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The New Politiics -- what it means today and in the future.
#1
Shocked 
We've talked all around the subject of the new politics, but haven't addressed it as such.  There's a lot to unwind here, so let's make a list, expand on it, and discuss as appropriate.  In no special order:
  • The end of the economy as we know it.  Whatever else we can say, it's now blatantly obvious that the economy is not going to return to anything resembling the form it held in the post-war era.  Sure, the titans of the universe swear that they're going to lead their economic behemoths in new more human friendly ways, but are they serious or simply cynical in the extreme.  In any case, how can they reverse the irreversible march toward automating away the productive work we all have assumed is the basis for a good and valuable life?
  • Populism and the new political alignments.  This is now a worldwide phenomenon, one that didn't really start in the US but is now driven by the Trump Presidency.  The realignment is in full force, and seems to be the Know Nothings versus the Know-It-Alls.  Is this even viable over more than the short term, with both groups encompassing widely diverse belief systems (moreso among the Know-It-Alls).  And what happens to the obvious disconnect between the 0.1% and the rest of us, if that group of rare-air breathers also splits between the camps?
  • Religion and tyranny. Here's a topic that still baffles me: how can the religiously committed be so firmly in the right-wing populist corner?  We've seen Trump, but what about other populists, like Bolsonaro in Brazil, Duterte in the Philippines or Erdogan in Turkey? How does the belief in feeding the hungry and lifting-up the poor align with autocrats and oligarchs?  Color me baffled.
  • The total lack of vision.  Without pushing this too far, I can't see any political person or group that has a real vision of a viable future and a plan to get there, no matter how flimsy.  Everything is reduced to the next election, in democratic countries, and to a new stasis in the autocratic ones.  It's as if nothing that is happening is expected to have any impact on politics.  Nothing!  Which brings me to my last topic for now
  • Rising war tensions and global climate change.  We all have been acting like these potentially society ending processes are either not happening at all, or are so easily managed that they can be ignored until some time in the not-too-immediate future.  This is irresponsible in the extreme, but voters seem totally disengaged.  Politicians that are engaged are marginalized.  Why?
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#2
Some really good stuff in here.

To your third point, religion and tyranny - I submit that they align not because of any shared values, but rather the shared need for authoritarianism by nn% of the people (I'll submit that nn = approx 30, but in the end it really doesn't matter what the number is).

To your last point (I am in the camp that holds generational theory to provide guidelines and shouldn't be taken as prescriptive) - it's as tho we are still in a very extended 3T and the 4T trigger will drop when one of these ignored issues suddenly turns into a flashpoint. And then everyone will say "how did we not see this coming???"
"But there's a difference between error and dishonesty, and it's not a trivial difference." - Ben Greenman
"Relax, it'll be all right, and by that I mean it will first get worse."
"How was I supposed to know that there'd be consequences for my actions?" - Gina Linetti
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#3
(08-23-2019, 10:18 AM)David Horn Wrote: And what happens to the obvious disconnect between the 0.1% and the rest of us, if that group of rare-air breathers also splits between the camps?

