So it’s not just me, though I don’t know if that makes me feel better or worse. Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism describes her feeling a real disturbance in the force, one that is brewing with ominous implications, Of note is her defining it in terms that we at USTV Media have been using for over a decade now. In particular the notion that we are experiencing a form of global corporate “neofeudalism,” the evidence for which is becoming undeniable except for the most ideologically rigid and politically recalcitrant.
I realize that for friends and compatriots, our inability to avoid seeing these realities can make us not the most fun and lighthearted conversationalists to be around all the time. But as Smith points out, “it’s not exactly cheery to be watching its progress on a daily basis.”
Perhaps I’m just having a bad month, but I wonder if other readers sense what I’m detecting. I fancy if someone did a Google frequency search on the right terms, they might pick up tangible indicators of what I’m sensing (as in I’m also a believer that what people attribute to gut feeling is actually pattern recognition).
The feeling I have is that of heightened generalized tension, the social/political equivalent of the sort of disturbance that animals detect in advance of earthquakes or volcanic eruptions, of pressure building up along major fault lines. The other way to articulate this vibe is that it is as if events are being influenced by a large unseen gravitational or magnetic force, as if a black hole had moved into the ‘hood. We can’t see the hidden superdense object, but we can infer that it’s distorting the space around it.
Now if you just want to go with the “maybe this is just your neurosis” view, we are in the midst of a counterrevolution, and it’s not exactly cheery to be watching its progress on a daily basis.
It isn’t just that the economic rights for ordinary workers and the social safety nets of the New Deal and the earlier labor movements here and abroad are being demolished. Major elements of a broad social and political architecture that served as the foundation for the Industrial Revolution are being torn apart: the Statute of Fraud (essential to give people of every level of society decent protection of property rights) and access to legal remedies; basic protection of personal rights (habeas corpus, due process, protection against unlawful search and seizure); local policing (as in policing being accountable to local governments). Decent quality public education and the freedom of the press are also under assault. People here have used various terms for this new political order that is being put in place; neofeudalism works as well as any, but it looks intended to dial the clock back on many economic and civil rights of ordinary people, not back to the Gilded Age, but to before the French and American Revolutions.
It’s a counterrevolutionary movement on a sweeping scale.
Read Smith’s full post Here