Part of me wonders if we’re in a world war, the problem being that it’s not between countries, but more like one giant civil war.
I don’t mean to be dark, but…
We’re in a giant pogrom.
There are a small number of people with a lot of power, intent on consolidating what they have and grasping more.
They’ve created, and are further elaborating, a series of cultural, and political structures that explain the results of their abuse of power as caused by outside forces. If you want to get what I mean, go start paying attention to how often rightists talk about “lack of gratitude” as the primary failing of the poor, the young, and the vocally critical…and how all other social ills emanate from a “lack of gratitude.” The subtext is: there are authority figures that must be supplicated, and that is the natural order. Indeed, there’s a utilitarian argument wedded to a sense of natural hierarchy: the greatest good comes from letting the people who already have power continue to have power unquestioned. Some make this argument cynically, others actually believe it. Most, though, rehearse that it is true and attempt to shut down doubts…both their own and those of others.
Previously it was to use whataboutism and talk about gaps in the system: people starve worldwide under capitalism because logistics, we can’t do it all…not because markets will not give what it think it can sell or write off. For a long time, they’ve used the cultural value of self-directed charity to individualize the same problems: well, regular people don’t give enough, so people starve, pay no attention to the vast pools of capital and resources who could give.
You can see these two things: whataboutism and individualization…used as rhetorical “outs” in every single issue that faces nations and the planet as a whole, precisely to deflect attention away from the people who have an outsize part of the blame (because they have all the power) and would pay an outsize part of a “fair” distributed cost to solve any of these problems.
All the while, they’ve created an financial and political system in which their capital can freely move, evading penalties and taxation that are hard manifestation of participation in the general welfare. They sponge off the successes of society at large, but believe that it is offensive that they called to see other society members as equal in dignity. They are happy to participate in ways that reinforce their sense of inherent worth: charity, so long as gratitude is performed. And they’re accelerating their sponging as they go along.
Thing is, shit’s getting worse for everyone else, since even the “good” plans to fix real problems implicitly include the proviso “…but we won’t acknowledge that all the capital and power we have means we have the power to fix it, because we cannot be the problem and what we have is ours and not for sharing.” The indices of desperation are rising, the criticisms getting louder.
We have watched rich people create counterfeit entire social structures to control criticism:
- declare the axiom of their right to continuing power
- reassert the inherent morality of their accumulation of power.
- invalidate criticism
- shift blame
Which is why we have fake science done by real scientists in real institutes that assemble journals that look like they’re legit. Which is why we have demonstrably-inaccurate economics taught, and why religions suddenly have new powerful denominations that praise power and money. Give a choice between any standard of “truth” that could lead to criticism, or authority and power that could check theirs, the powerful have chosen to subvert all truth entirely. If these people wore crowns, they would be recognizable as the kind of fool kings that appoint advisors that feed just their hubris and venality.
But now we’re at the point where alarms are going off, shit is still getting worse, and the desperation is screaming high.
So they’re going to do what kings used to do: kill critics to deal with specific criticisms and create scapegoats to fend off general antagonism.
We’re seeing worldwide is the latter.