That would be a good start to the crisis war, as the rest of us got to choose which multibillionaires won.
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#4
(08-23-2019, 10:18 AM)David Horn Wrote: We've talked all around the subject of the new politics, but haven't addressed it as such.  There's a lot to unwind here, so let's make a list, expand on it, and discuss as appropriate.  In no special order:
  • The end of the economy as we know it.  Whatever else we can say, it's now blatantly obvious that the economy is not going to return to anything resembling the form it held in the post-war era.  Sure, the titans of the universe swear that they're going to lead their economic behemoths in new more human friendly ways, but are they serious or simply cynical in the extreme.  In any case, how can they reverse the irreversible march toward automating away the productive work we all have assumed is the basis for a good and valuable life?
  • Populism and the new political alignments.  This is now a worldwide phenomenon, one that didn't really start in the US but is now driven by the Trump Presidency.  The realignment is in full force, and seems to be the Know Nothings versus the Know-It-Alls.  Is this even viable over more than the short term, with both groups encompassing widely diverse belief systems (moreso among the Know-It-Alls).  And what happens to the obvious disconnect between the 0.1% and the rest of us, if that group of rare-air breathers also splits between the camps?
  • Religion and tyranny. Here's a topic that still baffles me: how can the religiously committed be so firmly in the right-wing populist corner?  We've seen Trump, but what about other populists, like Bolsonaro in Brazil, Duterte in the Philippines or Erdogan in Turkey? How does the belief in feeding the hungry and lifting-up the poor align with autocrats and oligarchs?  Color me baffled.
  • The total lack of vision.  Without pushing this too far, I can't see any political person or group that has a real vision of a viable future and a plan to get there, no matter how flimsy.  Everything is reduced to the next election, in democratic countries, and to a new stasis in the autocratic ones.  It's as if nothing that is happening is expected to have any impact on politics.  Nothing!  Which brings me to my last topic for now
  • Rising war tensions and global climate change.  We all have been acting like these potentially society ending processes are either not happening at all, or are so easily managed that they can be ignored until some time in the not-too-immediate future.  This is irresponsible in the extreme, but voters seem totally disengaged.  Politicians that are engaged are marginalized.  Why?
  • The end of the economy as we know it. Such has been the result of every technological revolution which has caused a spike in productivity in one sector.  Mechanization of farming, first with reapers and then with motorized tractors, has led to a reduction in the number of people needed as farmers. Consider that Radical Republicans offered "forty acres and a mule" as the basis of economic independence of freedmen -- and the freedmen saw that as wholly adequate. That was the late 1860's, and it would have been adequate at the time. About forty years later, 80 acres was adequate for a family farm, at least in the South (where the climate allowed one to grow three crops in two years. Farm output reached incredible heights in the 1910's when the Great War (as it was then called) created an unprecedented need for farm output. The problem? As people get out of poverty they do not consume more calories. Farm productivity increased due to the tractor, and farm incomes severely lagged others in the 1920's. The 1920's were already Depression years for farmers who stayed farmers. Many farmers ended up as factory workers.

    But -- electrification of assembly lines boosted industrial productivity in the 1920's, and market realities (plenty of cheap labor by former farmers and especially farm laborers, as well as the great number of children of the wave of immigration around 1900 entering the industrial workforce) kept wages down. 

    It's nothing new. We no longer need the labor of forty hours a week to produce what we need, but real wages are down despite technological innovations since the 1970's, so more people need to do two ill-paid jobs to survive. The forty-hour workweek customary in office occupations has resulted in much make-work activities. Consider all the meetings, and all the expenditures on "motivational" events to spur productivity. I could make the case that such are worthless -- but the increase in office politics is worse than worthless when people on the autistic spectrum are involved.  A more human workplace? Sure -- compel workers to become more servile toward bosses and clients. 

    The retail trade sopped up large numbers of people who in earlier times did factory work but instead had to put on a suit and tie and an air of forced sophistication -- and a surfeit of college graduates who had followed the advice that whatever one does, avoid being an assembly-line worker. There were plenty of people to work in shopping malls and restaurants (fast-food or casual dining), and for a while, America had some excellent workers pushing stuff on people that most people did not need. By now... Americans have more than their share of gag gifts ("Billy Bass", the "talking and singing fish") and questionable status symbols. Many of us are drowning in clutter, as shown in the profusion of storage units. (A comment on that: if you must store stuff, you clearly have more stuff than you need!) Forty-year-old shopping malls, to be sure at the end of their projected lifespans, are often being shuttered  or repurposed. 

    What is next? A sane life means less consumption of stuff. The middle-class way of life of suburban America of the post-WWII era that many of us have taken for granted may be impossible.       

    Populism and the new political alignments. Donald Trump is the symptom and not the disease. Economic orders that create mass distress create a vacuum for populist movements Left as well as Right. Someone not a populist can at most impose some sanity for a time. Someone so pre-seasonal as Obama could easily be seen as post-seasonal if one refers to a style that suggests Dwight Eisenhower. Was Obama ten years ahead or the times of sixty years behind the times? He was certainly not in phase even if he was more than adequate in many ways (integrity, caution, clarity of thought, principle, and respect for legal niceties).

    I have suggested that Donald Trump is a catastrophic failure due to his personal vices and his incendiary rhetoric. But think of the scene in Evita in which Evita Peron is allegedly shown in a duet with a revolutionary with an odd resemblance to Che Guevara. That it might be an anachronism matters less than does the reality that one sort of populism prepares a nation for another kind on the alleged opposite side of the political spectrum.  Evita's husband Juan was a populist generally seen on the Right side of the political spectrum who had some radical-Left tendencies. 

