A PARADIGM SHIFT STARTS
By Karl Arnold Belser
23 November 2019
I stopped posting to THE UNCERTAIN FUTURE BLOG more than a year ago (2018) because I became afraid. I did not want to ruin the remaining years of my life by fulminating an attacked by either the political left or right. I live in California, a left-leaning state with little tolerance for opposing views. Expressing myself could be dangerous.
I am in good health. I have a good relationship with my partner Jackie. I have sufficient money. Hence, I have the personal security to live the rest of my life in comfort. My situation is similar to that of many others and apparently came about because of the democracy and capitalism of Western Civilization.
The problem is that the people on Earth are not in economic equilibrium. They, under democracy, have voted themselves benefits that many of them did not earn to the point that the Earth's resources may not be able to support its population. Therefor I foresee a major change coming.
I am writing this post because I literally am unable to discuss this subject with my friends or loved ones. The kind of responses I get are.
"Why worry? You are almost 80. Whatever happens will happened after you are dead,",
"You are a fascist and are unjustly critical of the liberal government." or
"This topic is too painful to discuss."
"So shut up."
My interest is simple. I am an American and a product of the evolution of Western civilization. I do not want civilization to revert to the chaos of former times. However, a reversion to past chaos may be inevitable as Stephen Jay Gould points out in his books WONDERFUL LIFE and FULL HOUSE. In other words the dinosaurs came and went, and we, human beings, will probably come and go in a like manner so that some future life form will emerge. After all what do humans do? They apparently are a catalyst for the Second Law of Thermodynamics in creating entropy (disorder). They make junk for the dump as I point out in my short story WIND SEED.
The Book of Revelations in the Bible points out that the future will be determined by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, namely famine, pestilence, war or death (genocide). There might be cooperation if famine or pestilence reduce the population of the Earth. However, war or genocide would cause the governments of the competing owes to kill a lot of people.
I think that the human race will survive if the humans have not permanently damaged the environment of the Earth. If everyone dies, life will probably emerge again in some other form as Stephen Jay Gould suggests.
I want to explore how life on Earth is changing to better prepare myself for the future.
2.0 THE SITUATION TODAY
Simply put, there are too many people on Earth.
Many changes are occurring because of human activity. The climate seems to be changing. Ocean acidification is happening. Fresh water reserves are being rapidly used up. There is soil erosion and destruction. Oil reserves are bing depleted. There is plastic garbage everywhere in the ocean. The amount of plankton is shrinking resulting in lower fish populations. Chemicals use by people are causing the insect population to go down in places like Europe. Fewer insects are causing birds to die off. Hundreds a species are going extinct as humans use more of the surface of the Earth. Mono crops are susceptible to disease and plague. At this writing half of the pigs on earth have died because of hemorrhagic fever which has no cure. Bananas and wheat are being affected by insects and disease. Even the number of antibiotic resistant human diseases are growing. These trends may not foretell an immediate disaster, but I believe that one is coming.
In other words the Earth seems to not have the carrying capacity for the amount of life on its surface. Some adjustment will have to happen and this adjustment will likely be ugly.
The issue in my mind is that human life is considered sacrosanct. In other words every life on Earth is worth saving independent of the cost. I have heard this idea stated by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, when they defend the activities of the Gates Foundation. Even more serious is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations in 1948. This declaration is at odds with reality and with science.
The chapter Biology of History, from Will Durant's book The Lessons of History (1968) explains that competition, survival and reproduction is want governs history and that ability will always win over equality. Hence there is no moral argument to be made about the course of history.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights appears to be pure fantasy. I think that any civilization that trys to save everyone no matter the cost is going to have problems competing and surviving.
3.0 WHY AM I SO SURE THAT A FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE IS HAPPENING ?
Many governments are mortgaging the future to give most people on Earth a better standard of living than they ever had.
The United States as well as many other developed countries are printing money to keep their citizens alive. For example the US has a yearly budget deficit of more than a trillion dollars. The current revenue of the United States is barely enough to cover the promised entitlement costs. The Republicans cut taxes to make the US companies more competitive, which has worked as a short term fix. After all if one takes too much honey from the beehive, the beehive will die, and the same thing is true for economies. However, the leading Democratic candidates for president want to give bribes to the voters and take the proceeds from those who produce in order to get into office. This later plan appears to be a recipe for economic collapse.
