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  1. #991
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    Quote Originally posted by Chris View Post
    Another gem from Umair, absolutely stellar analysis.

    https://eand.co/were-living-through-...y-ea12a875b9a5

    We’re Living Through the Collapse of Liberal Democracy

    The Real Reason Why Britain and America Are Collapsing — And Why it Matters

    [IMG]https://miro.medium.com/max/2560/1*Fx2AkJRJPgiolI4LDIDz1w.png[/IMG]

    One of my commenters said, the other day, speaking about a collapsing America and Britain, something incredibly prescient and important. “There is no more Yugoslavia.” Why do I think that’s so important for you to grasp?

    You might not know it, but we’re living through momentous times. I don’t just mean climate change — but for a different, though related, reason entirely. We are living at the tail end of the single greatest series of social experiments in human history.

    And now the results — which human beings have craved and fought wars over and lacked for millennia, since the dawn of civilization — have finally come in.

    We are beginning to have indisputable proof of an age old question, one of the most ancient of all time. How should human beings live together? What is the most successful and desirable form of political economy? What actually yields eudaimonia — lives well lived? And what only leads to dysdaimonia, meaning lives badly lived, meaning anger and rage and despair and distrust, which culminate, ultimately, in the hatred and brutality of social collapse?
    Let me take a moment — stay with me now — to note just how elusive the answer to this question has been. Take a turbo-charged one paragraph whistlestop tour through history with me.

    How many forms of political order have human beings tried? Through the centuries, there have been many. In the beginning at the dawn of civilisation there was a empire, suffused with a kind of democracy — think of Rome. Empires fell, and gave way to Dark Ages. In them, some people became “noble,” their blood pure, and others were “serfs.” Feudalism, meaning serfdom and peasantry — and nobility and monarchy — was the dominant forms of political economy until the Age of Revolutions, around the 1850s or so. The Age of Revolutions began with the French abolishing feudalism — and culminated in the Russian Revolution.
    That brings us to the 20th century. You might not know it, but the 20th century was the Age of Grand Experiments. How were human beings to live together? Still, after all those millennia of strife and conflict, of bloody theocracy and revolution…nobody knew. But in the 20th century, something was different: nations were determined to try to find out.

    So the 20th century saw four Grand Social Experiments in different forms of political order, one after the other. The first was Soviet communism. The second, following it, was German fascism. The third was American and British liberal democracy. And the last and final one was European and Canadian social democracy.

    What results did those Grand Social Experiments yield? Well, we know about two of them. They failed disastrously. German fascism ended in World War, holocaust, atrocity, and Germany’s own ruin — not in eudaimonia. It was the first to fail, and the shortest lived. That left three forms of political order still testing these grand experiments of how people could and should best live together: communism, liberal democracy, and social democracy.

    By the late 80s, Soviet communism, too, had failed. Its track record was pretty disastrous, too. It hadn’t caused World War — but it had led to everything from famine to totalitarianism. By 1990s or so, the Berlin Wall finally fell, as stifled East Germans sought freer, more prosperous lives. That set in motion the chain reaction of Soviet collapse.

    Now, American pundits predicted at this time — the mid 90s or so — what was then called “the end of history.” Every nation was to become a liberal democracy. That was the telos, the endpoint, of an “evolution” of forms of political order — the apex of a hierarchy. That was because, quite naturally, looking around, American pundits only saw one surviving form of political order — their own. They saw European and Canadian social democracy as fads, aberrations, cute toylike things — certainly not deserving of serious respect, consideration, understanding.

    The Soviet Union was therefore expected to become like…America. A liberal democracy. Instead, it splintered into warring tribes and factions at its edges. Yugoslavia became the Balkans became a genocidal war between ancient tribes with old grudges and hatreds. Russia, meanwhile, didn’t become a democracy — it became what it is today, an authoritarian state pretending to be a democracy, a counterfeit democracy, a source of global tension, its people still brutally repressed, its politics a laughable spectacle.

    I bring all that up for a reason. What are we living through today? The implosion of liberal democracy — the third form of political order.

    If you had to point to two rich nations with serious, serious problems, which ones would you choose? On the evidence, you’d have to point a finger at America and Britain. Brits can’t get food, blood tests, and even beer the way a modern nation’s accustomed to right about now. Raw sewage is being dumped in rivers because Britain can’t chemicals to treat water. Meanwhile, America’s descended into a kind of dystopia that’s renowned the world over. Texas has placed bounties on women’s heads…turning any man who wants to be into a vigilante…while Trumpism firmly believes that Trump won the election, but it was “stolen” from him, and the attempted coup of Jan 6th was perfectly justified, if not a tourist event.

    And that’s barely scratching the surface. The fact, which anyone can observe, is that Britain and America are collapsing. Just the same way that the Soviet Union collapsed before them. In fact, the very same forms of pathology now afflict them, too — the weird doublespeak, meaning the way that Brits aren’t allowed to say “Brexit did this to us,” or Americans can’t criticise “capitalism.” The weird ignorance that plagues these societies, too — they seem to have no idea that they don’t have to live this way, fighting bitterly for medicine, healthcare, retirement, a little bit of money. The way intellectuals — cloying for power and money — normalize all this, and shrug happily. The way corrupt politicians stand in the way of any kind of reckoning, let alone progress.

    America and Britain are collapsing. That’s not my opinion. It is an empirical fact. If we look at any social indicator, it’s plummeting — and it’s going to keep doing so. Literally any one, from trust to real income to optimism to confidence to income to health. These are societies whose standards of living are falling off a cliff. Britain’s plunge has been more sudden, while America’s been in free-fall for decades at this point, to the point where a kid in West Virginia now has the same life expectancy as a kid in Bangladesh.

    This is what a collapsing society is. Prolonged, catastrophic declines in standards of living point to badly, fatally broken structures and institutions. Which structures are broken? Society’s structure itself — the middle class in America, once vaunted and famous, is now one giant underclass, bitterly fighting each other for tiny amounts of money with which to pay off the interest on debts (“medical debt,” “student debt,” “credit card debt,”) whose principal haunts them beyond the grave. Americans are paupers now — and nations of paupers tend to end the same way that Weimar Germany did: they turn to fascism.

    Structural collapse becomes institutional and normative collapse: as a society’s middle class falls into poverty, it chooses demagogues, who legitimize not just norms of hate, violence, and brutality, but a whole rule of law and government based on them, too. That’s Trumpism, and it hasn’t gone anywhere. The shocking implosion of America’s middle class around 2010 predicted all this. This is what a collapsing society is — and Britain, growing rapidly poorer by the day thanks to Brexit, cardboard cutouts of food replacing actual food at the supermarkets — how Soviet is that — is following America’s footsteps, right behind it. (And if you’re going to nitpick about the chart above, and say “But the UK’s place on the Social Progress Index has stayed flat!” Rest assured that over the next decade, it will repeat America’s performance as real living standards plummet thanks to Brexit.)

    Now, you have some sense of that: America and Britain are badly, badly broken societies. You probably even have a sense that nobody can “fix” them. You are right. But now I want you to understand why your intuition is correct — the profound lesson it already senses.
    We are living through the implosion of liberal democracy. Remember the Grand Experiments of the 20th century? The different forms of social order? First fascism failed. Then communism failed. That left two forms of social order still being tested: liberal democracy, and social democracy.

