Are we there yet?
Is the end near?
Every age has its doomsayers and prophets of annihilation. For this reason, most people write off any apocalyptic prediction as the same old thing, forgetting that while it isn't true in every age, it clearly can be true in some. And what would suggest its veracity? A society that cannot plan; cannot limit its own growth; cannot produce a higher quality of individuals; cannot stop itself from consuming its environment and leaving behind waste that decays into toxic byproducts. This shows a lack of reverence for life, and thus no sense of the value of our existence as an experience, but also shows a lack of appreciation for life: its carelessness is near suicidal. There's a great exhaustive depression before the end.
Humanity on its current course is doomed. This is clear if one looks at the whole picture, although it's easy to get lured into small argumets about whether or not global warming is a real phenomenon, or about specific issues such as ethnoculturlal purity. These arguments matter, but they aren't the whole of the matter. They're details, and much as dots on a page make up the illustrations in a newspaper, details scattered across a vision of life's structure reveal what is actually occuring in that ever-present but hard to spot thing named "reality." Finding that vision of life's structure takes some experience, in the form of time and events, and most people don't get any inkling of it until late in life. I'm told it's also a lot easier if you're really super smart, like Arthur Schopenhauer or Ludwig van Beethoven.
Everywhere you look, signs of the disease are evident. There's not an enemy - it's not "the Jews" clustered under bridges with worn copies of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion1, it's not some shadowy corporate group with a name known only by those who are indoctrinated into special blood rituals, nor is it some lost remnant of the Third Reich running everything behind the scenes with mind control devices (wear tinfoil hat now) - but people believe in these enemies, and many more, and these aren't all alienated, failed people; many of society's most successful are scurrying around in fear of one conspiracy or another. That there's no enemy, yet we cannot identify the problem and keep looking for enemies, is Clue Number One that humanity's about to take it in the ass in a vast, cataclysmic, geosocioeconomic-political sense.
Our lack of an enemy means we see no way of change outside of the current civilization. Anything you can't vote for or say in a public of mixed genders, races, intelligences, etc. is not an option. People cannot conceive of a different social order outside of the variants of industrial society, namely Capitalism (the most vicious get the money, everyone works to get rich) and Communism (the most vicious get the money, everyone works for them). We don't even take, for example, al-Qaeda seriously when they say they wish to have a feudal, Traditional Islamic society. Our media tries to treat Islam like Scientology, as a curiosity indulged in by a few who are being "different" in a - well, we never judge others, but slight weird and unwise way.
What's even scarier than our inability to identify the problem is our inability to do something about it, were someone even to come up with a simple solution like "The problem is people who sodomize penguins." Well, that's a lifestyle choice, who are we to say? Because if we start looking too deeply into those who analpunch the tuxedoed flightless seabirds, then we're going to have to look closer at other activities too - in the interest of "fairness" and "justice" and "equality" of course, all commonly-affirmed ultimate social goals that have no consensus definition, thus are a constant battlefield on which nothing is accomplished except internal reshuffling of the most trivial parts of our society. Indeed, this has divided us politically into two camps, those who want government to Do The Right Thing opposing those who want government to Stay Off Our Back, with the first group trusting the broad citizenry less, and the second trusting bureaucracy less. Any halfway awake observer will note that neither group deserves trust, much less any unsupervised trust and broad mandate to "do what is necessary."
As if that wasn't bad enough, we're divided severely against ourselves. Each person thinks he has the solution, and thus looks down on others who don't share that wisdom; however, simultaneously, because they all have variations of the same basic solution, which is Don't Rock the Boat e.g. let liberal democratic industrial capitalist society continue its course, they "respect" the rights of others to disagree. What kind of illusory philosophy believes you can be wrong and right at the same time on the topic of basic questions about our future? A diseased one, clearly.
Then there's other symptoms: most people are annoying, flamingly, dysfunctional. They're together enough that they can hold jobs, breed, and pay bills on time, etc., but does that actually require brains or initiative? No: you go shopping for things you need, including a "career," and then you pick the one that seems most likely and keep at it. Over time, you get promoted, because if you don't promote people regularly in jobs, everyone starts to fear that they'll be required to actually prove themselves, which isn't what they signed on for: they signed on for the idea that if they show up and do the minimum, they'll be able to keep making a living that way. Does breeding require any brains? You find some women, talk a few into sleeping with you, and if one repeats the performance and doesn't offend you, you buy her stuff and hang out with her a lot. Eventually one of you fumblingly mentions the l-word, and then you get engaged, and there's kids. That's the best case scenario, if you're "responsible." Most people are 90% broken and 10% able to follow instructions and make simple decisions, and those latter two abilities carry them through.
Other questions abound. Do we trust our news sources, knowing they're depending on (a) advertising dollars, thus cannot offend advertisers, and (b) popularity, which means they must jazz up every story to seem "interesting" to even the dullest, sleepiest, least coherent individuals? Our leaders are basically poll-takers; their job is to figure out what most people want, and then to promise it to them while simultaneously evading any future accounting as to whether it was actually achieved. As Ronald Reagan proved, they're basically entertainers. And what of our brave philosophers, artists, thinkers, sages? Well, they're all just trying to earn a living, too, so they're basically entertainers, finding mystifyingly obscure ways of telling repeating back to "the people" their own basic philosophy, which is the philosophy shared by crowds in every age and nation: don't rock the boat, don't offend anyone, don't rise above.
So, to analyze the signs of the times is to realize that humanity is headed for a fall, and a big one. We can see it's going to happen, but can't tell when, because there are plenty of mitigating factors - and quite a few catalysts that could blow it up before it really sags into long, slow, drawn-out, pointless oblivion ("not with a bang but with a whimper"). Because we can't say exactly when, the denial fiends who pass as public servants say "Aha! There is no proof!" and beaming broadly, repeat back to their constituents what they want to hear: no need to change, go back to the couch and television and beer or bong or valium or religion. And why would these public servants care, since their own goal is to get their money and retire far away from this madness? It's a vicious cycle of people tearing each other down because no one can identify the problem, much less a solution.
Of course, here at anus.com, that's not a problem. We know the problem exists, and that at some point, it will blow up and tear humanity's ass out; further, we can see that it has been working its destruction on those around us, who often reveal many generations of people breeding themselves into conformity and denial. That the inevitable end awaits is undeniable, but most will deny it. That something can be done about it is also clear, although most will not see it. What might have baffled us once, the question of "saving the world," is now a non-issue; we know that we care only about people of selected qualities, namely matched intelligence, strength and character of the highest order. And with that, we do what writers do: appeal to those who aren't yet destroyed to wait out the end of humanity, and to rebuild in the ashes, if that's possible. Otherwise, we'd just be prophets of a fearful end.
1 Hilariously, people debate every day whether this is actually a forgery. To me it seems that it describes closely enough the effects of outsiders on native communities that if it's a forgery, it should be considered literature, at least in the same way Elie Wiesel's Night and Kurt Vonnegut's Galapagos are.
January 1, 2005