Saturday, January 28, 2017

A Hurricane is Coming. . .

I haven't blogged since Trump lost the vote but won the election. Like many people, I have been disheartened. But I have been disheartened before, and I had very little faith in humanity to begin with. But at this point it all seems so absurd, so surreal, that blogging seems to me almost silly. I know intellectually that it is important to continue the fight, to maintain the struggle, particularly in the face of these terrible developments. But I am having trouble getting the gumption to keep thinking about it or even considering doing anything. I suppose it is because I feel like we are in a historical eddy, the kind of backwash that occurs every few generations, driven by fear of a changing world, in which the worst kinds of human emotions come to the fore and the barbaric philistines try to take us back in history using hate and anger to inspire their troops. The pessimist in me suggests that there is really not much we can do. I look back to Nixon as an example. Nixon was a horrible, profoundly corrupt and damaged human being. But for all the anti-war, and anti-Nixon efforts on the part of activists, what brought Nixon down was his own misdeeds, an informant, and two investigative reporters. And I suspect that the only way that Trump will fall is basically in the same manner. Frankly, it is difficult to imagine that someone with Trump's childlike lack of impulse control, someone with such a selfish and corrupt nature, can maintain himself in the position of president for very long without something going drastically wrong. And someone with Trump's self-centred manner is really not the type to inspire loyalty, so the rise of informants is pretty easy to imagine.

But, obviously there is something much bigger at stake here than Trump. All over the world, people are succumbing to their worst instincts and turning toward the dark side, so to speak. And if we are going to avoid an apocalypse and save civilization from people like Putin, Erdogan, Durerte, Paul Ryan, Marine Le Pen, Geert Wilders, Modi and others, we are going to have to work hard because, make no mistake, these people are determined to destroy everything with hate and violence. I have no idea what form this effort to save civilization must take, but the work has got to be done. It is work that depends on the up-coming millennial generation which, I very much hope, are beginning to learn the importance of the things my generation was foolish enough to take for granted.

There is no purity in politics. At any moment in history, even the very best societies are full of terrible shortcomings. But we hold on to what is good and we fight against the bad. It is the way it has always been done. The US was a nation born out of terrible crimes against humanity, slavery and genocide. And it has continued that blood-letting and ruthlessness throughout its history. But it is also a nation that has brought us remarkable people and ideas. And all the other nations of the world have their own dark-spots as well as inspirational individuals and notions. Of course, we are now facing potential extinction as a result of the new generation of dictators and rightwingers, people who have nuclear weapons and seem to have no intention of stopping climate change.

But, on the good side, the rise of these ruthless and horrible men and women, is a sure sign that they and their followers are deathly frightened. They know that society, and particularly the upcoming generation is more liberal than ever before, and over the past ten years or so the neo-liberal model of economic control has begun to falter and implode. Even in traditionally conservative and orthodox realms such and economics, people are saying that capitalism needs to be reformed or it will be a threat to its own existence. We are, undoubtably, in a dark moment. But dictators, autocrats, haters, and those who look backwards have a remarkable way of destroying themselves. When they have a free hand, they can't help but to reveal their true intentions and desires. And when they do that it is like the antagonist in a story who has gotten too comfortable and thus slips up by revealing who they really are, and when this revelation occurs all is lost for them.

None of us want the crisis at which we are arriving. But I have a sneaking suspicion that it is the only way that many people are going to see that what Trump and his ilk really want is a ruthlessly dehumanized society where most people have nothing and the select few enjoy unbelievable wealth and decadent prosperity. My dad used to say that history has a remarkable way of turning around and bitting the powerful in the ass just when they think that they are home free. You can be active with the activists or sleeping with the sleepers, but either way, the fight isn't over, it's just beginning anew.


Owen Gray said...

Give some people enough rope, Kirby . . .

the salamander said...

.. a crisp blunt analysis.. and opinion, highly accurate, thank you. No surprise. Timely and illuminating.

First of all, don't give up re the Indy Blogging.. that's where I believe .. and via Twitter.. that history will be recorded & reflected with honesty & accuracy.. So never surrender your efforts. The history of the Trump regime will be interesting. He and his unelected appointee Steve Bannon, will create some history. I believe it will boomerang.. & the twin Benedict & Arnold - Bannon & Trump et al as well as most of their complicits and remoras will go down in the annals of American history.. This is not distant history.. its unfolding ss we watch. Where from here is uncharted waters.. the ship US of A under full sail in uncertain waters. Reckless ? To load sail in uncharted waters? That's the recipe for shipwreck.. hitting the rocks. Trump is the perfect circus fall guy.. Bannon of course, among others, will scuttle back when he came..

Mainstream media flails and shouts.. Media is now a factional or even partisan shouting match
Sean Hannity spews his views .. and so cometh Dan Rather .. to defend reality
We simply have no idea what the Trump & Bannon 'worldview' may manifest next
or who the stoutest defenders will be.. and when

Anonymous said...

'Lunatic liberals' are good at hysteria. I'll give them that. But not much good at anything else.

New Deal Democrats, however, are now free to take over the Democratic Party now that Hillary is out of the way. Thanks to Trump and American voters.

Bernie or bust, bitches! That was the play all along.


Lorne said...

Very well-said, as always, Kirby. In the midst of your pessimism, you have provided some rays of hope. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

So happy to see your return to blogging. Your writings offer much to consider. Thanks and take care - C