    Today, we’re living through the collapse of liberal democracy. The third form of political order that the 20th century’s Grand Experiments were testing is now failing. Another way to put that is that the Grand Experiment in liberal democracy is now yielding results, and they’re bad. Liberal democracy does not work.

    It ends up collapsing, just like Soviet communism before it. It is not a form of political order that endures. It doesn’t survive. Like all failed forms of political order, it extinguishes itself, ending not in eudaimonia, but in dysdaimonia, lived badly lived, living standards falling catastrophically, meaning, in practice, hatred, violence, stupidity, brutality, cruelty, and chaos — which is exactly where Britain and America are today.

    That’s a lot to take in, to really understand. Feel free to reread the last paragraph or two so you really get it. The 20th century’s Grand Experiment in liberal democracy is now yielding results. The results are a failure. Liberal democracy did not work, just like communism and fascism before it. It might have worked a little better, but that’s not saying much. Liberal democracy is ending in self-destruction and collapse, just like communism and fascism, too.
    Let me pause for a moment. There are only really a handful of liberal democracies on earth — and America and Britain are their chief exemplars. What does liberal democracy mean?
    Broadly, it means that public goods are to be privatized. Because nobody deserves anything from the social surplus as an inherent, constitutional human right. They might deserve the right to carry guns, sure — but a portion of the social surplus, meaning healthcare, retirement, income, a place to live, etcetera, as constitutional rights? Forget it. Everyone is to “stand on their own two feet,” and not be a “liability.” Society is to be ruled by competition, the more intense and brutal the better, which is the machine that winnows the wheat — the talented, ruthless, cunning, amoral, indifferent — from the chaff. Even the average person is better off this way, because all those Nietzschean ubermen are the smartest and cleverest and most productive, who lift up everyone’s living standards, with wondrous “innovations” and ideas and creations.

    Again, take a moment to really understand the linkages in all those disparate ideas. How they add up to a whole paradigm, a whole praxis, known as “liberal democracy.” Why? Because…
    We now understand that all that is false. If it were true, any of it, then American and British living standards wouldn’t be falling so catastrophically. They wouldn’t have been falling for decades now. They would have kept on rising. The whole causal chain which liberal democracy’s Grand Experiment was based on — individualism, greed, selfishness, hyper-competition, leading to productivity and innovation, leading to rising living standards for all, fuelling political stability and happiness and trust — we now know the whole theory is false.
    Know. This isn’t politics anymore. Now we’re in the realm of knowledge, of facts, of empiricism. Politics is about beliefs. I believe this form of political order works, because it leads to eudaimonia. People have believed many such things — in feudalism, theocracy, communism, fascism. Intelligent people, thoughtful people — they know. Because there is something to know. It’s not a political belief that feudalism or fascism don’t work as forms of political order — it is a fact which we know, the lesson earned with blood and tears and tragedy.

    And now we are learning the same thing about liberal democracy. We are beginning to know. The answer to a very great question. The outcome of a Grand Experiment. We are not in the realm of casual “politics” anymore, meaning political beliefs. We are now in the realm of knowledge about political economies, which is a very different thing. Now we know that liberal democracy doesn’t work, either, right alongside fascism and communism.
    Interestingly, we also know that liberal democracy appears to decay into fascism. The widespread poverty and implosive living conditions it produces, in the end, as the rich get richer, and the middle becomes an underclass, ignite the atomic bomb of fascism right in the heart of a society.

    That is an old theory, by the way, championed by thinkers from Adorno to Baudrillard, resting on a Marxian foundation. Before now, though, it was in the realm of debate. You could be a “leftist” and believe liberal democracy wouldn’t work — or you could just as easily be a liberal democrat, and believe in it, anyways. Both were positions an intelligent person could take, because we didn’t have knowledge about the subject yet, just theory. One theory said liberal democracy would lead to eudaimonia, and the critical one said it wouldn’t. Who was right? Nobody knew, yet.

    Now we do know. And knowing that liberal democracy leads to collapse — just like communism and fascism before it — is an incredibly momentous thing to know. It isn’t something that’s taught at schools and universities yet, but it will be. It will be one of the central facts of the 21st century, something every college freshman is taught, because, again, now it isn’t in the realm of theory or debate anymore, but in the same realm as “communism fails” or “fascism fails.”
    Why is knowing that liberal democracy is a failure so momentous? Because it only leaves one form of political order.

    Remember, the 20th century saw four Grand Experiments. Now we know — know — that two have failed, fascism and communism, and the third, liberal democracy, is collapsing just like the other two, before our very eyes. That only leaves one Grand Experiment. The one in social democracy?

    How’s that one doing? Ah, now we come, at last, to something good. That experiment is a runaway success. An empirical, factual success. Canada and Europe enjoy living standards which rise, year after year, and that fuels political stability, cultural expansiveness, and social solidarity. People aren’t at each other throats like they are in America and Britain, or were in communist Russia or fascist Germany — because they’re too busy living eudaemonically, their lives improving year by year, which staves off the anger, fear, despair, and rage which coalesce into the hatred, brutality, and cruelty which culminate in social collapse.

    That, though, is a topic for another essay. In this one, I think every educated and thoughtful person should know. There were four Grand Experiments in the 20th century. Two failed, and everyone knows that — communism and fascism. But now the third one is failing too — liberal democracy, and that’s why America and Britain are imploding. It’s also why nobody appears able to fix them: their fundamental forms of political-economic order are not fixable.

    The age of Grand Experiments in Social Order is coming to a close. And it’s yielding surprising — perhaps shocking, at least to American and British pundits and thinkers — results. Liberal democracy, like so many attempts at ordering society before it, is a failure, too. It doesn’t work. It doesn’t yield eudaimonia — it yields dysdaimonia, lives badly lived, and all that anger, rage, despair, ends in chaos, brutality, hate, and worse. Liberal democracy ends in collapse and implosion, which is what Britain and America are experiencing right about now.
    Remember my commenters words? Now I hope you understand how profound they really were.

    There is no more Yugoslavia.

    Where does that leave Britain and America? Like the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany before them. On a path that’s immovable — because not a force in the world can teach a collapsing society much of anything — yet ends in certain ruin.

    Umair

    October 2021
    Well yeah, some 'alternatives' have been preaching that for a good while ... social democracy ... good, raw capitalism ... very very bad, communism ... outdated by a century.

    The guy brings up age old questions, Why are people so f*cked up?! It's in the genes we wear I say. And those genes were created in the Caucasus mountain region about 12,000 years ago. The world is stuck with it now. So, is the final act the passing of the exalted homo Sapiens Sapiens? ... (the smile is for Aragorn). Something will succeed 'them'. Maybe little Grey things scuttling along the old pathways, Maybe the uber people, tall, blond, and blue-eyed and as a genetic hominid the culmination of beauty, intelligence, and whatever else God has deemed good. We might call them 'Nordics'.

    I say Nay!. Nay brothers and sisters, the ordinary folk, the common ones that don't seek lofty status, retribution for imagined slights, the ones not consumed with racial hatred and a sense that the 'I' is the most important consideration under the stars. Those people will proliferate and go on to create societies that would have left their forbears in tears in the face of their grandeur.

