Humanity, indeed the entire Earth System, now experiences not merely an evolutionary transition, but a full-blown New Great Transformation, unlike anything before. Already traumatized by a history of change, we find no simple answer to the need for both individual healing and societal transformation. The current rise of hate groups, neo-fascists, and bizarre conspiracy theories in the US results from growing cultural chaos, extreme economic inequity, and loss of societal stability as the entire Earth System destabilizes.
We now experience direct catastrophic consequences of an emerging planetary and societal transformation that we must find a way to control to survive. Yet, we are culturally and emotionally unprepared even to consider the individual and collective transformation we must undertake. Some seek personal healing while others fight old political battles or create new ones that are not really that new. Reintegration of humanity with Gaia awaits, as yet unfulfilled because most of us are locked into the old paradigm of linear “progress.”
Cultural Misapprehensions and our Planetary Predicament
From the industrial revolution to the end of the industrial era that now confronts us, human detachment from our habitat and conflict with Nature have forced us into the early stages of the Anthropocene. Without unimaginable global intervention, a vortex of destruction is our fate. Yet, our illusions continue to intensify our predicament.
Central to the trajectory of the emerging transformation is a global infection of the cultural misapprehension that humans rule the Earth. Growing numbers find it convenient to believe that the cracks in our system of domination reflect some subversive evil movement to destroy ‘liberty.’ Some imaginary conspiracy threatens our personal freedom to exploit the planet that constitutes our habitat.
A key consequence of the growing destabilization of the Earth System and the increasing social disorder of the final stage of the industrial era is intense cultural stress. That results from more and more people not “fitting in” to the bifurcating political-economic disorder. Yet, our attention is diverted to blaming others for the predicament to which we all contribute.
Aggravation of Illusions
Desperate to hold on to power, the ruling elites of corporate wealth and power aggravate increasing despair and resentment and encourage hatred of “others.” Growing populations of alienated groups continue to lose their sense of a place of honor in a crumbling political order. Directed by demagogues, they lash out at conjured ‘enemies of the people.’
Presented with a supposed new political alternative to their loss of status and honor, such groups are ripe for political manipulation by the very ruling elites responsible for their losses. Scapegoating vulnerable groups seen as ‘others,’ outside traditional status of respect, such as Blacks, Hispanics, and immigrants, diverts the attention from the actual sources of suffering. Anti-democratic elites direct downwardly mobile groups and disrespected professionals such as police and the former white working industrial middle-classes to attack movements like Black Lives Matter with racist distortions.
The Anti-democratic Action of Populist Fascism
Fascists stir up fear of ‘socialism’ in order to suppress the demands of working people to participate in the rewards of their work, thereby protecting the benefits that the plutocrats gain from their greed.
That is why they fear democracy; after all, democracy realized would express the will of the people for social fairness, compassion, and economic equity.
That is precisely what just happened with the attempted post-election Trumpist sedition–it’s a fight to protect the power of the elites, though the delusional pseudo-patriots failed to notice that they are mere puppets of the super-rich who fund their insurrection.