Changing the future to prevent the mistakes of the past . . .
by Mike Meyer
Trump is a very bad idea. There is no indication that he was ever a good idea for anyone other than himself. If he hadn’t been funded with something like a billion dollars by his father he would almost certainly be institutionalized by now. Even with that he was down to being a third rate reality show actor before connecting with the owners of the failed USSR who needed a bunch of expensive real estate for laundering the loot from the Russian government. This would have been of only legal interest until the path of US political system collapse presented a failed political party with no leadership but a core of brainwashed and functionally illiterate followers with nowhere to go. To put it simply this was the confluence of a bunch of really bad ideas. The critical mass of this set of disasters produced a bizarre situation that is beyond fiction. So here we are.
The general feel, if not a consensus, is that we are near the end. The Trump disaster cannot go on much longer. If it does the inevitable escalation in rage, hatred, and violence will become uncontrollable. The individual himself is almost completely out of control and does not seem able to understand the implications of his actions. Or he does and likes it. Either interpretation indicates the mind of a sociopath. Resignation is the only way to save this so that will be what happens and, as now openly discussed, it will probably involve the pardon for Trump and his family to avoid court and the risk of prison as the earlier bad idea using the money of Russian criminals comes home to roost. My concern is determining if there is a route out through the minefields that we have built over the decades that became the stage for this situation. As noted above the result of Trump still holding on to power at the end of this year is complete loss of control, populations beginning to move, violence escalating randomly or worse. We are all on our own then.
The idea of Trump is clearly pathological. The details of that are not relevant here. The critical issue is understanding what allowed a pathological disease vector to intersect with other social failings to allow something like Trump to achieve nearly ultimate political power. And that is what he would achieve if he weren’t in such serious trouble on so many other fronts. As the imperial force on the planet priding itself on being a, at least partially, representational government based on individual and civil rights, and the educational model for all other states, how in the hell did this kind of stupid mistake get made?
Revisiting the mistake
Yes, that is what three quarters of the population has been asking itself since last November but that was short term shock and fear. Fully justified as we now know. The real questions is much more difficult and that is can this be prevented in the future? And that future is not far away. It is the day after Trump leaves office. The, now obviously, antiquated Constitution is no longer adequate to deal with 21st century virtual society with instantaneous, individual interaction and mass manipulation that is undetectable by the ordinary person. The level of criminal incompetence of the Trump family and it’s followers was never anticipated by the educated gentlemen of the 18th century American colonial elite. We need a much higher bar to ignorance, criminality and incompetence. Treason they understood but that is an almost impossible charge to stick at a time when human communication and actions are completely creatable from publicly available raw material. While “there’s a sucker born every minute” and there have always been people who would pay to be “shown the egress”, as P.T. Barnum proved, that was not a near instantaneous manipulation of millions at any given point in time.
And that ‘later’ is the hour that Trump leaves. Pence appears also to be incompetent but closer to the level that has become acceptable in politicians. He is also a bigot, mentally disturbed as indicated by his religious cult connections and clearly a social retard. Sadly all of those things are considered acceptable in the American political tradition. But that acceptability is a large part of what has lead us to this disaster. But there are far bigger problems than a bizarre, much hated ex-governor of Indiana.
The general assumption is that by removing Trump the disease will have been cut out and 2018 and 2020 elections will allow the majority to speak thus clearing out the worst of the problems from Congress leaving Pence as a figurehead until 2020. So we would dream. This is the point that reveals the actual problem because the system is broken and cannot repair itself.
The layers of irony
It seems historically that the late stages of empires produce ever deeper layers of irony. And the problem segments of their populations become less and less able to see that irony. Irony, with which satire builds absurdity, requires the maintenance of alternative realities in comparison. This is a form of objectivity that is also, of course, the basis of the scientific method. This explains the tendency for scientists to love puns and absurd mockeries of their own work. Except of course when they don’t. But that is a discussion for another time.