    So Saith the BOB!
    “To seek self-knowledge is to embark on a journey which ... will always be incomplete" - courtesy of Godel's Incompleteness Theorem

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  3. #992
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    Quote Originally posted by Wind View Post
    Quite the optimist, eh?
    I fear, he may be right, at least as far as many parts of the world are concerned. With global heating, the future for the global south is grim. The entire area might become unliveable, even unsurviveable in a few decades. Perhaps the North will still be liveable to a certain extent, but how do you get 6 billion people up there and build an entire new civilisation for them in just a few decades? It just seems to me that we won't have the capacity or the capital to do that.

    Quote Originally posted by BeastOfBologna View Post
    Well yeah, some 'alternatives' have been preaching that for a good while ... social democracy ... good, raw capitalism ... very very bad, communism ... outdated by a century.

    The guy brings up age old questions, Why are people so f*cked up?! It's in the genes we wear I say. And those genes were created in the Caucasus mountain region about 12,000 years ago. The world is stuck with it now. So, is the final act the passing of the exalted homo Sapiens Sapiens? ... (the smile is for Aragorn). Something will succeed 'them'. Maybe little Grey things scuttling along the old pathways, Maybe the uber people, tall, blond, and blue-eyed and as a genetic hominid the culmination of beauty, intelligence, and whatever else God has deemed good. We might call them 'Nordics'.

    I say Nay!. Nay brothers and sisters, the ordinary folk, the common ones that don't seek lofty status, retribution for imagined slights, the ones not consumed with racial hatred and a sense that the 'I' is the most important consideration under the stars. Those people will proliferate and go on to create societies that would have left their forbears in tears in the face of their grandeur.

    So Saith the BOB!
    I have no idea what you're on about...

    https://eand.co/why-american-collaps...g-684fe06eef1a

    Why American Collapse is Only Just Beginning

    The Megatrends Shaping America’s Grim Future — And Why They Spell Collapse

    There are many beliefs America holds that the rest of the world finds gruesome and strange: guns, capitalism, greed, cruelty. But among these is a new one: that the Trumpian dark period in American history was an anomaly — and now, things have reverted back to normal. Sorry. American collapse is not an anomaly — it is the very opposite: the culmination of decades-long trends. Those trends, which I’ll discuss in this essay, have not ended — and so collapse has barely only really begun.

    America needs transformational, fundamental change. Alas, when we look closely at the wave of politicians that are to turn the country around, it’s all too easy to see that there is no transformative agenda that unites them — mostly, they stand for minor incremental changes, not exactly a New Bill of Rights. Doesn’t that sound like what’s happening with the infrastructure bill right now? Biden’s bill only gets America two percent of the way to being a modern, functioning society, and it invests only a tiny fraction that the New Deal did. So no, Biden isn’t FDR, and the infrastructure bill, which grows smaller by the day, isn’t going to save America.

    So the longest-running trend in America — that its democracy has long been broken (or never really been much of one at all, if you want to count the inconvenient fact that it was a segregated nation until 1971, which is usually too much reality for most Americans to bear) — can only continue. And it is continuing — the Democrats have only a short window in which they have almost all the power it is possible to have in American democracy, and they’re spending that time allowing two of their own, Sinema and Manchin, to stall their agenda.

    America’s political reality means it will simply go on having little chance of gaining working healthcare, higher education, public media, safety nets, or retirement, because it lacks the capacity to create it — though that is precisely what most Americans, by many measures, want.

    But they do not just want it. They need it. The average American’s plight is so desperate that people in other rich countries can scarcely comprehend it. Dying from a lack of insulin? The elderly working at Walmart? Less than a week’s pay in savings? It sounds like a dystopian film, not reality. Yet this points to my second megatrend. American incomes have been flat since the 70s — but all the while, the basics of life, all the things above, from retirement to healthcare, have skyrocketed in price. First creeping up, and now skyrocketing. Of course, this shatters the average person economic hopes — but it makes those at the top ultra-wealthy. So America’s two great economic megatrends — rising inequality and growing poverty — are likely to bite harder as well.

    People who must choose between food and healthcare, of course, enjoy poorer and poorer standards of living. And that is America’s third big trend — a declining real quality of life. America yesterday was an optimistic nation — perhaps falsely so — yet still, there was the sense that eventually, life would get better for “all”, as each generation outdid the last. But now that hope is gone. Life is not getting better — it is getting worse, by the day. Life, however you would like to define it. Life expectancy? Shrinking. Infant mortality? Rising. Loneliness, despair, depression? Spiking. Trust, bonds, relationships? Imploding. American life will go on getting harder, meaner, nastier, crueller, and more dismal in every way — because a decent life, at least to the rest of the world, has become an unaffordable luxury.

    What do people whose lives are falling apart do? Well, the first thing they usually do is take it out on each other. Americans have been doing that for a long time now, so much that it is a way of life. This is my fourth megatrend — it is an emotional one: rage, despair, and anxiety as a way of life. Americans will go on taking the bitter anger and grim despair of living in a collapsing society out on each other. After all, they have no way not to — no mental healthcare, universal education, functioning media, or even norms of basic decency anymore.

    Americans will go on hurting one another in every imaginable way — destroying each other in hard and soft ways, denying one another retirement and healthcare, degrading and bullying each other at work and school and play, refusing to invest in the barest bits of society, walking around with machine guns, building tomorrow’s predatory systems, whether Ubers or hedge funds — precisely because there is no way to aspire to anything better, since the political system is broken, and the economy is irreparable.

    Because it all seems so hopeless, societies governed by rage and despair also give up on democracy. Authoritarians don’t need a majority — they never have, and that is foolish myth promoted by American intellectuals. It’s enough for fascists and tyrants to capture perhaps 30–40% of a nation to take over its institutions, norms, and future — because that 30% is like a wrecking ball, that can be used to intimidate, bluster, threaten, and bully (as long as the rest is split).That fringe, lunatic 30% is now working behind the scenes to control America wholesale — not just making any kind of progress not just impossible, but demanding wholesale regress: banning books, taking science out of schools, putting fundamentalist religion into public life, and so forth. Let me remind you that 70% of Republican voters still think the 2020 election was stolen.

    That is my fifth megatrend, authoritarianism, and I’m sorry to have to tell you that it has not stopped just because Trump is no longer president — it will continue, gain strength, and shape America for the foreseeable future.

    I’m sure that by now, probably, you find all this quite unbelievable. But that’s my sixth megatrend: ignorance. It is not just American economics, politics, society, and culture which have failed — at a deeper level, American thought has failed. Its intellectuals can’t explain decline, its pundits predict it, its gurus understand it, or its leaders fix it. That is because American ideas became ideologies — capitalism, individualism, aggression, cruelty, rationalism, selfishness, greed — which are all obsolete now. This age of human history demands what is truer in us, whether empathy for suffering, respect for difference, courage to stand naked, intimacy with ourselves. But because those are qualities that can only be nurtured, evoked, and cultivated, not “monetized” and “captured” and bottled and manufactured, American thought simply cannot produce them anymore than all the hedge funds, algorithms, or stock markets in the world can produce even a glimmer of sanity, grace, or wisdom.

    And so. American thought will go on thinking that every year that it can’t possibly get much worse — which is what it has done for the last decade — and at every juncture, it will go on being painfully wrong. Collapse is only just beginning in America. The question isn’t if the broken hearts, minds, and spirits of Americans can hold back the flood, but rather if they can learn, at long last, to see the obvious coming, before it hits them like a freight train.

