Walking to the Future

We don’t know enough to charge into it

by Mike Meyer ~ Honolulu ~ November 13, 2020

Large paradigmatic disruptions happen slowly until the point of no return is reached, and then things happen fast. The change rate is not smooth, so tectonic plates and volcanoes seem metaphorically appropriate—long periods with minor tremblings that can be ignored interspersed with planet shaking explosions.

But these things are complex and occurring on multiple levels at different rates. Human perception is often focused on irrelevancies, and major changes are not recognized until they forcefully intrude on our consciousness.

The force of and majority support for the Black Lives Matter movement last spring and summer opened many people’s eyes. It also shook those unwilling to see things in a new way producing a reactionary surge, unfortunately, amplified by Trump and party as it played into their racist and fascist opportunism.

All of the implications of that major shift for Black and POC in America’s original and intensely racist culture are working their way as shock waves echoing internally through the US and around the planet. As we know, waveforms moving through any media and echoing back from edges can amplify and nullify the effect. That adds to the confusion and produces misinterpretations by the simplistic who only reinforces their existing fears.

The long process of stumbling toward a fascist dictatorship that we experienced through four years of Trump puffed up into the frightening realization that his followers were crazy but dangerous. The amplification of racism and crude nationalistic tribalism drew in millions of malleable people angry at decades of economic exploitation, emphasizing their powerlessness against the political and financial elite. That elite had completed the gutting of the minimally intestinally fortified, democratic system of the18th century upper-class, WASP founders.

It’s noteworthy that the media still feels the need to state that Biden is only the second Catholic to be elected president. I remember that as a bigger deal in 1960 with John F Kennedy who was the first and it still had some political meaning for Boston and other cities but am amazed that it is even mentioned now. Who cares?

But in the days since the election of slow-motion but unstoppable change, Trump's large frightening face was what it had always appeared to be, a lot of hot air supported by minions of little or even less competence. We now have the Proud Boys, QAnon, and various neo-Nazi groups armed to the teeth with nowhere to go. Their plan, built on lies and conspiracy theories, had only the strength of a sideshow barkers come on with nothing behind it.

There are millions of these people, and they are now confused and still very dangerous. They want millions of Trumpists and neo-Nazis marching on Washington to support their designated savior, but he went golfing.

Besides, Trump is too busy figuring out how to save his own ass to return their calls, and he has a full schedule of whining and legal failures to face. His remaining stooges are so lame even Trump looks embarrassed. The ultimate deflation is that even Pence went on vacation after having the golden ring of 2024 jerked away.

We are looking at the wreckage of the shockwaves and counter shockwaves that no longer compute with the old formulas of America the all-powerful and exceptional. The damage has destroyed all sides of this illusion that most people thought was real.

While the winning majority of voters, powerless and irrelevant as only the electoral college matters hence Biden, want him to climb on his steed and charge. Well, if Joe can’t get up on the horse, that’s why we have Kamala Harris, who is young and capable enough to lead the charge. But what we are seeing is that all the horses are dead.

Again the prophecies of Monty Python come true. King Arthur will need to pretend to have a horse, and everyone will need to perfect their clip-clop sounds and skip their way into battle. The glorious victory will be with an obnoxious but limbless knight and ignominious defeat in the face of a killer rabbit. These are sobering thoughts.

Not that I wish to kill the well-earned hope from the Biden Harris win just when we see Trump wrinkled and deflated, but all those people who bought an embarrassing scam for reasons that are all still there need to be reintegrated into human society. And the cavalry isn’t going to save us riding dead horses.

One very critical thing we need to do is bury the dead horses. That is not easy and is exactly what I was describing at the start of this piece. We need to recognize what has collapsed into rubble and begin to rebuild most of our political language. That is very difficult in a failing state, with decades of weaponized words dragging us into the past and 40% of the voting population caught in a horror show.

Let's try this from a positive perspective. In my view, and this is broadly shared, I think, we must transition to a social structure based on universal individual rights that do not infringe on others and emphasize the commons that are our shared property on this planet. While the emphasis on private property and open-ended investment in ventures worked well for some centuries, global warming and resource depletion mean we must move away from the private to the public to ensure our well-being and survival. Our ventures must become primarily public and all must be sustainable human ventures.

Is that such a strange idea? We must avoid any group gaining the power to improve their own benefit at the expense of others. The old ways brought tremendous wealth to some, benefits to many, but poverty to the rest. That is unstable and unsustainable, and I don’t think that is a political statement but a statement of fact.

Ah, but we have those who have killed facts also. Facts need to be restored but recognized as reflections of reality that are accurate only to the best of our abilities. Nothing knowable beyond a perception of an image of reality. We need to internalize that at all levels of society.

What I have described will be recognized as what was called democratic socialism in a free market but needs a new name. There is nothing oppressive about it except for those who wish to exploit and oppress others.

We need innovation and planned change. How else do we accomplish that. We know that diversity is critical to innovation. These are also facts.

Perhaps it is not such a bad thing that the horses all died. We need to carefully walk into the future and not fall into any of the rubble-filled pits around us.

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

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store