I think one of Dig's main points that was over-looked in Ant's post was that, for all the changes the industrial revolution has wrought within the world, good or bad, there has never been any sort of species that has removed itself so far from the natural order of things. Like Ant pointed out in his previous post, hunting and gathering only takes a few hours a day, and the rest is left to leisure. The concept of working for a living, the five-day work week, and the advent of the wage slave have all come about since the growth of heavy industry. We find ourselves working harder and faster, harder and faster, harder and faster, all so that we can have a few moments of rest on the weekend. I find myself wondering then, if this great leap forward was supposed to create more leisure time, allow us more quality time with the family while increasing our quality of living, then why are we all toiling away like dogs without ever making any substantial gains, be they material, spiritual, or other. This has been one of the most convincing arguments I have ever heard for the reboot of civilization, or at the least a restructuring.
So we used to gather food and hunt animals, and have a decent amount of time for swimming, procreating, making war on other tribes, and inventing wonderful new culinary delights. You know what they say about idle hands, and before you know it we had civilization. We had to create this bright and illusory world made up of aristocrats, cathedrals, grand cuisine, and dictators to fill the time. And then a few hundred years later we're all moving so quickly all we really crave is a chance to sit and relax. We've come so far but all we want is to go back. It leads to subcultures like the diggers, the hippies, and the amish- people who crave a simpler way of life than what exists now.
I find myself agreeing a lot with Ant's earlier point that civilization has no reset button. Pandora's box has been opened and there is no chance of going back to simpler, easier times. Instead we are now forced to deal with these calamities we've unleashed. We have to come to grips with the hydrogen bomb, death camps, and nerve gas. Likewise, we have to come to grips with the less evident threat of laziness and apathy, traits which have found very fertile ground in these luxurious times. I take the fact that civilization is crumbling as a given. It seems evident to most I meet, even here in the old world, that decadence and malice are going to tear down that which we've spent the past several hundred years building. The evidence is all around us here, remnants of half-forgotten empires, stone facades crumbling into rivers under the unending pressure of time. So what comes next?
There was a lot that was good about pre-civilized society. There is a lot of good in our modern society. We can't go back, and it is imperative that we change before we implode. Where do we go? Simple. We evolve, or we die. We find a way to create a hybrid between our modern technologies and the earth-friendly methods of preciv. We realize crass materialism for what it is, a distraction from the true art of living, an illusion to help deny the fact that everything we accumulate is for nought in the face of mortality. We realize our role in the cycle of things and accept it. We cannot continue to bend the Earth to our will, just as the US cannot continue to bend the nations of the world to it's will.
(tangent: and most importantly, we get off of Earth and into space. If humanity it to continue forth as a species, it is imperative that we move from the nest and into the universe at large. end tangent)
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