As the American economy continues to decay, or, rather, as conditions for Americans continue to decay, in the modern American version of a statement by a Brazilian general about conditions in that country, “The economy is doing very well. The people, very badly.”
I’ve no doubt that Trump followers and formalized hate groups will continue to articulate and act out of rage at this erosion of entitlement.
And who can blame them? It’s not very fun to have one’s standard of living reduced or threatened, one’s opportunities diminished or foreclosed.It’s simple truth that the lifestyle of Americans cannot continue indefinitely on a finite planet. We will feel the pinch as ecological systems collapse.
That pinch will make many of us unhappy. It will cause many of us to lash out at those we perceive as causing the pain.
Unfortunately, we will, more likely than not, lash out against the wrong targets.
It is also simply true that Americans have very real reasons to be outraged by the way that distant institutions — corporate and governmental, insofar as real distinctions exist between them —increasing control their lives.
This outrage will be expressed, whether against the self, through various forms of internalized violence, or against others, through a violence that, once again, unfortunately, will undoubtedly target those even more miserable than they are.