Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The New Paradigm: Good, Better, Best Versus Enough (Oct 31)

The world is entering a new paradigm: The fault-line is no longer only between left and right, but between a relatively small group committed to globalization and the rest. And among the rest, between Caucasians, and the larger, honey-colored world. America’s determination to impose neo-liberalism on the entire planet puts it at odds with two other nuclear powers, Russia and China, as well as with many other nations, who aspire to a multi-polar world in which the haves are prevented from riding roughshod over the ‘have-nots’.
For almost four centuries America prospered by insisting that more is never enough, laboring to spread this idea across the globe. Good, better, best has been its Trinity, requiring that individuals strive to ‘do better’ in order to be able to afford ‘the best’. In turn, producers claim that their  ‘stuff’ is ‘ever better’, until it gets to be ‘the best that money can buy’. As third world populations risk everything to gain access to more ‘stuff’, a few people are beginning to realize that more is not necessarily better. But it may be too late. 
The West toyed with the idea of enabling underdeveloped societies to prosper so their populations would not emigrate, but instead of putting its money where its mouth was, it continued to invade and plunder the south. (America’s forefathers wisely put the military under civilian control, but by the 21st century that precaution no longer sufficed, because civilians make weapons.) Wars are no longer fought for territory - or even ideals - but in service to the almighty bottom line. As a result, large numbers of people continue to leave familiar places for once prosperous destinations that are losing opportunities for work. Aside from growing Islamophobia, civilization’s latest ways of ‘doing’ — for those entitled by birth to ‘do’ — prevents gainful employment for all. In a grotesque example of helplessness, the French government sought to open a holding facility for refugees three kilometers from the Versailles Palace, touching off a storm from citizens who insist that venerating Louis XIV’s palace is more important than feeding the hungry.
Actually, there are two levels of conflict: in individual countries, between the 99% and the 1%, and across the world between Caucasians and the others, who vastly outnumber them. Across the North, the absence of jobs forces the 99% to demand a basic income for all, while the 1%, realizing the earth cannot be saved from climate change, make plans to leave it for another planet, abandoning the 99% to its fate.
As for the relatively small number of honey-colored peoples who manage to reach their shores, the implicit message of the Caucasians has been: “You have to become like us because we’re better.” But while ‘multiculturalists’ believe immigrants can and should adapt to their new homes, nationalists, - also known as post-moderns or the new right — while upholding equal rights, reject the policy of assimilation, because homogenous societies tend to be peaceful while melting pots all but guarantee strife between different races and religions: 

These contrasting views obscure the fact that the only way to prevent the planet from becoming inhospitable to humans is for the world to embrace a steady-state economy, in which we produce only what we need, recycling as much as possible. Unlike the desperate pursuit of ‘more’, only it can prevent humans - guests on the planet after all, — from wrecking the place.

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