    Umair
    October 2021

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  5. #993
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    Eudaemonia, dysdaemonia, newish words for me. One doesn't come across them in casual reading.

    Remember, the 20th century saw four Grand Experiments. Now we know — know — that two have failed, fascism and communism, and the third, liberal democracy, is collapsing just like the other two, before our very eyes. That only leaves one Grand Experiment. The one in social democracy?

    How’s that one doing? Ah, now we come, at last, to something good. That experiment is a runaway success. An empirical, factual success. Canada and Europe enjoy living standards which rise, year after year, and that fuels political stability, cultural expansiveness, and social solidarity. People aren’t at each other throats like they are in America and Britain, or were in communist Russia or fascist Germany — because they’re too busy living eudaemonically, their lives improving year by year, which staves off the anger, fear, despair, and rage which coalesce into the hatred, brutality, and cruelty which culminate in social collapse.
    ...Umair does have some positive observations.

    I see this one from Graham is quite new.

    To criticize Capitalism in America is to criticize God. Peoples' heads will explode. Some folks decided to go ahead and say 'socialism' which would just be social democracy in order to take the taboo out of the word. But with the climate change, it's kinda too late to redirect the very large ship. We'll be in tough waters for some time it appears.

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  7. #994
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    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    [...] dysdaemonia [...]
    From what I heard, she first pissed off her dad and then she was murdered by a dude called Othello.
    = DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR =

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  9. #995
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    Quote Originally posted by Chris View Post
    I fear, he may be right, at least as far as many parts of the world are concerned. With global heating, the future for the global south is grim. The entire area might become unliveable, even unsurviveable in a few decades. Perhaps the North will still be liveable to a certain extent, but how do you get 6 billion people up there and build an entire new civilisation for them in just a few decades? It just seems to me that we won't have the capacity or the capital to do that.



    I have no idea what you're on about...

    https://eand.co/why-american-collaps...g-684fe06eef1a

    Why American Collapse is Only Just Beginning

    The Megatrends Shaping America’s Grim Future — And Why They Spell Collapse

    There are many beliefs America holds that the rest of the world finds gruesome and strange: guns, capitalism, greed, cruelty. But among these is a new one: that the Trumpian dark period in American history was an anomaly — and now, things have reverted back to normal. Sorry. American collapse is not an anomaly — it is the very opposite: the culmination of decades-long trends. Those trends, which I’ll discuss in this essay, have not ended — and so collapse has barely only really begun.

    America needs transformational, fundamental change. Alas, when we look closely at the wave of politicians that are to turn the country around, it’s all too easy to see that there is no transformative agenda that unites them — mostly, they stand for minor incremental changes, not exactly a New Bill of Rights. Doesn’t that sound like what’s happening with the infrastructure bill right now? Biden’s bill only gets America two percent of the way to being a modern, functioning society, and it invests only a tiny fraction that the New Deal did. So no, Biden isn’t FDR, and the infrastructure bill, which grows smaller by the day, isn’t going to save America.

    So the longest-running trend in America — that its democracy has long been broken (or never really been much of one at all, if you want to count the inconvenient fact that it was a segregated nation until 1971, which is usually too much reality for most Americans to bear) — can only continue. And it is continuing — the Democrats have only a short window in which they have almost all the power it is possible to have in American democracy, and they’re spending that time allowing two of their own, Sinema and Manchin, to stall their agenda.

    America’s political reality means it will simply go on having little chance of gaining working healthcare, higher education, public media, safety nets, or retirement, because it lacks the capacity to create it — though that is precisely what most Americans, by many measures, want.

    But they do not just want it. They need it. The average American’s plight is so desperate that people in other rich countries can scarcely comprehend it. Dying from a lack of insulin? The elderly working at Walmart? Less than a week’s pay in savings? It sounds like a dystopian film, not reality. Yet this points to my second megatrend. American incomes have been flat since the 70s — but all the while, the basics of life, all the things above, from retirement to healthcare, have skyrocketed in price. First creeping up, and now skyrocketing. Of course, this shatters the average person economic hopes — but it makes those at the top ultra-wealthy. So America’s two great economic megatrends — rising inequality and growing poverty — are likely to bite harder as well.

    People who must choose between food and healthcare, of course, enjoy poorer and poorer standards of living. And that is America’s third big trend — a declining real quality of life. America yesterday was an optimistic nation — perhaps falsely so — yet still, there was the sense that eventually, life would get better for “all”, as each generation outdid the last. But now that hope is gone. Life is not getting better — it is getting worse, by the day. Life, however you would like to define it. Life expectancy? Shrinking. Infant mortality? Rising. Loneliness, despair, depression? Spiking. Trust, bonds, relationships? Imploding. American life will go on getting harder, meaner, nastier, crueller, and more dismal in every way — because a decent life, at least to the rest of the world, has become an unaffordable luxury.

    What do people whose lives are falling apart do? Well, the first thing they usually do is take it out on each other. Americans have been doing that for a long time now, so much that it is a way of life. This is my fourth megatrend — it is an emotional one: rage, despair, and anxiety as a way of life. Americans will go on taking the bitter anger and grim despair of living in a collapsing society out on each other. After all, they have no way not to — no mental healthcare, universal education, functioning media, or even norms of basic decency anymore.

    Americans will go on hurting one another in every imaginable way — destroying each other in hard and soft ways, denying one another retirement and healthcare, degrading and bullying each other at work and school and play, refusing to invest in the barest bits of society, walking around with machine guns, building tomorrow’s predatory systems, whether Ubers or hedge funds — precisely because there is no way to aspire to anything better, since the political system is broken, and the economy is irreparable.

    Because it all seems so hopeless, societies governed by rage and despair also give up on democracy. Authoritarians don’t need a majority — they never have, and that is foolish myth promoted by American intellectuals. It’s enough for fascists and tyrants to capture perhaps 30–40% of a nation to take over its institutions, norms, and future — because that 30% is like a wrecking ball, that can be used to intimidate, bluster, threaten, and bully (as long as the rest is split).That fringe, lunatic 30% is now working behind the scenes to control America wholesale — not just making any kind of progress not just impossible, but demanding wholesale regress: banning books, taking science out of schools, putting fundamentalist religion into public life, and so forth. Let me remind you that 70% of Republican voters still think the 2020 election was stolen.

    That is my fifth megatrend, authoritarianism, and I’m sorry to have to tell you that it has not stopped just because Trump is no longer president — it will continue, gain strength, and shape America for the foreseeable future.

    I’m sure that by now, probably, you find all this quite unbelievable. But that’s my sixth megatrend: ignorance. It is not just American economics, politics, society, and culture which have failed — at a deeper level, American thought has failed. Its intellectuals can’t explain decline, its pundits predict it, its gurus understand it, or its leaders fix it. That is because American ideas became ideologies — capitalism, individualism, aggression, cruelty, rationalism, selfishness, greed — which are all obsolete now. This age of human history demands what is truer in us, whether empathy for suffering, respect for difference, courage to stand naked, intimacy with ourselves. But because those are qualities that can only be nurtured, evoked, and cultivated, not “monetized” and “captured” and bottled and manufactured, American thought simply cannot produce them anymore than all the hedge funds, algorithms, or stock markets in the world can produce even a glimmer of sanity, grace, or wisdom.

