a reply to: chaeone86
Sadly, when you speak of the critical nature of consensus, you've hit the nail on its hideous and increasingly inevitable head, I fear. Meaningful
consensus can no longer be mounted, as facts have been rendered increasingly subjective in the zeitgeist of the internet age, and ever more brazen and
blatant propaganda is employed by the myriad interest groups.
Somehow, when conspiracy theory or rather, conspiracy theory sentiment
, went mainstream (imo via the nexus of 9-11, the Iraq war, Anonymous,
wikileaks, occupy wall street, and the financial system bailouts,) the "feeling" of opposing that amorphous and ill defined (unless one actually
studies it as many here once did) entity known as "the establishment," became en vogue in a very - imo - unhealthy and poorly focused way. Less of an
analytical observation of and discourse about a process underway for some time, it became more like an "urge." Anti-establishment feeling has become
As such, people are throwing the baby out with the bathwater, and with it, any semblance of nuance or desire to parse the
Many don't care much what the establishment is;
its nature, the levers and mechanisms by which it secures and expands it power. They only know
(and to this extent at least, rightly so) that it's hurting them and causing them sincere pain and threatening their livelihood and this, when coupled
with the aforementioned rebellion fetish, leads them to but one conclusion: identify "them," and burn "them" to the ground, consequences and
implications be damned.
Unfortunately, we continue electing those with ties to and/or strong institutional influence near "them," and those people we hand power then persuade
us to target something other than themselves as the true "them..." and encourage us to burn that down instead. (Often in the form of unwittingly
alive, unfortunately but all too predictably.)
The ability to form consensus is rapidly eroding, and our polity with it. Those benefiting from and stoking this process may believe themselves to be
in control and for the moment that may be the case... but as I always opine in all matters including politics, human nature and unpredictable emergent
behavior are the real wild card and risk to any organized effort anyone ever undertakes, good or bad. Meaning no matter how in control they think they
are, this continual encouragement and exploitation of hyper polarity and fear (misplaced fear, employed by both sides) creates a dangerous byproduct:
instability and rapidly increasing periods of volatility. (Economic yes, but also just sociological and psychological... which in the long run, are
far more potent and more difficult to contain and manage.)
So they are legitimately playing with fire. The whole house of cards could collapse, to their detriment and ours. But since they appear to believe
themselves unassailable and incapable of ever losing these tools and methods of influence... as we see throughout history, therein lies the risk of
human folly. Even the most powerful and organized groups can never be a monolithic, perfectly oiled machine that never makes mistakes, especially of
the most purely human variety.
So even apart from their own nefarious and malignant impact on our systems, and more importantly lives, the threat of big money in politics poses a
danger to civilization itself the longer its capacity to disrupt and sew discontent purely to enrich itself persists and grows.
Already one of their tools - propaganda and stoking controversy and false equivalency so that unified consensus (read: OPPOSITION) can never truly
emerge - is beginning to backfire and erode even their own capacity to control events. No one believes anything anymore. No authority, no scholar, no
data, no empirical evidence, nothing; nothing can be pointed to so as to say, "See? This is reality," anymore. The digital age, coupled with this
crumbling of confidence in any and all institutions, has begun to destroy that paradigm... a paradigm upon which civilization itself
This is why I say you hit the nail on the head when you talk about consensus and how without it, nothing can be done. And that is my ultimate fear,
more than any party, any "side," and even these spheres of power we're discussing... that we're sliding headlong off a precipice into madness in the
I pray I'm wrong.