TRIAGE AND LIFEBOAT ETHICS
The subject of this lecture is the reality of real choices about the future, not fake choices. As we look at the global situation as well as the situation here in America we come to a very important concept, which is going to dominate the next hundred years of world history and that is the concept of "Triage," which means that you choose the survivors. It goes back to a a concept known as "lifeboat ethics." Okay, now think about this, you have a lifeboat and it’s got five people in it. Now if those five people remain in the lifeboat, the lifeboat is going to sink, so you can say, "Let’s do it. Let’s have equal justice." Everybody having an equal right to be in the lifeboat doesn't work, so somebody has to be thrown overboard and probably will probably end up being killed. So you’re basically talking about killing one person to save four people. Now, this is likely to emerge on a global basis.
A FAILURE TO ADDRESS THE REAL FUTURE COMING IN AMERICA
In America, after the 2018 elections, you do have forces of reform emerging in the Democratic Party. However when you look at the discourse in the Democratic Party, what is disheartening is we really don’t see anybody who’s coming to terms with the grim choices that are up ahead. "There’s going to be free college. There’s going to be free healthcare. There’s going to be free this. Free that. Trillion dollars for infrastructure." A lot of these are worthy goals. But there is virtually no discussion of the fact that the US government is basically bankrupt. The US government has spent trillions of dollars on the criminal campaign of imperialism overseas. It spent trillions of dollars on taxcuts for rich people who didn’t need tax cuts. So you have a financially impossible situation. In history when you have situations like this, there is a very dangerous momentum as the debt grows and grows and grows. And part of the debt, you must understand, is postponed reform, such as postponed environmental reforms, postponed social reform, so on and so forth. It’s not just the financial debt, but as this gets postponed and postponed and postponed, the political pain and the cost of reform goes up exponentially, which makes it more and more difficult and the risk of reform—as things get more and more screwed up—reform could also kill the patients. It’s like a person being sick and the person is getting sicker and sicker and sicker. The risks of an operation ending up being fatal also grow. What that tends to lead to is political paralysis more debt more procrastination and that’s what you see here in America today.
EVEN IF REFORM COMES, IT WILL BE DELAYED UNTIL 2022 AT THE EARLIEST
You must understand you have the presidency and the Senate controlled by a party that is completely disconnected from reality, the US Republican Party. So that the rule is that reforms could probably be put in, there is likely to be a Democratic landslide in 2020 as the whole thing collapses. But then it will be 2021 when these people get in office. And if you’re talking about environmental and infrastructure reforms, that means that those wouldn’t even kick in until 2022, 2023, that doesn’t look so good, does it? No, it does not. You see, in France before the revolution you had a paralysis leading to a collapse, and that’s probably what’s going to happen in America.
NO PLAN FOR ORDERLY AUSTERITY IS COMING
It is unlikely in our view that it is possible somebody like Bloomberg possibly could be an articulate spokesman for for legitimate austerity, but that’s not very likely that he would come to power and he has a lot of baggage and other not too terribly constructive ideas that are not all that great. Also there’s a choice between orderly austerity or collapse and collapse is far more likely. We don’t see anybody proposing orderly austerity. No we don’t. So you have collapse.
THE COMING CRISES- TROUBLE WITH THE ENVIRONMENT
Now the elephant in the room, or a number of elephants in the room, and not very nice elephants, with the biggest elephant in the room is the environmental crisis, which is relentless, which is relentless.
OBAMA RESTARTS MILITARY CONFRONTATION WITH RUSSIA
And the other crisis that’s emerging which was started by Obama—who by the way continued Clinton’s policies of economic delusion—on the other crisis started by Obama, is to restart a military confrontation with Russia which is just incredibly dangerous and incredibly crazy this is perhaps the most morally bankrupt part of the whole moral bankruptcy of Obama that you have this imperialist neoliberal point of view which is basically a glorified neofascist imperialist point of view of people psychopath such as Samantha Powers, people who are incompetent, such as Susan Rice, and people like that who have this world Imperial view or that total lunatic, Ann-Marie Slaughter, who was constantly obsessed with attacking and bombings the Syrian people, and people such as Hillary Clinton. So these people represent an imperialist point of view. These people have pushed us into a growing military confrontation with Russia.
