Sunday, March 24, 2019

Denial: The River of No Return

Recent events started me thinking about the level of insanity that makes up much of today’s political discourse. Sure, politics has always been a little bit crazy, but in today’s politics, the crazy is off the charts. What’s worse is that on those very rare occasions when the crazy lets up, the stupid takes over, thus ensuring that the assault on those-who-are-not-the-elite continues uninterrupted and unabated 24/7. Relentless bullshit, in other words, most of it from Republicans. That's not to say that Democrats haven't dished their share.

No one can legitimately deny that we live in troubled times, or that ours is an overburdened planet in imminent danger of environmental breakdown and, on multiple fronts, ecosystems collapse. Day by day, our environment becomes more toxic and less able to support a broad diversity of life; numerous species face extinction. Day by day, our politics becomes more about corporate profits and less about the needs and well-being of we, the people. Day by day, our political leaders, at the behest of corporations, drag us ever deeper into a dystopian nightmare.

Unfortunately, too many of us live in willful and open denial of the foregoing facts and thus impede the implementation of rational programs and policies that would help humanity avert the long-predicted environmental and social catastrophes that loom nearer every day.

While most people agree that humanity faces difficult times ahead, few agree about the sources of those difficulties, and fewer still agree on possible remedies, or even if there are remedies. Experience shows us that before you can fix a problem, you must first understand the problem. Too many of our elected leaders lack the imagination, vision, courage and integrity needed to move us away from the capitalist paradigm and toward a more inclusive system that rewards individual effort rather than individual wealth.

 Increasingly, the U.S. is a country in economic, political and social disarray; its economic problems are intractable―absent radical change―and the good times like those we enjoyed in the middle third of the twentieth century are never coming back. The choices now are to abandon capitalism and change to an entirely different economic model to save people and the environment, or engineer a die-off of 4/5ths of the global population to save capitalism. A third choice--the least desirable of all--is to maintain the status quo and continue on with business-as-usual, in which case it all comes crashing down in the not too distant future as a prelude to a major extinction event.