    Populism is incompatible with an Eisenhower or Obama. The mature Reactive as a leader promises little and lets people be surprised by the good that happens without wild promises. 

    Religion and tyranny. The Hard Right seems to be compatible with religious dogma for several reasons. First, religiosity is often a substitute for intellectual curiosity that one associates with what the economic elites and the ill-educated masses considers an exploitative elite: the educated. Most religions offer an interpretation that allows people to believe that suffering (as deprivation, mistreatment, and exploitation) in This World is a way of earning eternal bliss well worth having to endure starvation, illness, and personal tragedies resulting from poverty. The educated Mittelstand finds such lives completely unattractive and evade them to the extent possible. On the other side, the economic elites would be perfectly happy to establish an order of severe inequality and repression -- one which turns people into helpless debtors and thralls. The economic elites, if they cannot quite recover slavery or serfdom, can seek debt bondage for all but themselves -- and that implies the ruin of what passes as the middle class. 

    Second, religiosity establishes a mental regime suited for making workers passive -- and unreceptive to union organizers and especially Marxist ideology. Note well that whatever the culture of economic elites that resemble the pigs of Animal Farm  those economic elites are mirror-image Marxists, the sorts of people who recognize as reality every vice that Marx and his successors attribute to capitalism -- but endorse those vices! 

    Third, the majority religion has its most obvious enemies -- other religions. Thus at the least Islam in Christendom and Christianity (or secular humanism) in the Islamic world. Marxism-Leninism may have perished as an active threat to monopolistic capitalism, but there are always other menaces. Liberalism is a nemesis of religious fundamentalism of any kind.

    Fourth, many religions promote a high rate of childbirth which creates plenty of cheap labor for the "dark, satanic mills", people who can be fleeced for exorbitant property rents, and above all plenty of cannon fodder for the most lucrative of all enterprises, wars for profits. Tens of millions of youth dying for a few trillions in profit? What could be more wonderful for plutocrats devoid of any moral compass! Notice also that a population boom and inadequate funding for schools means that the populace can become so dim-witted that it can accept the weak rationales of totalitarian regimes.  

    Fifth, certain currents in religious life are anti-intellectual. Both ultra-plutocratic elites and some religious authorities see independent thought as threats to their orthodoxies, one of which is that no human suffering can ever be in excess so long as it at the same time creates a profit or leads people to Salvation.

    This is an unsavory connection, one that can easily end in ruin for both plutocrats and for religious hucksters. As far as I am concerned, both deserve to go to Hell.

    The total lack of vision.  We may have to muddle through this Crisis Era without one and hope for the best. The orthodoxy of our Master Class, that no human suffering can ever be in excess so long as it allows opulent excess among those elites and enforces an economic and political hierarchy, is flawed in the extreme. The alleged antithesis of Marxism-Leninism will not make a comeback except if a political order breaks down completely in a war that goes too far for one of the defeated. 

    Rising war tensions and global climate change.  If you think climate change is already a threat, then consider what the world could be like in the next Crisis Era (about 2100) when the oceans start inundating some of the world's most productive farmland, when tropical diseases start appearing in places that go from cold-temperate (the American Midwest, central Europe, east-central China, Korea, and Japan) to subtropical. When food shortages start causing starvation, people will get desperate. That of course is if people decide that it might be nice to banish winter.

    If any American in Greater Chicago hates the local winters, there is safer relief than having the subtropics move north. 


    [Image: 800px-Florida_topographic_map-en.svg.png]     

    The grain crops that need the harsh winters of the American Midwest go through Chicago and make its prosperity possible.
  • The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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    #5
    (08-23-2019, 03:14 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
    (08-23-2019, 10:18 AM)David Horn Wrote: And what happens to the obvious disconnect between the 0.1% and the rest of us, if that group of rare-air breathers also splits between the camps?

    That would be a good start to the crisis war, as the rest of us got to choose which multibillionaires won.

