Welcome to the Echo Chamber.
Society is dividing itself into self-selected bubbles of agreement. If what is being agreed on has any basis in reality or any resemblance to a good idea is passé. All that matters is finding a bubble that will not intellectually or morally challenge our beliefs and then attack the other bubbles.
Two nights ago Trump gave what was essentially a campaign speech at a rally in Phoenix. The social media comments were enlightening – 95% of the comments were nothing more than confirmation bias. The very few people who attempted to give honest objective analysis were attacked by the Trumpsters for being sell-outs or liberals and attacked by the Democrats for being racist and haters. This is what our society has been reduced to.
Society is much more interested in yelling about how the other bubble is populated by sub-humans than it is attempting to determine what is true or not true – let alone what might be a good idea and what might be a terrible idea. Rational thinking using facts and other such out dated practices is the true enemy of those in their chosen bubbles.
If you live long enough and pay attention you notice things. You notice that people such as James Kunstler, who became a Democrat in 1972, is disowned by the modern Democrat Party for pointing out that their policies amount to not much more than a wealth transfer to the 1%. You notice that people such as Charles Hugh Smith, who has been a Progressive for longer than most of these current ‘Progressives’ have been alive, is disowned by the modern Progressives for pointing out that the policies the modern Progressives have adopted and propose are nothing more than a wealth transfer to the 1%. That the policies are nothing more than massive wealth transfers to the very richest people is not factually in dispute. The dispute – and why these folks have been disowned – is that they bother to point out the facts. People in the bubbles do not wish to be intellectually or morally challenged by facts.
Many Republicans have been disowned for pointing out the indisputable truth that Trump has no more interest in following the constitution than Obama had in following the constitution. Adopting the stance that Trump will be supported when he does the right thing and opposed when he does the wrong thing – which seems to me to be an entirely rational position to adopt – will result in being branded a traitor and often threatened by the Trumpsters. Once again – the bubble cannot accept being morally and intellectually challenged.
Perhaps the only thing most people now agree on is the universal uselessness of a GOP congress and that Democrats would be even worse.
The interesting thing about a fact-based society is that one does have to agree on what to do in regard to those facts in order to find comity. There can be no comity when each bubble is spinning its’ own fantasies and mythologies and facts are no longer relevant. The fantasies and mythologies are typically justified with false equivalencies and false dichotomies – which often revolve around the ‘other’ bubble being subhuman in some respect. That being said – there are few ideas in human history as colossally bad as socialism – be that in its’ National Socialist form, Bolshevik form, or anything other form ever adopted. Socialism is universally a bad idea because socialism relies exclusively on force.
This new term, ‘Democratic Socialism’, is the very definition of ambiguity. When ask how ‘Democratic Socialism’ differs from Hitler, Castro, Stalin or Mussolini the most common answer is along the lines of “We are not racist.” Well, most people are not racist so that does not differentiate it from anything else. That proclaiming “We are not racist” is viewed as a difference in comparison to other socialist systems tells you much about the history of socialism. Furthermore, being ‘not racist’ hardly defines an economic system. Asking ‘Democratic Socialist’ questions about economics and how things would be done under their proposed system will almost inevitably get one branded a racist – because people are in the bubble in order to avoid being intellectually or morally challenged.
Socialism is inevitably a wealth transfer scheme to enrich the elites and impoverish everyone else. The ‘Democratic Socialist’ cannot explain how what they propose will be any different.
I have often remarked that I do not think Trump has the personality or skill set to do what needs to be done. In many ways Trump inherited a dump truck load of manure from Obama. It appears he wants to hand that dump truck off to his successor – in other words there are many hard problems that Trump declines to address. Obama owns what he left Trump, Trump owns what he will do with it.
That this is the reality of the situation has nothing to do with the politics of the situation. The politics are that Trump and his followers are racist and that socialism is better than racism so vote for socialist.
I doubt those politics will fly very far – but the political paradigm of the last forty years is dead. What the new paradigm will be will not be known until we escape the collective insanity.