Aug 142020
 August 14, 2020  Posted by at 12:35 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Egon Schiele Self-Portrait with Lowered Head 1912



Regular Automatic Earth guest writer Alexander Aston this time comes not from Zimbabwe, Cambridge or Greece, but from South Carolina, where he is on family business. And that’s where he’s venting his anger about. I’m pretty sure we would all benefit from doing more of that, get it all off our chests. I think maybe the main issue with it in the present day circumstances is you have to make sure it’s your anger, and not somebody else’s that you’re merely parroting.

I personally like Alexander’s notion of: “America, a Country For Old Men”.




Alexander Aston: Is there any more perfect metaphor for a society in terminal decline than the senescent Joe Biden? The U.S. election has boiled down to a choice between the authoritarian versions of Mr. Magoo and P.T. Barnum. Truly, “there’s a sucker born every minute” is a far more apropos motto for the country than E. Pluribus Unum. The Republicans have adopted a Christian Nationalism that identifies with a New York shyster that says all the shitty things they’ve been feeling for decades while blaming the least powerful. It’s always easier to kick down than punch up and moral courage is not a common trait.

Likewise, the Democrats smug self-satisfied conviction of ethical superiority and sense of entitlement to the votes of every women, brown person and leftist makes them not only insufferable but delusional. The DNC managed to crush the momentum and energy of one of the most significant left- wing grassroots movements in US history. They have demoralised a huge swath of the under-45 crowd and subverted an actual political vision (regardless of whether you agree with it or not) in favour of a man with an abysmal record and signs of growing cognitive impairment. The DNC platform offers zero substantive policy other than “not Trump” (a policy that’s going to have a very short honeymoon in the face of cascading systems failure).

The Democrats have made no concessions on even one important progressive/left issue. Now they have picked a morally bankrupt prosecutor who’s deeply entangled with the prison industrial complex at a time in which “defund the police” has coalesced into a key feature of American discourse. Yet, liberals seem completely shocked and aghast by the fact that there are large numbers of young folks, minorities and women that are unwilling to shut up and put up. The level of enthusiasm beyond the party faithful, for those still willing to vote Democrat, amounts to the ever inspiring “I’ll grit my teeth.”


Meanwhile, I know middle aged folks that have never voted in their lives who have signed up just to support Trump. In other words, they are motivated. Like it or lump it, that’s some of the real political complexity behind the vacuous narrative management of the MSM. On a national level, the American sense of reality is becoming more unhinged than a schizophrenic dropping acid after a weeklong meth binge. George Soros funded Antifa and Putin’s army of trolls are all monsters of the same fevered social imagination. On its current trajectory, the American Right will soon believe anyone to the left of Attila the Hun is a “far-left radical.”

Likewise, U.S. liberals will be left haunted and terrified by the spectre of Russian agents stealing their precious bodily fluids. Meanwhile, the virus will continue to rage, and corporate feudalism will further entrench itself as the benefits of imperial citizenship rapidly fade. The only thing that’s certain is that huge swaths of Americans still won’t actually understand what is happening to them and continue to blame the opposing factions of management, figments of their propaganda, the dispossessed and the marginalised. I don’t believe the specific outcome of the American election is all that relevant anymore.

The sad truth is that the United States is collapsing under the weight of a microscopic entity and its own systemic contradictions. The various narratives of what is happening and what it means to be an American have become so wildly divergent that there are multiple parallel realities operating in the United States. What’s frightening is how few realise the diversity and complexity of these various perspectives, fears and aspirations. Regardless of who wins the election, trust in the political legitimacy of the American system is being fatally undermined. If the margin of the election is close, it is guaranteed that one side will not accept the results.


If the election is swept, then the winning party will be saddled with a crisis of unparalleled proportions in the history of the country. Furthermore, neither party has the political vision nor competence to actually address the challenges that beset them. The U.S. would need leadership on par with a Lincoln or Aurelius to rescue the political system. Whoever is in power will rapidly face multiple and intersecting forms of systemic breakdown, resistance and noncompliance as the extent of the economic devastation becomes truly apparent.

The first part of the 2020’s will consist of material deprivation, civil unrest and increasingly robust challenges to the United States’ geostrategic position. The more that authoritarians try to exert control in a high entropy environment (robbing Peter to pay Paul), the faster the system will fall apart. Ultimately, I believe that the break-up of the United States is all but inevitable at present. What I hope is that it will be a relatively peaceful dissolution and reorganisation. What should terrify us all is the prospect of real violence as the various factions and coalitions jockey for power in the new reality. A few truly smooth brained idiots think that they just need to tool up and go mow down a few “liberal snowflakes” so that they can return to the 1950’s by Christmas.