    Be careful what you wish for.  A crisis war in the nuclear age may be the end of the human experiment.
    Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
    Reply
    #6
    (08-24-2019, 09:14 AM)David Horn Wrote:
    (08-23-2019, 03:14 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
    (08-23-2019, 10:18 AM)David Horn Wrote: And what happens to the obvious disconnect between the 0.1% and the rest of us, if that group of rare-air breathers also splits between the camps?

    That would be a good start to the crisis war, as the rest of us got to choose which multibillionaires won.

    Be careful what you wish for.  A crisis war in the nuclear age may be the end of the human experiment.

    I'm just being realistic.  There's going to be a crisis war, like it or not.  I'm not wishing for it; I'm just not unrealistic enough to wish that it won't happen.

    In my opinion, a crisis war between US multibillionaire factions is less likely to go nuclear.  That said, I'm afraid it's much more likely that the crisis war would be between US multibillionaires and some set of overseas multibillionaires, and that's much more likely to go nuclear.
    Reply
    #7
    (08-24-2019, 03:25 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
    (08-24-2019, 09:14 AM)David Horn Wrote:
    (08-23-2019, 03:14 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
    (08-23-2019, 10:18 AM)David Horn Wrote: And what happens to the obvious disconnect between the 0.1% and the rest of us, if that group of rare-air breathers also splits between the camps?

    That would be a good start to the crisis war, as the rest of us got to choose which multibillionaires won.

    Be careful what you wish for.  A crisis war in the nuclear age may be the end of the human experiment.

    I'm just being realistic.  There's going to be a crisis war, like it or not.  I'm not wishing for it; I'm just not unrealistic enough to wish that it won't happen.

    In my opinion, a crisis war between US multibillionaire factions is less likely to go nuclear.  That said, I'm afraid it's much more likely that the crisis war would be between US multibillionaires and some set of overseas multibillionaires, and that's much more likely to go nuclear.
    Might the rift between the one percent and the rest of humanity be ripe for another Bastille-likr event. Amazed that it hasn't happened yet.
    Reply
    #8
    (08-24-2019, 03:25 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
    (08-24-2019, 09:14 AM)David Horn Wrote:
    (08-23-2019, 03:14 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
    (08-23-2019, 10:18 AM)David Horn Wrote: And what happens to the obvious disconnect between the 0.1% and the rest of us, if that group of rare-air breathers also splits between the camps?

    That would be a good start to the crisis war, as the rest of us got to choose which multibillionaires won.

    Be careful what you wish for.  A crisis war in the nuclear age may be the end of the human experiment.

    I'm just being realistic.  There's going to be a crisis war, like it or not.  I'm not wishing for it; I'm just not unrealistic enough to wish that it won't happen.

    In my opinion, a crisis war between US multibillionaire factions is less likely to go nuclear.  That said, I'm afraid it's much more likely that the crisis war would be between US multibillionaires and some set of overseas multibillionaires, and that's much more likely to go nuclear.

    An international war between two nuclear powers that demonize each other (let us say India and Pakistan, which I see as the political entities with nukes whose regimes most predictably loathe each other) can easily become a nuclear power if one side seems likely to obliterate the other through conventional force. Iran and Israel at the least do not have contiguous territory. 

    Let me predict the next nuclear power: Japan. The Japanese government threatened to get nuclear weapons if North Korea did -- back in the 1980's.  No existing nuclear power seemed to complain about that threat -- not even China or the Soviet Union (yes, it was that long ago). Is there any question that Japan has the scientific community necessary for getting a nuke? 

    It is possible that little makes a country more cautious about war than having nukes. What got the Soviet Union to agree to an agreement between NATO and the Warsaw Pact was that the Soviet Union could compel its client states to give up their prerogative to develop nukes. Soviet leadership put on an act that such was a great compromise of Soviet power, but in retrospect it seems obvious that the best part of the deal for the USSR was "Poland does not get nukes; East Germany does not get nukes; Czechoslovakia does not get nukes; Romania does not get nukes"... I can be reasonably certain that Soviet diplo,ats went around to the leadership of clients and told the rulers of those client states something to the effect "Sign the treaty or else... with warnings that Soviet troops can overthrow those regimes practically at will.
    The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


    Reply
    #9
    India and Pakistan are used to low level, nonexistential warfare. If that got existential, then it would escalate to nuclear weapons quickly, but they've got a lot of experience avoiding that. Still, I would agree that's not an unlikely place for nuclear war to start.

