By Mike Meyer
How close are we to the edge? An edge defines a point beyond which there is no return. It may also be the point of final collapse or death.
The great fear since the questionable election of Trump is how fast are we being driven to the edge of an abyss beyond which we have no hope of return. The first two years of this was a group attempt to evaluate this risk while denying its reality.
Given the American cultural allergy to history the justifications of safety needed to be found in existing cultural or political characteristics. History is denied validity in this American situation because past occurrences were not American.
This was, of course, based in American Exceptionalism. Interestingly that has been destroyed in this situation. In the descent into fascist hate and authoritarianism there is no American Exceptionalism. That returns us to history. The low information nature of opportunists who instinctively create fascist regimes is to fall back on lies about history to increase fear and denounce all but their most mindless followers.
People interpret history primarily for political purposes and only some times for educational objectives. For political purposes history is seen as repeating itself. The horrible things that once happened are about to happen again unless this one thing is changed.
But history does not repeat itself. It is, in almost all cases, a spiral rather than a circle. We live in multiple levels of cyclic patterns but each brings into play new variables. These produce recursive sequences that factor both new and old variables into the process. This is a complex process.
Fascists in all forms use the simplistic threat of repeating history to excite fear in their followers. As advocates of chaos they have no interest in a coherent historical analysis or even anything other than the crudest common elements of cultural history. That, of course, leaves far more out than it includes.
This is dangerous even though it is, in the 21st century, a cliche and has been for nearly a hundred years. It is more dangerous than most people realize. Most wars and instances of mass brutality have been justified with historical distortions and lies. We thought, in the post industrial world, we were past this leaving such things to the Abrahamic religious fringe.
When historical lies become common plays by a fascist group having gained power, the system in which this happens is at the final stage of disintegration. This means that normal history can be effectively over ridden by lies accepted by a large enough minority to maintain the momentum to targeted violence.
The very existence of nearly all human knowledge at our fingertips and a far larger educated majority recognizing the rote imitation of past fascist exploits seems to accelerate the process now. The constant frenzy of hate and denunciations must completely block out legitimate information around the core population.
Fascist systems built on reaction and fear are difficult to maintain. This is is amplified if a narcissistic and notably incompetent person is the titular leader. That person is driven by constant fear of losing control and has no tools other than reaction and ever escalating threats. Real threats have to be created on the frenzy quickly fades.
The risk of violence becomes immediate with small acts and killings. In America this is primarily military style mass shootings, or smaller attacks on random people identified as ‘others’. These smaller attacks have been occurring monthly and now weekly over the last two years.
In the last few days a group identified as Islamic was driven into and we just learning of another synagogue shooting in San Diego. These violent acts are the equivalent of sentinel bleeding in the conquest of a biological organism by cancer.
This is a clear indication of the edge. We have had many of these under the fascist regime of Trump and his Republican controllers of our government. Trump is simply a congenital liar with severe mental problems but he acts in the pattern of authoritarian fascist leaders and provides cover for the cold blooded opportunists who now own the Republican Party.
So how close are we to the edge? Sadly this is not a physical cliff. It is a point of no return from which the origin point is now unreachable. In America’s case I’m afraid this point has already been reached.
The techniques now being used in Trump’s attacks on Congresswoman and Minnesota representative Ilhan Omar are probably that point. Given Trump’s mental illness and growing irrationality he will continue to push for violent attacks on anyone symbolizing the targets he has chosen. He has no limits.
His shrinking followers with the decimation of the White House staff and movement away from Trump by his legal staff, means he must ramps up hatred among the remainder. They must be driven to action in order to meet Trump’s wilder and wilder demands. But these demands are increasingly irrational.
Representative Ilhan Omar made a statement illustrating the hypocrisy of attacks on Americans because of a shared religion with a radical Arab funded group who destroyed the World Trade Center in 2011. This is not a radial statement of any kind but a simple statement of fact.
Watching or reading the text of her speech there is nothing beyond the illustration of those attacks on predominantly POC who share that religion. This is not an issue of ignorance and stupidity in religion as that applies to all religions and all Abrahamic religions specifically.
This is an attack playing on history to justify encouraging death threats against a member of Congress. The fact that Trump is crudely playing this game is an indication of the reality of America on the edge of destruction.
