Are you prepared for the ‘new normal’?
What likely awaits us after the ‘reopening’ of society is not going to be acceptable to people who still have a basic sense of justice and dignity.
What we haven’t described is the underlying mind-set that would be required for this transformation. And this is perhaps the most difficult aspect here, because it requires an entire re-orientation of one’s outlook on life. It requires a transcendence past the entire liberal paradigm insofar as it’s internalized at the level of the individual.
This is important, because without a fight, the high unemployment and ‘frozen’ economy that has been unjustifiably subsidized by bail-outs, cannot be transformed into anything that works for people. Instead, we are facing a type of AI-based automation and roboticization that will leave elites with the final solution that 9/10th’s of the world population is too high a number.
If anything good is to come, it will require winning a very big fight
Indeed there are really two potential outcomes that we can see.
While we should expect most of the forms and structures of the pre-corona paradigm to persist in the immediate aftermath of the reopening, we will also see a swift transformation into either a pro-human or anti-human outcome.
In our experience in labor and community organizing, we found that militant working-class communities that could engage in successful campaigns were more family oriented and more religious. There were strong figures, both men and women.
The fight is only possible from a position of strength, and this is a difficult position to have if one accepts how power is defined.
In many ways, the quarantine regime was a massive miscalculation on the part of the elite, because they projected a false caricature of human motivations onto how a growing number of people will actually respond. At the present moment, it is those citizens closer to the Trump orbit that understand the over-arching situation if the lockdown, in their demands to reopen society, far better than those traditionally associated with organized labor. For these reasons, even before corona, when we wrote on the coming national labor movement, that it would have very little to do with organized labor (in terms of its leadership’s allegiances, etc.) as we know it now.
While the elite’s read on the situation is based on a model that people would acquiesce, their chances at success exist in inverse proportion to our own ability to understand ourselves and why we are in society in the first place. What is it that they think?
Forbes reported on April 18th that only 46% of Los Angeles County adults can count themselves among the employed as a result of the market-crash/coronavirus with quarantine orders. So it stands to reason that elites think that after being placed into a forced quarantine, if the condition is our being allowed to come out of confinement, we will happily accept whatever conditions we are given. The term used for our collective confinement has been ‘lockdown’ and the fact that until this moment, this term was used for prisons, is quite telling.
Now that we are close to being paroled, we will gladly accept the terms of checking in with medical parole officers if it means some semblance of freedom. But freedom, like wealth, is relative – and so after lockdown, any relative freedom is tremendously more freedom.
We should find optimism, however, in that they continue to misread the situation. This is quite good, because their plans are based on a serious misunderstanding of the public. Looking at MSNBC’s twitter feed, they recently advertised a Q&A they conducted with Bill Gates. It had less than a handful of likes or retweets, and hundreds of negative comments – and not a single positive one.
Likewise, Microsoft’s new ad for ‘mixed reality’, featuring the controversial performance artist Marina Abramovic known for her ‘satanism-evoking imagery’, had to be pulled from YouTube and social media in general, after 24 thousand of viewers gave it a thumbs down with only some 600 likes.
One of the dangers surrounding this literal witch-hunt (or rather, a hunt for a literal witch) is that the erosion of Bill Gates’ standing – while it can serve as a springboard towards something powerful – in itself risks being a form of catharsis which does not lead towards a pro-human society, and as importantly, an economy that functions for people.
One of the biggest obstacles now is the belief-system of the institutional left, which represents a whole segment of the people.
The Institutional Left – Guardians of the Modernity Project
There is much misinformation coming from the corporate/intelligence media outlets like the New York Times, Vice Magazine, and the Washington Post regarding the actually-documented record of what is planned for us. It is such a pervasive problem that a whole layer of society does not know that ID2020 is an already-developed and operative plan to microchip individuals alongside their vaccination.
It isn’t for nothing that these corporate subsidized rags, which regularly looks for approval from the CIA before running a piece, appeal to the institutional left.
