|| And on a brighter note...
||Jan. 30th, 2002 04:35 pm|
What, exactly, is civilisation attempting to achieve? Better standards of
living? A more sustainable life? Personal gain at the expense of all
others? Or a scenario where we can all feel we're clawing our way up on
each other like rats in a pit, a heaving mass of humanity all seeking
protection from a misunderstood "them", xenophobic and vicious in the
extreme? Is "the common good" really a concept with any validity, or is
the mob just happy to take an ever-increasing beating so long as it thinks
that those that dare stick out from it and challenge the status-quo will be
beaten harder than they?
What, exactly, is civilisation attempting to achieve?
Which bit of it? I'm in the overlap between two bits, one of which tries to have a good time and one which tries to increase knowledge and improve the human condition. Other bits have other priorities, but in my view knowledge, overall welfare and opportunities for enjoyment are better than they've ever been. I'm not saying there isn't grounds for further improvement, because any idiot can see that there is, but I definitely think that things are improving. If I ruled the world, though, obviously they'd improve a lot faster (or heads would roll).
Is "the common good" really a concept with any validity, or is the mob just happy to take an ever-increasing beating so long as it thinks that those that dare stick out from it and challenge the status-quo will be beaten harder than they?
Yes, and yes (to an extent). I think maybe you've managed to get lodged in an area where the second bit is more dominant. In some ways, we're living in a time when that's true also, but times change quickly. The prevailing trend is likely to reassert itself in due course. I don't know if this is helpful in coping with the immediate shitstorm. Good luck with it.
Sometimes it just reminds me that the greatest part of a human is really an animal after all.
In a world in which our immediate survival is more and more secure, we find other ways to express our innate 'survival of the fittest' instinct. We do things for the common good, and are sometimes very altruistic - but always it's there. That internal growl, ingrained, because in evolutionary terms it wasn't all that long ago that we had to compete to survive. We still compete, in different arenas, and I wonder if that drive will ever disappear entirely.
Which bit of it?
The democratic, voting public, the "grouillement humaine", that, en masse, has provided us with this apology for a government that takes no move to protect anything but itself. If democracy really provides the goverment that the majority deserve, I find this very depressing.
My beliefs are such that I feel a need to promote tolerance and try and protect the planet we live on, and hopefully leave the planet just slightly better than I joined it, but this feels like a stifling near-impossiblity in the current environment.
However, let's hope you're right, and that this period of media-led mob-rule will fade away quickly.
[...]a human is really an animal after all
Well of all people I can hardly deny my animal side; it's a core part of me. But humanity is so often keen to place itself above the animals (while condemning out-of-hand anything it sees as un-natural) with its much-vaunted "intelligence", that we might hope that they'd use it for the common good. The competetive spirit is a fine thing, but doesn't need to be a destructive thing, rather a tool for self-, and mutual-, betterment.
Does one tick of a box, or punch of a card, every 5 years, really count as democracy? Aren't you really disenfranchising yourself if you don't partake in some other socio-political drive?