As Niccolò Machiavelli said: “I’m not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.” Why there needs to be change or even a complete overhaul of the status quo is because the status quo brushes off and ignores the question of justice and transitional justice. And as the slogan goes: “No justice, no peace.”
Moreover, in an American context, the status quo means a Secretary of State who is more concerned with warmongering than actual diplomacy, a Treasury Secretary who adds inflation and shortages every second, an Attorney General who is giving cover to war criminals and is preoccupied with rigging the next election, and a mainstream media that whitewashes reality. And to top it all off, the president has no will of his own and was brought out of his bed by puppeteers.
Thus, as E.H. Carr put it: “The point at issue is not the necessity for a new order, but the manner in which it shall be built.” Everyone is cognizant that a new order needs to be built, given that the old order is crumbling before our eyes. Waging war with Russia over Ukraine as well as maximum pressure on Iran and pestering China has a broader purpose, namely, to preserve the old order which is crumbling as a result of a decades-long “crusade.” But as E.H. Carr wrote: “History shows that the one thing war never does is to maintain or restore the status quo ante bellum.” And in turn: “War is never the end, but always the beginning of a new social order.”
Hence, after a decades-long “crusade,” it follows that: “The political, social, and economic problems of the post-war world must be approached with the desire not to stabilize, but to revolutionize.” In essence: “A revolutionary current is in the air.” And at the heart of the current global situation is the fact that “the privileged group is preoccupied with the question of its own security rather than with the need for reform or even for progress.” And as John Stuart Mill argued: “Nothing is more certain…than that improvement in human affairs is wholly the work of the uncontented characters.”
“Liberal Democracy” – which is a “redeeming idea” for the status quo – is actually a monopoly of power at the hands of Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and a few others. Thus, “liberal democracy” as it stands is a bane to progress rather than a boon. And nothing is more frustrating for proponents of the status quo than an independent leader who manages progress and challenges the status quo. Moreover, the status quo eventually leads to a crisis. And as Thomas Kuhn argued, “paradigm shifts” are largely a response to an actual crisis or a crisis that is looming.
What is going in Europe at the moment and the rise of American populism signals a crisis. And with a crisis comes a need for a paradigm shift. Some of the ways by which a paradigm shift can be facilitated has been mentioned in previous blog posts. And one can suggest with a certain degree of confidence that corporate and military interests are also open to the idea of a paradigm shift in the face of a looming political and social crisis, even if the political class is in denial of this reality.