The Fog of Idiocy
by Mike Meyer ~ Honolulu ~ June 3, 2020
It amazes me, as diverse communities demonstrate against the destruction of human values in our national institutions, to realize that we are battling the fog of idiocy. The source of that idiocy is culturally structured racism, all forms of bigotry, and denial of human rights. This idiocy presents itself as institutionalized racism, police brutality, condoned murder, and political corruption.
This condition is not new; it has been with us forever. What is new is the power of communication linking the powerless with knowledge and the ability to show what is happening to everyone. The tools of evil are authoritarian rulers working through the power of lies and violence to demand silence and hide their criminal corruption. We know these people as schoolyard bullies, neighborhood hoodlums, gangsters, and political opportunists.
The gangsters and political opportunists acquire the camouflage of social protection by providing rewards for their supporters while gorging themselves on power and corruption. In conflict with other groups like themselves, they claim legitimacy by inciting bigotry, greed, and protection from the ‘others.’ These techniques are a cliche.
We have learned, in the last hundred years, that the power of massed population acting cooly but with righteous anger wielding threats against their sacred property is so frightening that the hoodlums and political opportunists panic. Historically this is a very new technique based on the ancient right of violent rebellion against criminal rulers. But it is based on another very modern assumption that unchecked violence is evil. We are still working on this.
We know that governments based on suppression of their populations are not sustainable even if the rulers can hold on to power. Such states periodically collapse into civil war until the state exhausts itself and fails.
These cyclic failures are part of the evolution of human society. The problems of force as a basis of rule drives the movement to representative governments. Each step is progressive, and relapses are frequent but less so with improved wellbeing and education.
Such development is now exponential and is the product of direct action in modern and post-modern societies as both the successes and the failures have taught us that persistence and communication are the keys to growing wellbeing and prosperity.
What is changing is the concept of rulers. Demonstrations, anger, and outrage at oppression and abuse are the demand for management of or replacement of rulers causing the exploitation, violence, and oppression. What has becoming clear over the last decades is the failure of the concept of a ruler and ruled.
The ancient concept of the ruler has power, not based on knowledge, ideas, or empathy for the ruled, but based on traditional force. Rulers must force submission both internally for control and externally for loot to reward followers and prevent the governed from turning on them.
The modern political state is the product of a massive bait and switch that is continuously reenacted. The population demands leaders, but what they get is a ruler pretending to be a leader. This discovery may take longer or shorter, depending on the levels of competence of the ruler.
The US has come to a brutal realization of this with an entirely incompetent ruler who does not understand leadership. The person involved was a long term public example of a failed ruler with no clue of what is required to lead a compendium of diverse human societies. Rulers have only one answer to any challenge, and that is the power to enforce submission. Expecting leadership from such a person is a result of the fog of idiocy.
Our 21st-century reality is that our planetary society in an era of the climate crisis, resource, and health disasters is beyond the ability of human leaders and suicidal with under a ruler. Every modern nation that submits to a ruler begins a process of violent failure.
Almost all past instances support the historical cliche of rulers holding power only by manufacturing ‘enemies’ to distract the ruled from the rulers’ incompetence. The original Greek concept of a tyrant was an emergency ruler using the power of the people to stop an external threat. Even though the power of the people (democracy) was the authority, acceptance of a ruler usually required violence to remove that ruler.
Do I even need to review the failures of late 20th and 21st-century American politics, having lost the definition of administration and substituting ever more powerful rulers? The justification is always the wise and competent ruler in times of stress, but a ruler rules only with force, whether hidden or blatant. Ordering with power is the opposite of leadership and is not sustainable. Force is arbitrary, corrupt, and always fails even as it kills and destroys.
You cannot expect a pig to sing like a canary. You cannot expect anyone is acting as a ruler to do anything but use threats and force to dominate. The rare pig who can sing like a bird is still a pig. A ruler is not a leader.
The change that has been happening for a hundred years is the failure of the concept of a ruling. This change was presaged in ancient Athens but not possible beyond a modern small town. We have evolved through the understanding process and automation that educated members of even large and complex groups can self manage to achieve sophisticated objectives without rulers.
We have learned many things around the planet in the first months of 2020, that we can manage ourselves in the complete failure of our rulers, that we can learn and communicate at all levels of society and around the world. There are many social structures we no longer need that has become malignant and are pushing to die.
We don’t need rulers, and we don’t need police. Communities, given the rights, resources, and respect, can police themselves. We don’t need most offices and many jobs that are also malignant now and preventing the changes we need to survive. We don’t need the massively rich who simply hoard assets preventing wellbeing and growth.
We have spent weeks cleaning our houses and relearning family and how to cook. Far too many have been driven into abject poverty, hunger, and epidemic disease because we needed them, but the rulers refused to change an economically diseased and failing system. But the rulers need to go and never return.
What is replacing rulers and institutions of force is democracy in a planetary matrix of societies linked by continuous, fully distributed communication. The massive assault on the open internet in China, Russia, and via corporatist fascism in the US is the desperate attempt to prevent this change. It will fail but not without continuing action at all levels of society.
Homo sapiens and our related life forms may not survive on this planet unless we act in concert. The very nature of the conflict between the old types of rule built entirely on force, and the open mass rule is the difference between what we know as government and what we know as administration. This administration is community-based on shared ideals and clearly defined goals for self-management.
The American experiment that brought great success and progress over its first two hundred years has run its course and is now exhausted and sick. In places, this 18th and 19th-century experimental government form have been able to gain great success when goals were publicly supported and defined as universal wellbeing. But it was always subject to relapse into rule by force and greed, with rulers able to secure their power to prevent any accountability or control.
This back and forth, up, and down provided incremental improvements in human society but has exhausted the gain in benefits that justified its existence. In the first great 21st century pandemic, this failure has taken down the American Experiment itself and clarified the structural failings of a capitalist, corporatist, absolutist system. All existing governments are fixated on the US collapse, first into a hypercapitalist oligarchy, and now into a fascist police state.
Success, now, can only be the failure of that absolutist form of government. That failure must be the failure of the concept of government itself except as direct democratic administration.
The limitation of low-level hoodlums drawn like flies to the existing concept of government as a source of power and wealth has become self-destructive to our species. The presence of fools such as Trump and his incompetent menagerie was revealed early but is unignorable in its pandemic failure and racist stupidity. And that is just an offshoot of the planetary climate crisis that will destroy us if we keep accepting for rulers when we need community management at the planetary level.