Heading into this 2020 election - it has been an amazing year to be alive. Not amazingly great per se.. Just - amazing!
It's the strong juxtaposition of the choices within the moral battles which continue in our culture that make it such an amazing thing to behold.. and few things could have exposed more cultural problems than the pandemic that we're experiencing now. But it was inevitable some giant shock to the system would throw old and bad adages against the starkness of reality.
Because what has held back our intellectual culture and prevented everything that is good and right from prevailing has been our current amoral metaphysics that allows those with nefarious means to promote immoral ideas. Of course, this is especially true when discussing the structure of our political economy and the lust for power that goes with it. Zephyr Teachout wrote about it best where she writes:
“For most of world history, we have understood that humans are political animals. The urge to socialize, to love, and to fight runs deep in us. What’s more, we are not laissez-faire in our socializing. We are creatures who concentrate and wield power to get what we want. It is a basic, universal human trait, like sexuality, or hunger, or compassion. It is the stuff of heroism, and, if it goes unchecked, of tyranny. We know this from Aristotle, Shakespeare, James Madison, Frederick Douglass, Hannah Arendt, and every James Bond and Marvel movie ever made. Tyrants have arisen in every age because the taste for power informs every human institution and resides in every human being; how we harness it is the question over which nations live or die.”
Excerpt From: Zephyr Teachout. “Break 'Em Up: Recovering Our Freedom From Big Ag, Big Tech, and Big Money.”
So as the story goes, the founders of America keenly understood this power lust and feared the undemocratic power of the King too. In response they created laws, regulations and a political system to prevent concentrations of power from ever abusing it.
Of course, this battle didn't end there. Matthew Stoller in his book Goliath; beautifully outlines the last hundred years of the front lines of this ongoing political-economic battle between the social forces who prefer greed and power and the intellectual forces which prefer the fairness of openness, competition and Dynamic Quality. Indeed we can use the language of the MOQ to give color and power to this battle in a way like nothing else can..
Because without any update or checks on the laws created by the founders, these laws came to become less and less relevant with a culmination in concentrations of social level power around the time of WW1. But here a few key politicians and intellectuals managed to fight back and instead used the power of government to reassert the dominance of intellectual values and Dynamic Quality over those strong social forces.
However just after WW2 the dominance of those competition promoting intellectual values began to wane once again and powerful social forces, using the scientific language of an amoral metaphysics, were able to begin to completely change the way we understood and talked about political economy. Almost unwittingly, without a Metaphysics to protect the intellectual from corruption by the social, around the 1970's our intellectual understanding of political economy had transformed entirely. Our understanding of what it meant to be a citizen had gone from, one who is able to advocate for changes to the entire structure of democracy, into something far more narrow: a consumer. If you didn't like something about some large monopolistic corporation - 'shop somewhere else!' With this change, and without a common sense Metaphysics to prevent it, behind the scenes, large unaccountable concentrations of social power were able to take control once again.
Indeed, these changes in language and understanding have survived mostly unchallenged. As a result we now have two corrupted political parties and one in particular, the Democrats, who claim to represent fairness and equality, but will nevertheless frequently undercut it in the name of unaccountable concentrated social level power. This has lead many, on both sides of the political spectrum to become increasingly cynical and skeptical about any worthwhile political changes from ever occurring. It has also created the perfect environment for a fascistic leaning strongman to come along, and tell the screwed over working class folk that everything's going to be okay and that the intellectuals don't know what they hell they're talking about.
But he does even more than just comfort them - he both satisfyingly pokes holes in the corrupted intellectual class yet also immorally undercuts intellectual values too.
Case in point: his attack on news as 'fake news' is the same as the Nazis used for Lügenpresse or Press of Lies. Or perhaps most glaringly is his approach to something so coldly intellectual as a virus. Which was first to ignore it and then to downplay it and then do everything he possibly could to pretend it didn't exist. Rather than stopping and valuing the intellectual understand of that biological thing which has taken and will continue to take hundreds of thousands of American lives.
For this reason, according to the MOQ, voting for the corrupt neoliberalism of Joe Biden is the moral choice for President rather than the strong-man Trump. Because faux intellectual is far better and more moral than faux dictator, and that's not just an opinion - that's Metaphysics.