opportunities free from racism, bigotry, and intrusion. Politics has been so corrupted that it should be removed.
The rise of automation and Artificial Intelligence is expected to take most jobs in the next two decades. For those with a better understanding of this, the highest risk is to managerial and white collar positions. It is becoming clearer generally that management is easier to automate than skilled or technical positions. The logical place for that is regional and local government.
I would suggest that among the Gen X, Y and Z generations this is well understood. Why worry about government when it will be managed by algorithm. Mass statements of how judicial systems and service provisioning systems should and should not be programmed are the future of democrat control. The need is to remove human biases and corruption.
This makes the broad complacency of the American political collapse difficult to understand to the older generations and traditionalists. How can corruption be removed and equity achieved without changing all of the people? By replacing them with algorithms that are publicly monitored or, better yet, audited.
I am not saying that this is clearly understood or fully articulated among the younger, urban generations but is, I think, the basis of the disinterest in the traditional political infrastructure. This is the foundation for the general assumption that all traditional participants in the older styles of government are equally wrong and prone to the same mistakes and corruption.
The may not realize it but they are waiting for automation of government, that has already begun, and will remove people from the most important institutions in 21st century societies. We are seeing mass resistance as the new form of political power in response to bad or unbalanced systems. That is what is beginning to happen now with specific removal of authority to implement some kinds of changes.
This is the revolution that could remove much of what we think of as ‘government’ that is not about services and systems but arbitrary and corrupt human intrusion into the process of social administration. This removal will be the exact opposite of the traditional small government conservative group that works to maintain oligarchic or racist control of resources and will create a type of direct democratic commons with the primary assets being automated service systems.
In this sense what we, the older generations, call government will cease to exist as a political entity but will become the basic social infrastructure supervised directly, as needed, by the population that the administrative systems service. In this world government is becoming an automated service that will be subject to social media mass public action.
This is the general direction that is evolving in response to the increasingly dysfunctional old style political government systems. But how will this deal with the terminal disaster of the climate crisis?
The nature of this crisis requires scientific implementation of defined changes for human society to prevent our species extinction. The failures to date to deal with this, except sporadically, illustrates the failure of traditional political systems to deal with issues bigger than authoritarians in charge. If special interests are removed the problem is education of the population (already well advanced) with open, public and transparent discussion of the options available with their costs to each of us.
That is certainly hard enough but we already have the mass resistance response in open formulation by Gen Z and others. That is to do what needs to be done starting immediately. This is not magic or mysterious but a massive set of economic and social changes to human society. But these will evolve and must be evaluated constantly with new options presented as they are understood to be possible.
The old terms of democracy, politics, capitalism, socialism, etc. are used to maintain a cloud of confusion. This confusion is used by corrupt governments and interest groups tied to those governments to block action, misdirect, and mislabel what we are seeing around us everyday.
The new form of human social administration is inherently ‘democratic’ because it is the selection of critical issues that people respond to in mass. What is being demanded is efficient administration and management of human society without human corruption and distortion.