Byenia

Public discourse and political pressures in our most-modern era

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We humans do love to judge everything under the sun. Along with that comes all the labeling and divvying up so as to try to make sense of this world so far we're perceiving it. Humans also adore control and powe. When we cannot or will not focus on controlling ourselves we're extremely prone toward exerting control over others. Manifests in myriad ways.

Humans are an ordering species -- it's what we do. We build and create and construct and redesign. Genetically inclined. We crave certainty and fear losing control over our environment and what's within it. We wish to breathe easily in believing that what we are surrounded by is rendered predictable, understandable, reliable. There's comfort in knowing where we stand and being able to have faith in the fruits of human ingenuity.

In this era of technological sophistication like the world has never known we're capable of manipulating reality to suit our ambitions, desires, dreams and whims in ways that the ancients undoubtedly would envy and be awe-struck by.

However, Nature has its own agenda that has very little to do with our own. Paradoxes abound everywhere, opposing effects always arise (though not necessarily in equal measure), and the law of entropy remains an inescapable fact of life. Life orders and creates while simultaneously eroding and destroying, ceaselessly seeking some new measure of equilibrium.

Yet we humans remain terrified of chaos and disorder and thereby are forever aiming to concoct more intricate forms of ordered reality in hope of them proving resilient enough against natural forces so that we might finally arrive at the formation of some sort of great and lasting "heaven on earth" (or something secular to that effect) where our perception(s) of logic may rule the day, comforts can be easily attained by the masses, and a sense of widespread peace may be granted unto us. Or so goes the common narrative we keep telling ourselves and one another, year after year, generation after generation, particularly now when our technological prowess and its future potential appears so promising.

We like to think the sky is the limit, that perhaps we're a species destined to god-like status in due time. I tend to think we're deluded, but...

Onward we rush with passionate fervor, having by now established massive nation-states and global economies along with extremely complex political/legal systems. We've also been blessed with escalating intellectual and technical resourcefulness, paving the way to increasingly labyrinthine conceptualizations and alienating abstract thought, which has allowed the weaving of the most-modern economic/political, socio-psychological and philosophical narratives better known to us today as ideologies. Evermore complicated and complicating. All of which ensures new and fertile battlegrounds for exerting control and influence over one another.

All can be rationalized in the name of Forward Progress and Advancement...

Complexities everywhere we turn, absurdly so. Reasoning and rationality give way to sophistry as we strive to convince ourselves and one another that we actually know what we're doing here, that this or that ideal is proper, good, and in need of being adopted unilaterally (best for us all!), that there must be Order and Law applied in all cases and to all areas (lest we open ourselves back up to confusion and disruptions). This Theory versus that Theory. This supposed Truth versus that one. Political camps locking horns as their adherents scramble to bully and berate others into accepting these "facts" and preferences versus those lesser values and lies.

Up and out we build our kingdoms by way of legal sanctioning, formalized educational centers, feats of engineering and scientific innovations, catastrophic agents of war, material wonders of mind-bending variety -- all balanced precariously on our (seemingly) reasonable and rational intellectual scaffolding. Though we forever feud over what's of greatest importance and what else is being unfairly neglected, what changes ought to be made, what consequences are proving unbearable as a result, etc.

The barks are endless: "DO something!" "Join our cause!" "Accept our prescription for righting these wrongs!" But it's been our doings that have led us to this point in the first place. There are a multitude of conflicting claims and prescribed courses of actions being proffered these days. For one course to be adopted, countless others will retort that they are being rejected and minimized, possibly even victimized as a result. Is there any "winning" in such a situation as this? When this is how the gameboard has been arranged?

More importantly, is this game, as its rules are now determined, even worth playing? Are there no alternatives likely to prove to be more productive, or at least less schizo, methods for approaching living?

One would like to think. Because, as it stands now, symbols of provocation are positioned everywhere to grab our attention, to incite a sense of guilt and/or fear, then calling for us to alter our ways in accordance with this movement's/group's/party's/ideology's advocated worldview or else be scorned and harassed and identified as their enemy. What middle ground or third way exists in circumnavigating or restructuring this irksome game people insist on playing?