The playing out of the Trump removal scenario above will neatly place the American people exactly where they were in early 2016 except in a worse condition with almost no options. Trump has accomplished nothing positive with the exception of not having derailed the Obama economic recovery. Jobs will continue to grow and the capitalist system will continue to extract wealth from the population leaving them on the same slow slide into poverty. The recovery will continue to benefit the very rich and the large corporation who will continue to stash money wherever they can. People will continue to struggle as Congress removes what supports for the general public remain and anger will continue to build based on whichever wildly inaccurate propaganda feed they have locked themselves into.
Pence will do nothing to reverse the damage. . .
Pence will do nothing to reverse the damage to health care and the civil liberties structure of this country (Trump’s only accomplishments have been the sabotage of two hundred years of human rights progress) and the remnants of the republican party will be shouting for the return of Trump (what else can they do?) and Bannon will be planning to cross the Potomac and declare his empire just as Julius Caesar did. He knows the inside and how easy it is. It just takes a firm hand and no out-of-control idiot to screw things up.
At this point the only thing that can be said for the Democratic Party is that they are not Nazis, racists, or obvious bigots. They are still owned by the same people that use to own the Republican Party and the goals are the same. Power and money for the wealthy are the order of the day. Just as before they are bit more concerned to give a bit more to the masses but the masses still need to be living paycheck to paycheck and scared so they will work for ever lower salaries as automation simplifies and removes jobs.
So the result in 2020 is likely to be worse than 2016 with neo-fascists manipulating social media and the masses in their pocket. The Republican Party is in shambles ruling over an illegal vote charade with no leadership. Easy pickings and the short lived Trump regime will have been just a dry run for the new Great Leader. Meanwhile the Democratic Party is so busy trying to build there own supremacist group and blocking any meaningful change that they will, again, succeed in doing nothing. They will be rewarded for pretending to be the loyal opposition.
So what do we do?
Back to the start of this we must figure out how to eliminate the Trump idea as an answer for anything. Much of that idea is ancient and was never much good as it almost always led to warfare and disaster. The most divisive and insidious of these influences is declaring and denouncing “others”. We know that intellectual property and the new wealth are dependent on new thinking and continuous innovation. We have built for generations on the best and brightest from around our planet being educated and then working for us. In fact that is the source of almost all of our innovation in the last thirty years. We need to reopen our borders and invite all to come and learn and, this is important, feel welcome to experiment on our ticket. We will support them and their families. I can hear the screams of outrage already.
We need to let our metropolitan sanctuaries be true experimental sanctuaries for new ideas in social and economic organization. The new economics is well understood to be based on intellectual value rather than material goods. The end result of AI and automation is the reduction in cost of sustainable products as scarcity is eliminated as the primary factor is market pricing. People are the resource that remains as they both represent and create value. The power of global markets, while poorly implemented under the rule of hypercapitalism has still shown the power to reduce costs on every day goods. We need to replace the lost income with the distribution of assets to the population in general and not to the tiny clique of billionaire owners who have benefited from the expropriation of vast sums by regimes that they bought.
We need to reverse the mindless descent into isolation and frozen opportunities. We can then deal with AI and automation by trying a range of approaches to Universal Basic Income tied to serious urban area experimentation. This has the opportunity to take current points of contention and turn them into positives or at least proof of concept or confirmation of failure. And all of this happening in the liberal cities that the real people don’t want to live in anyway. Don’t just let it happen, we need to encourage it to happen.
A new way to administer societies
The restructuring of the constitution is a bigger issue and cannot be allowed to be hijacked by the oligarchs and corporate interests. It might be easier to simply retain the existing constitution but work to greatly weaken both the executive and legislative while strengthening the protection of voting rights and making gerrymandering completely illegal. We are well on the way to a new mode of direct democratic rule by social media and constant discussion. It would appear that the means of achieving that may well be via the reduction in power of the old centralized governmental systems. Exactly how that will work needs to be figured out quickly but first the Trumps need to be removed to protect that open public dialogue. We are on the edge of a completely different type of administrative structure but we must shape it from the raw materials of technology and Artificial Intelligence around us. The old rulers will do everything they can to kill it and dominate by fear and violence. We cannot expect anything else.
If these things can’t be started and the very idea of a Trump removed in the next year, preferably by the end of this calendar year, then there is probably not much reason to worry about the details after that. The future will belong completely to China without a democratic force for freedom of communication from America to balance the Chinese world. It’s time to act.