by Mike Meyer
What choice do we have? America is caught in two entangled problems that, even individually, feel impossible to solve. Together they are nearly unimaginable for many people yet they must be overcome.
Fortunately they are not impossible to solve physically or even politically. The knowledge and the tools are available and much work has already been done. But to plan and implement a solution requires abandonment of much of what we have relied on historically to manage ourselves and meet our past challenges.
The difficulty, as if the previous was not enough, is the entanglement. This is the result of complex historical layers of cause and effect that have distorted our best intentions to build a fair, just, and moral world. While one is the largest physical challenge we have ever faced the other requires that we act on long held ideals that we have become complacent with disregarding.
The dilemma is that we either deny the future or abandon the past. We cannot have our cake and eat it too. And we cannot simply wait and see what happens.
The larger problem is obviously climate change. We have thoughtlessly altered our atmosphere over the last two hundred years and massively in the last seventy-five years triggering global warming unseen in recent geological time.
We are currently at one degree C of warming generating a growing range of local disasters ranging from storms, full hurricanes, drought, and fires. The larger implications of this are an increase estimated at 25% in the gap between wealthy northern countries, the wealthiest, and tropical countries, the poorest.
This is the pattern that will continue. The poorest populations that were least responsible for global carbon emissions will bear the greatest burden in climate disasters. The most northern countries such as Russia and Canada will initially benefit with longer growing seasons and improved climates. Later they will pay the price also.
The direct and unfair impact of initial climate change is an excellent transition to the second problem that is the political failure in the richest country most responsible for climate change. That problem is the removal of Donald Trump and his political enablers from power and eliminating the opportunity for criminal, pseudo fascists ever to gain power again.
Which of these is harder? Failure to do the second will make the first, in all likelihood, impossible to overcome. There are multiple layers in this challenges but many of them are directly linked to both problems.
The slightly smaller problem
The removal of Trump and his coterie is only slightly smaller than the climate change correction because it will require major political changes in America and, ultimately, all other countries. How do we manage the human population in an actual democratic fashion without enabling authoritarian opportunists or radical, fringe groups from destroying that democratic system for their own benefit?
A basic issue here is agreeing that democratic systems are the most desirable system of government. Many of us around now had thought this was clearly decided over the last one hundred and fifty years and confirmed over the last fifty. That was obviously not the case.
What was decided over that time was the facade of democratic government as a justification for whatever type of pseudo authoritarian rule was imposed. It can certainly be said that a general planetary agreement on democratic or broad representational governments in principle is clear progress historically.
Where democratically representative governments are implemented most effectively these clearly produce the highest level of human welfare. Even where the representation is nearly powerless it does focus the rulers on public welfare in order the maintain the facade.
In this sense the Chinese system, presented as an alternative to the American and European liberal model, uses a weal representational system as advisory to a professional administration. Effectively it can be argued that the Chinese model is not that far removed from the most authoritarian examples of Western liberalism using America as an example.
Western liberalism worked well enough to oversee broadly improving lifestyles and general wealth for over two centuries. Unfortunately the time bomb of capitalism predicated on endless expansion of resource extraction, and endlessly growing production was the direct cause of the greatest problem we face.
The distortions resulting from increasingly radical capitalist groups, whether neoliberals or the simply greedy, gaining control is destroying both the atmosphere and the political economic systems modeled on the American Experiment. Allowing endless material production to drive economic growth in grossly unbalanced economies is in now way sustainable.
This condition is best symbolized by Donald Trump and the Republican Party that has collapsed into a criminal state as a result of their surrender to greed and white supremacy. Xenophobia, racism, and bigotry are the natural results of capitalist driven greed and the exploitation of the general population that these things entail.
There are two levels of interconnection between our problems illustrated here. The economic failure of late stage capitalist systems producing gross imbalances in assets that must be eliminated to restore asset balance and moral equity and must also be eliminated to stop climate disasters and social collapse.
Tertiary level links are shown by the need to restore morality in political and economic society by stopping greed and massive theft from the mass population. This makes it completely expected to find that the radical elements who have gained control of the political and economic system are immoral, unethical, and criminal.
Not only do we have a climate disaster brought on by greed and oppression but in order to solve that largest problem we must solve a basic public ethics and morality problem. The climate disaster is also a moral failure.
The remnants of Laissez-faire economics and concomitant governmental limitation to support of the racial elite ruling group are now also suicidal.
So the removal of Donald Trump from the presidency must also include the removal of the current leadership of the Republican Party. This is not simply a political position but necessary for human survival and the elimination of future attacks on or planet’s resources and climate.
The most difficult and surprising result of considering our most massive problem is that it requires the removal of the smaller problem wherever this moral failure has appeared. To begin the long battle to restore a livable planet and the well being of this planet’s population requires us to begin acting on clear ethical and moral standards fully based in the science we need for survival and and prosperity.