Thursday, October 11, 2007

Man stares into the future with near sighted eyes. Our lifetime is but a nano-second, our entire existance and that of all we have ever known, less than a tick of the second hand on the ever expanding face of the watch we know as time. Those who dare to place focus beyond the reach of flesh can still only imagine that future in terms relative to the contemporary.

I have a problem with visionaries who work to effect change beyond their lifetime. The dynamics of chaos that we have assured ourselves we have a grip on are a fickle bitch. When ideologies reach into the unknown they change in ways unknown to the visionary. The most devestating campaigns of change were/are effected with the goal of cohesion of all to a particular ideology. The wide range of social ideologies and geographic location often require the use of force to implement change on a wide scale. The visionary is able to justify the force with the conviction of their perspective that the cause is noble.

The euphamism "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" is a good way to sum up how I feel on this issue. I am quite certain that none of the characters deemed despots thought to themselves "hey, I'm an evil bastard, lets go do some evil" They were convinced that their cause was righteous and were willing to do whatever necessary to see through their ideology. The identity of good and evil is related mostly to which side of the issue you are on. The American Revolution is the most common example in our society. I assure you that king George III did not think of his rebelious colony as anything but, and certainly would never have catergorized them as freedom fighters.

I bring up the American Revolution to illustrate my point further. The framers of the constitution envisioned a specific future for America, a future that reached well beyond anything they could have forseen. A future that many say differed greatly from the contemporary situation we live in today. They attempted to account for ideological shifts by making the Constitution a living document, amendable to contemporary circumstance, as evidenced by the 17 amendments in addition to the Bill of Rights. What they could not know, therefore not account for was a dis-engaged populace and the semantics driven political strife that has become the norm.

I wish I had an answer for this problem, I see the advantageous side of progress and I see a down side as well. This is directly related to my perspective and moral judgement on the intent of the actions and direction of progress. The rational and existential wage war on my thoughts and I find myself in a regressive loop ending in the thought that we should all just revert to slaves of our primal origins. So if there is anyone out there reading this, help me out here. Must we accept the good with the bad and strap in for the roller coaster that is humanity, or is there a way to focus each generation on the contemporary therefore building a solid foundation for the future, with out violation of my original and seemingly circular concern?


Larro said...

You've gotten my attention.

I wish I had an answer too and you sound as cynical as me.

The only thing that sets us apart from our predecessors is technology. All the barbarity that has gone before continues in perpetuity. The only way out is a higher evolved homo sapien.

Anyway. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

tina said...

Hi, got here through Larro. For a minute, I thought I was reading a post of Larro's. :)
I think things are on the upswing, hopefully.

Tattooed & Atheist (T&A) said...

Excellent post!
You make many great points about those who think they are doing "divine" work. Bush is a great example of this. While we are all on the same page with how we see his deeds. I'm sure in his twisted mind he is doing the right thing. i.e. bringing democracy to the Middle East

Kilgore Trout said...

Well put, and I understand your cynicism. I think if you look at the whole of human history we are very slowly moving in the right direction, maybe not at this exact moment, but over all we're becoming more humane. I agree that many bad things have come about because of good intentions, but don't discount the fact that all the good in society has also come about from good intentions. As you pointed out the means are important, Machiavelli be damned the ends do not automatically justify the means. If you want to make the world better but you have to kill people to do it, then you probably have the wrong means. Peace can be a very effective weapon as well, the works of Gandhi proved this.

Then again maybe we are fucked. On the bright side you're right, our existence is nothing in the big picture. We came from nothing and we return to nothing. Personally I don't see that as any reason not to try to spread as much joy as I can in the extremely limited amount of time I have to play with my consciousness.

Oh and did you see the stuff about Rock for Darfur? notice that, at this point at least, there is only one band actually playing in Africa. And who should that be? NOFX.


angelsdepart said...

Well as much as I hate to take the side of the moral relativist it certainly seems to be the most applicable solution to this situation. You are correct in assuming that everyone thinks that their own cause is righteous. People will so everything that they can to see through their own ideologies and they will tend to justify whatever “evils” they must do in order to achieve this end. The problem with this argument is it has a big gaping hole in it that Christians just foam at the mouth about when they get an opportunity to attack it. “Well, what about murder” they will say. “Are you saying murder is sometimes O.K?” To which I answer, “it seems to be just fine when your god does it!” Regardless, we are a world of different cultures, and ideas, and laws. Some things will be right in some places and the same things will be wrong in other places. Things will only be “evil” when the general population agrees that these things are evil and decide to cohesively do something about it. So I suppose that a standpoint of moral relativism is not such a bad outlook after all.

BTW, I am glad I got turned onto your blog. I have added you to my blogroll. Keep up the great work

Rob the Granola Guy said...

I think much of the rest of the world is moving in the right direction and evolving. I also think many Americans want to move in the right direction - whatever that is. However, we're led by a bunch of power hungry, elitist barbarians who have the majority of the general public duped into ignorance or submission. Evolution is happening, despite the people who run this country.