Why I think it is hopeless?
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24-11-2011, 06:16 PM
 
Why I think it is hopeless?
Disclaimer: In the following ’we’ and ’us’ means all the oppressed and exploited people everywhere in the western world, not members of this forum in particular.

It is naive to believe that we will accomplish anything. We are not interested in the only strategy that could lead to real progress: 1./ personal lifestyle changes and 2./ organizing non-violent non-cooperation and non-participation on a nation-wide scale. These are drastic times, requiring drastic measures and very few are willing to accept that. Plenty of lip service is paid to band-aid solutions, but we have a case of malignant tumor in our societies and it requires major surgery. So, as long as we only whine and bitch and protest and vote—our rulers treat us with the contempt we deserve. Unless we put our money where our mouth is, we come across as pathetic hypocrites.

On another forum there was a discussion about violent computer games. The evidence was overwhelming about how socially harmful they are. Yet, many posters went to incredible length and performed unbelievable mental contortions to ‘prove’ it wasn’t so. What it boiled down to was ”I like them, I want them, I don’t care”.

Once, as an experiment, I spent a few hours at Walmart, in a very poor neighborhood, sitting on the bench at the exit, watching people line up at the cash register with their ’loot’. I was watching all the plastic crap being carried out.

Very few items were of the ’absolutely necessary’ type. Most were crap they easily could have lived without, but they saw it on TV and liked it, wanted it and didn’t know, didn’t care..

They say: recession is when my neighbour is out of work, depression is when I am out of work. Face it guys, we are much more likely to react with forceful, moral indignation, when it is our own beloved asses on the line.

If my neighbour kept children in his basement, chained to a bench and forced them to produce widgets much cheaper than anyone else, most people would not buy it from him, but would go to the widget store and buy it for a lot more money instead.

However, if my neighbour moved his operation to China and then sold his widgets to Walmart, then I would have no problem buying the same widgets, produced the same way. As long as it is not directly in my face, it seems to be all right. This is my basic problem. How does distance turn an immoral act into an acceptable one?

We do have tremendous power over corporations. They are terrified of us finding it out. All we need to do is take a moral stand and refuse to buy their products that were produced by semi-slave labour in the global economy. We don’t always have a choice but we often do.

If enough people had the moral integrity, courage and consistency to do that, the system we are all bitching about would collapse tomorrow. If not, it will last forever, because we can not defeat what we are benefiting from every day of our lives.

I am not saying most people choose evil deliberately, consciously. Most people are victims of their environment: upbringing, education (or lack of), manipulation by their exploiters. But, there is evidence that most people at least suspect that they contribute to, and benefit from, ‘evil things’, but THEY DON’T WANT TO KNOW, because then they would have to change their ways, give up some addictive habits, make an effort, think hard—instead of drifting in the path of least resistance.

Don’t ask people to think or change—they will hate your guts for it.

That is why I find it hopeless. It’s a ‘catch 22’. Unless people change—the system, built on their acceptance, will stay. But people will not change, until and unless they are brought up in a decent, sane, ethical system. Revolutions come and revolutions go, but the basic pattern remains. One particular clique of bastards will be replaced by another, but the basic ‘human condition’ remains. The new clique of bastards will pay lip service to justice, equality, fairness—to enlist the help of the masses for their coup—but once they consolidated their power, they change their tune and quickly liquidate the true believers among them.

The Communist Revolutions all over the world are good examples. Worth studying.

Sorry guys, I hate to be a wet blanket, but I truly believe it is hopeless. The best one can do is find a nice cave somewhere and hide. If I am lucky, I will die of old age before they come and get me.

PS. The author of the above rant fully recognizes the total futility of this particular post, but he now feels personally better for getting it off his chest. So, for purely selfish reasons, it was not an entirely useless exercise.
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24-11-2011, 09:36 PM
RE: Why I think it is hopeless?
Until now, religion was largely the only methodology where man looked beyond himself in order to attempt right the moral wrongs of society.

Modern science gives an individual a sense of belonging to something greater than himself in terms of scale rather than morality. Copernicus took from us the center of the cosmos, Newton threatened to reduce us to deterministic reactions, Darwin concluded that life is merely the simplicity of sequence; and yet reducing the human to nothing enables the self to become part of everything.





There is neither extant future nor past. Hope is a statement of the eternal now. It is not for me to determine the mind of Zatamon, it is for me to create future; and I have seen the Cascade.





