It's easier to imagine the end of the world --

-- than it is to imagine the end of the Two-Party System.

Fredric Jameson says in a 2003 text that:

Someone once said that it is easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism.

Since this idea also appears in one of Slavoj Zizek's writings, it's hard to figure out where it came from. So don't worry about who said it first. The point of saying it, as the late Mark Fisher pointed out, is that:

That slogan captures precisely what I mean by 'capitalist realism': the widespread sense that not only is capitalism the only viable political and economic system, but also that it is now impossible even to imagine a coherent alternative to it.

But I could say the same thing about the "two-party system" here in the United States. We are afflicted by "two-party realism." We can imagine:

  • Climate change leading to catastrophic hurricanes and dramatic sea-level increases sinking Florida and NYC, with resultant plagues and famines leading to mass death -- see Mark Lynas' Six Degrees for more, though also Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway's The Collapse of Western Civilization
  • The death of the oceans (climate change caused) leading to amplified climate catastrophe (Margaret Atwood mentions this idea briefly in an interview)
  • Economic collapse leading to the splintering of world power into tiny, nationalistic state entities (this is the premise of John Feffer's Splinterlands)
  • War beginning in the Middle East and spreading throughout the world
  • Another COVID-19 except worse
  • The United States re-fracturing into North and South in a climate-change world (this is the specialty of Omar el-Akkad's American War)
  • The drying-up of global oil supplies leading to economic collapse (this is the specialty of Richard Heinberg and of James Howard Kunstler)

Any of these phenomena are actually quite possible, and we can imagine them pretty distinctly, as numerous authors have done. And there are plenty of warning signs, of which COVID-19, forest fires in Brazil and Australia, the death of the coral reefs, and the drastic rise in school shootings are a few. But, yeah, nobody can imagine the death of the two-party system. Never mind that the two-party system is itself one of the accumulating disasters.

When 90% of the human race has died off and the remaining 10% is engaged in cutthroat warfare for what little is left of planet Earth that has not descended into barren desert, we'll STILL be ruled by Democrats centered in Silicon Valley, Seattle, and the Hamptons, Republicans ruling from the South, the Great Plains, and half the Midwest, and both parties believing in the same failed neoliberal economics, same pointless giveaways to banks, corporations, and the defense establishment, two parties pushing privatized everything as the population sinks into sub-Depression economic desperation. Yep, American politics will never change. The world might turn into a replica of A Canticle for Leibowitz or Hiero's Journey, but even under those conditions we're still going to have Democrats and Republicans, no "third party" imaginable under such circumstances.

Maybe the monks who live in isolated monasteries comprising what's left of civilization in the year 2100 can split up into Democratic and Republican teams and hold rigged elections between each other now and then, or something.

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NBC, CBS and ABC broadcast a 2 hour event sponsored by giant corporations to support the WHO.

If you missed Trump's briefings this week, he has been rampaging against the WHO, and declaring that they are to blame for the spread of the pandemic.

This is IBM, Pepsico, Bloomberg, Target, Bill Gates, etc's answer. Maybe? IDK.

The performers were Stevie Wonder, Lady Gaga, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Chris Martin, etc.
Michelle Obama and Laura Bush teamed up in their message of gratitude towards "all the heroes keeping us safe."

This felt so wrong to me, but what do I know.

Most impressive and memorable was Eddie Vedder doing River Cross. A genuine feeling moment admidst the Hollywood treacle.

https://twitter.com/i/status/1251674887724445696

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NYCVG

Cassiodorus's picture

@NYCVG Thanks for the update -- I don't have a TV.

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"Advertising? Wow! So, people need help figuring out what to buy and then y-you help them?" -- Rick J19Zeta7

Lily O Lady's picture

@Cassiodorus

away to avoid propaganda. I was shocked that it was broadcast on the big three and Fox.

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

isn't impossible. What's needed is that the general population of all status-quo rejectionists, regardless of "wingedness," to hose down media, as with a water cannon.

I quote myself from an essay of 9 months ago:

Submitted by jim p on Fri, 07/06/2018 - 12:21am

The Two Parties and the Media fail to serve our interests. Actually, work against them most of the time. If this doesn't change, and real soon, they're going to take us over a cliff. And real soon.

That these "3 Birds" are corrupt, self-serving, and divorced from reality is an assertion few "everyday people" would even try to refute. Not least because it can't be done.

Here's what can be done: We can put aside our partisanship for a period of time and flood Big Media with what we know. Along the lines of:

"We all know, even you know, that The Two Parties are corrupt and incompetent, and they're killing this nation. Big Media itself is the propaganda outlet for the Psycho Rich and War Mongers, and their job, in tandem with the Parties, is to keep us distracted, misinformed, ignorant, and at each other’s throat. You might not recognize this, since courtiers and courtesans long before Versailles are flattered and blinded by proximity to the 'Top Dogs.' Get real and grow up; too much is at stake.”

https://caucus99percent.com/content/use-%E2%80%9C3-birds-1-stone-strateg...

With the object being to force out into the open the fact that 80% of Americans know these parties are crooked and stupid. One might say "this won't work" and the right answer to this is in two parts: 1) Bullshit. You can't possibly know that; 2) And the other option you have that has even a slim chance of altering the scene would be...? You've got "whine and despair" being the actual practice for all these worsening years.

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snoopydawg's picture

@jim p

"It doesn't matter who gets to play president the agendas stay the same."

Who is really in control of our foreign policy

This is a really good article that discusses how no matter which party is in control the war party still wins. Right now Biden and Trump are having a D measuring contest to see who can be harsher against China. Why? Because China's going to replace the current boogeyman 'the terrorists' who replaced Russia as who we're supposed to be afraid of.

This article explains how every president has done what Wall Street and the military industrial congressional complex tells them to do. It has some great quotes from Smedley Butler, Eisenhower and JFK.

The Two Parties and the Media fail to serve our interests. Actually, work against them most of the time. If this doesn't change, and real soon, they're going to take us over a cliff. And real soon.

IMG_4197.JPG
"Weeee....."

.

How true is this? So far Trump has kept us out of any new wars, but more regime change is on the horizon with Venezuela and Nicaragua or an out and out war with Iran. But all 3 countries have been in our crosshairs for decades and it's time to finish the job. Too bad that they won't get us out of the current depression because we've offshored all our factories and mainly to China. But wait there's more....China might be on the table too because they are threatening our hegemony.

I'm thinking Venezuela will be the first one on the agenda unless the troops on the ships being sent to the area come down with COVID.

Funny how in the middle of the new Great Depression there is still plenty of money to kill innocent civilians just because they are living on the resources we want.

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"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

Grope and Hope

lotlizard's picture

@snoopydawg  
Ecuadorian elite were somehow bought, leading to a lurch back to the Right and, among other things, Julian Assange being seized from the Ecuadorian embassy.

And then there’s the U.S.-engineered regime change in Bolivia, overturning an election that was better-run and more honest and fair than most of the recent U.S. Democratic party primaries.

All these Deep State machinations in South America become fait accompli with bipartisan support. I wonder if the Deep State guys even bother to inform Trump until after the fact.

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Pricknick's picture

to imagine the return, global wide, of the guillotine.
I have excellent wood craftsman skills.
Of course my forge could produce an all steel unit for the high usage required.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

polkageist's picture

@Pricknick
We will need some pitchforks to go with the torches before we get to use the guillotine.

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Greed is not a virtue.
Socialism: the radical idea of sharing.

travelerxxx's picture

@polkageist

Hey, I am already committed to bringing the masks, but I'll grab some matches, too. No problem.

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