Those of us who understand the systemic crises we face have a special responsibility to build our own emotional resilience and to be open-minded so that we can help others in our communities, who don’t have that same clarity, to navigate the craziness to come. It’s a crazy world out there, and it’s getting crazier. Don’t add to the insanity.
Adaptation will require leadership and social cohesion. Instead, America may be lurching toward further political division and violence.
Although Turchin’s piece is full of comparisons between the UK and the US, which he sees as fellow travellers, certainly when compared to France, there are significant differences between Trumpism and Brexit.
Empires are short-lived structures created and kept together by the availability of mineral resources, fossil fuels in our times. They tend to decline and fall with the decline of the resources that created them, and that’s the destiny of the current World Empire: the American one.
American coal country has seen hard days as utilities abandon coal for cheaper, less carbon-intensive natural gas and renewables. The Trump administration, trying to make good on a campaign promise to rejuvenate the coal industry, is attempting yet again to revive demand for coal by labeling coal-fired power plants as essential to national security.
For those worried about Trump, and about populism, it is not enough to mobilize a politics of protest and resistance; it is also necessary to engage in a politics of persuasion. Such a politics must begin by understanding the discontent that is roiling politics in the US and in democracies around the world.
Build a wall and deport undocumented Mexicans? How else could the United States’ (posh) way of life exist if not off the back of (indentured) Mexican labourers?
Perhaps partly in response to Trump’s and Cramer’s climate views, surveys now suggest that millions of Americans doubt Donald Trump’s existence.
“Protest” is not the only tool we have. If we take a minute to understand what’s actually going on in the heads of our opponents, and how they understand the unfolding of America’s polarization, we may be glad that we have more options.
Of all the predictions I made for the new year in my post two weeks ago, the one that seems to have stirred up the most distress and derision is my suggestion that the most likely person to be standing up there with his hand on a Bible next January, taking the oath of office as the next president of the United States, is Donald Trump.