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Friday, July 17, 2009

Themes and Memes

Themes and Memes

If i had to pick a "theme" for this blog...for what it is that I'm driving at...
I think it'd be the Myth/Reality thing..
This has, under it like it was an umbrella, things like Justice (as a Platonic Form)..
Honesty (ditto)...and finding a Model of Reality that fits better.(.my rants on Healthcare falls under there somewhere.)
And I can't help but see all of this through the filter of my own experience and thoughts.
I try to overcome this last part...I try for objectivity...but i am, in the end, merely human.
Civilisations are interesting creatures.
I adhere to the idea that they resemble life-forms.
As such, they have behaviour patterns and life-cycles, and are subject to stimuli and macro-psychology.
For instance, and pertinant to what I'm driving at;
Barzun and Toynbee's idea of Decadence...the decay of, not only Morality in a given civilisation, but a decay of that organism's Will to live and continue.
Not the petty "who's fucking who" tabloid idea of decadence.
It's bigger than that.
And not the narrow Morality of the Hypocrites who would rule us.
Barzun and Toynbee were referring to something like the Social Contract...the Glue that binds us together,into a Civilisation.
We are in a period, I think, of Global Decadence...we have a Global Civilisation, after all.
And we are a Civilisation in Decline...not because iof Peak Oil, or Queers, or whatever the Fearsome Thing is today...but because we have lost our desire to innovate, to reach and to better the world.
We have forgotten the reasons behind our being a Civilisation..
We have lost our Collective Soul.

One can argue that 9-11 brought to the surface a latent, Civilisational had been there since at least WW I...but had lain quiet, behind the scenes...beneath our common conciousness.
Longsword, over at Darkage Blog, calls it a Nietzchean sense.
(and he has much better grammer and spelling than I do..)
I'm getting at something a little different...I think Sociology, as currently practiced, is insufficient..
We must invent a Macropsychology.
(we may have, but it hasn't jumped up and bit me...)
Erich Fromm goes there...but that was a long time ago.
We are in such massive denial, about just about everything, that we are the folks in Plato's Cave....
Afraid to look outside our comfortable delusions....the Warm Herd...the Satisfying Myth.
As I've said, Cognitive Dissonance as every-day-go-to-work fare.
We are Insane....and confuse our insanity for sanity.
And as a drunk must see that there's a "problem", and then must WANT to fix we, collectively, must have the sight to see the problem, and then WANT to try and amend it.
There are many factions and forces that seek to prevent such soul-searching and repair...we call them TPTB...or the Illuminatii...or Corporate America...or just Government.
Many scapegoats..."it must be the Queers"...or "illegals"..or Satan.
But these things are merely symptoms of the overall disease.
Convenient things to lay blame on, and shelter our own fragile egos....for if we "go there", and open those doors just a crack, as i've said, Reality comes flooding in and all our Myths are washed away...leaving us Naked and Alone.
And we seem to be too fragile for that.

My all-time favorite TV show is the recent reworking of Battlestar Galactica.
Get past all the high-tech spacefaring Robots-who-look-like-us stuff...and there's a Philosophical motif...
(actually, I think there are more than a few...)
"Do we, as a Species ,"Deserve" to Survive"

Read that again.

Can you make the case for us?
I question whether the existence of an Einstein or a Michelangelo or Chris Cornell can justify all the damage we have done over the milennia.
For all our feats of Tech...our Higher Math and Microwave Ovens...the Goddamn Internet!!!
For all that we have accomplished, have we yet earned the right to survive?
And I'm not talking about God, or gods, or any of that stuff...
The Criteria should be Reason.
No superstition is needed (or wanted, by me at least)
We go around, as we have forever (in our timesense), doing as we please...and then justifying the damage the rapist saying, in all sincerity
"She was asking for it."
The European/JudeoXian Civilisational Branch is particularly odious...
God's chosen race, after taking that moniker from the Jews...we may do as we please.
We consider ourselves the Pinnacle of Progress...the Reason for the World...the Fulfillment of God's Plan.
What an arrogant creature Man is!!
What Hubris!
We have even secularised this idea.
Manifest Destiny!
But for all our prancing about, can we back it up with Reason...Objectively?
(can we BE objective? )
I question all of these assumptions.
The fact that we all aren't questioning them (and this is all a big bummer, I know)...the fact that we refuse to even consider these things means that we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes and atrocities, in different clothes, again and again...
Why is there still Genocide in the World?
I mean, after the Nazis?
Have we learned nothing at all?

And speaking of nazis...the Bush II "administration" brought us, arguably, Benevolent Fascism, shorn of Jack Boots and tanks in the street...but their Ideological Foundation rested on Fascism.(read Leo Strauss, "Natural Right and History")
And we allowed this...either because we actually supported it, or were too fearful to stand up or didn't notice or care, in the first place.
We continue to believe the Lie, and the Liars that push it...."it's too hard", we whine when confronted with an Evil that is obviously within our responsibility to set right.
That's what I'm driving at.
We persist in our Mythology...ignoring anything that contradicts it.
The Mythology is so vast and all-encompassing that we cannot just chip away at it.
We can't just "fix" a portion of the Evil...and leave the rest for another day...
The whole thing must be torn down.
Can't get rid of a fire-ant mound one ant at a time.
And this thing we've built, over milennia, is much more complex that that.
But before we can even contemplate it's dismantling, let alone what gets built in it's stead, we must recognise that there's a problem.
There's an aphorism on my door:

"Is God willing to prevent Evil,but unable?
Then He is Impotent.
Is God able but unwilling?
He is malevolent.
Willing and able?
Whence Evil?"
(I think it's from Epicuras)

We can no longer rely on Supernatural Saviours.
We simply cannot wait.
It is up to us, to fix our own mess.
And I fear that we won't, while there's time.
Entropy will beat us to it.

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