The unraveling of America’s social order is speeding up, and rejection will not conserve us from the effects of the plundering of the social contract.
What kind of nation boasts a record-high stock market and an unraveling social order? Response: a failed country, a country that has substituted artifice for realism for far too long, a nation that now depends on illusory phantoms of capital, success and democracy to prop up a collapsing exterior of “wealth” that the people now comprehends is mainly in the hands of a few families and corporations, most of which pay little to support the citizenry they dominate politically and financially.
The social order sounds abstract, however it is all too genuine. The social order has two main components: social cohesion, the glue of typical purpose and shared sacrifice binding the social order, and the social agreement, the implicit contract in between the judgment elite, the state (federal government) and citizens (the middle class, the working bad and state dependents) that their labor, taxes and sacrifices will nurture a society with a level playing field, broad-based opportunity and security.
America’s social cohesion has been lost, ground under the heel of soaring inequality, a two-tiered economic/political order, systemic unfairness and the elite’s divide-and-conquer control of the political and cultural orders.
Historian Peter Turchin identified this social unraveling as disintegrative: people no longer find reasons to cooperate and share sacrifices to work towards a typical national purpose. Rather, they discover a wide range of reasons to unload sacrifices onto others, hoard their own wealth and look for to expand their power by speeding up the disintegrative forces.
There is no debate about the collapse of America’s social agreement, there are just differing levels of self-serving denial. Commoners have actually awakened to the emptiness of the standard promise to get a college degree, work hard and you’ll be rewarded with security and prosperity. Huge swaths of America are a ransacked, decaying shell of a society similar to developing countries suffering under the jackboot of kleptocrats.
America’s fast-expanding class of billionaires are doing their best to imitate the unaware French nobility right before France’s convulsive revolution in 1789: America’s billionaires bleat that they must pay more taxes while their lobbying bulldozes gigantic loopholes in the tax code, enabling Apple and other global giants to leave U.S. taxes.
America’s billionaires are busy developing $500 million personal luxury yachts and private spaceships while proclaiming their globally distributed sweatshops are raising all boats in a tide of cash conjured out of thin air by the billionaires’ main bankers.
America’s ruling elite has rewritten the social contract to benefit itself at the expense of the bottom 99.9%. Studies have validated that the bottom 99.9% hold virtually no political power, and the bottom 90% gather a pitiful 3% of all income produced by capital and hold an inconsequentially thin piece of the country’s wealth.
Patterns in Income From 1975 to 2018
$50 trillion in revenues has actually been moved to the Financial Aristocracy from the bottom 90% of American households over the past 45 years.
Monopoly Versus Democracy: How to End a Gilded Age
Ten percent of Americans now control 97 percent of all capital income in the country. Nearly half of the brand-new earnings generated because the international financial crisis of 2008 has actually gone to the wealthiest one percent of U.S. people. The richest three Americans jointly have more wealth than the poorest 160 million Americans.
As I explained in Is a Cultural Revolution Brewing in America? (4/9/21), actions have effects and cultural revolutions arise from the suppression of genuine political expression and the failure of the routine to satisfy its lofty idealistic goals.
When there is no relief valve in a collapsing social order, the explosive pressure is ultimately released in a Cultural Transformation that lets loose all the bottled-up aggravations on elites. These frustrations have no outlet politically since they’re threatening to the status quo and therefore suppressed at every turn.
Put another way, if the pendulum is pressed to an extreme of exploitation, suppression and inequality, when it’s launched, it will reach an equivalent extreme (minus a little friction) at the opposite end. That might be an unanticipated however totally foreseeable Cultural Transformation.
Those who claim that can’t occur in America are safely outside the pressure cooker, safeguarded by a delusional confidence that because I’m doing excellent, everyone is doing terrific. Since genuine political firm is no longer permitted, the pressure will discover release outside the political system. The lobbyists will still be haunting the corridors of governance, however no one will care, for The falcon will no longer hear the falconer.
The unraveling of America’s social order is accelerating, and denial will not save us from the consequences of the plundering of the social contract.
I have actually written a variety of books on these topics over the years; totally free sample chapters can be found on My Books:
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