THE MADNESS OF TRUMP
Now enter Trump, and his lunatic collection of people. Trump is in our view no great friend of a Russia. He is a very unstable person and indeed we see Trump likely to do something very dangerous to Russia to prove that he’s independent so on and so forth. Trump has taken policies that are far more hostile under Trump to Russia than were under Obama, and the single most dangerous is this business of pulling out of the Intermediate Nuclear Weapons Treaty, which is just total insanity, which moves nuclear war from being about 40 minutes away to being about 10 minutes away or less.
RETURNING TO THE ISSUE OF TRIAGE
So these are all non-constructive events. So we need to talk about is the issue of triage. Who’s going to be the winners and the losers? The haves and the have-nots? That’s the real future, and how is that going to be sorted out? Because it’s going to be a global game of death. It is. It’s the living and the dead. That’s the reality.
THE DESTRUCTION OF HEALTHCARE IN THE UNITED STATES
Now in 2017 you saw a portent of the situation in terms of the criminal madness of the Republican Party, in parts of the evangelical Christian right, in the attempt to repeal the highly inadequate care of Obamacare and Obamacare was highly inadequate and just a completely unsatisfactory solution, but at least it did provide some care for people, and the Republicans were going to take away healthcare and only failed by one vote. It passed the Republican house and it failed by one vote in the Senate. A policy which virtually certainly would’ve murdered thousands of people and it still ended up ruining the lives and and probably killing a significant number of people by disrupting and damaging the whole system of totally inadequate health insurance in the US, and you have very evil woman who’s in charge of Medicare, who has done everything possible to try to sabotage Obamacare and discourage people from signing up. These are criminal acts. So you already have an openly stated goal of of killing people. I mean this is this is not not very subtle.
AMERICA'S REFUSAL TO JOIN PARIS CLIMATE AGREEMENT
SUICIDAL INSANITY AGAINST THE ENVIRONMENT IN 2018
Now if that’s not bad enough, and we can’t document all the lunatic actions of the Trump Administration, is the decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Treaty. America is the only country in the world to do this. So again, this is a criminal act. This is an active active crime against humanity which could lead ultimately to the death of billions. Meanwhile, Trump is continuing the policies of Obama, who was a very deceitful person who set in motion the fracking boom and for both oil and gas typically disguised by inadequate regulation which disguised the full scope of the omissions under the fracking. This is all horrendously accelerated by Trump, so these are hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars of investment that are out there are basically oriented towards the destruction of the planet. Meanwhile, in many major Third World states such as India, you have a huge acceleration of coal and Trump is serving as a huge political force to undermine leaders in other countries who might want to make tough decisions in 2018. You had a further acceleration towards disaster with the election of a psychopath as the head of Brazil, and again you see the role of Evangelical Christians, who claim that Jesus wanted him there, and he is he is now openly talking about attacking the lungs of the planet.
THE GLOBAL GAME OF DEATH THAT IS COMING
So you got sum this thing up it’s it’s a game of death. It’s who’s going to be killed off. It’s choices of people being killed off as the system declines. And we need to start thinking along those lines. And we need to discuss other issues here, such as the acceleration towards the suicide of democracy. We must remember that democracy failed in ancient Greece and Rome, and this way is likely to fail even bigger because it’s producing a destruction of life itself. We need to consider the emergence of Caesars, the emergence of Emperors of Dictators, who are going to sort this whole mess out.
If a majority of people vote to kill all life on earth, what legitimacy do they have? No legitimacy. It means Democracy itself has no legitimacy, that’s the end product of democracy. So as in all areas of history, this will move towards autocrats who will make the decisions that democracy does not want to make. So we need to think in terms of the "haves and have-nots," we need to look at this on a global basis and figure out who’s likely to end up dead.
Yes that’s right. It’s like a video game of death. It's like a high-tech videogame of death. And for a lot of the citizens on this planet, it’s going to be flashing a big "you lose" on the video screen that’s the real world. And when we think in terms of the real future, we can then think in terms of what’s actually coming and deal with what’s actually coming and hopefully come up with reforms that will prevent the elimination of human life on this planet. That is important.
Nature will go on. Nature is in no danger. Nature's got billions of years. People don’t. And this isn’t going very well. So we need to think in terms of the real future, as opposed to the fake future, and this is our first introductory lecture for 2019.