We stand on the cusp of a revolution which may go either of two ways. Certainly the status quo cannot hold. Western nations have been accelerating towards Fascist authoritarianism for some time. The advent of online communication and social media threatened to give ordinary citizens more say in how their societies are run, but governments have successfully blunted this opportunity with draconian “anti-terror” laws. Where does that path end? Anyone can brand their enemies a terrorist – as the USA has done to Julian Assange, for example – and these laws are already being abused for political gain.
But it doesn’t end there. The “Fake News” epidemic is another sign that the status quo cannot hold. Look at all the attacks on Russia being made with no hard proof – Putin rigged the US election, he tried to kill Skripal, he was behind chemical attacks in Syria, etc – then look at the real world consequences of these stories: Russian ambassadors expelled around the world, sanctions, a deadly bomb attack on Syria by US, UK and French warplanes, nervous talk of nuclear war. Are we suddenly in a world where wars can be started by lies, without hard proof? Or have wars always been started with lies, but now it’s just much harder to hide them from 24/7 global discussion?
In any case, the centre cannot hold. Western democracies face a crisis of legitimacy. On critical issues like global warming, leaders simply ignore the will of the people. Meanwhile the West looks away as Israel commits slow genocide in Palestine, or while the Saudis massacre whole cities in Yemen. But still they dare call their own selective military actions “humanitarian”? No, we are not the good guys any more and we cannot pretend to be. So a threshold approaches…
Either the Establishment collapses, bringing an end to Neoliberal inequality, or we enter a new era of global dystopia, where an ever-shrinking select few control the news, the economy, the military and – increasingly – the robots. Don’t laugh: billionaires like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are well aware how Artificial Intelligence (AI) will change the world, even if most people still have no idea. The old Jetsons cartoons promised a future where robots did all the work and people had almost unlimited leisure time. But what if the robots take all the jobs and people are left to die on the sidewalks? If robots are the means of production, and the global elite own the robots, well then the working class is no longer necessary.
Add to that bleak future waves of immigration due to climate change and our continued disastrous wars, and it becomes clear that huge changes await us in the near future. The Establishment can only continue by cracking down harder and harder on any threats to their control. They will eventually have to effectively throw Democracy (what’s left of it) out the door and rule by force. Or they will collapse, and then the big question is: who and what will take their place?
At the moment I think UK Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn is a key figure. He promises a return to old ways, a more gentle and caring government, an end to foolish wars and maybe even some accountability for past war crimes. No wonder they are so desperate to stop him. But how far will they go? Some senior military people have already threatened not to acknowledge his victory if he wins an election and becomes PM.
Meanwhile in the USA the Clinton Democrats are in their death throes, desperately hurling every weapon they can find at every target who opposes them, madly trying to blame everyone but themselves for Hillary’s 2016 appalling loss to a bloated, bigoted, bullshitting reality TV star. The Democrats are not trying to hide their massive influence on the media and intelligence services, who have formed a laughable “Resistance” and are doing whatever they can to sucker the public into supporting them again (never mind their exposed corruption, that’s never gonna change).
Midterm elections are coming up. If the Democrats fail badly, it could be the end of this farce. But if they win, they will continue blaming Russia for every evil under the sun until they can bring down Trump and take over again. Then what? Pure bullshit rules, with a naked cabal of corrupt politicians, lying media hacks and psychopathic military leaders seeking endless wars for profit.
Of course, that’s much the same as what Trump is delivering these days anyway. It’s just a different bunch of assholes in charge. But we do like to cling to the hope that maybe Trump is different, maybe this time, or next time, he will dare say NO to the Deep State spooks and the military warmongers. Keep dreaming, kids, it’s all we’ve got.
The USA is past the point of no return. The best we can hope is that the Democrats collapse in a broken heap, leaving angry voters looking to rebuild something more useful. That’s how Corbyn came to power in the UK, but it’s hard to see shadowy Democrat elites making the same silly mistake as Labour and allowing an old socialist with “no chance” on the ballot. Anyway, how long would it take for the Democrats to rebuild? Do we have that much time? Keep dreaming.
Here in Australia, everything is utterly fucked. I can’t even begin to describe how bad things are or I will not stop. The best thing we’ve got going for us is the Greens, and they are going nowhere in a hurry these days. In New Zealand, a new young Prime Minister looks promising – but don’t they always? Hello, disillusioned Justin Trudeau fans. Let’s see if Kim Dotcom can wake up the Kiwis a bit; at the moment he still faces a hostile media and entrenched Five Eyes control behind the scenes.
The European Union is a mess, as beautifully illustrated by widespread Establishment support for Spanish Fascist violence against peaceful demonstrators in Catalonia.
Which brings me back to Julian Assange. What happens to him now? I cannot believe he will ever sign away his right to free speech, as Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno insists he must. So his six year incarceration in the embassy becomes even more tortuous without access to the Internet, visitors (except his lawyers) or even a phone. How long can he survive in that hostile environment, which is getting dangerously close to solitary confinement? And what the hell is happening back in Ecuador, where Moreno is blaming everything on this predecessor, Rafael Correa, including the “inherited problem” of Assange’s political asylum. Moreno insists he will still protect Assange “as long as his life is in danger”, but meanwhile he is cosying up to US diplomats. I often think Julian is the canary in the coalmine of global dystopia; if he goes down, we are all in deep, deep trouble. Maybe if Julian can just hang in there till the next election, Corbyn might do the right thing? Keep dreaming…