The principles of black holes — a link to our time in history.
Black holes are perhaps the biggest and scariest concept in our Universe. A place so dense and heavy that no light can escape; often when someone is describing anxiety or depression — and i’ve been in this scenario, they’ll describe moving forwards or tipping forwards towards a black hole. It’s an abyss where supposedly nothing exists. Supposedly. The truth is we don’t know exactly what does exist in a black hole because no information can get out. It’s the place where space and time ceases to exist, you cannot tell what’s inside a black hole, it’s unpredictable, because it can’t be measured. See where i’m going with this?
Well if you don’t then let me explain, stay with me.
The black hole is the biggest example of collapse in our Universe. The weight of a star is so great that it collapses in on itself and becomes so dense that light cannot escape it. On the edges of the black hole there is an area called the event horizon, where the gravity is just strong enough to pull light back into the black hole, although surrounding this horizon is an area where it is not, this is why black holes are surrounded by a light flare.
There is one more principle of physics that might help us understand what is going on here, and that is the rule of entropy in thermodynamics — you don’t need to know what those terms mean, i’ll explain, and it’s super simple. The concept of entropy, according to Stephen Hawking in his last book Brief Answers To The Big Questions:
“Entropy can be regarded as a measure of the disorder of a system, or equivalently as a lack of knowledge of its precise state. The famous second law of thermodynamics says that entropy always increases with time… The first law of thermodynamics says that a small change in the entropy of a system is accompanied by a proportional change in the energy of the system.”
If entropy increases then the energy of a system increases proportionally.
The economic principle that the Anglo societies are using right now is called Neoliberalism, it’s been running for 40 years now since Pinochet, Thatcher, and Reagan were the first people to install the system into a government. It’s entropy has had time to grow.
At it’s core is the principle that the market should be derestricted, allowing everyone access to the ability to make money and therefore lead happier lives. Not that money makes you happy, it’s a tool, but that’s another article. The principle being that the rich people in that society will inspire the poorer people to succeed. The other rhetoric that is followed is that the more the rich people make money, the more it will ‘trickle down’ and affect the society in a positive way.
The idea that is neglected is that the a large proportion of the rich don’t want any part in this scheme. They want to benefit indefinitely from the deregulation of the market; amassing more and more personal wealth. As is abundantly obvious through the ideology of the Trump super brand, and the real estate market of the ultra rich: They want exclusivity, they want to be isolated in their wealth, to enjoy their wealth without the burden; the shame, or the guilt of knowing that there are people out there that don’t have enough.
The other idea in Neoliberalism intellect and ideology is that if you’re not rich then you didn’t try hard enough. The most common word to describe this person is a ‘loser’. It was categorically demonstrated by Trump on the reality TV show The Apprentice where they send contestants who were branded ‘losers’ to the Trump Trailer Park to watch the winners live the life of luxury through a fence. Fence/border, what’s the difference. Still want to build that wall?
This sets the whole system up as a competition to climb up the ladder and succeed, and encourages a basic perspective of comparing yourself to others — which is a trap and creates a toxic atmosphere of gaining in regards to taking away what others have, or succeeding by taking opportunity away from others, or moving in fear of being branded a loser — the brand culture is so prevalent that we believe that to be possible. In reality it’s just an opinion that you can accept or decline.
The inability of this system to consider the class system that came before it renders it completely unfair, and useless to a vast majority of the population. The nature of economics, and finance, is the more money you have the more money you make; you need to speculate to accumulate. The classes that come from wealth will benefit more from this system, simply because they are born into having the money to succeed in it. Therefore the system is exponentially advantageous to rich people, and will only get unfairer as time goes on.
Now we come back to the concept of the event horizon. Because all of these attitudes are fine until you reach the tipping point where the gravitational pull of a society tips towards being so heavy that it starts collapsing; like a black hole towards a singularity. A singularity in terms of a society is where the gap between the rich and poor is so great; the opportunity to make a basic living for the greater proportion of society is so difficult, that the society implodes on itself.
Respectable economists around the world have realised that the neoliberal model is in decay now, but as Margaret Thatcher put it: “There is no other alternative.”
A study called ‘SPERI British Political Economy Brief №18’ found that of the three main spheres of discussion: Politics; market; and civil society — ranging on issues such as macroeconomics, employment, government, law and order, and banking and finance, macroeconomics came first on all of them. In the market sphere of discussion government was not discussed at all. When the market is driving our economy and our political ideology, do you not think that that should be discussed? Should we give free reign to corporations and the free market? Even if it’s integral to the political ideology, the moral implications should be discussed in my opinion.
This was four years ago, things have had four years to deteriorate, and they have.
We’ve seen this turning point akin to the event horizon multiple times in history, and history does repeat itself: The Bolsheviks revolution in Russia, The Arab Spring, The American civil war, The English Civil war, World War I and II, the Indian Rebellion of 1857 most commonly known as the ‘Sepoy Mutiny’. Regardless of their outcomes, all of these occasions were when the proportion of the entropy of the system — the amount of disorder of the system, or in real terms — the hardship of it’s citizens, is accompanied by a proportional change in the energy of the system — in other words the citizens become angry (an energy in motion — an emotion) and act upon that emotion.
My concern is what happens when the society with the biggest arsenal of weapons, and the biggest tendency to celebrate masochistic and narcissistic behaviour, hits this tipping point?
According to Stephen Hawking: “If you fall towards a black hole feet first, gravity will pull you harder on your feet than your head, because they are nearer the black hole. The result is that you will be stretched lengthwise, and squashed in sideways.”
I believe that we are being pulled towards this eventuality. Our political systems are failing us, in the case of Brexit they have proved wholly inadequate and parliament has proved unable to be agile enough to deal with the complexity. With the case of Trump, he uses distraction to cause more entropy — or disorder, so that he can work on pushing through the laws and deregulations that he wants to push through. That’s a dangerous game considering the laws of physics.
The way that society is responding; the stretching, and squashing that is occurring, is evident in the anxiety and depression epidemic that the Anglo societies are experiencing right now. Percentages of the population taking antidepressants are on the rise, the number of suicides are on the rise, the life expectancy is falling, and generally, the average citizen is living closer to a place where they are struggling to be fulfilled, or make a living, than before this economic system started to collapse. We are seeing evidence of this in the shaming culture that we have online, where people are desperately trying to cling on to the sense that their life is worthwhile, and when they’re inevitably challenged by the decay of the system, they blame others, and exist in the critical space.
Stephen Hawking again:
“If the black hole has a mass of a few times our Sun, you would be torn apart and made into spaghetti before you reached the horizon. However, if you fell into a much larger black hole, with a mass of more than a million times the Sun, the gravitational pull would be the same on the whole of your body and you would reach the horizon without difficulty. So, if you want to explore a black hole, make sure you choose a big one.”
I’d say there’s hope for us yet, because we are living in a time of the huge decay of the Anglo societies’ economic models. That’s a fact, that can be masked or unmasked. More on that in future articles.
Our black hole is massive, and we have the chance to explore it, and who knows what will be on the other side.