A conflict in North America would be a clusterfuck that would make Syria’s civil war look like a game of checkers. Forget electoralism and eschew romantic notions of purification through violence. Build solidarity networks, figure out how to make your communities economically, socially and psychologically resilient. My suggestion would be that Mutualism, Libertarian Municipalism and Democratic Confederalism offer some good starting points for thinking about these things. I would recommend setting up a micro- factory in your community so that you can start manufacturing necessary tools and goods on a local level. Here are some freely available schematics: Civilization Starter Kit.

Try to appreciate the limitations of your own understanding so that you might be more compassionate towards others. Don’t blame people for having problems they don’t know how to fix, try helping them instead. Some things, once broken, cannot be mended. This is very true for societies. I sincerely wish you all the best of luck. Please be good to one another and defend those less powerful and fortunate than yourself.

P.S. If you are in a swing state you should follow your conscience, but it should be beneath any person’s dignity to vote for either party in their safe states. If you don’t understand how the American electoral system works at this point then shame on you, stop berating people for voting Green in Montana or Libertarian in California, they’re actually displaying some political acumen.





We try to run the Automatic Earth on donations. Since ad revenue has collapsed, your support is now an integral part of the process.

Thank you for your support.



Support the Automatic Earth in virustime.


Home Forums The Gerontocracy Strikes Back

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • Author
  • #62147

    Egon Schiele Self-Portrait with Lowered Head 1912     Regular Automatic Earth guest writer Alexander Aston this time comes not from Zimbabwe
    [See the full post at: The Gerontocracy Strikes Back]


    I like it this analysis.
    What happens when the soldiers come home to defend the homeland?


    A Truth teller.
    I like that he is not blinded by the Emperor’s new clothes.

    V. Arnold

    Alexander Aston: Is there any more perfect metaphor for a society in terminal decline than the senescent Joe Biden?

    Kudos to Alexander Aston for a well written post.
    I found it a clear vision of today’s United States; a morally bankrupt relic of past glories and historical mythologies…

    V. Arnold

    …on further thought; I’ve been a machinist (master class), blacksmith, coppersmith, and CAD design engineer (by experience, not degree) and fail to see how this, may I say, Utopian vision, can come togeher under the present reality of the U.S. society.
    I love the concept, but utterly fail to see any possible implementation, given the fractured nature of today’s U.S. society.
    The skills I spent a lifetime learning and perfecting were, in the end, worth didly squat every where I looked for work.
    That and the utter travesty/barbarity of the U.S. dealing with Iraq were the last straw.
    So, Alexander Aston, the best of luck with your dream…but don’t count me in…


    While Biden is slipping, at least he isn’t dead set on removing all regulations which attempt to protect the environment and consumers. Harris is strong and sharp. The powers that be will pull strings, but I suspect Harris will counterbalance that to a degree. To opt for four more years of DJY-Pence is to guarantee that the Supreme Court will be set to let Pence & Co. create a Theocracy in the US, with continued Corporate Welfare.


    I liked this very much but agree with V that having the civilization skills are a bit over rated when there is a world of junk money and left over tools already out there.

    james charles

    ” Is there any more perfect metaphor for a society in terminal decline than the senescent Joe Biden? ”

    It ‘matters’ not?
    “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens
    Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page
    Each of four theoretical traditions in the study of American politics—which can be characterized as theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy, Economic-Elite Domination, and two types of interest-group pluralism, Majoritarian Pluralism and Biased Pluralism—offers different predictions about which sets of actors have how much influence over public policy: average citizens; economic elites; and organized interest groups, mass-based or business-oriented. A great deal of empirical research speaks to the policy influence of one or another set of actors, but until recently it has not been possible to test these contrasting theoretical predictions against each other within a single statistical model. We report on an effort to do so, using a unique data set that includes measures of the key variables for 1,779 policy issues. Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism. “

    Mister Roboto

    I live in a swing state (Wisconsin), and my conscience tells me to vote no more for the institutional duopoly, and that holding on to false hope by voting for likes of Biden and Harris is but a form of enabling. The Democratic Party faithful really only care about preserving the position and perks of the big-city, blue-state neo-liberal elites, who are singularly indifferent to the sufferings of Flyover Country folk under aegis of economic globalism.

    If I’m going to be completely honest, Biden could have my vote if he would pledge to sponsor legislation that would put a cap on how much Big Pharma can charge for insulin. But I know damn well that his campaign and the DNC are so beholden to moneyed interests such as Big Pharma that this would never happen, despite the fact that such a little demand would be considered perfectly reasonable and moderate in a western European country.