    It's not currently in Japan's interests to get nuclear weapons. A nuclear Japan would be a threat to North Korea, which Japan currently is not; that would increase, not decrease, the chance that Japan would become a target of North Korean nuclear weapons.

    That might change if Trump's trade war with China becomes so successful that China decides they need to give their public some military victories to keep them from rebelling. They'd probably start in the South China Sea, though, which wouldn't immediately implicate Japan. Still, a militarily aggressive China could tempt Japan to get nuclear weapons just in case. Japan could probably develop nuclear weapons within weeks if they wanted to.

    The other potential clash is between the EU and Russia. Once Brexit is complete, France will be the only nuclear power in the EU and will be in a position to seize military and foreign policy leadership. Given their protected location at the opposite end of the continent from Moscow, they might be tempted to take an aggressive stance with respect to, for example, Ukraine. Tusk said today that Ukraine should be invited to join the G-7 ahead of Russia; no better way could be found to incense Russia.

    I almost hope the war starts in Europe. Then it could be a replay of WWII, and we know that works out well for the US.
    Reply
    #10
    (08-24-2019, 04:30 PM)beechnut79 Wrote:
    (08-24-2019, 03:25 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
    (08-24-2019, 09:14 AM)David Horn Wrote:
    (08-23-2019, 03:14 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
    (08-23-2019, 10:18 AM)David Horn Wrote: And what happens to the obvious disconnect between the 0.1% and the rest of us, if that group of rare-air breathers also splits between the camps?

    That would be a good start to the crisis war, as the rest of us got to choose which multibillionaires won.

    Be careful what you wish for.  A crisis war in the nuclear age may be the end of the human experiment.

    I'm just being realistic.  There's going to be a crisis war, like it or not.  I'm not wishing for it; I'm just not unrealistic enough to wish that it won't happen.

    In my opinion, a crisis war between US multibillionaire factions is less likely to go nuclear.  That said, I'm afraid it's much more likely that the crisis war would be between US multibillionaires and some set of overseas multibillionaires, and that's much more likely to go nuclear.
    Might the rift between the one percent and the rest of humanity be ripe for another Bastille-likr event. Amazed that it hasn't happened yet.

    -- give it time. That's my prediction. 4 this 4T. "When, in the course of human events......."
    Heart  Bernie/Tulsi 2020    Heart
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    #11
    (08-23-2019, 11:26 AM)tg63 Wrote: Some really good stuff in here.

    To your third point, religion and tyranny - I submit that they align not because of any shared values, but rather the shared need for authoritarianism by nn% of the people (I'll submit that nn = approx 30, but in the end it really doesn't matter what the number is).

    I agree. Religion isn't about helping people; it's about sticking to a strict code of behavior, following traditional rules. It's aligned with law and order, and suppression of women and LBGTQ people, so it fits with the right-wing politics.
    Steve Barrera

    [A]lthough one would like to change today's world back to the spirit of one hundred years or more ago, it cannot be done. Thus it is important to make the best out of every generation. - Hagakure

    Saecular Pages
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    #12
    (08-24-2019, 04:30 PM)beechnut79 Wrote:
    (08-24-2019, 03:25 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: In my opinion, a crisis war between US multibillionaire factions is less likely to go nuclear.  That said, I'm afraid it's much more likely that the crisis war would be between US multibillionaires and some set of overseas multibillionaires, and that's much more likely to go nuclear.

    Might the rift between the one percent and the rest of humanity be ripe for another Bastille-likr event. Amazed that it hasn't happened yet.

    That or something, I'm not sure what. The 0.1% is already backpedaling on their verbiage, but, so far, no actions to accompany the talk. At the same time, the rest of us are becoming less and less tolerant of the never-ending nonsense. That's a recipe for violent change, but here's hoping we manage to get the change without the bloodshed that's always occurred in the past.
    Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
    Reply
    #13
    (08-25-2019, 08:55 AM)sbarrera Wrote:
    (08-23-2019, 11:26 AM)tg63 Wrote: Some really good stuff in here.

    To your third point, religion and tyranny - I submit that they align not because of any shared values, but rather the shared need for authoritarianism by nn% of the people (I'll submit that nn = approx 30, but in the end it really doesn't matter what the number is).

