Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Civilization: Humanity's Greatest Blunder

Civilization is the mechanism for concentrating and exerting power. Offspring of the lust for power, civilization has created all the problems that compassion seeks to cure. Without consolidated power, evil can only work piecemeal. Without consolidated power, there is no prize. No prize, no contest. No contest, no cheating.

Civilization started innocently enough. Some geniuses figured out that plants and animals people eat would be easier to find if we kept them together in one place conducive to their proliferation. Some places were better than others. Crops and herds grew in those places more than in others. The people stuck in the less comfortable environments organized themselves to see how they could improve their circumstances in various ways, through trade, conquest, or assimilation.

Without question, civilization has gradually made life more comfortable. I wouldn't want to give up the creature comforts. But since no one can be trusted to run things, and thousands of years of resentments keep grievances fresh through generations, we've probably hit our peak as far as attaining a peaceful and happy world.

When altruism reaches the point where people kill themselves almost daily for the sake of killing other people they see as opponents to their ideology, you see how far the lust for power has come. Murder-suicide is always a problem, because the knowledge of inevitable mortality makes some people unstable. Add the allure of a heroic contribution to a better future, and people who might be teetering, wrestling with the decision whether to embrace suicide, get a new incentive to choose flamboyant death. Political manipulators will encourage the tendency. Manipulators always know how to get the most out of other people's emotions. Political manipulators use these controls to advance grand plans.

Civilization helped the human population surge, and life spans increase. Civilization nurtured technology. Technology advanced civilization. Industrialization increased the speed and efficiency with which natural resources could be gouged out of the Earth and turned into useful objects. The byproducts of these processes have been wealth, filth, and disregard for each other and for nature.

Civilization could have been good. If you're a hopeful sort, you probably believe it still could be. Past performance does not guarantee future results, as the investment shills like to warn us before we hand them the check. The greedy, the angry and the far-too-clever stand in ranks between us and that brighter future.

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