    And so. American thought will go on thinking that every year that it can’t possibly get much worse — which is what it has done for the last decade — and at every juncture, it will go on being painfully wrong. Collapse is only just beginning in America. The question isn’t if the broken hearts, minds, and spirits of Americans can hold back the flood, but rather if they can learn, at long last, to see the obvious coming, before it hits them like a freight train.

    Umair
    October 2021
    Wow, this guy is a bundle of joy. I say just 'push the button' now and get it over with.

    Hi Chris, what do you mean you don't know what i'm on about ... That was a bob short ... a synthesis of current theories and conspiracies.

    I have a sixth megatrend, shortsightedness. The pre-moderns KNEW they had to adjust daily to their circumstances and if they failed to do so, well, bye-bye. The post-post-moderns will recognize that reality as well. One post-post-modern to another: "Hey Fricawitz, did you hear? There's a moon-size asteroid headed our way and it is scheduled to arrive next week!" Fricawitz: "Those Goddamn Alpha-Draconians, we should just blow up their planets!"
    “To seek self-knowledge is to embark on a journey which ... will always be incomplete" - courtesy of Godel's Incompleteness Theorem

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    I wonder what you guys think about the below analysis regarding the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict and the direction the US is headed in?

    I can't really make up my mind about it, there is such a vast gulf between how the left and the right report the story, that I simply cannot establish the facts of this case. Umair is obviously on the (far) left, so I feel he is really highly exaggerating here, but maybe I'm wrong. I would like to know what others think about it.

    https://eand.co/americas-heading-int...m-176e614c60d1

    America’s Heading Into a Perfect Storm of Fascism

    If You Think America’s Future Looks Bleaker Than Ever, You’re Right. Here’s Why

    When I look into America’s future, I see very dark days ahead. Four reasons — or factors — keep jumping out at me. None of them are good. But together? They make up a perfect storm of fascism. Worse, it must be said, than the last time, the Trump years. Let me take you through them one by one, and you can judge for yourself: is America heading into a perfect storm of fascism?

    Let’s begin with the most obvious factor. The Republican base is now consumed by violence. Not just lurid fantasies of violence, but the real thing. There are footsoldiers on the streets — teenagers — being driven to violence, and being rewarded for it. They’re then acquitted at trial by juries of their sympathetic peers, and lenient judges who intercede on their behalf. That’s not an isolated event anymore: it’s a trend. The American right now feels it’s open season. It seems they feel like they can hunt and kill their opponents with impunity. The sad fact is that so far, they can.

    The Republican base, in other words, has been more or less fully radicalized. 1 in 3 Republicans think that violence is necessary to defend their way of life and save the country…whatever that even means. It doesn’t mean anything, really. It just means they’re out for blood. That they crave violence, the thrill of it, that they lust for it. All those guns they’ve been buying forever? They want to now use them.

    This is a sea change in norms. Or maybe a sea change backwards in norms. I’ve never been a fan of Republicans — that should be obvious, though it doesn’t mean I’m a fan of the Dems. Still, something is different now. The mood and atmosphere amongst the base seems now to be one of open bloodlust and violence. After the recent very public trial of a notorious shooter who opened fire on three people, killing two, Republicans expressed no condolence for the victims — which the judge wouldn’t even allow to be called victims. Instead, they openly celebrated killing and death.

    That is not normal. The only other places that people like me, who’ve studied and lived through social collapse, fascist implosion, have seen this change in moods and attitudes is in societies right before the worst comes to pass. It is not remotely normal for half a society, more or less, to revel in ultraviolence, to applaud violent death. And no, Republicans haven’t always been like this either. There was a period, at least, between civil rights and Trumpism, where violence was not acceptable amongst Republicans.

    But now the mood is different. Republicans have reverted to type. They are much more like the white supremacists of the 1960s — who opposed civil rights and would regularly abuse civil rights leaders, like John Lewis, openly, in public — than the GOP of the 80s or the 90s. They want not just violence but ultra violence. The notorious shooter seemed to have finished off one of his target with a “kill shot” to the back. It wasn’t enough just to kill. There had to be overkill. All that rage and hate had to come out in the form of extreme violence.

    Let me say it again. Republicans have become manically bloodthirsty. They glorify ultra violence. They justify it as “self-defense.” They legitimise it as “necessary to save the country.” They want a nation of supremacist vigilantes, gunning down people in cold blood — why else are they celebrating just that? For them, Jan 6th was a fond memory — and a beginning. This thirst for blood is not normal.

    It is profoundly, profoundly disturbing. This kind of change in attitudes, this hardening of brutality, this mass maniacal craving for ultra violence. It’s a mania in the sense that it’s sweeping the base. The average Republican seems to genuinely crave ultraviolence, the bloody punishment of those they consider subhumans — because that is the new norm that’s emerged amongst their tribe. If you don’t think that way, then you’re not really one of them, it seems.

    But this change in attitudes — bloodlust — is one of the strongest predictors of fascist collapse there is. Where else have we seen it? Before genocide and civil war. It’s what swept the Balkans. What happened in Rwanda. When ultra violence becomes a norm, glorified, celebrated, and normal human emotions like remorse and shame and guilt cease — look out. Something very, very grim is happening to a country?

    What is that something, though?

    Well, why is the Republican base suddenly so…into ultra violence? Why isn’t it even coded in dog whistles and polite excuses anymore? Why is it suddenly that gunning down people you disagree with politically, maybe people you think of as subhuman, in the streets is merely “self defence”?

    Because that is what the Republican leadership is goading the base into wanting and believing and craving. Think of how openly now permeates Republican leadership, how it defines the party. During the trial of the notorious shooter who gunned down people, two of them without firearms, a Republican Congressman sent a video to AOC…where he murdered her.

    Ha ha! Just kidding! But of course it’s not just a joke. If I was to approach someone random on the street and “joke” about killing them, I’d probably have the cops called on me. If I was to tell someone at work I was going to kill them, I’d be fired in an instant. It’s not a joke, because it crosses a red line. That red line is the same one we’ve been discussing: ultra violence. Here we have Republican Congressmen now seeming to be calling for the assassination of their opponents.

    They are legimitizing bloodlust and ultra violence. They’re licensing it. Encouraging it and inciting it. It’s not a joke, but the message that it’s a joke is the message: they’re sending a message that if you go out and actually do this stuff, you’ll be protected, rewarded, looked out for, because it’s on the level of a joke. It’s that meaningless, that trivial, that forgettable.

    No wonder that increasingly, the Republican base is picking up guns and beginning to shoot. The message coming from the top is: violence isn’t just OK, it’s necessary, desirable, a good thing. Our new norm, the new set of values in our political tribe, is to use violence to settle any differences we may have. We will simply attack and annihilate anyone standing in our way. No shocker then that teenagers are shooting people in the streets. That’s the message they’re hearing. Little wonder that armed Republicans carrying machine guns are commonplace sights in American political life.

    But again, that’s not remotely normal. Because when you carry a machine gun in a democracy, something has gone badly wrong. With you. You are saying that you don’t believe in consent or equality or peace. You will use force to get your way if necessary, and you believe that anyone standing in your way is a subhuman, who deserves a bullet, not a human being, with the same rights and freedoms as you.

    If you think I’m kidding, think about what happens when Republicans use their guns. When they do, they don’t get punished. They get rich and famous and powerful. They’re made heroes of. They get invited to become Congressional interns and pundits on Fox News and all the rest of it. This is an institutional infrastructure for violence emerging. Shoot — and we’ll take care of you, kid. Do the right thing. They’re subhumans. You eliminate them for us. And we’ll give you money, power, and fame. And maybe even an official title.

