Keywords: Overload, Ideology, Cognitive Dissonance, Dunning-Kruger, Future Shock, Politics, Corruption, Sponsorship, Conflict of Interest, Neo-liberalism, Austerity, Collapse, Capitalism, Futurology, Short-term thinking, Superstition, Incompetence, Populism
A critical component of the world as it exists in the early 21st century is that it is effectively escaping control at every point. This idea that reality transcend politics is not new – is is effectively an ideological anti-thesis to the utopian idealism of 20th century, i.e. futurism, national socialism, communism. Around the 1980s certain right wing elements in western democracies started to increasingly emphasize abstractions of personal freedom, emphasizing the importance of market-driven decision making. These politicians, of which Thatcher and Reagan were the most prominent, were expressing an opinion and postulating it as being something real. Right now many of these fairly arbitrary and self-serving talking points of this “Neo-Liberal” ideology are still being repeated verbatim, as “market fundamentalism”. Politicians claim there is not viable alternative to “letting ruthless supply and demand” mechanisms sort it all out.
I will claim today that this political response from the right has two reasons.
First – politicians no longer have a clue they can guarantee voters anything. A significant percentage of right wing politicians is starting to take democracy itself with a grain of salt, and would rather prefer a significantly curtailed electoral freedom. This of course benefits people who have particularly in-demand talents or significant financial investments. Those who own things in the world increasingly benefit from these investments under laissez-faire capitalism and diminished legal oversight.
Second – an increasing number of politicians, and this includes politicians on the left are throwing up their hands at the implications of an increasingly unmanageable and faster changing world. Politicians of any stripe find themselves unable to implement regulations fast enough to catch up with changing reality.
Politicians are visibly in a crisis of adequate modelling and understanding of the near future.
That does not mean there aren’t any halfway adequate models for describing the near future. There are many very good analysis for prediction, but increasingly futurology is coming up with descriptive narratives that completely transcend available tools any politician has. The world sees a rapid emergence of technologies and societal models (of which lateral warfare is one manifestation) that mostly transcend the coping mechanisms of existing city states.
To make it more difficult, a lot of politicians (especially in the United States) are governing in a non-fact based manner. I wouldn’t want to disparage organized religions too much, but the reality is that religious thinking, magical thinking, end-times thinking, dominionism and crass superstition makes politicians less capable of fully accepting the factual world around them.
So what does a politician do? When at a loss what to do accept money and favors from corporate sponsors. And that’s precisely what we are seeing world wide right now.
* Zero Hedge
* Peak Prosperity Chrash Course
* Max Keiser
* Mark Blyth: Austerity – The History of a Dangerous Idea
* Climate change may increase violence, study shows
* Guardian (…) Pentagon bracing for public dissent over climate and energy shocks
* Pentagon instructs Bush how bad climate change will be
* How Christian Delusions Are Driving the GOP Insane