Tuesday, January 31, 2017

ANTI-EVERYTHING?


A reactionary is someone who unreasonably resists any ideas or behaviors that are different from the status quo or his/her concept of what is ideal. For example, I am admittedly reactionary in response to gangster rap music. I can reason out its origins and its artistic merits, but I have a gut reaction against its drug culture, violent imagery, misogyny and homophobia. My reactionary distaste is mollified by reason. In other words, I would not promote a ban on gangster rap. I value free speech over my reactionary impulses. I just won't buy it or listen to it. 

Being reactionary is part of being human. There are good survival mechanisms involved in the reactionary response. The fight-or-flight mechanism is one of the most basic. This most likely explains why old people, small children and many people who become extremely ill are more reactionary than others. This interests me because I am older and have survived severe debilitating illness. I am also a retired registered nurse. So, I have been able to look at this issue from several vantage points. My hypothesis from my observations is this: Human beings resist change in direct proportion to their state of comfort or discomfort. 

Those who are extremely wealthy, like Bill and Melinda Gates, may become less reactionary. For example, they may give out some of their great wealth to promote global change. They may become more flexible politically. They may move from opportunism to philanthropic altruism. Those who are extremely poor may also be less reactionary. They have little to lose with change and perhaps something to gain, if they are presented with an opportunity to increase their comfort. They may move from impoverished stagnation to hopeful opportunism. This can be used for bad purposes by bad people, as we have seen historically. 

Those in society's middle have always been the roiling mass of both progressive energy and reactionary resistance. Their gravitation to either pole seems to be related to where they are economically in society. The most progressive seem to be those on the way up economically. The most reactionary seem to be those on their way down economically. Those most moderate in this middle group appear to be those, in capitalist society, who have capital enough to sustain a stable economic future whether there is political/social change or not. Excluding mental illness, education, combined with capital stability, promotes moderation in the face of either stasis or change.

Why is the current anti-everything-Trump mania in the USA seated in the progressive middle? In other words, why are those who are climbing up the economic ladder from the middle (for example, college students) the most hysterical reactionaries against the current government administration? I believe the vehement reactionary wave against anything Trump among progressives has little to do with the specifics of Trump's stated goals or with their loss of the 2016 election. 

The denial of its steady losses by the economic middle of the USA in the recent decades is obvious. Rather than conforming to the globalist goal to knock down their lifestyles in favor of wealth redistribution globally and wealth maintenance of capitalist aristocrats, many in the USA's economic middle have worked more hours, leveraged themselves to the hilt and gone on a spending binge on credit to compensate for the misery of their lives. The result has been a tenuous grip on their economic stability and an increase in their stress. One more stock market failure or banking failure could crack off the edge of the economic cliff from which they are hanging by their fingernails. 

Then why are the wild protesters against Trump generally younger? I speculate that the most vehement anti-everything-Trump protesters are those whose lives are most dependent on the status quo. This sounds counter-intuitive, since quiet conservatives are traditionally seen as guardians of the status quo. 

Consider the children of middle-income families who now medically insure them under Obamacare until they are 25. This is a wide swath of young Americans of the economic middle. Consider the high number of children from the lower level of middle income and lower who have been raised in the expanded food stamp program. Consider the children whose college educations come from the leveraged equity of their parents' homes or businesses. In other words, consider the possibility that these vehement anti-everything-Trump protesters are not social justice warriors. Consider that they may be understandably protesting change in the status quo from a position of personal entitlement. This is not progressive. This is understandably reactionary, but it does not represent some ethical superiority. 

If people in the USA continue to subscribe to capitalism as it now exists in The West and increasingly around the globe, they should catch up with the inevitability of Trumps and Putins. We do not live in a democracy. We live in a republic. Republics throughout history have been ruled by aristocrats. Being reactionary against everything-Trump is basically being reactionary to a system to which you have subscribed election after election for decades. In other words, ignorant conformity in any political direction, combined with operating on a basis of selfish capitalist individualism, will inevitably lead to authoritarian regimes. Bernie Sanders is an anomaly. Trump and Clinton were simply examples of the system progressing farther along to more power for the elite and less for the middle.  

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