    Where does this road end? Well, what is happening in America now is the construction of genuinely Nazi institutions and values. Not just fascist ones. There’s an important distinction between fascism and Nazism. Fascism is an abstraction, a project of teaching the true of faith and pure of blood that they’re the long-suffering chosen people, wrongly persecuted by hated minorities, and all they have to do is violently attack those minorities to reclaim their status as ubermen. Nazism is when all that begins to happen in the real world.

    And that is what is happening in America right now. America is seeing the transition from fascism to Nazism. The Republicans have become something very much like an emerging Nazi party. Again, let’s go through the evidence. They have Nazi values — they promote and incite violence. They are building Nazi institutions — a new era of Jim Crow, which turns minorities into second class citizens, if that, vigilante justice laws that leave any woman or minority at the mercy of any man who’s pure and true. I could go on. The GOP is the closest thing that the rich world has to a Nazi Party by a very, very long way, and it’s eerily close right now to the Nazi Party as it was maturing.

    What institutions will it build next? Well, you can see them in plain sight. Brownshirts. SS’s. Gestapos. All the shooters to be inspired by the exoneration of the others — will they become “Congressional interns,” too? More likely, they’ll form the youth wing of an American SS. Think about what happened in Nazi Germany. There, too, extrajudicial assassinations of hated minorities were key to the rise of fascism. Beat a Jew, punch a Jew, shoot a Jew. And those performing this violence? They weren’t punished. They were rewarded. With official titles. They were made “obersturmfuhrers” and whatnot, little SS leaders in every town. The most violent bully was made the overseer, whose job it was to enforce Nazi ideology and conduct.

    Let me put that to you a slightly different way. What happens as the killings, inspired by the most recent ones, multiply? Will there be justice for those? Of course not — there wasn’t justice for this one. The precedent has been set. And that means that a certain dynamic is now starting to occur: institutional construction through violence.

    What that strange turn of phrase means, simply, is that the most violent and bloodthirsty rise to the top. That is one of the primary mechanisms of Nazism. We can now see it clearly at work in Republicans, too. The moderates have been pushed out, with a jeer. They’re not bloodthirsty enough, not extreme enough. They’re too peaceful, too middle of the road. In their place has risen a new wave of fanatical GOP leaders. And each is more openly bloodthirsty than the last. They’ve gone from intimidation and harassment to open death threats.

    Hence, that is what their base has done, too. It’s not just the shooters you should be worried about. It’s the fact that average Republicans are now issuing death threats to teachers, principals, municipal officials. Again, not normal. And different. Republicans even a decade or two or three didn’t do this. This is new. This is Nazism.

    This is an entire political side united in a new — or very old — politics. Democracy is inconsequential. Any opposition is to be annihilated. As violently as possible. Take a look at today’s shooters. Now look at the average Republican sending death threats to teachers. How long is it before one becomes the other?

    Now look at the leadership. They’re not tamping all this down — they’re inciting it. There’s no sense that this is wrong, too much, too far. The only sense is that this isn’t nearly far enough. Ha-ha, my death threat was just a joke. Wink wink, nudge nudge. Any surprise teachers and local officials are getting death threats, too? They’re looking at their leaders, the leaders of their tribe, who are doing just the same thing. They feel vindicated, thrilled, exonerated, licensed.

    This is profoundly, profoundly abnormal. All this, together? This is Nazism. The actual and real thing. When there is a political side for whom violence is not just OK, but desirable, which craves extreme forms of violence, openly, aggressively? When all that is incited from the top? When the most violent are selected for the rewards of power and position — not punished? When that violence is targeted at those who are considered subhumans, and those on the side of the subhumans? The ones who have “stolen” the country — and the election — from the true of faith and the pure of blood?

    That’s Nazism.

    It’s not just fascism anymore. It’s not some abstract pseudo philosophical discussion — a ludicrous one — about how oppressed our race is, or how they took everything from us, or how they’re out to get us, and we’re the persecuted ones, even though we’re really the chosen ones. It’s not some kind of theory or paradigm anymore. It is Nazism in the real world. It is the construction of fascist politics, norms, values, expressions, and desires — which is Nazism.

    Let me say it again. The rising tide of violence on the American right is Nazism. Once, I might have said “the hard right.” But there is no more soft right anymore, is there? The hard right is the only right, and it’s hard in the sense that it wants to use an iron fist to eliminate any opposition. To what? To its dream of an ethnically purified supremacist state. Which is what all those Jim Crow and vigilante laws — not to mention the overt hate — are about.

    So how far away is a Final Solution? You begin to see why I shudder. Let me sum up those dismal trends. One, the Republican base has been fully radicalised: they accept, even crave violence, supremacy, and annhilation, and abjure and reject democracy, equality and peace. Two: the party leadership incites all this, rewarding the most violent, just as they were rewarded for being the most violent, pushing the moderates out, issuing death threats, and so forth. Three: together, all this is the emergence of proper Nazism.

    That brings me to my fourth dismal trend. Biden’s sinking Presidency. Biden’s doing abysmally badly. Yes, passing the infrastructure bill will shore up his waning fortunes. But how much? If history’s any guide, the answer is: not enough. It takes full blown social reconstruction plans to avert fascism — and that’s if you’re lucky. The Democrats didn’t offer one. They didn’t pursue a special justice process for Trumpism, either, like a Nuremberg Trials. Hence, today’s wave of GOP leaders are even more fanatical, because, well, who’s punishing them for transgressing deeper and deeper into the wilds of violence and hate? Nobody is.

    Biden’s Presidency will probably be a failed one. I don’t want it to be, but the economist in me has a bad feeling that history is not a kind mistress. It’s hard to see how at this juncture a half-baked not much of a social agenda can stem the growing tide of violence and hate in America.

    Put all that together, and what do you have? A very, very bleak picture. America’s heading into a perfect storm of fascism. The liberals didn’t punish the fascists. The fascist became Nazis. The Nazis taught their base to become little Nazis, too. Violence and hate spread from abstract ideological goals, to real ones pursued by average people with machine guns and death threats.

    America now appears to have a nascent Nazi side all its own — and it’s out for blood, in the most severe and frightening way, really out for blood, as in celebrating murder and cheering on bloodshed. A society cannot often come back from that. First, it has to melt down into a ritualised mania of mass violence. A Holocaust needs to happen before a society as lost as America in a frenzied mania of violence and hate regains its senses more often than not.

    Let me add one final note of caution. I have seen many societies collapse into fascism. But I have almost never, ever seen the bizarre mood, the atmosphere in America today amongst the right. The open jubilance over violence, undiluted by any moral goodness or decency or sanity. Nobody is saying stop, enough, this isn’t right. A genuine social mania for blood and violence is taking hold.

    Hence, something truly frightening and spectacular is happening: there’s a kind of intensifying pure unadulterated glee over killing and death that is spreading like a raging wildfire amongst the American right today. It’s like the American right has become one giant lynch mob, baying for retribution, each cry for blood and pain reinforcing and accelerating the mania of the next one. It is something that is rare — and terrifying to behold: a social scale mania for extreme violence.

