The Hurricane Warning

The extent, and the momentum, of corrosion in our society seems increasingly beyond rational problem solving.

I extend the recent string of deep pessimism, here, without enthusiasm. It would be nice to concentrate for a while on something else, again.

But I try, try to keep up with major events of the day, and lately this has been both very high-volume, and increasingly horrifying as they seem to gather into something like a destructive force of nature.

I’m not sure how much detail to go into, here. I’m not sure whether or not I can persuasively explain the impression of recording the reports of society going off the rails, daily for two and a half years, to someone who has not gone through the same experience.

Suffice to say that, with this experience as background, I am lately losing the ability to see relevant solutions to scale with the problems, which can credibly be accomplished by any kind of rational planned response.

This is an evolutionary development. For quite some time, now, any blueprint or roadmap to what I could call relevant solutions to scale with the problems has strained credibility. I have accepted that all such possibilities are unlikely.

Lately, though, it feels like we are entering a stage in which it does not even make sense to consider odds at all. The corrosion is, again, spreading so fast and so far that there seems not even to be any reliable system within which we can make long-term plans. Each week seems to reveal the dire weakness or corruption of another component of the system; within what framework can you make any meaningful plan for a year from now, let alone four or six or a dozen?

This is the evolutionary step which feels, nonetheless, like a step across some kind of line. I’m familiar with pessimism, with frustration, with confronting problems far beyond an individual. The traditional answers are also familiar: don’t give up, organize, fight it. I have done this, I live this. I share my small resources with Elizabeth Warren’s campaign for president mainly because she seems most to embody this combination of reasoned planning and insistent focus on the possibilities for positive change, rather than on the probabilities of negative change.

But I’m bumping up against the honest truth that there are problems which even the most determined people don’t attempt to fight on a rational basis.

When a hurricane is on its way, for example, we don’t generally advise people to organize, fight, resist with all you’ve got. When a hurricane is on its way, we generally advise people to shelter in place or else flee for your fucking life.

It seems to me like the corrosive forces convulsing our society are reaching the equivalent of hurricane-strength. Worse, without quite breaking my metaphor, I would add that there are plenty of documented instances of such storms lasting for decades, not days.

I would like to believe that I’m wrong, but this, at any rate, is my considered assessment at present.

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