Everything has a beginning, a middle, and an end. It’s a good idea to remind ourselves of this every once in a while. I can’t see myself voting for either of the presidential candidates on offer come November, but it may not matter who wins. All the sturm and drang we see these days is largely beside the point. The candidates aren’t the problem. Instead it’s the mood of the population and the spirit of the times that summoned them that’s at the root of the troubles.
We’re entering the end of one long deep multigenerational cycle, but the beginning of the next cycle is still some years away. In between there’s going to be a period of unpleasantness where people cling to the old set of arrangements even though they stopped functioning quite some time ago. But the new arrangements have yet to be crafted. Someone needs to preside over that rough spot in between. That poor sorry bastard. From my perspective both candidates are equally qualified to assist in the great unravelling. That’s actually what they’re required to do given the current zeitgeist- stand there as things go terribly wrong and make things even worse.
Countries are divided internally. Nations are turning against each other. The economy if faltering. It isn’t just the banks or the political parties, it’s the broad underlaying assumptions and procedures that are dissolving. We know how these things play out. We’ve been here before. 1775. 1861. 1941. Count. That’s about every eighty years on average. That’s the length of a full human life. That’s the rhythm of history. We’re right on schedule for another one of destiny’s little adventures.
Ultimately the slate gets wiped clean. There’s a fresh start. But first the old stuff needs to be put to rest. Institutions don’t change voluntarily. Things fail. Then they fail some more. They get patched. The can is kicked down the road. Things fail some more. Then another round of patches. And then… things break for real. No more can. No more road. Shit gets real and history unfolds very quickly.
Once the dust settles we’ll all lick our wounds and gather for the beginning of whatever comes next. It’s not the End of the World. It’s not the Apocalypse. But it is the end of the institutions and expectations we’ve been used to. There will be winners and losers. But the future will be very familiar. Human nature doesn’t change – just the names on the official placards. Failure fixes itself.