Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Will the New Fascism Solve Global Warming's Challenge?

Growing Like Topsy
Autocracy, Fascism, Oligarchy and State Militarism
 Increasing Faster Than Global Temperatures
Is an intuitive, subconscious "extinction precursor" 
altering the preferred form of national governance?

After "spinning their wheels" for several centuries attempting to resolve the challenges of life on Earth with the chaotic voices of various "educated electorates," the democracies -- both the previously, proudly "pure" and the self-admittedly, "heavily blemished" -- have now taken the breathless, yet predictable, plunge into the somewhat less frightening embrace of autocracy's warm hands. The most promising nations on the planet are now, officially, oligarchies of one sort or another.

For any visitors who might consider such a gloomy conclusion a product of the geriatric ranting and railing of MeanMesa, perhaps the specifics will help. In the somewhat confusing mix of oligarchy, autocracy and fascism, the following nation states present a compelling argument which describes the newest, most modern choice for autonomous governance we see sprouting all around -- including here in the US.

Russian Federation
Russia is reinvigorating its colonial appetite. Within the country Putin is an unquestioned autocrat. Around him are "tolerated" oligarchs when "obedient."

Russia has made only modest efforts at sustainable energy infrastructure. The Federation is heavily reliant on nuclear and fossil fuel systems.

United States
United States has adopted a monolithic one party government not subject to influence by majority citizen opinion. The new autocracy is belligerent and functions independently of citizen rule. Oligarchic priorities supersede political priorities.

The US has made significant progress with sustainability in its energy sector, but fossil fuel based oligarchs will now have an opportunity to become resurgent.

The EU states
The EU countries definitely have oligarchs with dynastic wealth, but priorities of the mature social culture limit their power. Fascist interests are rising in dominance. NATO militarism is traditionally moderate.

EU states, particularly Scandinavian and Germany, are global leaders for sustainability. EU social culture is currently investing in significant efforts to reduce green house foot prints.

Turkey is moving rapidly toward a strong autocracy with religious overtones. Its strengthening militarism is justified by local conditions but contradicts traditional NATO. Its vulnerable economy hosts both Turkish oligarchs and religious purists. The current government is "unofficially" fascist.

Under the growing autocracy, Turkey directs greater interests to internal stability than to sustainability. The country has economic limits and regional challenges preventing significant modernization.

Peoples Republic of China 
China is a "state autocracy." Its expansionist tendencies are state tendencies, not nationalistic or particularly imperial. Its military investment is at a sensible level. Its cultural investment is high. Chinese oligarchs, while globally wealthy, are firmly controlled by State Council policy.

The PRC public is pressuring the autocracy to remedy existing climate hazards, but the Chinese autocracy is "holding out" for a more profitable course forward which can be integrated with PRC priorities for increasing domestic demand.

Due to regional policy challenges Israel's government prioritizes militarism. Illegal colonial expansionism consumes social, cultural and national resources which could be directed at sustainability.

Allocation of nation resources for sustainability is undercut by the necessity of expensive military spending. The priority for access to potable water is becoming a regional trigger.

Japanese oligarchs are largely accepted as a social phenomenon and exert only a "mature" influence on the government. Japan was forced to reconsider its national energy priority after the Fukushima disaster when it reverted to traditional generation for a while. However, the nation's economic needs have led a return to the "nuclear option" since then. Overall, the nation is clearly dedicated to sustainability.

Due to regional competition the next "economic adjustment" will probably be a resurgence of increased military spending.

The precise "metrics" in the charts [above] are quite speculative, yet these speculations represent a rough measure of conditions as they have been reported over the last few years. Additional nations can be included in the list, but MeanMesa will leave those further "intuitive conjectures" to the blog's visitors.

The point is not a pleasant one. All the responsible governments on the planet should, reasonably, be directing most of their national budgets to projects which might either mitigate or, at least, soften the impact of what is rapidly approaching. This is not a debate. The fact is that national governments have postured themselves to pretty much ignore the welfare of their citizens, controlled and contradicted scientific information about the climate and have, instead, primarily focused resources on military spending and the care and feeding of their already quite over weight billionaires.

Does this change as climate conditions grow steadily worse?

By "worse" MeanMesa means more lethal and painful. What capability is left of the traditional habit of sensible, "democratic" decision making is fading fast.

What the New Fascists Will Be Facing
Toxic ideology is practically invisible as long as everything is "roses, simply roses."
 In the view of hindsight 2016 [no matter how awful it's been] will look like "roses."

Most of the citizens in the First World are fully aware of what is approaching. The exceptions to this general rule are either those expending every effort to intentionally ignoring the matter or others with a financial stake in avoiding the reality of it at any cost. The level of "demographic disengagement" is unsettling.

However, once the "debating" activity is set aside, the common perception of what may be anticipated from global warming has been hampered by "too much science." The eyes of the laity roll back at once when "the parts per million" figures are presented. The helicopter videos of polar bears looking for enough ice to conduct their seal fishing are compelling enough, but reasonable prognoses of day to day life on the planet as the climate deteriorates are, too often, considered suspiciously over dramatic.

