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+2 votes
and how would you LIKE things to play out?

the covid-19 pandemic. major social unrest due (initially) to systemic racism in law enforcement. a president (and cohorts) that seems intent on establishing an authoritarian dictatorship of some sort, while setting the stage to contest - or possibly prevent - the upcoming presidential election that he seems likely to lose.

shit seems ripe for something dramatic. what are your thoughts and desires about how this shit might play out? what will things look like in february 2021? what would you realistically want them to look like?

just looking for some discussion, really.
by (12.3k points)
my imagination is not working so well atm, but what i keep thinking of, when i lift my head enough to take a longer view, is the scenario(s) described in *Desert*. i believe that is boring of me, but it's partly why the book has had such resonance, i think. it convincingly paints a picture that seems realistic based on predictions and events...

but that doesn't say much about what might be different next year (yeesh. 8 months from now). except, you know, more so.
Nice, I was planning to ask this question myself today!

4 Answers

0 votes
Honestly I feel it’s impossible to say who will win this election, there’s a lot of talk about how in the event the orange man loses he will plant his feet in the White House and stay. This could just be more bullshit speculation. Everyone including me was saying with certainty trump was gonna lose against Hillary last time, and the pollsters are strongly hinting a trump defeat now but there’s a lot of time left still before the next election. Some poly-sci professor ran a model predicting trump is more likely to win, if that happens it will be pretty crazy. We will enter a wild card scenario where anything is possible. Of course, in the event Biden wins things will also be kinda strange and crazy. He recently said he wants the police to arrest anarchists basically.

This is all short term stuff but the long term is also interesting to me. I think it’s pretty much guaranteed that climate change will continue getting worse, But only time will tell what this actually means. Hard times can give rise to fascist politics and the thought of this is pretty frightening.
by (2.0k points)
to me, the short term stuff is the most unpredictable. between the virus and all its impacts, the social unrest, and the fascistic push being made by trump and his cohorts in power, the short term outlook is pretty unstable. if i was younger, i'd be quite a bit more excited about it than i am now (between age and circumstances).

the long term outlook to me hasn't changed much. climate change and mass human stupidity pretty much guarantee that most humans - and a shitload of other life - are doomed. this current moment only strengthens that likelihood. though if the virus wipes out a much larger portion of the population than it seems likely to, maybe this situation could change things in a different way for the long term. if not, maybe the next one will.

the way this situation has proven beyond all doubt how money and power are the only things that matter to the "leaders" (as if any critical thinking person needed more evidence), anything short of complete mass insurrection is proof that there is no way out for mass society. i'm not holding my breath.

it seems easy right now to have somewhat of a doomsday perspective.
I find it unlikely that the virus will kill off a significant amount of the human population, the thing that worries me about it is it seems to have long term consequences for the people who survive it. Of course it could have killed off larger numbers of people but modern medical science is pretty advanced and people are taking a lot of precautions. What is both troubling and exciting to me (I’m turning 31 next month so I’m pretty young) is the convergence of a lot of different potentially violent and chaotic things. I personally don’t think trump is capable of being hitler because Americans would resist and rebel against that, but the general stupidity and mental instability of people who buy into weird lies in the US leaves a lot of different possibilities open...I like excitement but I personally don’t want a whole lot more trauma and stress in my life, but I think it will happen nonetheless because that’s life. Things not getting more chaotic and unstable could be even worse. Who knows.
+1 vote

LAVA LAMP WRITINGS: there are indicia of modernity's end all about ...  COVID has distorted all institutional images ... it is as if ameriKa  is seeing its retroflections in a hall of circus mirrors ... history is being unlearned and science is providing no solace ... the WASP will use whatever institutional processes available to maintain history as he needs it to be ... the elements of change are more nihilistic than idealistic .... authoritarian centralization will be the vaccine of choice for most > it will be an untrialed vaccine and societal reaction to it could be less than desirable ... the 2020 election is a choice between a charlatan & a pawn of identity politics > whoever wins will rule without solutions ... the COVID is most likely endemic ...  no real medical break throughs for the masses can occur before 2022 ... ANY vaccine will be administered in a prioritized manner on an INDIVIDUAL basis causing whatever benefits to be outweighed by the unrest that will come from those still wanting ... the 2021 streets will soon be crowded with the unemployed, the homeless, the angry, the sick, the fearful, the militant and herded by the FORCES OF CONTROL... money will soon be a derivative  ...   the streets will be crowded & households more isolated ... the paradox of mass protest in a society beset with COVID demanded social distancing is looming larger & LARGER ... internet fabrication will  invert information and facts will be personal to the holder ... individual voices will get louder as they try & shout down one another ... 2021 will be a harbinger of a worse 2022 wink

by (370 points)
ok, you can take off your rose-colored glasses now.  :-)

+1 vote
Political polls/Public opinions polls in the US is an industry more than anything else.  The pollsters aren't measuring peoples opinions, but producing them. There's a slight amount of pressure that pollsters put on people to give an answer about a set of political related questions. Question that the person may or may not give a shit about or even be aware of. Asking people their opinions on a set political related questions hasn't translated well into people voting the way the poll had suggested for the past 40 years or so. The results of political polls/public opinions are kinda like illusions. At best, they're for the media to try to gauge the effectiveness of their reporting and marketing.

I don't usually set out things or think much about what I would realistically want things to happen in the future personally. People have asked me similar things and usually I don't have an answer that accounts for more than a few days. US political related stuff I don't ponder much and when I do, i draw blanks. pew pew pew. It's not good for my mental health and I just have a huge sense of indifference to the whole she-bang in the US with the rona and politically anyways. Perhaps it's depression or I'm just too dang bourgeoi$ or i don't feel it has much to do with me personally.