Ray Dalio, the president of Bridgewater investments, points out in his article The World Has Gone Mad And The System Is Broken that the US has to either raise taxes (which will stifle growth), impose austerity (which will cause civil unrest), or inflate the money supply to handle the situation. The US can print money as long as its full faith and credit is in tact. But any event that causes interest rates to increase will sink the ship of state.
So far the US is still afloat.
4.0 WHAT IS THE COMPETITION?
I think that China is the main competition to the United States.
China has the same money problem as does the United States and it has been printing money also to build out it infrastructure and to support its economy. However, it does not have the human rights mandate. Further it has authority guided capitalism, a modified dictatorship, in which difficult and what we would consider immoral actions can be taken.
China has a Social Credit System driven by facial recognition to allow the nation to keep any undesirable or nonproductive people sequestered in the hinterlands away from the big cities. China even kills, sterilizes and enslaves these undesirables.
The metaphor is that if one wants a productive garden one has to get rid of the weeds. The United States can not do this because of human rights violations and because it is not a dictatorship.
It appears that the Chinese are attempting to deal with the very difficult issue of human rights versus survival of mankind.
5.0 CAN THE US COMPETE WITH THE CHINESE IN AN ECONOMIC WAR ?
President Trump has correctly identified the Chinese threat and he has declared economic war on China. The result should be the separation of the two empires so that they can compete on a level playing field.
I don't think that the US can win this competition with the human rights handicap. The Democratic party seems intent on giving every person, even illegal immigrants, a lot of benefits that they have not earned. This is simply the tyranny of the majority in the name of human rights.
6.0 MIGHT THE US HAVE TO ADOPT AUTHORITY LED CAPITALISM ?
It is clear today the Democrats in congress want to get rid of president Trump by whatever means possible. The core issue is that the democrats think that everyone in the US "deserves" a minimum benefit that will allow them to live a comfortable life with food, housing and medical. Many would extend those benefits to anyone entering the US illegally.
The democrats essentially argue that they will either tax those who produce things or print money. IF they overtax businesses or individuals they will kill the goose that laid the golden eggs. IF they take on too much debt by printing money the nation will ultimately get hyperinflation. Either option will destroy the US economy and eliminate all benefits.
The government may very well fail. In this case it might take martial law and essentially a dictatorship to allow the economy to work. One would not want the US to become a dictatorship if the nation has to resort to martial law. Trump could very well be come a dictator.
This very scenario happened in Uruguay during the sixties, seventys and eighties when the government could not keep its promises. They did not have to deal with a dictator however. The military took control defaulted on the nations debt and revoked the entitlements. Uruguay was returned to democracy after about thirty years ( about two generations). I wonder if the United States and other first world countries might try to follow a similar route?
7.0 SOME EARLY INDICATORS
The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has started a data base on all citizens consisting of facial characteristics and genomic information. For now it is just information. However the criminal justice system has extensive data on citizens with criminal records that are used to prevent people from getting certain jobs. This is not equivalent to the Chinese social credit system yet, but all the information will be there for the government to have one.
The homeless and criminal populations of big cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles if a significant problem. There is no low income housing in these big cities. So people, even working people, are living on the streets.
It is clear that artificial intelligence , robotics and automation are going to eliminate many (maybe half) of the low income jobs in the near future. How is the US government going to provide for these people in a humanitarian way? By Printing money using Modern Monetary Theory (MMT)?
I hope once the survival issue of the United States is clear the government will take action. However, the US government is in a state of flux as described in the Atlantic article How America Ends. This article considers only moral arguments, not economic ones. What can't be paid won't be paid, and when the bill comes due the us will have a crisis on its hands. The US needs this realization like that described by "The fable of the emperor's new clothes". The United States is today bankrupt with its unpayable entitlements. The emperor has no clothes on.
I think that the world is experiencing a paradigm shift away from the principles set out in Western Civilization. Somehow the tyranny of the majority has to be curbed even if it violates some of the current human rights ideas. I am interested to know how this change will happen. I am also interested in my own survival by being aware of these changes.
Last updated Noverber 27, 2019
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