by Mike Meyer
We are in a phase change that we have known was coming for a long time. But, like a major career change, there is a lot involved and more if the schedule includes a move and all that entails. Anxiety and some fear of what the job and the people will be like also must be dealt with as we wait and worry.
The career change analogy also works for the impatience of doing the old job and dealing until we can leave. That may include anger and frustration as well as sadness at what once was and what could have been but didn’t happen. Major changes are hard.
This is worse when we don’t even know what the changes will be. At the same time the presence of a minority of people determined to deny all change and denounce reality for their own reasons complicates things tremendously. But the change finally comes like your long awaited vacation or your new job.
Suddenly, these things always seem to happen suddenly after years of waiting, we are faced with fast changing reality. The things that couldn’t happen because powerful people stood in the way suddenly begin to happen. All of the things that shouldn’t have happened but kept happening to almost everyone’s horror, are, suddenly, too much to tolerate.
But who knows how this will go? Are people still rational? How many are so corrupted by bizarre social insanity that they cannot see anything but the past? A new world is coalescing before our eyes.
Autumn 2019 in the Northern Hemisphere and the Donald Trump impeachment process has finally begun after a flagrant and predictably stupid act of self serving international intrigue, while Boris Johnson has been emasculated by Lady Hale, president of the UK Supreme Court, although he seems not to have noticed, yet. Maybe he is distracted.
There is policy talk, quickly denied as anything but a thought experiment, of an international invasion as a means of saving the Amazon Basin from another denialist and destroyer. The Climate Disaster is really that big. Whatever is not real, the talk is real, and the sense that these things can, and need to be, discussed, now, is also real and will remain so. Expect to hear that talk again.
The fascist reaction that has traumatized the planet for the last five years was built on racism, misogyny, and the terminal decline of nation states with their predatory capitalist systems. We knew those were unsustainable but no one seemed able to imagine that they would not survive. That realization is still pending but things are moving quickly. One part of an age crumbles and whole structure becomes suddenly unstable.
The shift in perspective lead by a mildly autistic young woman willing to speak to the spoilers of the planet seems to have been the trigger. Our newest generations, at ease with the full virtualized planet and able to see the horror that they will face, have had enough and are very publicly saying so.
This is the stereotypical model of nonlinear complexities as one, seemingly minor, variable keys massive change. This process then is magnified by feedback mechanisms based in chaos. No wonder the slow witted denizens of the old order leadership world dismissed this as nothing and are still failing to understand that they have been gutted in a way they never knew.
They will flail about loudly claiming that nothing has changed and they are still in control but they are, now, the walking dead. A major part of the population was waiting for this change and will rise to the change with excitement and relief. Those that refuse to see will react, some violently, but the change is now finding its channel just as a river may change its course.
Power is moving to a new center that is not a place but a new population that understands the planet in a different way with very different priorities. The concurrence of events this week is breathtaking but the most consequential is the IPCC Climate Report that, yet again, shows warming, sea level rise, and sea life decline as far faster than anticipated. It needs to be remembered that, as frightening as this report is, it was the product of over one hundred scientist in an international forum and is still likely not fully presenting the true dangers. But that is now understood by many people and the young specifically.
If given a choice no one wants to be old, greedy, and driven by hatred. Greta Thunberg laid the great shame of this age at the feet of the old rulers and none of us will be forgiven unless we act. The rapid and vicious attacks on her, escalating as the extent of the damage to the old order becomes apparent, is already a exhibiting a rapid slide into self delusion and desperation. The rush for the exits is starting.
One wonders if Trump has realized, yet, that his testicles are gone. Neatly removed by a nice young girl who has happily tacked them to a wall for her public to admire.
What will this become?
Paradigmatic change is a fundamental shift in how the world works. The old ways of understanding and controlling societies fail and new ones begin to take over. Greta Thunberg is not competing with the old leadership that has created the disasters that that threaten to destroy us although she is a threat to them. She is a precursor of the new, evolving, power. This is a social force not a set of individualistic heros in the old form. That is a very important part of this shift for us to understand.
We need to work together with the creativity of diversity and massive information managed by science. The dying world is misogynistic, absurdly masculine, and condescendingly paternalistic. The long age of the male sky gods of conquest and death is over. We all knew that was happening but let it all continue until, suddenly, Greta called the end. What a shock.
The mandate to rule has been withdrawn from the old white males and their clones. The planet itself has rejected the old rule and shows that disharmony by working to remove us from its surface and eliminating our food supply. This is not a minor political squabble but a planetary sequence of natural disasters. The meaning is clear but it took new eyes to see it and a clear voice to say it.
