This is a continuation of a recent post, the centre cannot hold, and discussion of the article Collapse Is Already Here — And It’s Spreading by umair haque. The reason I follow umair’s writings is because I agree with his analysis of where we are and learn more from him. In this article he talks about the collapse of the three systems we live in.
Right now, a wave of mega-inflation is surging around the globe. It’s driven largely by climate change — and our nonexistent “response” to it. Harvests are failing, goods are getting harder and harder to distribute and ship, raw materials harder to source and attain. Inflation is going to keep rising — for the rest of our lives.
Shortages become the norm. You can see them beginning to happen in vivid, shocking detail now. Empty shelves are becoming the new normal. The age of abundance is over.
Our economies have failed. And they’re going to continue to fail.Collapse Is Already Here — And It’s Spreading. I Don’t Know If You’ve Noticed — But Our Systems are Breaking Down by umair haque, Eudaimonia, May 19, 2022
Failing social systems
Think of how many generations our economies have failed at this point.
Boomers were the last ones to really live the dream — since then, our economies have been in decline, and that decline has accelerated rapidly. Gen X had it worse than Boomers, but not so bad as to cause total despair — enough to be comical. Millennials had it worse than Gen X — and they can’t afford to move out of their parents’ homes, or start families, so birth rates are declining. Zoomers have it far, far worse than Millennials — they’ll never be able to retire, they can’t get decent jobs, their lives are over before they began.
There’s a word to sum all that up — intergenerational inequality. What does intergenerational inequality do? It destroys the possibility of functioning social systems. Someone has to pay for them, after all — from retirement systems to post offices to hospitals and universities and so forth. Social systems must be funded from the public purse. But when people are struggling harder, generation after generation, getting poorer, there’s less left over to invest.Collapse Is Already Here — And It’s Spreading. I Don’t Know If You’ve Noticed — But Our Systems are Breaking Down by umair haque, Eudaimonia, May 19, 2022
Failing political systems
This is the real reason why young people are apathetic about politics. They know they can’t change anything even if they try. They don’t have the money, so what’s the point? Sure, they can vote in politicians who want to build social systems — and sometimes they do, like AOC or who have you. But those politicians are left powerless in the end, because societies in which generation after generation is getting poorer cannot afford to be functioning societies at all.Collapse Is Already Here — And It’s Spreading. I Don’t Know If You’ve Noticed — But Our Systems are Breaking Down by umair haque, Eudaimonia, May 19, 2022
The collapse of the economic, social and political systems umair haque describes above are part of the diagram below I’ve been working on for several years.
The economic system is Capitalism (red box in diagram below). Capitalism exerts financial control, and uses criminal justice systems of police and prisons to enforce capitalist policies.
Capitalism once did some funding of social systems: Medicare, food stamps, unemployment insurance, etc.
But now, the collapse of capitalism is leading to increasingly inadequate social services, pushing more people into, or further into poverty.
The answer, it seems to many of us, is to replace the capitalist economic system. As my friend Ronnie James says:
I’m of the firm opinion that a system that was built by stolen bodies on stolen land for the benefit of a few is a system that is not repairable. It is operating as designed, and small changes (which are the result of huge efforts) to lessen the blow on those it was not designed for are merely half measures that can’t ever fully succeed.
So the question is now, where do we go from here? Do we continue to make incremental changes while the wealthy hoard more wealth and the climate crisis deepens, or do we do something drastic that has never been done before? Can we envision and create a world where a class war from above isn’t a reality anymore?”Ronnie James, Des Moines Mutual Aid
How to replace capitalism and the systems that support it is indicated in the Red/Green New Deal box. Discussions of these things can be found on these blogs of mine and elsewhere.