If destruction be our lot, we ourselves must be its author and finisher. Abraham Lincoln In a pair of earlier posts about Rescuing the Future, we looked at the competing delusions on offer from our mainstream political camps, and how Covid has laid waste to these fantasies, leaving us floundering and exhausted. We are mired in an almost cosmic sense of “stuckness,” a foreboding that … Continue reading Avoiding Armageddon: (1) How to circumvent the Polarization Industrial Complex
What if this ongoing fear of ‘collapse’ … is a narrative designed to quell a worse fear: that things might not collapse, but continue like this? That the Earth’s final wild frontiers may be tamed and diluted, ravaged and destroyed, and that we would not care much because we were too busy following the logic of our narrative to its endpoint, becoming our machines – … Continue reading Rescuing the Future – Part 1
Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable. Milton Friedman As I write this (Jan 2nd), there are … Continue reading After Trump: Is there any common ground?
You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. Buckminster Fuller The galloping, microscopic horseman of Covid has quickly exposed the fatal flaws in the American system, and the mixed messaging that we’re getting from our leaders cannot obscure the basic facts, which are not too complicated but profoundly terrifying nonetheless. The … Continue reading Narrowing Options
In the last couple posts (here and here), we established this general framework: our country is being artificially split into two warring factions, mainly due to our electoral machinery (winner-take-all) and the partisan media that feasts on the resulting confrontational style of politics. As economic conditions on the ground deteriorate for regular people, narrative theodicies arise to explain why things are so screwed up, and … Continue reading Setting the Table
Last time, we looked at the three-part structure of the Divided America complex: Winner-Take-All electoral machinery creating the two-party political landscape; partisan media using that duopolistic scaffolding to inflate their culture war balloons; and an economically desperate public willing to imbibe this us-versus-them story because it makes some narrative sense of why things have gone so horribly wrong. At the end of that piece, I … Continue reading Stories of Dreams
The recent events in Charlottesville, and President Trump’s seesawing responses to them, have once again thrown the issue of a divided country into high relief. As the usual tale goes, there is a Liberal America that yearns for an expanding sphere of acceptance, empowerment, and opportunity, with a full embrace of a diverse, multi-voiced future. On the other side, Conservative America desires a rebirth of … Continue reading America Divided