Where do we go from here?
In my last blog post, I said it's over.
Which Way, Western Man?
Some Kingdom Hearts tunes while you read this post.
America has reached its final stage as a capitalistic democracy - technocratic neoliberalism.
But that doesn't mean this is the end of America. Not even close.
As I've said before the country will continue to hum along, even as it faces an economic crisis that dwarfs the Great Depression and subsequent political and social disruptions.
(It should be noted that the mainstream media continues to refer to the current financial crisis as a "recession" and not a "depression!")
The country will get through this - the coronavirus will come to an end. The question is will the world that awaits us after the pandemic subsides be one we collectively embrace?
I say no.
My prediction (not proclamation) is in the short-term, the years following the end of the pandemic will be like the post-2009 era after the Great Financial Crisis and Great Recession, but much more severe and prolonged. I feel strongly confident in this guess, yet I would be totally happy being wrong.
(For what it's worth, here's my prediction for the long term (a century or more): the solidified technocratic global neoliberal order will culminate in us living in an artificial "state of nature," that is, a society managed by the "laws of business" that approximate, or more precisely, mimic, the "laws of nature." For the purposes of this blog post, I'm not going to expand on this prediction, as it's something I cannot prove right away. I'll leave you with three points to digest while you weigh my long-term hypothesis. I should also say this - I dearly pray that I am wrong.)
Point #1 - This scene from Network (1976). Pay very close attention to Arthur Jensen's (the businessman who's monologing) diction!:
Don't mess with the "primal forces of nature" now!
Point #2 - A quote from my last blog post:
If the public will cannot be expressed for the benefit of all, then is there any difference between society and a "state of nature?"
Think deeply about that rhetorical question.
Point #3 - Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan. This one point is cryptic, but Hobbes's famous phrase comes into mind: Bellum omnium contra omnes.
The future will look like this on a global, technocratic scale: bellum omnium contra omnes for thee, but not for me!
Ok, putting the future projections to the side, let's get back to the present. What's are the near political futures being offered to us?
On the right, we have the incumbent, President Trump (Hot Take: Trump is the most honest and logical representation of America in its current state. You won't find anyone else better.). On the left, we have good old former Vice President Joe Biden, the guy who was second-in-charge in an administration that oversaw the conditions over eight years that ultimately led to Trump.
So you have the option to stay the course in the present or retreat into a "golden" past.
Where is the future here being sold here? I don't see one, thus I will not buy either.
So maybe there isn't a promising collective future to look forward to. That's OK.
We now have the opportunity to craft a meaningful future for ourselves individually and pursue it with full abandon.
That's where my hope lies - in a future of my own making, a future I can share with those I deeply love and cherish.
What that fully entails for me, I'm not sure, so I won't bother going into detail. What I will say is that I've been getting into filming over the past couple of months. I've been trying to learn how to document my journey through film, similar to how I journaled and blogged during my time at MIT. It'll be important to capture how I grow during these tumultuous times.
Times like these require an honest reckoning with the present and a release of our rose-tinted grasp on the past. I can't afford to continue to cling to the past through nostalgia.
Yes, the past was Simple and Clean.
The future looks complicated and messy.
But I still must face it anyway.
The best I can do is use my childhood memories (hence the inclusion Kingdom Hearts in the article) as a guide or source of inspiration and motivation for what's possible in the future.
It's interesting. When I was young, I lacked the autonomy to act on my wildest dreams within my imagination. Now, I am older, and while I've gained autonomy, my imagination's flame has waned. I'm using my creativity as an adult to spark it again.
The collective future we face is dark, but therein lies the opportunity for individuals' inner light to make it bright. One's light will attract others, and then before you know it, the future will radiate with promise again.
I hope to be one of those lights in the coming days.
Regardless of warnings, the future doesn't scare me at all...