The challenge to remain sane and act
by Mike Meyer
It is getting hard to hold on to multiple and divergent views of our planet. As the old paradigms fail those most threatened by change grab pieces of the shattered social image and build havens that they can inhabit. That leaves us with people wearing bizarre things very much like a very small hermit crab wearing an old toothpaste cap as a shell.
The picture of a tiny crab wearing the toothpaste cap that I saw was cute. People wearing pieces of cast off social hate or bizarre fantasies are sad and becoming ever more tragic as the danger from their delusions mounts. This slide into social collapse and transformation is, I’ve come to realize, probably the scariest thing that we can face as social animals. Hence the fringe panic and frantic grasping after points of reference to anchor ourselves.
Paradigmatic change is a bitch. It changes our languages and takes things that we used to define security and turns them into either irrelevancies or dangerous alien devices. This affects different social groups and people in different ways. It’s a classic social science experiment but we have to live through it and there is no control group.
The recognition of this is coming thick and fast. That recognition is now increasingly warnings from people who are able to analyze and understand the general effects of these changes. Most often these warnings are couched in analogies of past social disasters and national or regional collapse. When major pieces of a shared social paradigm fail people react with a range of standard responses. Unfortunately unthinking reaction, what we spontaneously do, are incredibly dangerous particularly at this stage of human development.
We need to make major changes to our social and economic organizational structure. This is not political in the old sense of that term (as it is changing, too) but now is driven by survival. In the past the issues were survival only at the level of local or regional social organizations. Drastic paradigmatic change leading to failure of a region such as the Roman Empire, the Han dynasty in China, the Inca empire were incredibly disruptive to the people involved but were limited geographically. This time we have the entire planet at risk and all of our species with it. That makes this time not just a quantitative change but a qualitative one.
If we get this wrong we may not survive. That is the specific sense in which the old political structure is failing and must change. The mass of the warnings appearing daily are aimed at people grasping at very bad political solutions. These have had different names over time but are generally grouped under fascism, nationalism, feudalism, or tribalism. Note that the terms originate farther and farther back in time. These are personified by demagogues, dictators, strongmen, etc. At their origin in history they were either failures or could be used for only short emergencies and then, usually, became a bigger problem than what they were accepted to correct.
Almost all of the confusion in America now and elsewhere is the failure of ‘rights’. The entire representationally governed nation state that originated in 18th century Europe and is now the planetary standard is based on equality of rights tied to authorizing political rule. This is an ideal but it is already disappearing as even an ideal and is only maintained by a pretense or façade. The least rational, for lack of a better word, of our population are blatantly demanding the removal of rights from everyone but their own racial and tribal unit. This is the classic definition of a reversion to a previous stage or system. We need to recognize this and act to prevent it.
That need cannot maintain the broadest definition of democracy. It needs to recognize and identify the threat to the higher and more sophisticated political form and protect that form. The forces of reversion are using the higher form for destructive ends. Democratic rights do not include the right to destroy the democratic form. We need to remove such people from any active role in government.
Donald Trump is clearly, now, a threat to our democratic form of rights and government. He must be removed along with all of his allies and supporters.
There is, as I’ve said, a far larger concern and that is the active denial of the largest threat in our history to survival of our species. The forces of reversion want reversion to an old and failed system because they would gain personal power and wealth for themselves and their collaborators. They have made climate change an old fashioned political token to play in a dangerous power game. That cannot be allowed.
Our planet can only survive with scientific knowledge. That does not mean that scientific knowledge is divine. No knowledge is divine. That is a symptom of the reversion to old, failed religious systems of thought. Refusal to tolerate that is not an attack on spiritual or religious rights. In this case religious rights have been corrupted by the forces of reversion. The scientific system is a process for maintaining knowledge and is designed to be self correcting.
Religion must be removed from the process of governmental administration. It is not relevant. It can no longer be tolerated interfering in that aspect of human social management. Spiritual health is relevant only to the individual and family unit. That is where it provides the good that our species requires.
These are the areas in which we need immediate change. The issue is not to maintain the old political system. That has already reached its end and no longer meets our needs. Attempting to rely on the old rules of government in America is a form of reversion that will fail as it will fail elsewhere. We need to begin the change now by removing the ability of those with irrational beliefs, greed or a mindless quest for power who are acting with a goal of human reversion and planetary failure to influence any official policies or actions. They need to be isolated from the control of our species and our planet. This is a massive challenge that cannot be put off any longer.
The requirement for full democratic rights in human administration must require commitment to equality of rights for all and a full commitment to the next stage of scientifically supported civilization on this planet. We must act to respect and support all individuals and groups who are not acting as a threat to other social groups, our species, or our planet.
I’m suggesting this as the basis for new action.