This is closest, at yet another level of irony, to the classical Chinese world based on human leadership justified by the Mandate of Heaven. That mandate, attributed to the sky deity, was confirmed by increasing natural resources or lost by natural disasters. We are at an entirely new level that, nevertheless, recalls an old symbolic archetype. Failing to protect and support the life of our planet indicates incompetence as a ruler.
This vision is also important. Greta’s message was, above all, shut up and listen to the science. The old way always confused individuals with knowledge and allowed an ignorant person to override all. That is no longer an option. A range of previous choices in political systems are now gone. Freedom and choice can remain but these are not the old choices of oppression, destruction, and willful ignorance.
We don’t have to put up with the usual paternalistic and failing autocrats. It’s now ok to remove these remnants and vestiges from positions of power, in fact it is essential that we do so as quickly as possible. We are able to see enough of the future to know that it is far worse than each stage of estimates that were denied and rejected for no reason other than greed.
This is not the slow compromise of political systems in a stable world. This is not the time for tolerance of those who are evil in their ignorance, greed, and hatred. We know who these people are and their followers do nothing but shout hatred and threats as a symptom of their disease. This is how we must look at these people now. Will they help us survive and thrive or destroy our future?
This is not going to be easy because these people are desperate to hold power and continue the plundering that has been the standard for the last centuries. The conflict will now grow and there will be tragedy but this is about our future. Failure to end this false tolerance for ignorance means a major die off and perhaps extinction of our species as well as most others on this planet.
We need to beat the old misogynistic brutality with new social tools that neutralize their antiquated weapons. But the minority caught in the old ways are already at extreme hate. They hate Greta Thunberg and are already declaring our children evil. Lies and hatred are all that they have left.
Because they have nothing but evil and no thought but of themselves they will destroy everything to retain power if they can. That cannot be allowed. This is a time to make critical changes that will preserve a future for our children, grandchildren, and all who follow.
Is our future authoritarian?
This is a very important question that is relevant, not because of the reactionary pseudo fascist nationalism rising from the old capitalist system failure, but because so much needs to be done without the luxury of endless discussion. The Chinese model is presented as a much better and more efficient system to achieve the goals essential for survival and wellbeing yet it is as much a part of the old, unsustainable, system failure as the predatory capitalist system.
As stated above, we are in a different era that requires planetary coordination for our survival. At the same time we are learning the both the moral and intellectual need for diversity. The first is the logical development of the concept of individual rights including happiness. The second is need for ever greater creativity in securing our planet from disaster and ensuring our place in our solar system for growth and future wellbeing.
Authoritarian systems are more efficient but are, with human rulers, inherently biased and prone to oppressive. While extensive planning is better in more authoritarian systems the practical reality shows equally ineffective implementation of those plans as discussed in the Economist.
How can these problems be solved?
We know that we need to work at the planetary level to achieve carbon reduction, sustainability, and equitable resource management. We also know that the most effective and positively perceived governmental units are urban and local, not national. This may not be true for more homogenous and smaller nation states but is definitely true in larger regional and imperial nations.
Responsiveness to residents and protection of diversity is the strength of planetary metropolitan governments. Small city or rural area governments tend to be too small or too poor to provide more than minimal services and so are not considered as valuable as urban regions that are well managed.
This is not the classic American conservative sham of “small government” and “austerity” masquerading for racism and mass exploitation for an oligarchic elite. This is local government with direct democracy. In this sense local means direct with a close sense of the
Perhaps the route to the future is greater efficiency by removal of unneeded layers of government. The problem is sovereignty. We are beginning to face the hard question of nation states acting against the interests of the planet and our population. We are seeing this just as we are beginning to all face the risks of being refugees from climate disaster.
The absurdity of large, rich, regional nations denying refugees is the complete opposite of what needs to and will happen. We all may need the protection and support for forced migration.
The barriers and borders need to be limited to administrative management of threatened environments with sovereignty a right of all sentient beings along with life, shelter, protection from disasters, healthcare, nutrition, and education. That must be ensured, as it is now but only poorly, at the planetary level but managed at the local metropole level.
The control of each urban region must be in the hands of that population and not lost to antiquated nations. Carrying capacity of the planet and its regions is a scientific process with suggested population based on many factors and confirmed by the people of that region as refugee flows are routed and resources provided.
This is what will need to be established and that will happen anyway, much sooner than we want. We don’t have time to play games with past failures. The failures we are facing will be more than enough.