Both the economic and political system as we have known them are on a trajectory of steep decline. This state of affairs is exemplified by the pending expansion of automation in America’s workplace, such as with the introduction of self-driving vehicles threatening an impact deeper and broader than the effects of globalization on employment in manufacturing in the 1970s and 80s. Moreover, this same technology, together with associated advances in manufacturing technology and materials science, also promise to introduce a new epoch of post-scarcity undercutting the principle of valuation in the free market. So it should be clear the world as we have known it is fast disappearing; soon to be gone altogether. How we face the challenge as a society has everything to do with whether the path we take is a positive or negative one.
In last month’s post discussed how the election of Donald Trump is part of a larger historical cycle describing when, out of a sense of insecurity and fear, people’s focus turns toward national self-interest; likewise, when they feel confident and expansive, it is expressed in a greater willingness to reach out and cooperate. The article concluded that we are at the beginning of a cycle where national self-interest is the focus. In this post we will explore the question where Transitionalism is in all of this.
The tone and message of the Trump presidential campaign and the relatively weak support for the Democratic ticket are symptomatic of profound underlying change and problems in American society. Groups such as the white working class and rural poor for instance, who at first glance should see their interests to be with the Democrats, now make up a core constituency of Trump’s support. When asked why they support Trump it is because they see him as someone they feel pays attention to them and with whom they can relate even though many live pay check to pay check and he is worth billions of dollars.