Everywhere there are calls for unity, religion against religion, culture against culture, political grouping against political grouping, nation against nation. Every leader is telling us that if we are not united, we could lose the important contests our leaders in each of these areas are leading.
Except, isn’t that how we got here? Ideology opposing ideology, religion against religion, nation against nation, people against people.
A measure of our species’ intellect and ability to use it is the number of years that pass from the end of each phase of those contests in history until the consensus of informed opinion agrees both sides were missing the point, it was the wrong question, how could have anyone ever killed another person over that, as the resolution is so clear in modern eyes? Recent modern examples have been slavery in the US, Nazis racial ideology, Communist’s class ideology in all the forms implemented, we are now nearly at the end of the US anti-communist ideology morphed into CIA-Deep State secrecy, merged with US Neocons and then with Israel’s criminal government to produce the ideology that the Western allies were all apparently convinced could produce a Pax Americana which would allow all to evolve in peace. All equally stupid in historical retrospect, I am very sure.
It seems to me the quickness with which the questions fade into incomprehensibility (I mean, come on, slavery? How did you build a civilization on that? Make a profit? People must have been damn cheap in Africa relative to here at home.) is both a measure of our lousy thinking and ability to change mental frames, as well as the underlying economic forces pushing everyone’s reasoning and the institutions supporting them. Bet we have those happening today, what with flows of wealth guided by government are larger than ever in history.
And still incessantly on all sides, ‘unite for this idea, or our culture/political position/level of humanity/religious principles/political principles/…’ will lose against those evil bastards.
So many are so wrong in so many ways. Battling all of these forces head-on is not a possible win, as Discordians have long preached. Opposition always lends power and focus. Do not oppose if you really care. I really care that we not be taken over by any idiology and I really want the tyrannical, treasonous bastards out of power. Justice would be nice, but we probably have to settle for information and retrieval of most of the wealth.
Even better, we patriots do not have to oppose any of that, the fall of the system is inevitable, it cannot know costs and risks, plans without solid cost and risk information are futile. But we can agree on the need for doing something without agreeing on what : should do our best to avoid the consequences of doing nothing as well as the consequences of united opposition, ultimately becoming just another centralizing process fighting for position at court waiting to be consigned to the dustbins of history.
This is not a time for dissident contrarians to agree, there are always plenty of people thinking the conventional groupthink thoughts. No, this is a time to go our own ways, think our own thoughts, and understand as many other dissident contrarians as possible. Mix your thoughts. Branch out, get to know more people, get more points of view. we need more points of view on our problems, not more intensity of the same focus. That human tendency to turn up the heat to get your way is exactly what gets in the way of more optimal solutions.
The way you get your way in society, without coercion, without heat, is to let everyone else have their own way also. No skin off your nose, most of the time. If we all work hard at keeping disputes local, we can get along without government assistance in these basic elements of living. If your neighbor kid makes too much noise, go talk to them in a calm and rational way. Start out sharing a cigarette, a joint or a beer, as appropriate to your culture melieu, probably he will hear better. Invite them over for the next bbq, I bet they hear real good after that. People who smoke your dope, drink your beer and eat your bbq have to listen to you, you know? Exactly the same technique the company uses on all of us to keep our loyalty, and what we use to keep our relatives thinking they are special, and them us. Doesn’t cost much, and next time he gets some good bud, hey I bet he wants to share it. Payback for the bbq. Chains of reciprocal favors make a community work.
This is indeed a time for social cohesion, at all levels, there is indeed more safety in bigger numbers living in peace and protecting each other’s backs, supporting each other in Freedom. But not if they are thinking the same thing, beyond those basic peace and freedom memes. Going beyond the basic peace and Freedom agreement is inevitably encroaching on someone’s idea of Freedom, and you have to resort to coercion, the beginning of the slide. Community without much agreement beyond peace and freedom is normal, we should keep it that way.