Vexen Crabtree 2015

vexen

Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards


Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Vexen Crabtree 2015
vexen

Don't Panic: The World is Not About to End and Western Culture is Safe!

A new page! "Don't Panic: The World is Not About to End and Western Culture is Safe"

The contents menu is:

The long introduction reads...

Popular culture is worse than it ever has been. The education system is following it into disordered inadequacy. Unemployment is undermining society and perhaps as a result, crime rates are getting scary. Immigration is out of control. It is going to be like the fall of the Roman Empire, with weak government no longer in touch with the lives of the citizenry. The European Union is on the verge of collapse, and, the Internet era is eroding our ability to form friendships. Computers games and TV are increasingly violent and graphic, films are now nearly all shallow and simple. Did I mention that crime rates are rising? Global warming and the global economy have created insurmountable problems. All of us, in our lives, are going to face chaos and witness the mass failure of morality and decency. The young no longer respect the old. Jobs and marriages are no longer for life. Did I mention the crime rates?

This, with a few variant details, is what they will think in the 2020s, beause they also thought it in the 2010s and 2000s. The 1980s was a decade obsessed with the rising power of computers - they'd turn against us soon, for sure. And recessions were seemingly endless - the anarchists were winning. But perhaps they were right in the 1960s where they warned that mass immorality and liberality would destroy civilisation - if we survived nuclear war, that is. Still further back, those same feelings were echoed in the Industrial revolution, at the end of the era of Empires and at the foundation of global shipping which heralded unheard-of immigration and globalisation (hundreds of years ago). As mankind moved into cities, or into towns, the outcry against the changes in morality and customs was as loud as it was paranoid. However do we survive?

Luckily for us, it seems that the more people predict chaos, uncertainty, cataclysms and the end of the world as we know it, the less likely it is to actually happen. Crime rates are falling, large scale wars have apparently ceased to occur, worldwide poverty is decreasing, literacy has been on an unstoppable rise for hundreds of years, and technology and medical science are making astounding strides in preventing diseases (many of which are now gone for good). Jobs and marriages may not be for life, but we are living twice as long. Absolutely nothing is as bad as people say. The press thrive on bad news. Our egos trick us into thinking we are living in the most important times during our own lives. We're not. Those times are yet to come. The end is yet to come. Just remember to take a leaf from the British: Keep Calm, and Drink Tea.

  • 1
These sort of arguments make it hard to claim any real change, but I suspect there is one major change in the world and it's communications at a distance. It's increased literacy which has increased access to historical record and seems to be edging toward a societal conciousness, an awareness of these long-term patterns. This does seem to be unpreceedented.
If we become aware of our species long-term patterns, we can presumably work out how to break those patterns "for the better". The real question for me is therefore should we do so? I'm inclined to say yes, on the premise it could be analagous to self-directed evolution. But it also runs the risk of pushing a society into truely new territory and being unable to predict how it will behave long-term.

Re: Psycho-history

I do agree, I think we are finally beginning to learn from our own history. Although many, many lessons seem to be repeatedly forgotten too! But 'Knowledge is power' and this kind of historical knowledge we're making accessible to the masses is improving governance - or could do - just got to keep stirring that knowledge-pot around and making more and more connections, hoping that some good memorable lessons can be learned.

Re: Psycho-history

Sadly I suspect the reason that lessons are repeatedly forgotten is simply that those who learnt them die. A lesson taught is never as strongly remembered as a lesson learnt.

And good to hear from you too. I don't use LJ much these days, just a passing scan of recent entries now and then.

Re: Psycho-history

Good to hear from you btw :-)

  • 1
?

Log in

No account? Create an account