What, Then, is America Good For?

The Coming Dystopia and the Promise of Andrew Yang

I’m just going to put this out there: I deserve a media company.

I know, I know, we are living in an Age of Entitlement, with everyone arguing about who deserves what as a consequence of their general humanity or their specific identity. Plus, I have deep sympathy for Hamlet’s expression of the Conviction of the Ancients, that if all people got what they deserved, none would escape the whipping.

So the thought that I deserve a media company does not sit easily in my mind. The thing is: I keep having ideas which seem to me important in reclaiming the function of media as a mirror of true understanding.

This, I am sure, is in part why I resonate with the Universal Basic Income proposal championed by Andrew Yang, even though spending some months in a Yang Gang Facebook group has made plain that for a bunch of young people, UBI will just make it much, much, easier to play video games as society burns.

But, I still have this idealistic vanity that there are a bunch of people like me, with actual good ideas, who would be empowered to fund their own coming alive.

Mine is a socialism through the lens of self-help, wherein the proper question is not what it is the world needs, but what it is that makes a person come alive. This, because “life” only exists in relationship to reality.

Much has been made over the last couple hundred years over the impossibility of ever achieving objective knowledge about Reality, and consequently there has been little to prevent a slide into post-modern insanity on a simple conceptual level.

My proposition is that we do, indeed, have a way of knowing reality, and that faculty is our own lives. Much as we have tried to create artificial environments, our lives, I contend, require Reality to thrive. As Lao Tzu put it: What goes against the TAO does not last long.

Hence I am also sympathetic to Yang’s proposal to replace the GDP as the measure of social well-being, by a collection of other statistics that take into account things like life expectancy. I don’t really have a good idea of what set of statistics that would be, but it seems clear enough that what we’re really trying to measure is quality of life, not economic productivity.

If economic productivity is the goal, then China is the model of the future, and not the United States. 21st Century Communism is grotesque, but superior economically in terms of growth and development – and even more importantly, social control. The Chinese Communist Party is pioneering both the Techno-Authoritarian state and a post-human economic future powered by robotics and AI.

What, then, is America good for?

It’s a dark future, founded already in a profound duplicity within America’s most powerful and profitable companies. Ricky Gervais touched on this uncomfortable truth by comedically juxtaposing the messages put forth in Apple Studio’s hit show against the fact that the company depends upon the manufacture of its high-end high-tech by effective slaves.

This is not a simple problem, given the actual history of the colonial capitalism upon which our lives, and all our great toys, are built. The industrial tide that has raised all boats comes at a brutal cost, leaving the Progressive Left of the First World locked in a cycle of self-hatred and failed attempts at purification.

Yes, friends, Wakanda does not exist. That concoction of rare earth metals, specialized plastics and glass upon which you read this, and all of the network architecture that brings these words to you, is not the product of a sustainably mined mountain of Vibranium.

And Google, like every other politically progressive bastion of commercial power, sold its soul to China and the Techno Dystopian Future just as surely as the ideals of American Liberty were sold in the creation of Standard Oil, and the triumph of the American Colossus over the resources of Planet Earth circa 1950.

So, is America anything other than the city shining on the hill of human hypocrisy?

If the cause of human liberty is based on anything, it is on the power of the individual human to tune, by means of their own happiness, in on Reality, and thereby to come alive. This elusive term, happiness, needs to be properly understood as something more than pleasure, something more than property. The ultimate foundation of true happiness is nothing other than conscience itself.

A heart that is weighted can never be at peace.

But, this is the foundation for the madness of a shame-driven politics, as people attempt to shed the guilt that comes with their lifestyle.

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