[MeanMesa posted a "engineering/project management oriented" paper on global warming several years ago which has been widely received. If you would like to review this, link  here - Managing Global Warming Solutions/MEANMESA]

In response to this "perception problem" MeanMesa has prepared the following "calendar" with a few of these "reasonable expectations" about what we might be seeing on the "news."

The next 40 years of global warming in 1. the US, 2. Internationally and 3. on a planetary scale.[MeanMesa]
As we thread our way through these "not too promising" [although painfully likely] headline events, MeanMesa encourages visitors to consider each of them with two, separate world views.

1. How would these developments be handled in an environment with more representative, democratic governments around the world?

2. How will these developments likely be handled by the new crop of autocracies and oligarchies which have taken control of such matters now?

The New Oligarchies' Approach to Management and Survival
The Strengths and Weaknesses of Authoritarian Control
Yes, some of these political developments might be "just what the doctor ordered,"
 but it's not likely. This is going to require significantly more than a handful of Tweets.

The failed domestic "news" reporting about global warming effects has become an agonizing blather as the same road weary questions and speculations are bandied back and forth endlessly. The overall effect on the public consciousness has been an almost narcotic "soothing."

"Nobody is sure what is really happening."
"The full extent of this remains uncertain."
"Planetary warming predictions have been ruthlessly exaggerated."
"Planetary warming predictions have been dangerously under estimated."
"Here's an interesting story about one specific place
 which is now under water -or- dry as a bone."

The US President [Obama] and more than a few other world leaders have made it a point that they regard global warming as real and extremely dangerous. In other words these voices have said that serious resources must be applied immediately to reduce the lethality of the impact. At the counter point the US President-elect [Trump] has taken great pains to express his opinion that "The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive." [politifact]

So, can we expect that after conditions deteriorate to some certain level, that the autocrats will direct their un-opposed authority toward the climate problem? If this is to be the case, what state would those "conditions" have to reached before such a decision might be taken?

Make no mistake. Compared to the curiously durable "gaseous foam approach" which has ear marked the more "democratic" responses to the on coming calamity, these war lord types could, possibly, act quite decisively and effectively -- if they were to perceive such an action as consistent with their ideology and political goals.

Nonetheless, throughout history autocrats of all the various forms have demonstrated a real problem with empathy. The idea of actually cooperating "for the common good" is quite alien to them. This is a "motivation divide." Autocrats have difficulty being motivated to undertake "projects" which benefit others more than they benefit them. Or, for that matter, even benefit all more or less equally.

A billionaire is positioned to survive the worst conditions of climate change in fairly good order. Mansions and palaces can generate a breathable atmosphere if a sufficient amount of money is spent to accomplish this. Such places can certainly be refrigerated. If there are locations around the planet where the climate conditions are somewhat better than average, they can be purchased -- and defended.

Bear in mind that billionaires come in widely differing "flavors." FDR was a very wealthy man, but so are Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Sheldon Adelson and the Brothers Koch.

State level efforts to mitigate
 climate change

In the US the onslaught to convert humanity's future into immediate profits will commence at the state level. The new US autocracy controls a large majority of state governments entirely -- governorships, state Houses and Senates. Further, many of the profit burning, "regulatory irritants" which might actually help with the climate problem are enforced at the state level, which means that anti-democracy organizations such as ALEC can begin their dissolution essentially without being contested.

Public opinion will descend even more deeply into the very profitable states of hopelessness and panic as global conditions become more violent. While such desolate sentiments are truly "bread and butter" for the billionaires manipulating national policy, the inevitable crescendo of frantic survivalism may be enough to "inspire" the oligarchs to actually act in the public interest at some point.

The picture at this stage will not be a pretty one. This possible, new "inspiration" will be emerging long after most of the effective mitigation policies might have been instituted.

The Climatic "Tipping Point"
When Global Conditions Begin to Render Dynastic Wealth Irrelevant

Higher ocean levels do more
 than move beaches.
All sorts of unpleasant changes will patiently begin to arrive at the gated, front steps of the mansions and palaces. In addition to the mayhem of global chaos economic pressures targeting the "top 1%" will gradually become terminal. Enterprises which previously provided a dependable income flow to the oligarchs' coffers will begin to falter.

Consumers will have little interest in the "discretionary" purchase sectors. Market levels for automobiles, Internet services, gasoline, new houses and the like will lose ground to more immediate needs which used to be considered "givens."

Trump's ostentatious, top end hotels will be left to meet these new, violently reduced market demands with just a couple of inhabited floors of thousand dollar per night suites. Vice President Pence's curious obsession with Old Testament sexual authoritarianism will fade into the class of other, long ago abandoned "historical oddities."

Once again events will repeat the same lesson. Fascism cannot flourish in conditions of harsh austerity. This has been well established in the matter of political fascism, but no corrective "over throw" will be possible when the austerity is imposed on us by the planet herself.

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