    I agree. Religion isn't about helping people; it's about sticking to a strict code of behavior, following traditional rules. It's aligned with law and order, and suppression of women and LBGTQ people, so it fits with the right-wing politics.

    Should it though?  Religion can be revolutionary.  Is this an emerging time of change, where the social gospel gets dusted off, and the clergy become social justice leaders?  It can play that way again, but it's a long shot.
    Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
    Reply
    #14
    (08-25-2019, 03:20 PM)David Horn Wrote:
    (08-25-2019, 08:55 AM)sbarrera Wrote:
    (08-23-2019, 11:26 AM)tg63 Wrote: Some really good stuff in here.

    To your third point, religion and tyranny - I submit that they align not because of any shared values, but rather the shared need for authoritarianism by nn% of the people (I'll submit that nn = approx 30, but in the end it really doesn't matter what the number is).

    I agree. Religion isn't about helping people; it's about sticking to a strict code of behavior, following traditional rules. It's aligned with law and order, and suppression of women and LBGTQ people, so it fits with the right-wing politics.

    Should it though?  Religion can be revolutionary.  Is this an emerging time of change, where the social gospel gets dusted off, and the clergy become social justice leaders?  It can play that way again, but it's a long shot.

    On the other hand, religion can become a cover for ethical causes. Abolitionism was clearly suited to Judeo-Christian teachings. Consider Uncle Tom's Cabin, the novel that exposed the offense that slavery was to Christianity: the slaves were better Christians, and far more heroic (her Uncle Tom was a genuine hero) than their masters. If it offended Americans that non-Christians holding Christians as slaves, then maybe it was wrong for Christians to hold Christians as slaves. 

    Even if a disproportionate number of the non-blacks in the struggle for civil rights for Southern blacks were Jews (I cannot discern a difference between Jewish ethics and Christian ethics -- can you?), the most effective leader of the Civil Rights movement was Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. -- and he made sure to demonstrate at every turn that recognition of the rights of Southern blacks was a mandate that one could derive from Biblical teachings as well as the lofty rhetoric of both the American Revolution and the Civil War. 

    OK, people can be very moral without expressing religious sentiments. People have used religion for evil causes -- I think of the Ku Klux Klan, a fascistic movement that would have committed large-scale genocide had it achieved power. Hitler and Stalin both exploited the elementary language of the Christian catechisms of the churches of their family heritage... OK. I strongly encourage any Christian to read Bertrand Russell's Why I Am Not a Christian upon doing so one might lose some superstition and sentimentality and incorporate some philosophy into one's faith. 

    I can see good reasons for religion. One is that it may help one deal more effectively with the inevitable tragedies of life. Another is that it might answer some questions that need an answer other than the insipid language of pure reason. The big one? It might improve one.

    As nasty as many events have been, it would be satisfying to believe that there is some eternal reward for human justice even if economic and political realities mock any concept of justice. I doubt that there is any special reward in Heaven in looking into some telescope or video screen that allows one to look into Hell and watch eternal torments of Nazis, Stalinists, Ba'athists, ISIS, or the usual gangsters, serial killers, and the like. That would get very old very fast. The real torment of Hell for Adolf Hitler having to watch the screen or peer through the telescope only to take a long look at delights denied him that his victims enjoy -- like Yiddish theater.
    The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


    Reply
    #15
    Those of us on this forum, myself included, now may be scanning the horizon looking for the society's next great adventure. How far away do you feel we now are from it. In order for us to emerge on the winning side, freedom in our relationships is a must. Many folks felt and still do feel that the quarter century following WWII was America's Golden Age, and yet there were many who chose not to follow the staunch anti-Communist model who definitely did not have relationship freedom, the late Pete Seeger being a prime example. He was even barred from appearing on the Hootenanny folk music TV show in the early 1960s.

    I would now love to see a return to experiencing more spontaneity and socializing with an eclectic mix of people. After all, isn't this at least part of what all this talk about diversity is about? Do we now hold steady until we know the time is right to make a move?
    Reply
    #16
    As Boomers start being shoved into the nursing homes and start dying off in huge numbers, the world will get different in some ways.
    The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


    Reply
    #17
    (08-26-2019, 09:49 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: As Boomers start being shoved into the nursing homes and start dying off in huge numbers, the world will get different in some ways.

