This article focuses more on ‘why’ than ‘how’. I borrow heavily from ‘The Revolt of the Public’ written in 2014 by an ex-CIA Analyst. He’s worth following, with a grain of salt: https://thefifthwave.wordpress.com/ One thing he gets right is that our current government is based on a 20th century model, and the wheels are coming off in the information age.
The 20th century could be described as the afterglow of the Industrial Revolution. Progress required a managerial hierarchy, and information was controlled by those at the top. Those at the bottom simply received what they were given. And the press played along. If Walter Cronkite didn’t share it on the evening news, it didn’t happen. And that’s the way it was.
But now anyone with internet can create or consume information completely outside of the hierarchy. The elites have lost control of the narrative, and it’s terrifying for them. They’re trying as best they can to de-platform dissenting opinion. Tactical outcomes are still relevant, whether it be censorship on social media or propaganda on MSM. But the strategic game is over and the elites have lost badly. There’s no putting the information age back in the bottle.
Compounding problems, the elites have grown corrupt and unworthy of their position. Everyone knows it now due to their bad actions being available for all to see in the information age. Whether it’s Jeffery Epstein’s sweetheart pedophile deal or Joe Biden’s ‘10% for the big guy’, those at the periphery are breaking big stories and bringing down the center.
But how the center will fall is critical, and uncertain. As an example, look at BLM’s ‘defund the police’ strategy. Ok, so then what? The dark ages? Woke cancel culture can only destroy, with no plan for the future. Gurri’s book talks about this as nihilism, where groups just want to tear things down and don’t offer a vision for the future.
I prefer a new vision, and new leadership is needed. The new reality of the information age requires transparency (not desperate attempts to hide the truth). The managerial hierarchy must be flattened, it’s not needed in a hyper-connected world. Decisions should be decentralized where possible, no more ‘one size fits all’ mandates from above.
Our current leaders are hopelessly unqualified. They clearly lack honesty and integrity, and seem afraid to show humility where it’s sorely needed. Plenty of politicians talk about this, which is a waste of time. It’s something that can only be displayed by example. But the leadership funnel broken, controlled by a duopoly that only allows creeps to rise to the top (https://freakonomics.com/podcast/politics-industry/). That’s why Trump took so many hits from elites both inside and outside of his party after his electoral bum rush.
Beyond admirable people in leadership (crazy idea right?), government needs to get way better at technology. We have to look towards cutting edge countries like Estonia, where technology is being used to make government more efficient and transparent: https://e-estonia.com/ They’re not counting mail-in ballots behind closed doors in Estonia, it’s the 21st century after all.
I feel sorry for our government. In business, if you perform poorly then you fail and another business takes your place. Not so with government, it just staggers along absorbing the effects of each and every mistake. It’s turned into a brittle system, yet those at the top are desperate to hold onto power. They would rather sink the country than admit any error.
So what next? Hopefully we turn the corner as a country and lead the world once again in the information era. But if current leadership clings to power, we can expect more extreme attempts to control revolt. Rarely does this end well for government. The catalysts and timing are unpredictable, but the cause and effect should be clear.
Maybe we enter a new dark age, like the Roman Empire that collapsed under it’s own weight. Or maybe it’s closer to the French Revolution, where nihilists turn the country into a bloody mess. A less bad option would be a USSR style breakdown. Old rulers carry on in new form, quality of life declines, opposition leaders are jailed/killed and the economy can barely keep up with Spain (a fine country). Whatever happens, I expect it to happen in our lifetimes. We need to be ready.