The bravado of the rookie becomes the experience of this grizzled veteran. Failure is not an option. It does not matter if the name of ellenjanuary ends here and forever; my love for Gwyneth Paltrow is eternal, in whatever form in which the sequence of evolution derives utility. "Hope" is a perspective confined to the individual. Progress is the march of entropy, and humanity did not fail.

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25-11-2011, 02:12 AM
RE: Why I think it is hopeless?
Zatamon, I kind of disagree man.
I'm not really sure if the world is worse of than it was years ago.

First let me talk about the stuff I disagree on. I will close my post with the stuff I agree on.

Quote:It is naive to believe that we will accomplish anything.
Please explain to me why the average life span of a human has risen and why birth defects, or child deaths are rather seldom these days. Mankind CAN accomplish stuff. but mostly not through revolution but through evolution. As in every evolutionary battle, some specimen get deselected. But In the log run, it all happens underneath our noses.

Quote:On another forum there was a discussion about violent computer games. The evidence was overwhelming about how socially harmful they are. Yet, many posters went to incredible length and performed unbelievable mental contortions to ‘prove’ it wasn’t so. What it boiled down to was ”I like them, I want them, I don’t care”.
Might be true or untrue. However, what do you base your assumption on that society is more violent then it used to be? Everyone is free NOT to buy that stuff. Yet no one is free to say he doesn’t want his child to be spoiled by that loathsome winners mentality that poisons society. Ranging from sportsmen buying doping because the NEED to win to politicians rather forging voting results then to accept defeat. Winning is considered good. Fuck that! My enemy might win against me, but he won't have as much fun as I had.

Quote:Don’t ask people to think or change—they will hate your guts for it.
You don't ask them, you lead them into it using baby-steps. By, let’s say, sowing ideas.

Quote:We do have tremendous power over corporations. They are terrified of us finding it out. All we need to do is take a moral stand and refuse to buy their products that were produced by semi-slave labour in the global economy. We don’t always have a choice but we often do.
We did over the last 60 to 80 years. Although there still IS slavery in the world, it’s diminishing.

I do agree however that the mentality change could use a serious boost. It IS however happening. All it takes is a close look at the world and the society from 100 years ago and you’ll note it isn’t all that bad. I think you have what I call "messiah syndrome". Thinking one day you’ll wake up in an entirely different world where a messiah has come and solved all the problems. Although it’s noble and perfectly understandable to think that that might happen, it’s also naive.

A loose end
Those good old days, people talk about, when did they happen?
30 years ago: When the crime rates where high?
50 years ago: When east and west where on the brink of a nuclear war?
70 years ago: during WWII?
100 years ago: During WWI
In the Victorian era: When there was smoke pollution, child deaths, colonial mentality, unemployment
Before Napoleon...
medieval times...
Paleocene...

Observer

Agnostic atheist
Secular humanist
Emotional rationalist
Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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25-11-2011, 04:28 AM
RE: Why I think it is hopeless?
(25-11-2011 02:12 AM)The_observer Wrote:  I think you have what I call "messiah syndrome".
I have crawled into my skull and looked for any and all trace of this delusion; after all, I'm "save humanity for my Gwynnies," and that sure doesn't sound good. Thus I do not offer neither Zatamon nor this forum empty platitudes.

But I am a failure as an atheist in the terms of rational skepticism and the established cynicism of assuming the worst.

Because I have seen the Cascade.

^this in my head, and the world can do what it will; I used to spin on peak oil, economic deception, rampant consumerism, apathy... republicans...

...and now there's a little ditty that occasionally sings, just 99 monkeys to go. Wink

(Some simple truths. Positive mental attitude is the real deal, and reality seems to do everything in its power to falsify said contention in compassionate beings such as Zat. I don't sing that ditty in my head like "don't worry, be happy;" I forget the Cascade until news and people and money make me remember. Emergence doesn't mean, "let it happen;" emergence means a whole bunch of individuals like me can do no other but to work continuously in bringing the Age of Aquarius (for lack of a better term). Individuals may still witness nothing but the decline and fall of human civilization; I do not believe it, I will not believe it if the last thing I witness is a raider cutting my throat for a length of copper. That is not lunacy, that is the Cascade which has already begun. This is not my soapbox; this is the simple reaction to a fellow human being postulating hopelessness. I understand this valid concern; upon reconsideration, it would be immoral for me to not post these words.)