    I would move the marker to "in almost every way".  Boomers are the byproduct of the long march from the start of WWI to the end of WWII.  Our parents and their parents had to buck-up to get through it -- but we didn't, and that's the rub.  Prophets are hubristic by nature, and we got the full license to take it where it lead -- much like the Transcendentals.  We'll be talked about for a long time, but, hopefully ignored as an example of how to do it.
    Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
    Reply
    #18
    (08-26-2019, 09:10 AM)beechnut79 Wrote: Those of us on this forum, myself included, now may be scanning the horizon looking for the society's next great adventure. How far away do you feel we now are from it. In order for us to emerge on the winning side, freedom in our relationships is a must. Many folks felt and still do feel that the quarter century following WWII was America's Golden Age, and yet there were many who chose not to follow the staunch anti-Communist model who definitely did not have (a) relationship (with) freedom, the late Pete Seeger being a prime example. He was even barred from appearing on the Hootenanny folk music TV show in the early 1960s.

    I would now love to see a return to experiencing more spontaneity and socializing with an eclectic mix of people. After all, isn't this at least part of what all this talk about diversity is about? Do we now hold steady until we know the time is right to make a move?

    Good questions. 

    It's a bit narrow interpretation of Pete Seeger; he fought in world war II and loved freedom, but saw freedom in the larger context in which we all need to see it. We are not free if a few oligarchs can send us to war for no reason, hog resources, and ruin the environment. Freedom is not the same as injustice, although the red side in our divided country seems to think that it is.

    According to the S&H model, we should already be amidst society's great adventure. Right now it is to be found in the upsurge of resistance to the current barbarian takeover, or whatever you want to call this anomaly that has brought the Republican model in power over the last 40 years to its logical conclusion. Once the people who can see reality get a larger role in society again in the 2020s, we'll have plenty for society to do in moving toward a sustainable system that provides the justice that our red-state and red-county friends do not respect. It may require a civil disturbance of some kind to get past the resistance, because the powers that be and those who believe the propaganda that supports them will not bring down their roadblocks without a fight.

    Once we have a fully functioning society again, social rules and relationships will loosen up again and in the course of the 1T and 2T more social life among all the people will revive. And in the course of the fight, the more-diverse younger generation will have more influence on how we see our society and whether all people are included.

    Boomers are a divided generation, and the red side of them are used to the old white society. It is a bit of an adjustment for all of us who grew up in the post world war two milieu, but the blue boomers are willing to make the adjustment and help lead society over the next 10-15 years into a more just and inclusive world. As more younger people make up more of the population, that change will of course get easier. 

    The 25 years after WWII were not much of a golden age in the full sense, because our society is too commercial, and perhaps will for that reason never experience a golden age. Those years were spirit dead, and the golden age was one of commercial conformity, and then a reaction to that conformity that didn't catch on as a movement to change the original commercial conformity very much in the long run.

    But the vision of the blue and green boomers and their silent mentors provided a basis for a society based on more than commercial motives, and inspiration came from which a more spiritual and artistic culture could come. It won't come though, until the younger generations catch that vision and don't relegate it to the experience of a generation. Generation X built their whole lives on reacting to the reaction against commercial conformity, and embracing that conformity instead. That is not how a golden age or any great civilization is built. It takes more continuity and learning, and an interest in building on and continuing spiritual and artistic inspiration to create a true golden age. It is not technical achievement alone that creates one, nor mere economic prosperity. Those are only part of the foundations for a golden age. If we don't build on them, it won't happen.
    "I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

    Keep the spirit alive;
    Eric M
    Reply
    #19
    (08-25-2019, 08:55 AM)sbarrera Wrote:
    (08-23-2019, 11:26 AM)tg63 Wrote: Some really good stuff in here.

    To your third point, religion and tyranny - I submit that they align not because of any shared values, but rather the shared need for authoritarianism by nn% of the people (I'll submit that nn = approx 30, but in the end it really doesn't matter what the number is).

    I agree. Religion isn't about helping people; it's about sticking to a strict code of behavior, following traditional rules. It's aligned with law and order, and suppression of women and LBGTQ people, so it fits with the right-wing politics.