    But what it really boils down to is that our politics are hopelessly sick and broken because the societal context in which they exist is hopelessly sick and broken and offers nothing worth trusting or believing in. That’s why despite how much I hate what Trump is doing to the US Post Office right now, just to give one example, I can simply accept that “it’s all over except for the shouting” and realize that whatever is going to happen will simply happen. That said, if voting for Biden makes it a little bit easier to sleep the night of election day, then go right ahead and do that with my blessing, for whatever little that’s worth. 😉


    Those saying it makes no difference are wrong. Do you want a theocracy which thinks poisoning the environment is fine as long as the elite get richer? Do you want a Supreme Court which will suppress women in various ways and a justice system that will continue to expand the numbers in prison beyond what is by far the largest % in the world? Do you think privatizing water and sewer systems is in the common interest?

    Pharma is just one industry that gets fat at our expense. Enviro regulations have been gutted, and that will continue if DJT remains.

    Dr. D

    Wouldn’t get too worked up, everything is going the way it goes in such times.

    Leaders are useless and now, demasked. They are self-serving, as mostly, only finally we know it. Parties are useless and self-serving, only finally we know it. They serve the wealthy who have time to build access, only finally we know it.

    People are less unified than they were last year, but not hardly as divided, tribal, violent, or suspicious as nearly any other time in history. Daily human rights are generally better than any other time in history. Crime is still nearly as low as any other time in history. There are what? 30 people killed in 3 months of violent, city-burning protests? That’s a miracle. Nobody’s interested, nobody’s trying…especially those “smooth brained liberal killers”: they go out 14 hours in the cold and dark and just to shoot things for pleasure, and don’t miss. So if they miss, they aren’t shooting. If they’re not shooting, given the violent antagonism and slander put on them in the last 30 years, what makes you think they’ll start now?

    Anyway, so the nation “breaks up”. What does that mean? “They” have no vision, no legitimacy, and the experts who were always helpless, trampling everyone they could find, but now have no money, no violent force, and no centralization to push their plans.

    What does that tell you? We’re going into a dream of the “smooth-brained” right. Decentralization means re-localization, and we can stop being trampled by a bunch of nit-wits who inhabit 10 square blocks, 500 miles away. States reclaim their power, their law, and their individualization. Their unique culture and story. That is, their diversity that everyone hates so much. Their centralized, expensive, hare-brained plans never came to any good anyway, as in Vietnam, Iraq, and 3-Mile Island, and now we can happily do without them, thank you very much.

    “Breaking up” the nation therefore, is just turning back to what it was always supposed to be, what works, and the confederation of States that is the actual, written, but ignored and trampled law. The one the Right, the de-centralists, and generally ruralists, have been trying hold up and keep stable, out of empire, out of monopoly, out of oligarchy, for the whole 100 years since the Progressives joined up with the KKK and central bank, and started.

    So what’s the problem here? Who’s losing? Cities. Busybodies. Warmongers. Oligarchs. Bureaucrats. Rentiers. The unworking complainers who they keep like housepets and pat on the head, send out to bite. Not salutary.

    Who wins? Well, the high is made low, and the low made high. That’s not planning, just the way of things. The Tao says the best run country has the least laws, the least enforced. No one can do it, no one can pay to have it done. Therefore, without idiot experts, without self-serving helpful trampling the earth, the people must then regulate themselves. And they will, and they do. …But it takes a while. Things are ragged first. But we don’t NEED them, they need US. So the only possible outcome is that we, the poor and trampled, get richer and freer. They the rich extractors, get poorer, less able to pillage and trample. And this is all bad how?

    Sounds great. Been saying we should do this for years. Nicer, of course, but nobody’s going to give up pillage, murder, rape of endless 13-year olds from camps in Minnesota, without a fight. So a fight we have. They lost. All you have to do is wait. No energy + no money = no centralization. No centralization means no Lords. No Lords = no Peasants. No peasants is all for free men. Free Americans then. Again. And? Good. Thank you.

    As V says though, skills are for rot right now. Nobody cares. But we each our own, in our corner. As I am in mine.

    V. Arnold

    Dr. D
    So a fight we have. They lost. All you have to do is wait. No energy + no money = no centralization. No centralization means no Lords. No Lords = no Peasants. No peasants is all for free men. Free Americans then. Again. And? Good. Thank you.

    Dr. D;
    One of your best; spot on all the way down…

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.