Friday, September 30, 2022

When politics turns to the right in the west, it isn't fascism, but it isn't the direction we need to go either.

I was listening to a round table discussion about the new leaders elected in Italy and UK. Both kind of lean to the right. There is some worry about a slippery slope toward fascism, but the commentators, I was hearing, thought those two leaders are fairly moderate and not in the same ballpark as fascism.

Instead, those leaders talk about "return to traditional family values."

I got to thinking that, way short of fascism, there is the specter of trying to return to the world we had in the US and UK during the early 1960s. Gay people more in the closet, an era before the racial Civil Rights Act in USA. An era when suburbs, shopping centers and freeways were seen as improvements.

I think even that would be a step backwards, but still a long ways shy of NAZI style fascism. Back then, USA and the allied countries defeated fascism.

Today, places like Russia and Iran are closer to overt fascism, but returning to our more prejudiced past would not be desirable either.

I have heard the Christian Right described as the "Christian Taliban," but, except for the extreme sides, it's still somewhat tame by comparison. Crying wolf leads the populous toward tuning out a constant drumbeat of warnings.

Still, with climate change, even a mild return to "traditional values" would be a disaster. Back then, we were on a trajectory toward mass consumption. The automobile, super highways, larger homes and so forth. Things that traditional family life, American Style, aspired to.

We need to embrace the future and go in new directions.

Another problem, short of fascism, has just been the vast prosperity of countries like US, Canada, UK, Australia and so forth. Over the years, many of the world's natural resources flowed into the wealthy countries leading to the left's criticism of "American Imperialism."

This is partially a byproduct of that disparity of wealth between countries.

These days, the world has changed, somewhat at least, to more widespread prosperity around the world. More prosperity in countries, like China; for instance.

We do need a new paradigm for our economies and civilizations. Trying to return to the past, for almost 8 billion people in the era of climate change, is a no go. We need newer aspirations.

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