    Only right-wing religion is about that. The religious left is about social justice and is aligned with the left wing instead, the opposite of all those things. Religion is originally about the revelation of God. That is more than a code of behavior. It is transcendent experience that connects people with the source of all life and the basis for love. It is love itself. That was always the prime energy behind Christian society, and behind Buddhist, Hindu and even Moslem societies too. They expressed their inspiration in great art and architecture. Ancient and even some early modern peoples designed their cities according to the spirit and the sky. There was a greater vision directing them. 

    You can see this clearly in the Islamic, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu and ancient indigenous arts and temples around the world. Our society alone rejects this inspiration. We Americans have been duped that the purpose of life is to make money and mechanize the world. This view also came from England. It has been very influential, but it is a false view, and a society based on it must fall. It is not sustainable. Only a society based on transcendent inspiration can survive in the long run. God and Spirit must drive it. 

    And in America, it's the Awakenings that drive this only potential source for a sustainable society, and these awakenings have become more and more transcendental and less traditional as each one has come to us. We can if we choose embrace those awakenings, in which the inspiration jumps from one to the next, and continues to unfold the true foundation for a future America that can experience a true golden age, or two or three of them. Unless the Awakenings burst through their current cage though, and inspire society through all its turnings and not just one of them, then this golden age, this sustainable America, will never come.

    And the kind of view that I express here, must no longer be the seen as a passing phase that someone has just because he or she is a boomer. What I say has been true for thousands of years.
    "I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

    Keep the spirit alive;
    Eric M
    Reply
    #20
    (08-23-2019, 10:18 AM)David Horn Wrote: We've talked all around the subject of the new politics, but haven't addressed it as such.  There's a lot to unwind here, so let's make a list, expand on it, and discuss as appropriate.  In no special order:
    • The end of the economy as we know it.  Whatever else we can say, it's now blatantly obvious that the economy is not going to return to anything resembling the form it held in the post-war era.  Sure, the titans of the universe swear that they're going to lead their economic behemoths in new more human friendly ways, but are they serious or simply cynical in the extreme.  In any case, how can they reverse the irreversible march toward automating away the productive work we all have assumed is the basis for a good and valuable life?
    • Populism and the new political alignments.  This is now a worldwide phenomenon, one that didn't really start in the US but is now driven by the Trump Presidency.  The realignment is in full force, and seems to be the Know Nothings versus the Know-It-Alls.  Is this even viable over more than the short term, with both groups encompassing widely diverse belief systems (moreso among the Know-It-Alls).  And what happens to the obvious disconnect between the 0.1% and the rest of us, if that group of rare-air breathers also splits between the camps?
    • Religion and tyranny. Here's a topic that still baffles me: how can the religiously committed be so firmly in the right-wing populist corner?  We've seen Trump, but what about other populists, like Bolsonaro in Brazil, Duterte in the Philippines or Erdogan in Turkey? How does the belief in feeding the hungry and lifting-up the poor align with autocrats and oligarchs?  Color me baffled.
    • The total lack of vision.  Without pushing this too far, I can't see any political person or group that has a real vision of a viable future and a plan to get there, no matter how flimsy.  Everything is reduced to the next election, in democratic countries, and to a new stasis in the autocratic ones.  It's as if nothing that is happening is expected to have any impact on politics.  Nothing!  Which brings me to my last topic for now
    • Rising war tensions and global climate change.  We all have been acting like these potentially society ending processes are either not happening at all, or are so easily managed that they can be ignored until some time in the not-too-immediate future.  This is irresponsible in the extreme, but voters seem totally disengaged.  Politicians that are engaged are marginalized.  Why?
  • Using the word populism to describe right-wing propaganda and those who fall for it is inappropriate. Populism means restoring power to the people. Right wing "populism" appeals to the fears of the people so that their power can be taken away. It is not populism at all.

    Only transcendent inspiration that connects us to love, spirit and justice can lead us away from the society that only looks to the next election or the next earnings quarter.

    The new politics must be a spiritual-left green politics. That is the "vision." Justin Bieber sang the most profound line uttered in all of popular culture in our time, and sang it better than anyone ever could. With a little help from his friends.
  • "I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

    Keep the spirit alive;
    Eric M
    Reply


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