UPDATE: What I wrote here is both valuable and irrelevant. All zits eventually pop. Here we go!
With Trump vs Hillary counting down to the wire it is tempting to look desperately for other options. We find ourselves forced by Trump’s incompetence, brittle psyche, awful lack of empathy and absence of basic cognitive ability to vote for Hillary. Yet we find ourselves increasingly disillusioned and dejected by the Neoliberal status quo that she represents. We wonder: is there another option?
I’m all for a third party candidate in theory but Stein and Johnson are not viable.
Moreover, this election has me going crazy with how people seem to be mis-perceiving the job of the president: in addition to checking the legislature, the president is primarily the commander in chief of the armed forces and an interface with other nations! Our legislature is supposed to handle the domestic policy, the president is supposed to interact with the world and serve as a check domestically if the legislature does something very screwy that doesn’t fit with the context of the wider reality.
I understand the desire for a more peaceful president who cares about domestic policy and is outside of the status quo, but I think it is misguided in light of the options available to us. The president is a warrior job by design, they command the generals and admirals directly, not the legislature!
Both third party candidates inspire no confidence from me that they could handle the pressure of helming the modern apparatus of the cybernetic military. They are attempting to be pure in a world of shadows. Assigning blame for the shadows does not get rid of them!! We still need to live with the shadows that we may heal them.
The truth is that the world is on a knife edge because predation is real: predatory impulses and strategies are entirely natural. Arms races and perpetual conflict stances along borders, while stupid intellectually, are the most stable real-world equlibria.
So my unpopular stance comes now: Hillary is the best candidate for the job, even disregarding Trump. She is the status quo candidate and I want the status quo to continue.
We think that sick people should be left to live so that they may be healed, and I urge us to consider our nation-state system as superpersonages: we are diseased, but that disease also brings with it the possibility for our healing as we see our maladies.
Neoliberalism is here to stay as long as we have fiat currency. The military industrial complex is here to stay as long as the legislature is gridlocked. The current power distribution of military arsenals is here to stay and will have to be carefully re-adjusted over a long period of time, unless the desire to ‘shake it up’ is so strong that it leads to war before it can be rolled back.
The United States has 11 aircraft carriers, with 7–8 deployed continuously keeping the status quo alive for international shipping, which allows us all to have these conversations with our computers made in China, Korea & Taiwan.
Trade has created great incentives for peace among the elites and commoners alike, but trade is still an abstraction above the bedrock of threat of violence.
By my analysis the international order is due for a shakeup in the next decades, in many ways it has already begun. The omnipresent power of the US is fading as other actors gain relative power. More than just nations, there are vast criminal networks that would, as animals are want to do, seize on any opportunity to jostle for more power and influence in the world.
We will see more hot offensive conflicts, more proxy wars, more cyberspace incursions. Even space is in the process of being more militarized, with China demonstrating that it can destroy satellites and future technologies of 3D printing allowing new classes of spy satellites to actually physically tamper with existing GPS and intelligence networks. Moreover individual actors have never been more empowered to wreak their violent designs.
I’m sorry but this is not just a “conspiracy theory” to keep us scared, the world is genuinely a very hot place which we as citizens are insulated from. Again, we can assign blame as to why it is so hot, but that does not make it cool!
I write passionately about ending the cybernetic military presence in the middle east. I am these days even thinking that the US Navy should relax its territorial claims in the south china sea to let China police the region rather than US aircraft carriers. But make no mistake the multitrillion dollar weapons & sensor network of the US military is here to stay for the foreseeable future. The US military is still the queen and the bishops and even the rooks on this stupid global artificial chessboard called International Relations. The president must be able to act swiftly and violently if conditions demand. this is the real world and in the real world predators murder their prey. The governments of Putin and Xi Jinpin are jockeying for greater power in the game. Japan is even considering abolishing article 9 of its constitution to allow itself to have an OFFENSIVE military because of the expansionary desires of China.
I have been seriously searching my knowledge, my mind and my soul and cannot even begin to take Stein or Johnson seriously. They are not prepared for the reality of the job of president, which is a brutal thing.
Stein is singing about a gentler world while other actors are becoming harsher.
I know this rings defeatist, but please understand that it is not. What is needed is a grassroots revolution in electing local representatives to the legislature! The legislature can roll back NSA, can curb the use of drones globally, can create standards for computer warfare; the president just uses the tools they have.
It took France two tries to have a successful revolution, and each time was brutal. Our world and its billions cannot afford such a blind charge into “liberty”. We must be much more adult than romantic if we seek to improve the world.
Do I agree with the Neoliberal Clinton / Obama / Bush style of international relations? No. Do I accept that it is reflective of the nature of the international order as it was set up by the VICTORS OF A GLOBAL WAR? Yes.
Hillary understands the designs of neoliberal policies and the military industrial complex better than any one of these third party candidates can ever dream of because she is the shadow that helped build it.
I want our world to become a garden, but that will take intense negotiations backed up with the threat of force. Humans are animals, and our nations reflect our animal nature.
