Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Gates of Tomorrow, Problems of Yesterday

"Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule." -Friedrich Nietzsche


Sometimes, stupidity is a non-survival trait. From Darwin Awards to idiotic politicians to would be neofeudal overlords, stupidity and incompetence seem to rule the roost. This is not due to the individuals necessarily being stupid, not at all. There are very good professionals and clever people employed by governments, universities, and corporations. The problem is, the institutions they work for either ignore, misinterpret, or perform the wrong responses.

For example, climate change is reported to pose a grave threat to human civilization. The "brilliant" response? Send intelligence agencies and cops after environmental protestors, despite the fact it would make more long term strategic, economic, and political sense to encourage a shift to relocalized food, utility, and power sources. Now, such a movement would cost money, but given the titanic costs of maintaining a failing infrastructure, tax loopholes for fossil fuel exploitation, and accounting tricks to rig the stock market, it pails in comparison. Politicians expertly cater themselves to short term interests at almost a  complete and total ignorance of the long term.

This may be the tragic result of human awareness, which focuses mainly on immediate gratification. As the Boomer generation used to living beyond its means shuffles off this mortal coil, they're leaving a political, legal, economic, and environmental trainwreck behind them.

Each generation likes blaming their own youth for their own problems, but also uses every dirty trick to maintain their dominance. If immortality were made practical and cheap for the masses, one wonders if a gerontocracy run by Boomers would be a fusion of 1984's surveillance state and Brave New World's mindless hedonism. Tomorrow's problems have their roots today, all because of lacking the urge to be a good ancestor.*

*=Not necessarily an ancestor in the sense of having a family, but being an ancestor in the sense of leaving a positive contribution to the world for the future.

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