Why I’m Hopeful About 2021
Why I’m Hopeful About 2021 by Charles Hugh Smith for Of Two Minds
What we need is not a return to the corrupt, tottering kleptocracy of 2019, but a re-democratization of capital, agency and money.
I’m hopeful about 2021, and no, it’s not because of the vaccines or the end of lockdowns or anything related to Covid. The status quo is cheering the fantasy that we’ll soon return to the debt-soaked glory days of 2019 when everything was peachy.
The problem with this “brand” of magical thinking is that stripped of self-serving PR, the world of 2019 was an autocratic kleptocracy stripmining the planet to enrich the few at the expense of the many. Viewed through this lens, what’s hopeful isn’t returning to an autocratic kleptocracy but moving beyond it.
The most hopeful thing in my mind is that the Status Quo is devolving from its internal contradictions and excesses. Here’s the status quo in a nutshell:
The solution to too much debt is more debt.
The solution to autocratic elites hogging wealth and power is to give the elites more wealth and power.
And so on: every status quo “solution” boils down to doing more of what’s failed spectacularly because it serves the interests of the few at the top of the wealth-power pyramid.
The Great Reset is a perfect example of this insanity: now that we’ve destroyed the planet with our private jets, greed and corruption, give us even more power over you.
The status quo is a perverse, intensely destructive system with powerful incentives for predation, exploitation, fraud and complicity. That’s the world of 2019; do we really want to go back to that? And even if we could, how long would it last? Another year or two? And at what cost to social cohesion and the planet?
A more humane, sustainable world lies beyond the Status Quo. The problem is those reaping the immense rewards of the privileged insiders will fight any reform tooth and nail, so the only real way to advance the interests of the common good is for the rigged, rotten, corrupt, unsustainable status quo to crumble to dust.