Become a faithful adherent or else be deemed a cretin those who do. Join and align with this or that cause and then wind up disdained as an adversary by those who ideologically oppose them and their presumed mission. And if you join none, you are considered by nearly all to be hopelessly confused and lost and only deserve to be taken up time with when one faction or another periodically ramps up its recruiting efforts.

It's all rather hilarious, if only the social fallout weren't proving so disturbing. Yet so many toil on in these roles, imagining themselves righteous warriors in whatever cause they identify with at any given time, viewing all the rest to be obstructions along the way to what they regard as proper progress. Matters not if one's political ideology leans Left or Right or Moderate, if it's gender/sex-centric or race-specific, economically-motivated or defended as politically expedient. The strategies employed and long-term outlook remain similar, with the ill-conceived ends envisioned sharing in common means requiring enhanced conformity among the masses in order to operate effectively and efficiently in accordance with the supreme ideal. That conformity can either be brought about through education (er, propaganda) or by law and the threat posed by the foot soldiers paid to enforce the new directives or by old-fashioned social pressure accompanied by fear of ostracism. Typically a combination thereof.

So, bend willingly or be bent by others -- that is the message of this Age, perhaps no different than in any other Age other than how now---possessing extraordinary capabilities through vast networks and public broadcasting across various mediums to proliferate such agendas as well as to monitor and tweak levels of acceptance within populations---the threat has expanded (and continues expanding) insidiously and ubiquitously.

Seems that that capability unto itself is the most unnerving hazard of modern life...

And with that comes a sense of not being able to contend in this battle without losing. Because, for as rational as we humans like to think we are, the proof of our limitations, both in terms of deep insight as well as foresight, are historically legendary. Tragically so. Today can claim no exception, what with examples visible in all directions, high and low, ever-mounting in number and magnitude of (generally unforeseen) consequences.

It's also a wonder of how might our own human natures react in the face of what we, whatever our intentions, are cobbling together in this latest millennium. Widespread sanity has never been guaranteed.

Fallible beings -- may we never for a second forget that at the core this is what we are and what we will always be. Blame Nature if you must take issue with natural constraints. One wonders how might Nature respond, as it cannot help but do in its own fantastic fashion.

Yet we plod along, believing ourselves to know what we are doing, believing our group/movement/ideology/etc. has the next best answer or the truest and clearest vision for an improved future. If only all others could get behind this or that conviction or prescribed course of action, then our dream of a utopian society would finally prove possible! It is those heathens to blame for keeping this wonderful (potential) reality from coming into being! Those dreaded enemies of ours and whosoever grants them any power, those despicable scoundrels undeserving of rights nor liberty so long as they keep on mucking up society as they always have! If they could be defeated, or eliminated altogether, our lives would be better off for it! So the rabbling goes...

Where it all ends? Nobody knows. Utopian fantasies are heralded as being on the horizon, but are they really? What is being asked of us in order to live this way? It appears that all idealistic schemes exact conformity as a (pre-)condition so as to be brought into existence. And does that not in some roundabout fashion promise to eventually cater to the lowest common denominator? Considering how not all are capable of being brought up to one universal standard, nor will all ever possess equal intellectual aptitude. Does this not elicit concern over who or what will eventually win out in calling the shots from on high and whether the rest of us will truly benefit from adapting to its new demands, assuming we'd even want to? Will such a choice even be granted?

No matter how much things change, some parts are determined to remain the same...

Comments

  1. Anonymous's Avatar
    I once heard youtuber named Skallagrim say we were not the right species for utopia, i would tend to agree, but i would also add that current rules of universe and nature prevent such species from ever existing, advancement comes from struggle, and species that was passive would not only never advance into sentience, it would be wiped out very soon. Our very nature is dripping with aggression and each one of us ever seeks to dominate others, and it could not be any other way.