The old world is dying around us. We watch it crumble each day. The successes of the capitalist domination of the industrial world brought wealth and ended hunger for much of the planet. Not for all but for many. This success came with the defeat of the last phase of fascism and ultra nationalist insanity and the unity of moderate representational republics of the western world bringing in Japan, Taiwan, and western Germany. As always people who were part of this thought it would last forever. Through the fifties and sixties the old world of colonialism was taken a part and new nations began to grow in Southeast and South Asia, Africa, South America, and the Middle East. The battle with totalitarian Stalinist Russia and China was the great challenge and the threat of nuclear annihilation haunted the growth of prosperity. But we escaped that horrible fate. Gone forever, or so we thought.
But after twenty-five years the signs of weakness began to spread. The US as the lead nation lost its way having struggled violently with racism and irrationality, its ideals were infected with both and were spread by military force around the planet. The US made its last great progress in the sixties against racism and poverty in America with the beginning of health services and expanded retirement benefits. The addiction to wealth from military domination led us to and finally failed us in Vietnam. The anger over that divided the newer educated urban population from the older generation that imagined itself still as small town America disguised as suburbia. The new benefits of the war on poverty and the commitment to education ran counter to the old racism and religious irrationality. There was always suspicion of education in the small towns and countryside. High school was good but that college stuff caused kids to escape the grasp of the irrational and mythological. Might get a better job but lost as true American. I grew up with that.
If the new wealth hadn’t been give to the others it would have been part of the old middle class’s inheritance. They were the white Christians who were the unique and chosen people of the world’s only exceptional golden country. They were the ones who had beaten the forces of evil and their reward was now being given away to brown and black people who were escaping their place. And to women who had no shame and did not know their place in the Christian family. To the true Americans knowing your place was the only route to acceptance even if your place was hell in the basement or the kitchen of America.
Ronnie Reagan and the the John Birch Society nationalists who had been dominated for nearly fifty years saw their opportunity to gain power in the layers of racism, greed, and resentment. Greed was the common ground. Capitalism became hypercapitalism fed by continuous war. The barriers to capital flow and greater profits were removed on promise of the great trickling of wealth to the loyal voters who protected the hypercapitalists. Somehow the jobs were already being given away but that was maybe ok if it was done by real Americans. Both parties became unified in greed allowing corruption to grow without limit. Wealth did grow but only for a few. Stagnation for most was accepted as normal for each elite nation of the world of trade. The biggest share of stagnation came to the exceptional one but that was to the benefit of real Americans proven by their wealth.
So the richest elite earned it all and had no problems but that turned slowly to the benefit of the old fascists who had found new opportunists who could focus the anger of the masses. By their very nature they had no care for people but to simply gain an ever bigger share. They didn’t care where they took it because their power was the threat of violence and the language was the language of hate and the weakest were to be sacrificed to satisfy the hunger for suffering of others demanded by the stagnant. The old rule of the loud and strong not limited by logic or reason. To a percentage it felt like coming home.
And Trump was born. Le Pen was born. The German AfD gained strength, the Japanese ultra nationalists were acceptable again and opening schools. Somehow feeding on the fear of foreigners would bring happiness. Good jobs would return despite common sense and automation and the irrational blame of immigrants would somehow bring money. The immigrants are needed to fill all the jobs and real innovation and we know they add more than they take, but that is logic and rational thought and these people were never comfortable there. The old ignorance sounds wise. The suffering is good to see. And the irrational is what we believe and our fathers believed.
The escalating effects of climate change will not allow us much time for this. We must begin to act.
These people are only 20% but they are angry and will not listen to anything but those cheering at the pain of others. This is where we are and it is a tragedy we must overcome. But how? Many see this and are writing and talking more and more about the changes that must be made. umair haque is one and has coined the term ‘eudaimonia’ to begin to re-balance human well being against unlimited greed and unsupportable materialism. There are places where people are happier and the one thing they share is a common commitment to health and well being for all. No exceptions. That is a start and greed cannot be tolerated as an excuse for maintaining some of the largest distortions of wealth distribution in modern history. This is the central effect of the disease. The cause is the worship of an economic system that is dying and killing our planet in the process. We need this to stop. The majority see this but also see the world crumbling. What will take its place?
It’s a simple choice. Put people first with health and well being and the right to be valued as the highest goals. Place sustainability and the salvaging of our planet as the next goal. Replace capitalist economics with human time and creativity as value. Replace currency with some form of blockchain, time based cryptocurrency is one, to become the standard. Support AI automation and the freeing of people from wage slavery that will some automatically with the changes already happening. Move to services and subscription sharing of expensive assets. Within two years we will have subscription self driving car
services to remove that part of capital. We already are well along the road to subscription services for when we need them, not as capital assets to be kept for pride. Our children already know that is the future. Look where people are happiest. Learn how and why. We now it is not in ownership, greed, or mindless indulgence. The old world demanded that to grow. We will grow in a different way by growing in well being and, maybe, finding happiness. When you are happy you don’t threaten or kill. We’ve had enough of that.
The eudaimonic future is in our grasp and we are building it now but in clusters and almost invisibly. It is also appearing before our eyes. It will change and we don’t have to get it all correct to start. Let’s recognize it, try it and change it to meet our and our planet’s changing needs. If the small, fearful, and hateful get in the way, we move them out of the way and stop them from too much damage. As gently as possible but as forcefully as needed. The escalating effects of climate change will not allow us much time for this. We must begin to act.