Self-Gratification, Global Destruction
With a quick glance at the world, it should be apparent to most that we live in a world of ruin. We are ever closer to the point of no return, yet we cannot seem to help but carry on. North America, one of the greatest producers of waste, one of the greatest consumers of energy, acts as though it is very conscious of its consumptive ways. This is moot, because it conflicts with basic values of the west: the pursuit of happiness. This was originally an American idea, but it, along with its counterparts, have worked to shape the democratic ideas - thoughts of personal liberty, justice, et cetera - developing at the time. Any worthwhile environmental action would run against these ideas.
This mentality has not always existed; we have not always been bent on destroying the planet, but strangely enough, the mob refuses to acknowledge that it thinks on such lines. A world that praises human life and opposes pain and suffering will be incapable of living with the fact that it is doing the greatest deal of harm by embracing these ludicrously unnatural views, and so it seals this fact from the realm of possibility. Those who inform such ignorant masses of their follies are branded with the harshest labels the mob possesses, emasculating them and rendering all their statements invalid to those dwelling in popular opinion.
Because the mob works this way, because culture and the people dictate thus, pain, time, and death become obscured. In advertising is eternal youth expressed: icons change at an alarming rate, as soon as divas show signs of age they are cast aside to devotees void of self-worth, and the masses seek youth; beauty creams, lotions, sprays, shampoos, and all sorts of rubbish flood the market, and a population eager to retain what passes flock toward the supposed salvation of their livelihood. These people collapse into sorrow when their bodies slowly lose function, and mortality creeps up on them. Feeling pain to be evil, they lament what they consider undeserved suffering, failing to recognize it as part of the process of living. Struggle and strife are frowned upon - people are bound to give you awkward looks and ridicule if you so much as prefer walking to a location to taking the bus. Laziness is championed - effort is associated with pain (that burning sensation in your muscles as your legs pump, fighting gravity to propel your body upward, forward), and as such is undesireable. This makes easy fortune and success a value of our civilization. If someone capitalizes on a consumer's need, or wins the lottery, they are praised for about the same time span on the news as someone who's actually accomplished something.
You cannot argue against any of this. Psychology has developed in such a way that those who question popular opinion and the ways of the free, democratic world are regarded pathologically. If you look upon death as reality, you will be branded depressed or morbid. If you proclaim that people of different races should not be living together because it discourages the strong cultural values present in heterogenous societies, you will be considered a racist, an enemy of opportunity, and you will either end up as a criminal, or, again, a case to be dealt with pathologically. Critical thinking and cynicism are treated much the same way: as indicators of depression, not realism. That our psychologists and sociologists are even comfortable thinking that questioning the values of modernity is characteristic of instability should be a clear sign that our civilization suffers from an incredible sickness that reaches to the very core. When the people who study the human mind make conclusions with a moralistic bent that are accepted almost unquestionably, something is wrong.
Tracing the history of this thinking is difficult, but our closest link is the reign of democracy, which came as a result of the crowd revolting against aristocratic powers and the notions of free will and individualism gaining immense support. The ruling class is by nature smaller than that which is ruled, so with numbers, it can be thwarted, and a new order can be put in place of it, one that serves the people, poisoned with the notion that they are born free and equal. This is of course untrue, and a drastic error. Alas, these ideas were reenforced by so called philosophers of the time, and by the revolutionaries martyred for their causes. This increased the solidarity of the masses, which gave them further force with which to oppose higher powers.
This mob is by nature destructive. First, it must appeal to the lowest of possible humans (and in this we see a strong connection to Christianity, which greatly influenced the philosophers that espoused humanistic thought). It neglects that it is doing so on that basis that it believes everyone to be equal. Now, the wretched leech is as worthy as the athlete, artist, or scientist: they too have rights, and must be treated with dignity. These people can breed and promulgate their way of life, which ends up being detrimental to others. The overvaluation of human rights and dignity also bars any legitimate social planning or eugenics. Because everyone has rights and sovereignty, they are allowed to do with their bodies as they please. This means that welfare bums can have five children who will undoubtedly follow the same path, allowing leeching and consumption to continue. Arranged marriages become a notion barbaric, sterilization becomes inhumane.
Because the populace rejects these practices dogmatically, it retards itself and the biological quality of subsequent humans within this given populace decreases substantially over only a few generations. Their numbers then increase, and their ideals become harder to combat as those perpetuating these idiotic concepts are multitudinous.
These values, showing no sign of change, have lead to a massive global population. The moral West feels it is a duty to spread its values throughout the rest of the world, and this it has most successfully done. Now, crisis emerges, and the numbers opposed to action are manifold. There is, consequently, very little of a planet left to restore, less space for our growing numbers, and less resources to see to the survival of their future generations. The institutions that have allowed these populations to flourish cannot be dismantled without causing incredible global suffering, but with mass inaction, suffering will occur regardless, becoming manifest in one way or another. Manipulating the crowd into any worthwhile environmental activity is nigh impossible, as the forces preventing this are too powerful. Corporations require consumers to survive, and with their vast wealth, they can monopolize the media to secure their aims (and their futures, when they have no need of us and their CEOs would rather survive in their bunkers with filtered water while the rest of the human race starves and drinks sludge), and even if corporations were abolished, there would still be six billion leeches to contend with, fighting to hold out as long as possible in fear of death.
However, looking to destroy the elements of civilization which have globally harmful actions as their platform (ie, the automotive industry), is a good start, bearing in mind again that any worthwhile action is contrary to popular interest. The masses consider themselves free, and are convinced that owning a vehicle, eating junk food, and staring at a TV, are important parts of their rights as human beings. The vast majority of the Western population is incapable of long term, practical thought, and cannot see, and do not care to see, why their actions are almost purely destructive. It would be very hard to convince such a mentality out of selfishness: it does not care that its future wants are moot if there's nothing left on the planet, because it has been trained for immediate gratification. Subversion is the only way to convince any individuals of the crowd out of hypnosis, and as mentioned this is very difficult to affect.
We cannot continue to pretend that we are divorced from our environment, and reminding the crowd and its members of its bond with nature is very important. Death must be brought back to reality: the senses must be shocked as never before. The more we wait to act, the more we are lead to our doom, where most of us will probably still attempt to live in comfort and ease while wearing gas masks to work and buying chemical sprayed vegetables growing in 80 story glass buildings. But the time will come for us to know the meaning of famine and suffering, and affirm the temporal nature of sensory delight and happiness. If we cannot teach the majority of the terror that lies ahead should our destructive mode of thinking continue, then the majority will learn the hard way.
August 15, 2006
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