So, I’ve got all of these quote cards floating around everywhere, ’cause I’ve been making them for years. One thing I always enjoy in the evening is looking through the notes to see which ones people chose that day. It’s like meeting old friends again after a long absence. 🙂
There really is a whole universe between the ground and the stars, between zero and one. Sometimes I think post-Enlightenment folk neglect the utility of unanticipated synchronicity in the search for truth, in just wandering. Should have made that a poem. Now I just sound high ☺
Just make what’s just or won’t,
conniving or incautious candor,
either-evil or goodness dare.
We get-what-we-get or don’t,
ending in grief-or-grandeur,
and nothing grander cares.
Anyway enough heresy for one evening. I think the fundamental problem lies not with our political systems but our fundamental psychological modelling of each other & the world. Human beings are VERY BAD at choosing good leaders. This problem should be approached scientifically.
I think humans are happiest & at their best when there is clear leadership & firm boundaries, at least with regard to things that matter. Democracy’s just grubby-grabby hands but so is everything human. I’m not convinced the species can survive democracy let alone evolve with it.
And, like, I’m a contradiction, ’cause I’m always going to the mat for democracy, but I don’t believe in it. Not really. It’s just the ‘closest’ to where justice lives in our world. I believe there’s usually a right way and a wrong way and opinions are generally born of delusion.
And, despite all of their complicated intellectual or moral facades, nobody has a good answer to that question except ‘wait and hope it gets better,’ which is not only intellectually dishonest, but morally dismissive and practically inadequate. A coward’s imperative to survival.
Unanswerable riddle of humankind: it is unjust to be tyrannical to others, but others would be to you. We should strive toward consensus on the path toward progress and justice, but the reactionary and unjust will never allow the advancement. I think about this often.
I do worry about the young ones, though. This mess on the feed yesterday has solidified what was a kind of prejudice into a firm conviction. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love GenZ. There’s some super cool, amazing, exceptional folk in that subculture / age group. And there are a lot of kind-hearted ones. I love ‘em. Especially the feral lesbians and the weirdos and the queer folk and the goofballs. Lots of times when they interact with my posts it almost makes me cry because I don’t think I was ever that young and vibrant.
But, I worry about ‘em. And this isn’t a dig at them as people (they’re the same as the rest of us, and they’ve so much in common with we millennials, or in my case, borderline GenX / Millennials. I worry about them, though, because the system has largely let them down by 1) creating a dystopian post-industrial hellscape of an economy and political landscape and biosphere, by 2) creating a lot of gamified technical and social systems that have encouraged some of the worst outlooks and characteristics that any generation of humans could cultivate, and 3) by not giving many of them good educations. No, I’m not saying that GenZ is stupid. That’s not it. But the access to real, good quality pedagogical foundations is very, very limited now, even compared to what I went through in post-secondary and graduate studies. Schools are bad. Libraries are at war to keep their books on the shelves. Colleges, quite frankly, are more concerned with sports revenue and politics and patents and academic careers on the make than they are with educating people. Most public colleges are garbage, now, and the private ones are waaaaaay out of economic reach for mortals. High schools teach a good math, sometimes, because STEEEEEEEEMMMMMMMM but that’s not always as inclusive as it should be (fuck ‘em, ladies should build death robots too) and anything else is locked behind a class paywall. A lot of young people can’t read or write worth a damn.
GenZ, as a subculture (and, there are many exceptions and I love all of you don’t hate me because I’m a bitchy old bastard), is largely intellectually provincial and morally puritanical. And this is by design, because corporations, governments, and the ideological allies of tyranny want peasants instead of free-thinking, capable people with agency. And that’s really bad. A lot of GenZ folk are basically being primed to be exceptionally socially compliant and passive victims. It’s gonna be a problem for them, and for society, as they age up and start getting authority. The ones who aren’t like that are almost being systematically weeded out (just like they did to our generation). We have all let these guys down. We have to do better or we’re gonna regret it. These guys have needs that aren’t being met and rights to things like education, healthcare, and economic agency that aren’t being respected.
Fix it. Get on it, boomers. Stop stealing from the future and eating your own young. Because if that person I go into it with yesterday (ironically we didn’t even really argue, it was everyone else, lol), if that person is having to make posts about planting trees and being a tryhard at seeing any kind of bright future YOU ALL HAVE REALLY FUCKED UP.
I mean, it’s true, you can do well for yourself telling people the lie that things will get better & that everything’s going to be alright. I know because I did it for years. The truth, though, is that you aren’t doing them any favors. Music on the way into the slaughterhouse.
The evil genius in the American political design (and part of why it is doomed to failure) is that everyone’s survival depends upon 49 other sets of political races that they can’t vote in. It’s like it was designed at the start to fragment the democratic electorate and give the mobile aristocracy the final say in all things (spoiler: it was), with the added benefit of local layers of control to satisfy the petty corrupt and keep them loyal to the top. But with telecommunications, the internet, and jet travel the system’s design has become not only obsolete but a point of major and consistent contention. Hundreds of millions screaming ‘do the damn thing already’ while the rich strangle the process and feed us all propaganda.
Here’s what it is; democracy itself isn’t the problem (it’s a chaotic mess but that’s beside the point). The problem is that this isn’t one, and never has been. It was an oligarchy pretending to be one from the start, and without slavery, chattel, wage, or petroleum, it will collapse under the weight of its lie. Democracy is okay in principle and in practice, but you can’t be half confederation / half federation, particularly not when we all know each other’s business in a matter of seconds. My advice is to either nullify state sovereignty completely, or to split into five or six regional states and confederate. People need to be invested in, and have real control over, the systems they live in. Not symbolic control. Not extremely distant and abstract representative control. They need to know that when they participate it has an effect, and that someone can’t throw enough money at the process to render their opinion meaningless and their needs and desires irrelevant.
Because with the emergent externalities of the twenty-first century and the two centuries of sociopolitical stagnation and corruptive capital rot this polity is carrying, if you all keep trying to pretend this is exceptional, you’re going to end up with a nasty civil war and then get carved up by history. You have to let it change, economically, politically, demographically, and at the core ideological level, or it’s going to cave in on itself. Right now everyone is hedging against the notion that it will outlast their interests and their lifetimes but, folks, we are a week of no food, water, or electricity away from collapse.
And it’s only getting hotter outside, and drier outside, and wetter outside, and windier outside, and food isn’t going to grow like it once did, and despots and oligarchs are getting meaner, and diseases are getting deadlier, and these old men and women are still pretending like it’s 1990. The bubble’s gonna pop. We can fall gently, or we can fall hard. I suspect that the monied class will choose the latter out of hubris, so that will at least be fun to watch. I was gonna do this as a series of tweets, but Twitter is designed to obstruct nuance and substance and squeeze trite and inadequate proclamations out of people, so they get a link instead. And that, too, is part of the problem.
The real enemy is the oligarchy and the kind of mind that would create and sustain it, as it always has been. I suspect that people will be forced to choose between that kind of person, that kind of society, and a working planet and livable future. Survival is beyond empty words.
Don’t allow yourself to become confused by all of the endless complexity. It’s ‘assholes vs. not assholes,’ in every group, in every nation, in every time period. Don’t be one of the assholes. ☺