Believe it or not, I have some crude idea of my chances of being right about antisocialization theory.
Can we just say, “not good,” spare my ego a little?
Cue the waiter sketch from Monty Python’s “The Meaning of Life” – “That’s why I became a blogger! I know it’s not much of a philosophie, but, well . . . “
I’ll stop there and say instead – but what if? Wait –
In these darkening times, I keep seeing “The Mote in God’s Eye” every time I close my eyes, a science fiction popular novel – Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle. There’s a planet, populated by primate-like creatures, from civilized sorts on down, but when our people start doing some archaeology there, what they find is disturbing, it’s just layer upon layer of ruins, stretching back as deep as they can dig, showing a history of civilization and collapse, a simple life cycle, repeating forever – and you know books are really about us.
In real life, we and our planet are in all sorts of trouble, but all signs are we are simply not up to turning ourselves around. More importantly to my mind, the things we do attempt, the only efforts we seem able to make amount to a fight, over what’s left, over how to respond, over who is causing more harm. Capitalism is a fight, money is a fight, everything is a fight. We try to stop the petrostate, they fight back, because fighting is our one size fits all answer for everything. This state of affairs, that the oil CEO sees a fight before him rather than the world dying under him, this bias, this prioritization, this is how you bake a lasagna of dead civilizations for future alien archaeologists’ core samples.
We’re an overly social species. We force the prioritization of human concerns over all else, over reason. In fact, it is my contention that the two are opposites, social and rational. The human difference is this magic trick, that we are able to create irrationality, force one another to do the impossible and unthinkable.
So, that’s what I worry about, that’s what I’m trying to solve.
Taking it head on, if I may mention, macho bloody mountain of intellectual pursuits! Nothing but the very top for me, saving the world. If I may also mention, I’m alone up here, me and some hippie Sherpas; the nabobs of human origins won’t even comment. Like any parent, like anybody really, they are very invested in punishment and do not wish to discuss that punishment is made of abuse.
Back to the point, I know it’s a long shot that I alone have happened upon it, of course it is. I squeaked into Mensa, but I am the lowest of the Mensans, nothing about me suggests I should figure out something the Einstein types, the world’s geniuses haven’t. All I can say is, if I think I’m right about my AST, I can only say it was a confluence of accidents, some rare alignment of the stars; perhaps I have a genetic mutation that makes it possible to worry about it for decades, that may be one of the stars – but what if?
The thing is, having this anomaly, or having been on this train of thought for long enough, I feel I’m at that stage of the investigation, that having eliminated other possibilities, what remains must be the answer, however apparently unlikely.
Are there competitive theories?
What other ideas are on offer to save the world?
Granting for the moment that my diagnosis is right, that it’s the fighting that needs to stop, what other suggestions are being made to address the fighting that have any hope compared to us moving a great deal of the hurt out of the “Pro” column for the very first time?
You know, an early impression in all this for me was that the idea of capital punishment hurt my feelings, my hope for us, to think that the good folks were willing to break the first commandment, and if so, what did we expect of any bad ones?
Religion has hopes for divine intervention, but it seems the fight has infected their efforts in the real world, I think anyone but any particular church’s adherents would say, that on balance, religion serves the fighting, that the basic biology of human group conflict is mostly what is happening there, religion is a group identifier more than a pacifier.
Secular progressivism seems good, but while we learn more and more about how we are destroying things, the powers that be are apparently refusing to learn and carrying on despite public opinion – even apparently hurrying the process, it looks like. Modern progressives have good opinions, good ideas, and they always have had, and here we are, nonetheless. Mostly, it’s another fight to join, just a better one, a more moral one, but another battle, like all things. How do I also complain that we’re not winning, if I’m supposed to not be endorsing the fight?
I don’t think we ever “win” this bigger threat, the end of the environment, by winning any fights. My conclusions, unlikely in the extreme, I know, but what are yours, are that the only way we have a future is we somehow eventually convince ourselves that the fight is the problem. We have to learn to not want to fight. It means we have to start setting things up differently.
It means when the next generation complains about a violent world, you don’t take them to the gym and teach them how to box.
It means when your toddler hits its sibling, you don’t say, “No, child, little people don’t hit each other, big people hit little ones. Like this, see?”
It means lots of things that are unlikely in the extreme! Of course, our interest is that our kids can fight – just not that everyone else’s can, and, relatedness, I know. Of course the world runs how on the powerful like it, not how on peers work things out, so the parental lesson is real world education, right?
But “everyone else” fighting includes some very bad stuff, oil CEOs, soldiers of all sorts, crime. So, what if?
What if there were some way, some highly dubious way that may not be a magic bullet (and rejects bullet metaphors!) to fix everything immediately but would possibly begin to turn things around very soon and show us the way? What if it seemed like the only way?
Wouldn’t you try?
February 2nd., 2020