from EudaimoniaAndCo Website
that Will Shape the Future
But among these is a new one:
Sorry... American collapse is not an anomaly - it is the very opposite:
Those trends, which I'll
discuss in this essay, have not ended - and so collapse has barely
only really begun.
Alas, when we look closely at the wave of politicians that are to turn the country around, it's all too easy to see that there is no transformative agenda that unites them - mostly, they stand for minor incremental changes, not exactly a New Bill of Rights.
And as they are elected, they will quickly meet the reality of American politics:
And so on...
The Blue Wave has
as little chance of turning America around as Houdini might actually
turning water into wine.
Today's noble Blue Wave idealist is tomorrow's capitulating Obamacrat - they must either compromise, toeing the party line, or they will quickly find themselves powerless, unheard, and invisible.
So Blue Wave or no
Blue wave - it is quite irrelevant - American political
reality means it will simply go on having little chance of gaining
working healthcare, higher education, public media, safety nets, or
retirement, because it lacks the capacity to create it - though
that is precisely what most Americans, by many measures, want.
The average American's plight is so desperate that people in other rich countries can scarcely comprehend it.
It sounds like a dystopian film, not reality...
Yet this points to my second megatrend. American incomes have been flat since the 70s - but all the while, the basics of life, all the things above, from retirement to healthcare, have grown in price.
First creeping up, and now skyrocketing. Of course, this shatters the average person economic hopes - but it makes those at the top ultra-wealthy.
So America's two great economic megatrends ,
...are likely to bite
harder as well.
And that is America's third big trend :
America yesterday was an optimistic nation - perhaps falsely so - yet still, there was the sense that eventually, life would get better for "all", as each generation outdid the last.
But now that hope is gone. Life is not getting better - it is getting worse, by the day.
Life, however you would like to define it.
American life will go on
getting harder, meaner, nastier, crueler, and more dismal in every
way - because a decent life, at least to the rest of the world,
has become an unaffordable luxury.
Well, the first thing they usually do is take it out on each other. Americans have been doing that for a long time now, so much that it is a way of life.
This is my fourth megatrend - it is an emotional one:
Americans will go on taking the bitter anger and grim despair of living in a collapsing society out on each other.
After all, they have no way not to - no mental healthcare, universal education, functioning media, or even norms of basic decency anymore.
They will go on hurting
one another in every imaginable way - destroying each other in
hard and soft ways, denying one another retirement, degrading and
bullying each other at work and school and play, refusing to invest
in the barest bits of society, walking around with machine guns,
building tomorrow's predatory systems, whether Ubers or hedge funds
- precisely because there is no way to aspire to anything better,
since the political system is broken, and the economy is
So we are likely to see a constant "tussle" between authoritarians and the comic Marco Rubio-esque charade that passes for American leadership. But I put "tussle" in quotes for a reason. Authoritarians don't need a majority - they never have, and that is foolish myth promoted by American intellectuals.
It's enough for fascists and tyrants to capture perhaps 30-40% of a nation to take over its institutions, norms, and future - because that 30% is like a wrecking ball, that can be used to intimidate, bluster, threaten, and bully (as long as the rest is split).
That fringe, lunatic 30% now controls America wholesale - not just making any kind of progress not just impossible, but demanding wholesale regress:
That is my fifth
megatrend, authoritarianism, and I am sorry to have to tell you
that it will not stop with
this President - it will
continue, gain strength, and shape America for the foreseeable
That is my sixth megatrend:
It is not just American economics, politics, society, and culture which have failed - at a deeper level, American thought has failed.
Its intellectuals cannot explain decline, its pundits predict it, its gurus understand it, or its leaders fix it. That is because American ideas became ideologies - capitalism, individualism, aggression, cruelty, rationalism, selfishness, greed - which are all obsolete now.
Perhaps they will be needed in some distant future again, though I doubt it - but right now, they are quite useless, because this age of human history demands what is truer in us, whether empathy for suffering, respect for difference, courage to stand naked, intimacy with ourselves.
But because those are
qualities that can only be nurtured, evoked, and cultivated, not
"monetized" and "captured" and bottled and manufactured, American
thought simply cannot produce them anymore than all the hedge funds,
algorithms, or stock markets in the world can produce even a glimmer
of sanity, grace, or wisdom.
Collapse is only just beginning in America...
The question is not if the broken hearts, minds, and spirits of Americans can hold back the flood - they cannot - but rather, if they can learn, at long last, to see the obvious coming, before it hits them like a freight train...