Philosophically, what is happening in the USA?

Mudassir Ali
Apr 07, 2020 09:14 AM 0 Answers
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Philosophically, what is happening in the USA?

Mudassir Ali
- Apr 07, 2020 09:14 AM

It’s not just the USA. The US is already more conservative than the rest of the western world, so the philosophical shift in the US will always seem more extreme when compared to France or Australia. That said, what’s happening in the US isn’t all that strange. People sense in their bones that something is wrong with the world. It isn’t the three great killers of populations as in the past (famine, plagues, war), those have largely been reined in. No, they’re not completely removed, but deaths from famine, plagues and war are nothing compared to what they used to be. More people die from complications of surfeit than from starvation; a first for all of human history.

But something is wrong.

The problem has to do with our very prosperity. People think jobs are fleeing the US for China. It doesn’t help that politicians feed on this lie. But it’s not true. The US’s industrial output today is double what it was in 1985. The problem is that output is double, but it has happened with 1/3 fewer workers while the population has increased by 42%. That is really a big problem.

Double the output | 33% fewer employees | 42% more people.

Someone smarter at math than me (see: anybody with >5 grade math skills) can run those numbers for the true disparity. That’s the underlying problem. People with good jobs don’t give a shit about much else. Sure, they pay lip service, but give people good jobs and creature comforts, and they generally don’t give a shit. But remove those creature comforts and like any other people in the past, they look for people to blame and someone to be their hero. (Never mind that the “problem” is much more efficient production models + automation — how would they know? Nobody’s bought hours of air time each night to explain this!)

This has ALWAYS been the case. Always. Period. End of discussion.

Yes, people are racist, homophobic, selfish, bigoted bastards. That’s true. But people were way more selfish and bigoted in the past 100 years even while we made social progress. (And a lot has been made in 100 years). But now so much social change has happened in the past four decades + treaties that promised prosperity “just around the corner” and that never happened.

That’s it. The economy. It’s always been the economy. It isn’t bigotry. It isn’t homophobia. It isn’t sexism. It isn’t dirty Mexicans takin’ our jerbs. It isn’t China. It isn’t Russia. It isn’t war. It isn’t terrorism.

It’s the economy. Fix the economy and people go back to their daily lives, complacent in how politicians behave. They won’t care so much about China or Mexicans. But remove those creature comforts, take their jobs, take their new car, take their kids’ “right” to a Disney vacation every other year, and the baser “blame everybody not like me” instinct takes over.

So while I’m not denying that people are innately dick-holes, more than that, they’re desperate. They want their lives back. They want the good ol’ days where things weren’t so hard, where the factory was still in town and where the schools were decent. A lot of that is gone, and someone needs to be blamed.

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