There is a malaise within the societies of the world today. Simplistically put, there is no grand conspiracy. But there is a mutual consent by greedy people that their situation would be better served by no change in the way society works. Debt driven life, where those who work hardest to scrape a living end up paying for everything, either by taxation, charity or just buying what they need to survive.
I look back at the three decades after the Second World War and there was an optimism, a communal daring to dream the big dream and the inspiration for inventors to deliver that vision. The pace of progress was phenomenal, and despite some horrendous liberties taken with the environment and minority groups, the only way seemed to be up.
Now I look at the last three decades and it seems that society has acquired a bad case of fear. Frightened of the things they are told they shouldn’t understand. Frightened of those poorer than themselves. Frightened of things that have always been with us yet are only more publicised. Simultaneously we are bombarded with messages to consume less, just make do, be grateful for the crumbs of existence you can scrape from the big society. More than anything, be thankful that those in power are working to homgenise the world; there will be nothing for you to fear because they will all be just like you.
Individuality is discouraged, at least public individuality. Don’t be different. Be like everyone else. Ignorance is encouraged. The internet started as a way for many to share the visions and truths. Now you have to search for the truth in amongst the plethora of trivia.
There is so much to find, to see, to know. Mankind is nowhere near it’s potential, yet I see the beginnings of almost feudal striation amongst the rich and the poor, those with access to education and those scrabbling in the financial ruins of their once beautiful inner cities. Indeed, that epithet no longer applies to just inner cities. Huge swathes of formerly productive, populous and vibrant cityscapes have been rendered wastelands.
Frankly, it scares me. There are clear indications that this societical model cannot survive because it is not being allowed to evolve. Evolution and adaptation are mankinds single advantage. Take that away, and we just drink, eat, fornicate and breed like a parasite that contributes nothing to it’s host except death by infestation.
More worryingly is the fact that behind the current top of the stack are those who would be top of the stack, but the only way they can achieve that is to remove the current heads. Given the entrenched nature of the establishments throughout the world, who keep the lid on using the status quo and public apathy, the only way is to raise the pressure until something blows.
Which is where it all gets messy. Because a repressed change will eventually occur, but the longer it is restrained, the more explosive the event that instigates the change. Egypt, Libya, and so on are litmus paper for societies famous for righteous indignation. Europe and America have longer, because their citizens are far more complacent and smug in their wallows, thinking themselves fortunate despite worrying about paying the bills this month.
When western society changes, it will be a series of events happening rapidly, combining to make a devastating whole. I do not think that it will be mass rioting and bloodshed et al, but I do think that it will be devastating for those who live in the cities and towns. Everyone without the private estate or means to isolate themselves from the ruin that will come.
I titled this piece ‘Rise Above’ for a reason. The cycle of repression and optimism can be broken. We are not going to achieve utopia tomorrow, and the wonders preached by The Venus Project and Zeitgeist are far away, because those well-intentioned visionaries have omitted the one essential thing. How do we get there from here?
We can rise above the stagnant mess that is the world’s societies today. It does not mean tearing it all down, nor does it mean a return to a simple way of life. It does mean that clever people should be encouraged to help mankind to return to it’s adaptive ways, and those who rule by our consent (and that’s a topic for a separate piece) should work together to allow society to evolve.
Rise Above. Learn from the past. See the errors from history. Listen to the people and the land. Then let us start on the incredible future we are so capable of realising.