First, of all the global large countries, the U.S. is most advanced in terms of everything under the sun being Internet connected (Finland, Israel and Singapore compete in this category, but their geographical footprint is not comparable). Not necessarily with the newest technology and certainly not with the latest infrastructure, the USA ranks first in universal automation that is most pervasive within all societal levels and the least understood in terms of cultural, political, and economic vulnerability. Consensual civil rights both serve and deepen social cohesion and the ability to reach even working majorities so crucial to democratic government with implied checks and balances. Pervasive automation may prove the USA’s unleashed scaling of animal spirits as a culturally-organic Achilles heel vulnerability in that we practiced and applauded unchecked “creative destruction” on ourselves without reinvesting in civic remedies such as broadened and deepened one worker, one vote workplace stakeholder-ownership.
Second, present and future historians may come to regard the November 2016 cyber elections attacks as equal in damage to the USA’s stability, democratic character and wellbeing as the Civil War, Pearl Harbor, 9-11, Great Depression, Great Recession, Lincoln’s assassination and so on. The 2016 elections aftermath may one day be viewed as the unrecoverable tipping point when America marginally ceased to be first among nations in terms of shared and externalized values, proactive power, influence and impact and became a reactive, self-obsessed nation perennially at war with itself. In this sad ending, stubbornly embedded opportunity, mobility and wealth aggregation inequalities merging as effect and subsequent cause in a vicious cycle race to a solidarity bottom separate Americans almost genetically and instinctively from each other.
Third, it is becoming clearer every day that the last three global climate years mark an increasing downward planetary sustainability cycle in terms of mankind-induced climate deterioration spinning out of earth’s control to heal itself. Marketplace greed, unequal societies and political partisanship impede humanity’s scientific and cultural ability to cope with more frequent and aggressive unnatural disasters. The combination of extreme and pervasive automation coupled with cyber warfare victories and their civic destructive aftermath means that we are less organized, less coherent, and less empowered to bandage-up Mother Earth in the face of so much deliberately-induced incoming toxicity. Only a small percentage of the 1% most wealthy and privileged will have the means to escape a burning and drowning planet but the jury is still out as to whether there’s anywhere else to go for them to go for more than a galactic, self-involved moment.
From a cooperative community perspective, America is scarcely investing in enough of the tools (inter-silo solidarity, education, political and cultural impact and messaging) beyond self-contained, insular industry verticals and under-funded and under-utilized trade and related advocacy organizations. On a mini-micro scale, that’s one of the reasons 1worker1vote decided to devote scarce time and effort in becoming a founding institutional member of The Platform Cooperativism Consortium – as a way to begin to think about organizing push back at least on cyber-induced societal disruption and self-victimization. Out of control Internet 1.0 “FANG-like” monopoly-impact companies (FANG = Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) don’t fully grasp the dark cycles of their own expanding power paradigms.
Border wars, tribal passions and partisanship, reemerging fascism, contorted plebiscites (BREXIT) and national elections (USA 2016), the unchecked selling of opiates to the underserved-downtrodden-desperate, rising seas and the drowning of islands and coastal communities define the immediate downside opportunity costs of not frontally engaging with the root causes of twenty-first century catastrophic risk. Each crisis and its solution are values driven.