A problem within the institutional left, in their efforts to change the system by defending the same system, while believing themselves activists; they are little more than social workers. From a functionalist perspective in sociology, there is no real conflict, they are just mere cogs in the machine of the modernity project. The problems they think they are ‘working against’ the system to solve are merely some of the problems that society would need to solve to continue as it is. Other problems still are practically imaginary, or grossly inflated. They are tilting at windmills, fighting against a supposed version of elite values which in fact have not existed for perhaps two centuries.
Marx, despite his optimism in technology and modernity, did rightly demonstrate that the ideas of the ruling class become the ruling ideas of the epoch.
What has plagued the institutional, identity politics left is in failing to understand that their own libertine social values are not in opposition to the ruling class, but are those same values plus limitless money and social power to realize them. The institutional left therefore fights against the same chivalric ‘conservative’ values which in fact were born of and carried over from the medieval feudal period. And yet they wrongly believe they are fighting against ‘bourgeois’ values, when in fact conservative criticisms of capitalism always – and more rightly – understood bourgeois values to be libertine, self-indulgent, secular, and anti-conservative. And so the institutional left paradigm champions the in-fact pervasive bourgeois values identical to those above us. Rather, medieval values that survived into early modernity acted as a limiter upon the libertine excesses made possible in modernity. To wit, this in part demonstrates a problem in the progressivist conception of Marx, for if it were true then the ruling class should be less misanthropic as the historical epoch waxed.
We can see this across media and entertainment, and the mingling between old money, new money, and the entertainment industrial complex. In short – any quick survey of the various nighttime interview/comedy shows reveals this. It is odd that the institutional left – believing they are fighting against the system – isn’t able to put together that every single piece of system-promoted messaging reflects their own worldview. They must somehow view the very same entertainers, who are taking orders of a kind, as rather instead being very brave in the face of ‘the man’. It doesn’t occur to the institutional left that ‘the man’ signs the giant checks – if it does occur to them, they take solace in the notion that ‘at least free speech is still alive and well’.
The liberal world-view and its secularism, a corner-stone of the baby-boomer paradigm alongside the cult of progress, has proven one of the greatest deterrents to having a society worth living in.
Part of this is a fear of real conflict, half created by a life-style so filled with goodies, the other half created by repressing a horror that at the end of this physical life, is the end of life itself.
Profound religious convictions that transcend this paradigm, even secular religions like militant ideologies, have a proven record of supporting the levels of militancy and determination to overcome the fear of harm, the fear of death.
Getting things done means driving a hard bargain, and willing to walk away from it all.
When we recall the great militant labor movement of the 19th and early 20th century, we didn’t see people afraid of being fired. They went on strike. They weren’t afraid of being shot and killed. Because the conditions they faced were worse than death. They had nothing to lose.
The Forgotten Truth of the Social Contract
Conservative ideas on social obligations derive from the medieval period where the existence of society itself was taken for granted. And in that way, the truth of the social contract lays in front of us even while obscured. Obscuring it has been our transplantation of these medieval norms onto modernity –whereas feudal obligations were a two-way street, bourgeois norms manipulate an older sense of obligation to extract a one-way loyalty. We’ve been involved in society, in this civilizational project for so long, that we forgot who it benefits and what it’s for.
It is civilization’s duty to entice us, to seduce us into its fold. It must somehow offer something better for us than what we could do on their own. That is the real essence of the social contract. When all the ‘dangers’ that society protects us from are increasingly just the dangers that society itself poses, what we have entered into is slavery.
The comedian turned make-shift philosopher, Jim Carey, has some remarkable pearls of wisdom that we’ll need: “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer”.
To enter into this fight against the elites from the starting point that we can’t leave their society and can’t stand to die fighting for something just and dignified, means we have already surrendered.
Like Mowgli, men enter into society and labor within its confines surrendering freedom, and in exchange have access to security and the possibility for a family that can enjoy that inclusion and security.
If society has successfully gas-lit us into thinking that it’s we who wanted and needed society, and not the other way around, then we have already lost.
To win the fight against their version of a ‘4th Industrial Revolution’, means knowing first and foremost that we don’t need most of what society today has to offer, and would rather die free than live as slaves. That’s the power to walk away.
Excerpts from Joaquin FLORES – Strategic Culture Foundation