The Unavoidable Lesson

There is no one left to blame but ourselves for our stupidity

by Mike Meyer ~ Honolulu ~ November 4, 2020

It seems we will be dealing for days or even weeks with draft postmortems for the US’s largest failed election. The trail obituaries are already evolving even as a result giving Biden the presidency is still in process. But the critical wounds on the US body politic are already closely inspected.

While it is almost certain that Biden will be the 46th president, that success has been discounted before it has been fully determined. Joe Biden is a better human being than Donald Trump, but that is such a low bar it is best ignored.

There isn't a lot to look at or even think about with no policies other than those forced on him by the general population. The fact the Obama has told people to “. . . not be surprised at Joe’s ability to fuck things up” explains Joe’s shallow campaign.

But there is little doubt that the deadly wound in America is self-inflicted. No surprises this time with unrealized Russian interference, although Putin’s GRU and related assets were clearly on the Trump campaign team. China and Iran got into the action but not in any way as the Russians and their US associates in 2016.

The US, as a foundering nation, owns this one. There is nowhere to look but at the 40% plus of the voting citizenry that has sided with racism, ignorance, and evil. Fascism is not a problem.

As I’ve said in other places, a significant minority of the US has voted to eliminate the future. If you have written off your offspring, why would you care about anyone else on the planet today?

Even though most of both parties are aware that much of what they are being told in the media are lies, the lies don’t matter. That is the mortal wound.

There is no point in using better logic or being polite and listening more carefully to people delivering gibberish or maintaining an open attitude and looking for common ground. There is no common ground; there is only scorched earth described in a distorted language that is almost ununderstandable.

Since we will continue to suffer through an endless and brutally sad election simultaneously with an endless political and social autopsy, we will repeatedly be told that reality rules, and we must learn that new reality.

If you cannot count on the majority of the population to attempt to act rationally and face a plurality that is easily tricked into self-destruction, perhaps democracy is a bad idea. Obviously, the US founders did not trust it, and a growing cost has been paid for maintaining even a slight version of representative government, so what is the alternative?

It is obviously not another oligarchy because that is the current reality. The problem is that we cannot count on a strong majority to hold for power to demand what they need and want. Too many people will fall in with a gibbering idiot if he can con them into believing his bullshit.

The problem is us. We are not suited to rational self-government and any human or set of humans, given that power becomes corrupt and destructive over time. Plato’s dislike of democracy based on Socrates's saying democracy inevitably leads to tyranny as we have with Trump and the Trump Party in 2020.

I’ve struggled for several years with this dilemma. For the first time in history, we have, since small-town Athens, 2.500 years ago, the technical ability to listen and record each person's opinions on public issues. But if those opinions are irrational and self-destructive, our basic assumptions are wrong.

Many people have struggled with this, and a growing agreement among writers of speculative fiction is that our only hope is AI. That requires tremendous effort but maybe the only answer to save us from ourselves.

Perhaps that is the next stage of human maturity. We need to design the algorithms that can justly rule human society and hand it to those designed to be fully rational.

Our experience with the fall of America in the 21st century may be presenting the lesson we need.

Educator, CIO, retired entrepreneur, grandfather with occasional fits of humor in the midst of disaster. . .

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