I agree with @jack — this is a great article. But alas –he got 3k replies basically calling him a “cuck” when he said it. The article discusses partisan polarization on two axes, class and energy economics.
America today faces a similar juncture around fundamentally incompatible energy systems. The red states held by the Republicans are deeply entrenched in carbon-based energy systems like coal and oil. They consequently deny the science of climate change, are trying to resuscitate the dying coal industry, and recently have begun to open up coastal waters to oil drilling.
The blue states held by the Democrats are increasingly shifting to clean energy like solar and installing policies that wean the energy system off carbon. In the era of climate change, with the mounting pressure of increased natural disasters, something must give. We can’t have one step forward, one step back every time an administration changes. One side or the other has to win.
Another driver on the road to civil war is when two classes become fundamentally at odds. This usually takes some form of rich versus poor, the wealthy and the people, the 1 percent and the 99 percent. The system gets so skewed toward those at the top that the majority at the bottom rises up and power shifts.
Today’s conservative Republicans face the same risk. Since 1980, their policies have engorged the rich while flatlining the incomes of the majority of Americans, from the presidency of Ronald Reagan through to last December’s tax overhaul, which ultimately bestows 83 percent of the benefits over time to the top 1 percent. Make no mistake: A reckoning with not just Trump, but conservatism, is coming.
There is no way forward without collapse. If we consider the IPD the Republicans have become the Player of AllD all the time. This is obvious when evangelicals give Trump repeat mulligans on his grotesque sexual exploits, serial lies, flip-flops, hypocrisy, etc. Republicans stand alongside neo-nazis and white supremacists and HBD political “scientists”. Democratic norms have failed in congress. Reciprocity has devolved into pure retaliation.
Trump or something like him was inevitable. The minority demographic is clinging to power with dirty tricks, cheats, and exploits. But the right has little choice. I don’t know for sure what will happen– a gradual 15 year takeover like California, a sci-fi split into Jesusland and the Rim States, a “hot” civil war like 1860, a putsch by the minority sub-population. But I can tell you what WON’T happen– a return to the 88% white demographics of Reagan’s time.
I was talking to a friend in Australia and he made this remark:
Just yesterday I was digesting the fact that in a lifetime, Australia went from very “Anglo-Celtic”, to a country with over 100 immigrant nationalities within it, and it helps me to grasp that a similar but bigger thing happened to America.
Heres my response:
i’ve been thinking about this too…both US and Oz still have continuing immigration and near zero emmigration, because they are superior places to live… Also the minority demographics have greater TFR than the white euro original stock. US is never going to return to 88% white, like Reagan times. white conservative-tendency forces are fighting trench warfare in the US. Social physics, demographic and cultural evolution, technology are shaping an environment much more favorable to diverse liberal-tendency brains.
its the destabilization of the CCP in a changing environment– now for a short span conservative-tendency (authoritarianism, rule following, lack of educational attainment and absence of intellectual curiousity, loyalty, etc) has achieved a fitness benefit, but that is not the sole cause of trumps election.
The good middle class jobs (capable of supporting a decent SES) of the 21st century will be coders and data scientists– the analogy of the manufacturing jobs in the mid 20th century.
the environment is changing faster– in Cochrans book The 10,000 Year Explosion the invention of agriculture changed the environment in the scale of thousands of years– the industrial revolution changed the environment in the scale of 100s of years– now the internet is changing the environment in the scale of 10s of years– and in this century we will still have to deal with the imminent cambrian explosions in robotics and machine learning, potential climate events, and emergent wars.
I think return to steady state becomes increasingly difficult (impossible) with time scale collapse.
Time dilation imposed by the internet is what I see as the greatest factor. There is no time to gradually adjust to rapid change. Leyden/Texeria also talk about two cultures.
Two different political cultures already at odds through different political ideologies, philosophies, and worldviews can get trapped in a polarizing process that increasingly undermines compromise. They see the world through different lenses, consume different media, and literally live in different places. They start to misunderstand the other side, then start to misrepresent them, and eventually make them the enemy. The opportunity for compromise is then lost. This is where America is today.
Where Leyden/Texeira falter imho, is their assumption that red and blue cultures are somehow peer and static. I disagree. Culture doesn’t shape society as much as society shapes culture according to its needs. In a country with a diverse population and citizen votes, culture evolves to mirror the population. In the US, academe, hollywood, urbanites, tech giants, literature, popular music and youth voters are pretty much all painted blue. Cultural evolution is constantly happening. But conservative culture just isn’t cool anymore– you can’t get to cooltown on the conservative express. A recent episode of Silicon Valley was built around the premise that christian is the only offensive identity in tech world.
And Leyden/Texeira didn’t even begin to explore the biology of culture and political affiliation. Afterall, Culture is Biology.
Apolos. This has gotten far too long, and I haven’t even begun to address Red/Blue Brain Biochemistry Hypothesis, machine learning, complexity, the CCP, population genetics, Cultural Brain Hypothesis and social physics.
To be Continued.