I’m going to write about why things have taken off and gone beyond pear shaped in such a short time. AT least it seems short from where I sit.
It accelerated like a bell curve. We are now in the hockey stick of crazy- and it really doesn’t matter where in the political spectrum you happen to be. If you think THIS is normal… Well, you haven’t lived very long.
There is only so far up to go before… well, we don’t know, do we. Or at least we tell ourselves we don’t. A thing that people do not seem to realize is that reverting to the law of the jungle. Soon it should be clear that it is not the ultimate freedom. It is the ultimate slavery– a slavery to defense, a slavery to the belly, a slavery to a million small things that the average person in a 3rd world country has to worry about that Westerners haven’t given a whit about since the Great Depression.
It’s the sort of thing that takes generations to break out of– if it can be done at all. Yes, we did it once, but how much of that was the very special and odd circumstance of the foundation of our country? How long will it take us to have another Brittain, another colony, another group of well educated but oppressed men who come together to make good for pretty much everybody? Considering how many of those other experiments in this nation building See ref: France, Spain, much of Sub Saharan Africa, pretty much all of South America. Maybe it would save time to say the whole freaking world since human civilization began?
Sure, it can seem like technology will save us from ourselves, but I don’t see things like freedom and prosperity and very delicate new technology surviving the death of trust.
Trust is hard. It is hard to revive after it is broken. Because– not trusting is a survival skill. To trust is to build civilization. If you are in survival mode, civilization is optional. If you have ever wondered about the difference between the Dominican Republic and Haiti– Trust has it in a nutshell. It is possible to have commerce and stable economic growth because people can trust each other and even occasionally their government to keep their avarice down to a college roar.
⇑Vince De Groot, Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons. Yup, he is De Groot. :lol: ⇑
For some, the advent of technology forgoes civilization entirely. I suspect this is why things are falling apart so quickly. We don’t have any reason– no gut reason– to hold on to our peace, to hold on to our trust, our traditions, or anything else that holds people together. We don’t think about how dangerous things could go if we wave sayonara to whatever civilization we still cling to. They think that it is “fear of the unknown”.
Oh, if only it were that. That is a daily event in our current culture with technology changing by the month, inflation still accelerating, scandals breaking daily… sure. The Great Unknown™ is really just tomorrow on steroids. No biggie. As a matter of fact, this big fear has blown past trivial into the de rigueur. Yes, even for those people.
Let’s make something clear. The Conservative fear is not the fear of the unknown. It is fear of the known. It is a fear of the dreaded. That is, the fear of tyranny.
Civilization is painfully built over generations. It does not spontaneously generate around people of good will. Yes, most people are of good will– until there is a good reason not to be. If you throw the trust and rule of law out the window– that’s a good reason to kill the bastards and let God sort it out.
One gets the sense that people have gotten bored with civilization, that lawlessness would be more fun. Folks are just dying to be able to use violence on their foes and get away with it. Funny, I bet that was the real cause of The Great War ( AKA WWI), too.
There was a lot of rhetoric around the turn of the Century that war would kept civilized gentlemen from being soft and entitled. So war was seen as a solution to spoiled noblemen and the poison that comes from the backwash of luxury. Like it or not, those poisons are not illusory. Laziness and entitlement are just a few of them. Doing stupid things for temporary gain, at the expense of the future is another. Just another monster in a pandora’s box horrors brought to you by the skewed perspective that comes from living well. When you don’t see the darker consequences of life, you have no idea how dire the consequences of failure.
Kick it all down and let it burn, huh? Yeah. That’ll work. Be Careful what you wish for. You might get it, and it might be more than you can handle.
After all, they call it the “Law of the Jungle” not “The Chaos of the Jungle” or “The Freedom of the Jungle.” You trade one obnoxious set of laws for another hopelessly unfair set of laws that are more hardened than a court of law, or the goodwill of your neighbor. Hint: The noble savage is a lie. It is not a myth, such a savage never was. It is a malignant untruth, because it is twisted and turned upside down so it sounds pleasant, comforting and plausible. As if people just come out that way without effort.
The truth is, primitive peoples have admirably strong morals and honor. They have a rigid code that is based on observable consequences of your actions. They make the most hardened conservative look like a fool-hearty libertine. Usually, if you break these laws, it is death– one way, or the other. Let’s just say that exile only sounds like the softest option. Unless you are singularly wealthy (a feature of civilization, remember) it translates to “a miserable death– probably of starvation, or murder– away from the people who love you.”
Let’s look past that end game. Let’s see the whole picture. Where do you go after throwing off the shackles of Civilization? First, lots of people suffer, which they do by trying to live as they once did in a world with luxury, trust and safety. Generally that translates into a great deal of freedom for a few (read: fun-loving pillaging, bloodlust, rape, etc), and misery for the overwhelming majority of the rest (disease, suffering, misery, refugee status, frequent reacquaintance with death, etc). That setup being unsustainable, there’ s a collapse.
Then things go back to a crude and brutish anarchy if you are lucky, but basically it translates to rule by the toughest thug, then tribalism, then… a lifetimes long struggle on hands and knees back to Civilization. This cycle goes back and forth, from loving order and civilization, to getting bored with it, and desiring “true freedom”. Then they kick over all that their parents and grandparents worked so hard to build, and the cycle starts anew, baptized in blood.
Not the kind of rollercoaster ride I am looking forward to, I have to say. But this cycle only goes back to civilization if people want it. Is suffering we can hardly imagine any better than following some rules?