I think it would be humorous to me if the president got reelected or didn't get reelected and refused to step down. Here are some minor things. I would like to see people stop insinuating nearly everything is white supremacy without a coherent explanation as to why. That's all I got. Maybe Covid-19 could be called Captain Trips instead. That'd be neat.
by (4.2k points)

Heh that's interesting about your friend that got you into marxism turning into a Reaganite. There is a common theme of different types of marxists that turned into conservative in the 70s-80s. Eldridge Cleaver is one of the well known example I can think of atm that turned into a conservative later on in his life, but there are others.

The rise of the neoconservatives comes out of or branched off of of the "new democrats" that developed in the 80s-90s. The "new democrats" were influenced by Reagan and basically were socially centrist and economically conservative as they thought democrats at that time were out of touch. Clinton's election is a  notable example, but they existed in the senate prior to him. Like Gore and Biden were "new democrats"

yep, the "new democrats" moved the party to the right, becoming much more "centrist" than had been the case (generally speaking, of course). some folks thought carter was the real beginning of that, but comparing carter to clinton speaks volumes.

i hate the fact that i even remember this shit. obviously i wasn't always anti-political. live and learn.
That's very interesting to me funky, the moral of my parents story (both pretty hardcore center-left democrats) was that jimmy carter was a wonderful and lovable person, and that all the current political problems began with Nixon moving the republicans further to the right with his "corruption", because apparently it was the democrats who were the racists (HA!) before nixon and the republicans were actually progressives before that...

 you can now see why i consider myself to be against everything...
racists were (and obviously still are) everywhere. think "dixiecrats."  johnson was democrat and a complete racist, even though much civil rights legislation was passed on his watch. nixon was a conservative republican on whose watch MANY legislative acts were passed that would be considered progressive today (epa, clean air/water, endangered species, expanded social services, etc). which doesn't mean he wasn't a megalomaniacal power monger. carter may have been a "wonderful and lovable person", and that's what all the republicans against trump are pointing to in biden.

nothing is binary.

it's all bullshit and it's bad for ya!  -gc
well funky, i was more or less trying to ask you why they thought "carter was the beginning of that", but i guess went on another megalomaniacal political rant just because its fun, the problem with political discussions to me always that it seems to be based on these next-to-meaningless generalizations, like for example as a more "woke" person from this era, i was kidding with myself that "it was the democrats who were the racists" because chances are pretty much everyone is racist in one way or another, ive caught myself being racist a few times in my life...the democrats used to basically just be pro-south/pro-labor, so obviously very racist...but from my under standing "honest abe" was also a racist and his freeing of the slaves was more or less part of his political strategy
+2 votes
This is a tough one for me, because as I have a very, very strong aversion to predicting the future. But I'll lay out a few thoughts.

Not counting various dreams, I've lived through three or four end of the world scenarios so far. The first I remember was Y2K (lol). Some people freaked out super hard, probably because they were psychologically predisposed to that and the media coverage of it was super overblown because of course that's what the media does because money, but a lot of people just ignored it because it didn't have enough to do with their lives. The next was 9/11, not exactly end of the world but it seemed everybody in the US came up with some reason why they might be next (again, media, money, etc) and were making lots of plans for what if the terrorists blew up the nearby nuclear reactor and all that. Now, for all the problems of people misunderstanding a culture that isn't theirs, I thought the 2012 end of the world excitement was much more interesting. Nobody really *did* anything, but it wasn't really clear what you were *supposed* to do. I had a john who confessed to me that he had been hoping the aliens would finally come and reveal themselves and teach us to love each other. Late 2012 was very disappointing for him as you might guess, but I love this kind of end of the world, where no one's told what it will mean or what to do, so that it's a pocket that each person can put whatever they want into. In this sense, the end of the world is just like the future, but charged with high levels of messianic intensity.

The next thought is that our hopes and our fears are intimately linked. I see a lot of stuff about the fear of a civil war, and I suspect there's a hope there too. And vice-versa with the people who are outspokenly hoping for a civil war.

I'm investing my hope-fear energy elsewhere -- although that kind of scenario can certainly have anarchist implications, I see these as orders of magnitude smaller than the horrors and the consolidation of new states, so I am abstaining from feeding that particular beast. To be honest, I'm much more on a similar page with the john I mentioned above, though I imagine my aliens are probably different from his.

So to answer the question: I think things will be both weirder and more normal than anyone expects. Weirder and weirder in every sense, but also more normal -- not because there is anything but weirdness at the heart of existence, but because it is a weirdness so weird that it gives birth to prolonged periods of banality exactly when we would never expect it.

I have other thoughts that I'll save for the comment section.
by (19.8k points)
your answer is like a breath of fresh air like usual, that john you mentioned probably had aliens in mind that looked a lot like you X-D

I've lived through all those same messianic scenarios, the Y2K probably the most non-sensical, thinking that date errors in computer systems had the power to do anything totally catastrophic...

2012 was interesting and they might have been right...who knows how astronomy and the universe work...while astrology seems like a load of bullshit 2012 may have been the beginning of a new "cosmic era"...
No idea if it would pass a "fact check" but I remember reading or hearing that the Earth / our solar system travels on a long (thousands of years) cycle in and out of the plane of the galaxy -- and that right at late 2012 it crossed the plane.

Would not be at all surprised if Mayan astronomers accurately calculated something like that.