We feel inspired to action by studying the ugliness of the world, but change will take more than just one election cycle. It will take the death of most of the legislators alive today and a conscious effort among us millennials to demand a kinder legislature and step into legislative roles. It will take perhaps the fundamental rattling of the concept of fiat currency. It may even take hot conflict in the south china sea, or continued aggression in the Ukraine and Northern Europe to get us to re-evaluate the design of the international system. It will take hurricanes and millions more emigrants from scorched lands to convince us of the truth and directness of climate change.
Yet the US DoD, General Martin Dempsey and the joint chiefs, all consider climate change a massive threat to national security. The US military itself has no desire for war and indeed has desires to help create peace, even if its tools are often not well-suited.
The US DoD is the largest employer IN THE WORLD, employing 3.2 million people counting all the various bureaucrats and such. The momentum on the current design of our world is immense. In my striving to be a better futurist I’ve had to accept that my dreams of new designs for our tomorrows will take more than just tomorrow’s time.
But still the reality is that the US military must be, in the continual calculus of global military strategists (of which there is feverish computer-driven analysis like never before), seen as too costly to engage with. Massive strength and targeted violence is the real-world deterrent allowing this version of society to function.
Please, I urge you and anyone reading this to look upon the world as we strive to do ourselves: with honesty and clarity.
You can still pass your personal judgement on the design of the international order, but I only hope that we can all see that the continuation of this status quo is, right now in this real moment, the optimal outcome.
Chaos = war and I do not want to fight in a war with these modern deadly technologies. It would break our spirits perhaps even before it killed us all.
Putin and Jinpin do not share the kind ideals of Stein, or the hands-off desires of Johnson. Each of them seeks to expand the power of their respective nations for the benefit of themselves and their circles. They must keep their citizens placated with continual growth, for the world has not yet awakened beyond the material reality. This can be bemoaned intellectually and spiritually, but with one’s root chakra one can see that there are finite resources and finite territories on the Earth.
Human “civilizations” are only a few thousand years old. We are still very much inside of the ancient designs.
Trust is the least likely outcome of any given interaction. Game theory emerged and flowered in the cold war to try and understand how to get to the trust outcome. We have made strides, but we cannot afford someone whom will turn from violence when it is required.
I suffered depression in my college days in large part due to my studies and the perceived impossibility of de-militarizing the world. I wrote my thesis on the inevitable deadly spiral of drone use two years before I read the first “serious” articles commenting on the problems of the US precedent in line with my analysis. Then Snowden revealed just how deep the rabbit hole has been dug. We are inside of a hostile design and it is not turning quickly away.
It will take the collective consciousness and directed action of millions of people to actually change the nature of the international order. In all real likelihood it will take a few generations of that kind of sustained energy to actually improve the world, as it seems to have always.
I believe it is possible to make a more peaceful world, but my beliefs do not make reality. Even a president’s beliefs are ultimately second-order to the reality of the international community’s desires and the path dependency set up by the history of nations’ choices. It has only been 70 years since Hiroshima was destroyed in nuclear fire.
Hillary is a Hawk, and Stein is a Dove. Unfortunately, Putin is a bear and Jinpin seems some kind of Tiger.
We the people of the US must assert to Hillary that we wish her to minimize violence. We must demand that she foster peace wherever possible.
But we the people of the US also rely on a bedrock of violence to keep the status quo of our way of life. We, with clarity, must accept that we are living in an empire and our comforts & securities are the result of a history of violence and a present of military posturing.
Is the status quo brutal? I think so. Do I want it to change? Yes. Do I want it to disintegrate? Absolutely not, for I would be compelled by duty to fight in the great war that would emerge, and I have no idea what the sides would even be.
I cannot possibly agree that we should entrust the US military to Stein, for I see in her no desire to interact with violence, which makes her unfit for the job. The president is a check not just to the domestic legislature but to the other leaders of the worlds’ nations: it must be believable that the president of the US would deploy violence if the bedrock of insanity is reached.
Mutually assured destruction is still the glue holding the international order together.
There are no clean ways out, the world that has been given to us to live in is filled with death and destruction as it is with love and creation.
It is not time for Stein, not as the commander in chief of the largest military ever constructed. I will welcome her to the legislature, but I am compelled to campaign against her as president.
Peace is a luxury of the affluent, and the world is becoming in many ways poorer.
As we rape our planet the incentives for war grow. Russia has no high technology and its oil is becoming less valuable by the month. China needs to continue its growth lest its population begin to feel unrest. The US put itself in the position of global police force and that is not a job that one simply turns away from, regardless of how terrible it may be.
Path dependency is real: the international order is held together still at its bedrock foundation with the reality of kinetic destructive power. This is not ideal, but the world is not ideal.
I’m sorry to be so blunt and so verbose but I am tormented by this too.
I haven’t given up, I am just seeking to see as clearly as possible that we may make a gentler world rise from the madness of the current. Ultimately I love my friends and family more than I love ideals and I am limited in this way: I want the status quo for that is the way that I know that we will be safe.
I simply do not have confidence in Stein as the commander in chief of the current design of the US. We live in an oligarchy and this is hurtful to see, but also it is the default design of most of human civilization. Changing this is bigger than one election. But the universe is made of change, so I still have hope. I only urge everyone to stay level-headed and clear-eyed!