| We live in a world which is new. The 20th century was unlike any century before that, and we saw fundamentally new things in this era. World war, mass genocide, nuclear weapons, manned flight, automated factories, mass transport, people in the moon, internet. And that’s just the more cinematic stuff. Every aspect of reality has changed. This level of unprecedented upheaval has inflicted deep psychological damage in the collective human psyche, culture and traditions. And now we have entered the 21st century and we are dead set on even more terrifying changes to the very nature of what it means to be human. The result is future shock, and some people respond to this rationally and largely unperturbed, yet others seem prone to theatrical rituals of protest, fear and pervasive anger. We blame other people for this general sense of unease, we hauntedly look for guilty parties, and we try to make sense of a world divorced from what makes sense. We as a human species feel adrift, alienated, under siege and boundless.
But this is the world as it is, and not some world divorced from fact or sense. We can not bury our head in the sand, or succumb to frenzies ceremonial acts of passive aggressive hostility (i.e. run amok), nor live in a contrived superstitious alienation. Yet that’s what we are all busy doing to ourselves, to each other, to the world. Many people don’t want this shit and they visibly dig their heels in the sand. Many people long back to the unambiguous sense of manageable simplicity of their respective youths, and the older (and more neurologically inflexible) these people are, the more their irate sense of entitlement, their outrageous sense of loss, their obstinacy becomes. People idealize that bygone age when they were still young and confident and at easy. That day when parents took care of them, and they felt generally safe. So many of us have this idealized vision of a bygone golden age, say, the 1950s, when authority still meant something.
But that age is over and it will never come back. If you feel adrift now, just wait. We are in a hyper-convoluted world of interlocking systems that are untested and half-heartedly designed. Many good things will happen, but also numerous pretty horrible things are just around the corner. Yes, humanity might die – collectively – but the proverbial ostrich strategy of dealing with issues will not change that one iota.
The western world – which had the United States more or less on the steering wheel of post-industrial society, lost it’s optimism and innocence on September 11, 2001, when we were left shellshocked by a particularly nasty type of demonstrative destruction. There are many conflicting accounts on what really happened on that day, but ever since humanity has been miserably lost, our collective western identity left in tatters and our collective vision more or lest in a post-rape state of misery. Ever since we as a western democratic society have been staggering forward. With barely a sense of purpose.
Now we see the most destructive qualities in the human spirit alive and well, in the form of mass-hysteria, xenophobia, superstition, paranoid. We all look up to a hollow, impotent governmental edifice, and lay our most sacred modernist values on the sacrificial altar and we beg to our Lords – please take whatever sacrifice you demand of us, and keep us safe. This is the classical post-traumatized child-parent dysfunctional archetype – the human pathology of the abused and the abuser.
It is not that we now have either become abusers or the abused – it is more that we all collectively demand immediate action, to chase away the unbearable sense of panic that rises up like bile in our throats. We are in a near psychosis, and even though we go through the motions our leaders are just as shell-shocked and incapable of rational responses as we all are.
Look at what we have done to the freedoms of our society. Look at the horrific insanity of the war on terror, and the lunacy we now all willingly endure. This is mass psychosis, the apathy of people walking in to the proverbial gas chambers and wanting it over and done.
I say no more. Let’s come back to our senses, and re-ignite what is good about democracy and freedom and personal responsibility. Let’s stop tearing our civilization apart with visions of demons and the risen dead walking among us, with nightmare fantasies of nuclear terrorism or bearded simpletons with box cutters or exploding underwear. Let us no longer accept this mass hysteria. There is no monster under the bed.
There is no one coming to console us. Stop crying in your bed, and wake up from your collective milkmaid panic attack. There is work to be done, and we need sane, rational minds to take charge and grab the steering wheel. Stop with this nonsense and let’s all take responsibility for a future and a world we’d all want to live in.