    That is something startling and frightening and deeply, deeply abnormal, even amongst us observers of social collapse. Even we rarely see something like this happen during social collapses. The toxic dynamic between leadership and base — one incites, the other believes, and so on — is leading to a runaway mania for collective violence. This is really, really, bad and scary and horrific. Red America’s runaway mania for collective violence, which ignited on Jan 6th, is growing too fast and hard to be contained. It is going off the charts.

    I can only say that you should probably begin to prepare for the worst, because even in the most hardcore social collapses that I’ve seen, there was some semblance of sanity and dignity retained among the fascist right, some restraint, some limit.
    In America right now? There’s none. If you ask me, there couldn’t possibly be a worse omen than that.

    Umair
    November 2021

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    "But again, that’s not remotely normal. Because when you carry a machine gun in a democracy, something has gone badly wrong. With you. You are saying that you don’t believe in consent or equality or peace. You will use force to get your way if necessary, and you believe that anyone standing in your way is a subhuman, who deserves a bullet, not a human being, with the same rights and freedoms as you."
    So true.

    When Force Meets Power: The Inevitable Collapse of the New World Order

    "Power supports life – it uplifts, dignifies and sustains. It gives us energy and vitality. It is whole and complete, requiring nothing from outside. Power is associated with compassion, love and unity. Power promotes creativity, healing and positive feelings. Power allows us to create positive change in order to more fully express our collective divinity.

    In the absence of power, change must be effected through force.

    Whereas power stands on its own, without the need to move against anything at all, force always moves against something. Force is fragmented and therefore has to be fed energy constantly. Force consumes whereas power creates. While force requires sustained input, power acts without effort.

    Newton’s third law teaches us that force always creates counterforce and therefore it is limited by definition. While force must struggle against opposition, power stands still. Power effects change through its own field of influence, without the need to expend energy.

    Force is associated with friction and conflict. This point is perhaps best explained by Dr. David Hawkins himself:"

    "Force always creates counterforce; its effect is to polarize rather than unify. Polarization always implies conflict; its cost, therefore, is always high. Because force incites polarization, it inevitably produces a win/lose dichotomy; and because somebody always loses, enemies are created. Constantly faced with enemies, force requires constant defense. Defensiveness is invariably costly, whether in the marketplace, politics, or international affairs."

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    fork, i lost my post ...

    bottom line: The Republican elite is deathly afraid of its own rank-and-file. It is a fear that has been growing long before Trump, the Psychopath in Chief gave all those licensed gun holders license to use them. Fox news has no turning back point. That's weird, or abnormal as the above author stated quite insistently. But what does that actually mean?

    It seems we have reached a point in history where the future is obvious AND it doesn't include conservative values, I won't call them conservative lack of values because traditionally the right believed in what they spouted. More history, more evidence, and more reality have shown them how foolish their beliefs are. But they aren't willing to let them go, no, they will take everything with them if that is what is required to maintain the comfortable and even essential double-bind perception of their world. The reality is even more stark though, there is no future for conservative beliefs.
    “To seek self-knowledge is to embark on a journey which ... will always be incomplete" - courtesy of Godel's Incompleteness Theorem

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    What I would really like to know, especially if you are on the ground, whether the danger of a genuine Nazi takeover is real?

    I know Kunstler has been writing about Corn-Pone Nazis for decades, but it seems that in many ways he has actually joined their ranks, and he is a liberal Jew from New York...

    In my neck of the woods, the decades after the collapse of communism saw the emergence of some genuine Nazi / Fascist movements, one of them (Jobbik) was the second most popular party at some point, after Fidesz, which itself is pretty hard-right, at least in terms of rhetoric. However, improving living standards since we joined the EU seem to have put a lid on these sort of extremist movements as people are too busy getting on with their lives.

    The US (and the UK) however, has seen falling living standards for the general population, at least since 2008, but in actuality, probably ever since the seventies, when worker's shares of national income started to decline precipitously and real incomes haven't kept pace with inflation, especially in areas like real estate, higher education and healthcare.

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    Quote Originally posted by Chris View Post
    What I would really like to know, especially if you are on the ground, whether the danger of a genuine Nazi takeover is real?

    I know Kunstler has been writing about Corn-Pone Nazis for decades, but it seems that in many ways he has actually joined their ranks, and he is a liberal Jew from New York...

    In my neck of the woods, the decades after the collapse of communism saw the emergence of some genuine Nazi / Fascist movements, one of them (Jobbik) was the second most popular party at some point, after Fidesz, which itself is pretty hard-right, at least in terms of rhetoric. However, improving living standards since we joined the EU seem to have put a lid on these sort of extremist movements as people are too busy getting on with their lives.

    The US (and the UK) however, has seen falling living standards for the general population, at least since 2008, but in actuality, probably ever since the seventies, when worker's shares of national income started to decline precipitously and real incomes haven't kept pace with inflation, especially in areas like real estate, higher education and healthcare.
    A takeover is very unlikely, civil war is a more real possibility in my opinion. Even with AR-15's, 30-40 percent of the civilian population won't hack it. The breaking point for Democracy applies to the left as well, pushed far enough they will let go and fight, but that point is a further step for the left than it is for the right. A more relevant question might be how much damage can be done before and after that point.

    During the 60's and 70's there was a radical group called "The Symbionese Liberation Army". Their swan song was an attack by military helicopters and their house burning to the ground. End of movement.
    “To seek self-knowledge is to embark on a journey which ... will always be incomplete" - courtesy of Godel's Incompleteness Theorem

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    Quote Originally posted by BeastOfBologna View Post
    A takeover is very unlikely, civil war is a more real possibility in my opinion. Even with AR-15's, 30-40 percent of the civilian population won't hack it. The breaking point for Democracy applies to the left as well, pushed far enough they will let go and fight, but that point is a further step for the left than it is for the right. A more relevant question might be how much damage can be done before and after that point.

    During the 60's and 70's there was a radical group called "The Symbionese Liberation Army". Their swan song was an attack by military helicopters and their house burning to the ground. End of movement.
    Further, Nazism versus authoritarianism is also closer to American zeitgeist, American right are authoritarians by temperament not Nazis. Demographically the U.S. doesn't support a Nazi movement. There are plenty of 'others' that can match the insanity of the 'tough white guys'. It is possible to also venture that after centuries of mistreatment 'others' have a plethora of psychopaths to carry their own side of the effort. The military is the balance. How much of the military can be coerced to forego democratic freedom in favor of authoritarianism, autocratic rule. Some but in my estimation not enough, military leaders have been born and bred on the concept of American freedom and reluctantly they know that includes the 'others'. They will stay and fight on the side of true American nationalism.

    But then I just heard that Biden is telling associates he will run again in 2024? Damn near anything is possible it seems.
    “To seek self-knowledge is to embark on a journey which ... will always be incomplete" - courtesy of Godel's Incompleteness Theorem

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    Quote Originally posted by BeastOfBologna View Post
    Further, Nazism versus authoritarianism is also closer to American zeitgeist, American right are authoritarians by temperament not Nazis. Demographically the U.S. doesn't support a Nazi movement. There are plenty of 'others' that can match the insanity of the 'tough white guys'. It is possible to also venture that after centuries of mistreatment 'others' have a plethora of psychopaths to carry their own side of the effort. The military is the balance. How much of the military can be coerced to forego democratic freedom in favor of authoritarianism, autocratic rule. Some but in my estimation not enough, military leaders have been born and bred on the concept of American freedom and reluctantly they know that includes the 'others'. They will stay and fight on the side of true American nationalism.