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25-11-2011, 05:54 AM
 
RE: Why I think it is hopeless?
Every now and then I get into a real bad mood. Yesterday was one of those days. I will get over it. It has not been a steady progress in history. It is more like the fever-curve on a sick patient's chart in the hospital: up and down. Right now it is going up (the fever) and it is easy to get discouraged when things start going bad.

The overall trend, long term, is open for debate. We won some we lost some.

The question is: will the patient survive?

I won't be here to find out.

There is comfort in that thought. Sad

ETA:

For related topics see the following 2 threads. Maybe the issue could be discussed there?

Have we lost more than we gained?

Has there been progress in human history in the ‘absolute’ sense?
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25-11-2011, 08:12 AM
RE: Why I think it is hopeless?
(25-11-2011 05:54 AM)Zatamon Wrote:  Every now and then I get into a real bad mood. Yesterday was one of those days. I will get over it. It has not been a steady progress in history. It is more like the fever-curve on a sick patient's chart in the hospital: up and down. Right now it is going up (the fever) and it is easy to get discouraged when things start going bad.

From one fellow human to another, I do not like to see you despair. But I'm a young whippersnapper and you're an ornery old man, and you're going to do what you're going to do. All there is to it.

...and I just spent the last hour researching the Fed and the state of the economy. Facts and figures and the voices of experts outlining trends and conditionals to clearly indicate to any rational mind that the state of the union is rapidly moving from solid to gas. Only...

...99 more monkeys...

...cause no one really works for money. The work gets done for love. Wink

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25-11-2011, 09:03 AM
RE: Why I think it is hopeless?
Quote: Zatamon:
It is naive to believe that we will accomplish anything.
Probably so, in the long run. Many of the present "we" won't be here by the time a new "we" accomplishes something... and then loses it again, just as the "we" of now and our parents lost what we gained.

Quote: We are not interested in the only strategy that could lead to real progress: 1./ personal lifestyle changes

Done and doing, and on a greatater scale than i would have expected. But individuals can't accomplish very much without the co-operation of governments (spotty; indecisive) and big business (largely hostile)

Quote: 2./ organizing non-violent non-cooperation and non-participation on a nation-wide scale.

Going on, as we type, and has been for two months. Ignored as much as possible by the co-opted media and opposed (though not as violently as i expected) by the armed protectors of vested interest. The protests are not well organized, because leaders and agenda have not yet emerged. They will.

Quote: These are drastic times, requiring drastic measures


Not yet. I figure, in the next five years.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote: Observer:
"It is naive to believe that we will accomplish anything."

Please explain to me why the average life span of a human has risen and why birth defects, or child deaths are rather seldom these days.

I think Zatamon was talking about politics, rather than technology. However, i challenge this child death statement: maybe true in middle-class America, but the ghettos are losing teenagers to guns and drugs at an alarming rate; India and Africa are losing children of all ages to starvation, illness and violence.
See the bigger picture!

Evolution is too slow for what's facing us now.

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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25-11-2011, 01:07 PM
RE: Why I think it is hopeless?
(25-11-2011 09:03 AM)Peterkin Wrote:  I think Zatamon was talking about politics, rather than technology.

That was my consideration - and I feel like an asshole - but like they say, everything is politics.

(25-11-2011 09:03 AM)Peterkin Wrote:  Evolution is too slow for what's facing us now.

I cannot help but think, this is evolution.

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25-11-2011, 06:28 PM
RE: Why I think it is hopeless?
Which this is evolution? The fact that we're about to go extinct? You are probably right. Too bad it's going to be such a spectacular die-off of so many other species, along with the dominant one. Still, it'll give the cockroaches a clear field.

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26-11-2011, 07:51 PM
RE: Why I think it is hopeless?
(25-11-2011 09:03 AM)Peterkin Wrote:  Evolution is too slow for what's facing us now.

Evolution is way too slow for what's happening now. Kurzweil argues, rather persuasively to me, that the next stage is abandoning evolution in favor of technology. In his view, we will soon be indistinguishable from our technology. It already is embedded into us as artificial hearts, pacemakers, insulin pumps, etc. The next step is system integration. Then all bets are off. Anything could happen. But he argues, and I am tempted to agree, it's our only chance at survival.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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