This article in Vox on Authoritarianism is another must read. It is both as fascinating as it is chilling. What Amanda Taub presents here is a very compelling dissection of what fuels the popularity of Trump at the grass root level, and if it doesn't make you take pause on where we are heading as a nation, you are probably already a head up the ass Trump Chump.
I have always felt that, in order for our current economic model to have a chance of continuing on for a time longer than most of us critics would think possible, it would have to become authoritarian in the extreme. I have to admit now, though, that I haven't given nearly enough recognition to the psychological aspects of the masses towards a receptiveness to authoritarianism, relying instead on too much emphasis on the top down manipulation of power elites, for their own self interest, to carry it forward.
It has been a mistake on my part without doubt. I feel I can take some solace, though, from the fact that the one part I did get right was that fear is the common denominator. And when you talk about fear, it seems to me, you cannot avoid talking about how commercialism in general, along with marketing, and the hard sell in particular, have served to not only create it in abundance, but have come to rely on it with ever greater ingenuity, to further their goals of net gain and power. This is especially so now that decisions, and the rewards of those decisions, move about the planet at the speed of electrons.
The bottom line here is that, in this environment, there can be no hope of human control because we can't even understand the machine created control processes that channel ever more of it each day. You need only add ever less control with ever greater cycles of increasing competition to understand why instability and uncertainty are increasing. How could fear not be everywhere when whether you have the means to not only eat, or sleep with a roof over your head, are in question day after day, but whether you will ever have anything to hold on to that will validate that you matter, or have value at all. Is there any wonder then that newcomers would be looked upon with suspicion? Whatever their religion or nationality?
And then you lay an infosphere on top of that whose main purpose is precisely the hard sell. Where not only are most of your base instincts manipulated, every aspect of what you might fear from not having them satisfied, will be reiterated ad nauseam. The result is no less than a people who spend every day eating, working, playing and awash in fear of one sort or another.
Read the Vox article and then think upon it all for a while. If you don't see it all for the madness that it is we are all well and truly fucked.