    But then I just heard that Biden is telling associates he will run again in 2024? Damn near anything is possible it seems.
    e.g.: Unverified information: This guy was fleeing from a knife fight when he plowed into a crowd of children:

    Darrel E. Brooks:
    In 2019, he wrote, “in kase yall dnt know how f***ed up my xity is… I got ties ta Detroit my dad whole family frm the D,nd Iwas born nd grew up in Milwaukee,who aint frm the trenches???”
    “To seek self-knowledge is to embark on a journey which ... will always be incomplete" - courtesy of Godel's Incompleteness Theorem

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  25. #1003
    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    How much do you know about the history of race and racism in the US, Chris? We're in the midst of a storm of denial right now.
    Back in the day folks would complain about not being able to say N****r. I've heard people call into C-SPAN about wanting to live somewhere where 'those people' don't live. (If you don't know what C-SPAN is, look it up).
    Now we have folks pretending slave ships weren't slave ships.
    Let's just re-write history and pretend all the nastiness is just 'fake news'. Yeah, that's the ticket. It'll make everything A-OK!

    Not.

    Denial and repeating lies over and over again is a standard feature of many regimes. But not Democracy, be it capital or social. It's a very different sort of regime which lives on lies and deaths of fellow citizens.


    The reaction to the Rittenhouse verdict from, for example, Proud Boys was to go get more guns. He got off. Time for war!
    Wait, what? Oh right, it doesn't really matter what the verdict was. They want violence anyway. It's called bloodlust.

    "...expressed no condolence for the victims — which the judge wouldn’t even allow to be called victims. Instead, they openly celebrated killing and death."
    There's a reason people are calling it a death cult. I've been hearing this term for many months now.

    "There was a period, at least, between civil rights and Trumpism, where violence was not acceptable amongst Republicans."
    That would be when my parents were raising me. Exactly. They were Republicans. And they are currently churning in their urns and would be appalled at the current iteration of the party which they were very proud to be part of.

    "— because that is the new norm that’s emerged amongst their tribe. If you don’t think that way, then you’re not really one of them, it seems." True that.
    Paul Gosar tweeted an mocked up anime of himself murdering a colleague and then the President. Republicans said nothing. The House, under Democrat leadership, removed him from committees.

    Republicans, instead, wanted to punish the handful who voted for the infrastructure bill. They don't car about death threats, but when Republicans actually do their job and vote for a bill they must be punished!!! How dare they help a Democrat in any way??!!!
    Death threats in the form of cartoon? Meh...

    Liz Cheney has now been cancelled as a Republican in Wyoming. Because she won't march in lockstep with Dear Leader.

    But again, that’s not remotely normal. Because when you carry a machine gun in a democracy, something has gone badly wrong. With you. You are saying that you don’t believe in consent or equality or peace. You will use force to get your way if necessary, and you believe that anyone standing in your way is a subhuman, who deserves a bullet, not a human being, with the same rights and freedoms as you.
    It's entitlement. When the Proud Boys left their rally, they just jumped the emergency barriers in the metro. Why bother paying? What are the security guards going to do? Who gives a f*(k? Rules? Screw 'em!

    "... a project of teaching the true of faith and pure of blood that they’re the long-suffering chosen people..." Some folks not getting vaccines are now calling themselves 'pure bloods'. It's part of the same dynamic.

    " But I have almost never, ever seen the bizarre mood, the atmosphere in America today amongst the right. " It's because they're in denial. They'll be in denial until they die from it, just like all the dead folks who wouldn't get vaccinated because they didn't believe there was even a virus. They blame the hospitals, they blame the liberals, they blame God.

    Denial is deadly. I watched it kill my mom.



    Once again, for the umpteenth time, I'll just quote my brother from back in the Gingrich years,

    "The truth doesn't matter. You just say something over and over again and people believe it. That's how you get the votes. That's where the power is. The truth doesn't matter."

    He was proudly displaying the early steps.

    The constant creation of bogeymen to be angry about has created an addiction. Now the bogeymen are other Americans.

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    Thanks all for your thoughts.

    I do know about the history of American racism. I always thought that the US doesn't have a genuine social safety net, a Federal Health Service (like the one the UK used to have, until the Tories started ripping it apart), free higher education, sensible gun laws, etc... precisely because of that legacy. The majority of white people simply don't want it and they don't want to share their prosperity with minorities.

    I do agree, that some sort of civil war is perhaps a possibility, though I think it will take the form of a fascist coup actually. I'm sorry to say this, but weed-smoking, suburban soy-boys raised on video games won't stand a chance against machine-gun toting militia members high on meth, which is btw the exact same drug Nazi shock troops, and latterly Islamic State fights were high on.

    I imagine, if it happens, and hopefully it can still be averted, it will be a lot like what is depicted in Handmaid's tale, what happened recently in Afghanistan, or when the actual Nazis took over in Weimar Germany.

    Anyways, for years now, I thought that Far-Left politics was the bigger threat, but there is now a crucial divide, in that the Far Left only use words and shaming (cancellation) to silence its opponents, but the far-right started using actual violence, which is exactly how it was in the Weimar Republic, so ultimately a far-right coup is likely to succeed, as it almost did on January 6.

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  29. #1005
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    Quote Originally posted by Chris View Post
    Thanks all for your thoughts.

    I do know about the history of American racism. I always thought that the US doesn't have a genuine social safety net, a Federal Health Service (like the one the UK used to have, until the Tories started ripping it apart), free higher education, sensible gun laws, etc... precisely because of that legacy. The majority of white people simply don't want it and they don't want to share their prosperity with minorities.

    I do agree, that some sort of civil war is perhaps a possibility, though I think it will take the form of a fascist coup actually. I'm sorry to say this, but weed-smoking, suburban soy-boys raised on video games won't stand a chance against machine-gun toting militia members high on meth, which is btw the exact same drug Nazi shock troops, and latterly Islamic State fights were high on.

    I imagine, if it happens, and hopefully it can still be averted, it will be a lot like what is depicted in Handmaid's tale, what happened recently in Afghanistan, or when the actual Nazis took over in Weimar Germany.

    Anyways, for years now, I thought that Far-Left politics was the bigger threat, but there is now a crucial divide, in that the Far Left only use words and shaming (cancellation) to silence its opponents, but the far-right started using actual violence, which is exactly how it was in the Weimar Republic, so ultimately a far-right coup is likely to succeed, as it almost did on January 6.
    I agree with your thoughts with some reservations. I've never met a tough guy that didn't have his ass kicked immediately by an athlete ... true story. Tough guy athletes are a bit of an anomaly, they usually aren't because they don't need to adapt that persona to feel manly. A lot of tough guys are just marshmallow sissies. But then I've met 'other' tough guys that it is best to keep one's distance from. I think Rittenhouse would be a classic example of some nondescript tough guy that intends to clean up any one horse town where he happens to be Sheriff. As El Cid would say, "I don't think so, Tim."

    In the 1980's I listened to an American reporter interview some Afghani fighters literally from a cave. The fighter said, he was mean enough so that all that he needed was his hashish to motivate him. Translated to English by subtitle.
    “To seek self-knowledge is to embark on a journey which ... will always be incomplete" - courtesy of Godel's Incompleteness Theorem

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