The Rise Of Theo-Fascism
It’s easy to miss important trends. We live our little lives amid a sea of noise generated by the media industry, with each day bringing a new fear-inducing sensation, each hour delivering yet another context-free tale of woe, death, and horror. Meanwhile we fixate on our favorite entertainments, assiduously following the trite plot lines and character arcs that are carefully contrived to be nearly identical to all the other plot lines and character arcs inherent in such TV-by-numbers pablum. On top of these things we are consumed by our jobs that demand ever more of our time and leave us ever more drained so that we slump passively in front of our screens to “relax” during what little personal time we may have left.
Not surprisingly, therefore, we tend to be remarkably obtuse when it comes to spotting major social changes. And it has always been this way, because our brains are evolved to function within the stable and predictable social world of the small hunter-gatherer group; today’s huge complex multi-tiered societies are utterly beyond our ability to comprehend. We are perpetually behind the curve, always surprised when a social phenomenon suddenly becomes unmissable because of its stridency and ubiquity. Up until that moment, we were oblivious; after that moment, as group animals, we rapidly adapt to the new normal and soon can’t remember a time before the new normal was our orthodoxy.
Even before the days of pervasive mass communication, we humans predictably followed this pattern. And this is what enables the cynical, the ruthless, and the messianic to rise almost effortlessly to power and impose their twisted harmful notions on hundreds of millions of people.
As our civilization stumbles and waddles and trips towards its embarrassing conclusion we see two power axes emerging around the world: the populist far-right, and the theo-fascist far-left.
On the right, populism has exploited our innate simple-mindedness by presenting empty slogans in place of meaningful policy. Incompetent halfwits such as the creature Trump, the UK’s Johnson, India’s Modi, Brazil’s Bolsonaro, and far too many others to count, have all been elected to high office thanks to the votes of tens of millions of…