In this case the appearance of twenty people already running for President of a country that may no longer exist in 2020 is an example of the extremity of the situation. These people are desperately attempting to turn this nation around but are focused exclusively on returning to the past with very minor tweaks for the future.
If I am correct that past is unreachable and would be of no value if it were reachable. In this sense the structural weakness of a pseudo representative state is critical. The Democratic Party leadership is as caught by the past as the Republican leadership is caught by greed and racism and there is no other option.
The gross distortions of the post industrial economy in America and, to different or lesser levels elsewhere, is an identifiable historical pattern. This is based on a range of variables but has played out in the past based on excess labor reducing living conditions for the masses while grossly enriching the owners and specifically the richest of those.
We are approaching the most extreme point in that cycle according to the study linked above. While that article defines this as a generally long term historical cycle there are many reasons to see this a significantly more complex in the early 21st century.
In America we have had no significant increase in wages since the 1970s. The entire, loudly lauded economic growth has gone and continues to go to less than 10% of the population. In the past this reduction of income for the working masses has been the result of increasing population or mass immigration. This was only corrected equalizing assets distributions by severe epidemics wiping out a significant percentage of the population restoring economic strength to the masses.
The reality of climate change disasters performing the same ‘correction’ in the 21st century is very high. Unfortunately if that is allowed to happen, unrestrained through political failure, there is no return for several centuries. There is no return for several centuries in any case but the severity of the disaster can still be controlled with complete economic redesign.
In the shorter term the technology driven paradigmatic change that has created this full economic and political disruption is redefining the nature of human societies. We have the elements of the route to hope in the future with reduction of national politics in favor of more narrowly focused general well being, e.g. the Green New Deal and Universal Basic Income.
But those are lists of possible corrections that are and will be denounced by all parts of the current American ruling elite. Allowing Trump and his Republican pawns to trigger escalating violence to intimidate and remove the real future for North America will bring historical infamy on this country as well as disaster.
How can this be changed short of destruction of Constitutional rule? It will be very difficult with that limitation. We need a full revolutionary change within the existing Constitutional context.
The destruction of that Constitution by both Republican and Democratic policies over the last fifty years makes true reform impossible without structural change. But that structural is also blocked. The only remaining actions are to break all links to the existing and aging political structure. That may not be enough but it is our only hope.
One possible way to do this was suggested in an article a few days ago by Lisa Renee, Why I’m Voting for A Woman . . . The violent reaction to that very logical decision suggested to me how important this could be as an effective revolutionary change.
We are all very aware of the failure to elect women to high office in America. We are all aware of the vicious attacks and full media manipulation that destroyed Hilary Clinton’s campaign without regard for the traditionalist and very conservative campaign that she ran.
The corruption of the US electoral system and extensive voter suppression and rigging that has been allowed to exist historically makes change almost impossible. But a general and public agreement by the majority to vote for women candidates as the first choice could break the old system nonviolently.
This could quickly reduce the primaries to a choice between female candidates. For the first time this is completely possible without accepting any reduction in ability and experience among potential Democratic candidates.
This does not deny the value of corrective policies by the range of Democratic male candidates. It does reflect the great difficulty in breaking with the past in selection of a traditional male candidate. This is traditionally handles by selection of a male running mate.
Is this sexist? No, it is a revolutionary change that indicates a majority preference for what non-male candidates stand for. It is a personal choice to select a different path for this nation when a different path means survival.
This is a radical break with America’s past. The only losers would be the male Democratic candidates but most will lose in any case.
The traditional call to fear by the old guard is that somehow Trump would be reelected. That cannot happen in a free election. I would project that voters driven by gender and demanding a male candidate are part of the problem. Revolutionary change requires redirection and risk. In this reality failure of that revolution will result in disaster anyway.
Without the endless and pointless misdirection and lies represented by the forces of fascism using meaningless arguments, the 2020 election could be the beginning of the new. Allowing an old, white male as the candidate for change will lose many young people, People of Color, and the disaffected who have been ignored just as their parents were ignored for decades. Make gender and well being the positive anthems now in the face of the fascist misogynists. The majority are sick of bigotry and ignorance.
Once it was the economy. Now it is honesty.
The Democratic primaries could be minimized between an agreed subset of candidates who could then focus on policy detail instead of responding to lies and insults. The inevitable misogynistic undertone along with the institutional racism of American politics would be sidelined. This would be, in itself, an incredibly refreshing break form the past.
I will vote for women candidates first.