The Deadly Combination
When catastrophes strike, it usually comes in the form of several mistakes combined to create a perfect storm situation. If we look back to the French Revolution, we see that it likely could have been a combination of environmental factors, in the form of a mini ice age during the 18th and 19th centuries, which led to food shortages at a time when the political and private elites were raising the costs of living through taxation on the poor, rather than the rich, in order to pay for France’s participation in the American Revolution against the English. Likewise, if you were to look at the Russian Revolution, one could see the environmental devastation produced by war on the population combining with expenses wrought from the efforts of World War I and the fatigue of the soldiers and civilian population culminating with the history of challenging the Romanov dynasty and the old social order to produce what was a devastating result for the Russian elites and peasants alike.
What we’re seeing in our present social and environmental situation is yet another perfect storm brewing for our entire interconnected set of global civilizations.
In the strictest of senses, without society’s intervention in government to save itself effectively, it all starts with the environment. Global climate change and pollution, brought on by the effects of human economic activity are creating significant changes in our weather patterns around the world. These changes in weather patterns, which will only increase in intensity as time goes on and the causes of these weather changes remain not dealt with, will effect the root of our economy: agriculture and food/water production. Without these basic needs, humanity will go into a literal death spiral, but not without a significant amount of social and political upheaval. Humans are likely to panic as they run out of potable water and nutritious food, which will then turn against those who have resources to purchase the remaining food and water that is left for themselves. This comes at a time when real wages in the global economy are either in decline or stagnant and as profits for businesses exceed record amounts. The inequality, combined with the simple lack of food and potable water, will lead to significant resentment and anger against those who have the means to afford food and water; our current set of political and private elites. The results will be likely devastating for both parties, as former gets decimated by the environmental and economic conditions which were produced for the economic ends of the present elites, while the latter gets decimated by the former in its moment of panic, anger and desperation. Combine these immediate factors with a long history of resentment and resistance against the conservative, private elites of the United States, starting during the 1870′s and a long standing resentment of American foreign policy throughout the entire history of the United States, and you’ve got, once again, fertile conditions for the inevitable overthrow of a non-responsive, non-adaptive and non-caring or effective elite group of people.
Revolutions come with plenty of warning. The question then is whether or not the elites are able and willing to sense the social and environmental realities of the world to do anything about them. If they are not sensing the world accurately, or are unwilling to adapt, then they’re more likely to be tossed out of power, position and prestige than if they are sensing the world accurately and are willing to adapt.
To date, the most I’ve seen from the present set of political leaders (and it does start with the political leadership, in spite of the influence of the private elites) is a pattern of behavior that is, indeed, gearing for a revolution from the people. However, rather than siding with the people in their dispute with the minority few private elite, the political elites are kowtowing to the private elites and their perceived interests. They seem to be attempting to lock us down, physically and mentally in law and practice so that the old order of repression, Capitalism and financial profit-maximization can continue over the easily apparent need for a more holistically grounded, reality based, more social and democratic economic and social set of systems and policies. The problem with this lack of adaptability, is that it will not solve the social, environmental and economic problems which are common to us all, as organisms; the need for survival, company, physical, psychological, social and environmental health in time to prevent the perfect storm scenario from happening, and will thus, lead to the ruination and essential resetting of society and civilization, in physical and possibly psychological senses.
The American dream will live on as a social ideal in America. The concept of being basically well off with all of our needs and at least most of our wants satisfied will, I think, continue to be an enduring legacy of this country and its people. However, it’s apparent that some of us have taken the ideal too far or too individually to really get the picture from reality that the rest of the population and the environment is needed in the production of this social ideal that is so central to our identity and our civilization. The goal of reaching the pickle in the jar is common to us all. However, some of us fail to realize that it is better to use a fork to get the pickle than to reach your hand into the jar and get stuck along the way.
What is intended in all of my work is that we understand and learn to use forks and other devices that are more appropriate and reliable for attaining the common goal, rather than by attempting to change the goal itself. It’s an adaptation to common reality, rather than an attempt to bring “revolutionary” changes to our social, political and economic worlds. Unfortunately, it does not appear that many people are inclined to listen to this logic and will, instead, continue to grasp at the pickle using only their hands, and receiving neither the pickle or the satisfaction of eating the pickle due to their apparent stupidity, stubbornness and unwilling to accept reality for what it is. All opinions are welcome to be expressed. However, not all opinions are correct in light of common reality. Those who continue to persist in the delusions ought to be considered mentally ill, in spite of being otherwise “functional”, because it is so dangerous to oneself and dangerous to others to persist in incorrect views in light of common reality. It is akin to trying to navigate a dark and winding tunnel with spike covered walls without doing the due diligence of proceeding with caution and double checking the situation around you so as to best navigate the tunnel without impaling yourself on the wall. You can believe that there are no walls all you’d like. But it is more of a symptom of being ill-equipped to handle reality and life than an actual state of affairs in the world that is around you.
Therefore, I fear for this world, because I see no way of preventing us from going over this edge. The warning signs are all beginning to light up. Yet the political operators and the people who influence them for private purposes are, it seems, ignoring them and are preparing to lock us into the impending collision with the spike covered walls rather than reassessing and recalculating the motion and direction of society for their own sakes, let alone for all of our sakes on this voyage through time and space we call “life”. A truly sad state of affairs for a species that has shown so much potential to be something great.
Think about it.