I spent decades of my life living on east and west coasts, plus Jackson Hole. In none of these places was I a member of the “the elite,” though there were times when I found myself rubbing shoulders.
When I moved to Indiana, everybody I knew was flummoxed. “Huh? Indiana????!” They might as well have said, “But that’s a flyover state.”
Given my own experience, which includes profoundly changing my own lifestyle in recognition of the limits of (material) growth to which we are already being subjected, I found myself nodding in agreement with just about everything this author has to say.
The transition we find ourselves in, into an era as profoundly different as it will be from the one that preceded it, can only possibly be chaotic. Smooth is not an option. Because it takes much time for people to recognize let alone accept that there is such a transition to begin with, and not everyone acknowledges or accepts it at the same time. Many never will at all, they will be left behind in their own realities tied down by the chains of what once was.
This transition is the one away from economic growth and globalization -centralization in general- and towards smaller, less centered and grandiose, politics and markets. It is not an idealistic transition towards self-sufficiency, it’s simply and inevitably what’s left once unfettered growth hits the skids. It doesn’t have to be anywhere near as bad as people would have you believe, or at least not necessarily so. What could make it real bad, though, is the widespread resistance and denial which seem certain to meet it.
Our entire world views and ‘philosophies’ are based on ever more and ever bigger and then some, and our entire economies are built upon it. That has already made us ignore the decline of our real markets for many years now. We focus on data about stock markets and the like, and ignore the demise of our respective heartlands and flyover countries, even as we experience Brexit and Trump and similar movements set to come to many more countries.
Donald Trump looks very much like the ideal fit for this transition – but nor because he understands the issue itself, or its implications. What matters is he promises to bring back jobs to America, and that’s what the country needs. Not so they can then export their products, but to consume them at home, and sell them in the domestic market.
That is the future of the world post-growth, and post-globalization. Every country and every society needs to focus on self-reliance, not as some idealistic luxury choice, but as a necessity. And that is not as bad or terrible as people would have you believe, and it’s not the end of the world. What would be terrible is if all we do is try and restart growth and globalization, because that would be a hideous waste of time and resources.
You’ll be flooded in the years to come, even more than today if you can imagine, with terms like protectionism and isolationism and even populism, but ignore all that. There’s nothing economically -let alone morally- wrong with people producing what they and their families and close neighbors themselves want and need without hauling it halfway around the world for a meagre profit, handing over control of their societies to strangers in the process.
There’s nothing wrong or negative with an American buying products made in America instead of in China. At least not for the man in the street. It’s not a threat to our ‘open societies’, as many claim. That openness does not depend on having things shipped to your stores over 1000s of miles, that you could have made yourselves at a potentially huge benefit to your local economy. An ‘open society’ is a state of mind, be it collective or personal. It’s not something that’s for sale.
Meanwhile, shapeshifting Trump has already begun to morph from wild man to “presidential.” See his interview with Leslie Stahl on 60 minutes.
Right on schedule, the MSM media begins to “normalize” the man.
We in the western capitalist world are used to shapeshifting. Not the kind that shamans do; the kind that salesmen do. I prefer the former. And so once again, as throughout this personal Pre- and Post-Election series, let’s turn from the titillating culture of Corruption to the persevering culture of Conscience.
The following essay was written by Robert Borsocchini, who traveled to Standing Rock as a journalist with washingtonsblog, and managed to do what I would have attempted had I been able to go myself: investigate the feel and tone of the place and its peoples, their culture and relationships, with photos. I devoured the entire piece last night, even though it is longer than usual, and marveled. His writing put me right there, in the midst of this ongoing, ceremonial and nonviolent encampment that holds somewhere between 300 and 500 tribes, plus non-Native guests.
all the way through this piece.
Red Ice Radio, Cliff HIgh, on jhaines6: terrific on epistemology