Saturday, August 31, 2013

are we doomed?

And good morning to you with that cheery post title. I've been fairly pessimistic (if not downright cynical) for a long time about humanity due to world events in the economy, gun violence, social equality, foreign policy, and the environment. Contrary to what you may think, I don't enjoy being a cynic. It's actually quite wearisome and depressing. I would love to be an idealist who lives simply. If I could be guided solely by kindness, fairness, and the love of life - I would gladly do so & wish that everyone else did as well. I still try to live my own life that way - but God knows, I'm just as petty, superficial, selfish, and stupid as the rest of humanity.In college, there was a classmate who lived on my floor sophomore year who we all mocked for her naivete about the world. "Why can't people just be nice to one another?" she would bemoan whenever witnessing incivility between students or observing world events. We'd laugh at her since she was a Government concentrator at the time. What kind of idiot held those kind of silly beliefs? But now that I've aged and thought about it - I think she was basically right. Why can't people be nice to another? Is it greed, ego, and stupidity that gets in the way?

I've always despised politics at both the micro and macro level. It struck me as a hopeless morass which inevitably sucked your soul hollow and corrupted everything around it. The best people and intentions eventually succumbed to the degradation of compromise at best and craven self-interest at worst. I know that my analysis of political issues isn't terribly rigorous - but mainly I try to see who's being the most reasonable, fair, and humane. There's also the matter of context - who has held the power traditionally and has there been a pattern of inequality and injustice? I tend to root for the underdog and against the establishment - but sometimes what's right is right. Unfortunately, sometimes nobody is right & we're all just deluded idiots.

If I sound a tad general at the moment, forgive me. These thoughts have been precipitated by many things that have been going on my entire lifetime - but more recently the current situation in Syria (for which there seem to be no good options - but doing nothing feels wrong and inhumane), the inexorable march of climate change which continues to manifest itself in the wacky weather, and the news that radiation levels in the Pacific from the Fukushima plant may be far worse (and even catastrophic for ocean life eventually) than we've previously been told. The issue of climate change really vexes me since it's obvious that a) it's real and exists b) it's caused by human actions and therefore could potentially be mitigated to some degree by a drastic change in course that nobody is taking and c) the US bears the lion share of responsibility in producing emissions over the past century. It's funny how averse to sharing responsibility or action we tend to be in the US for fear of being "socialist" - yet when a market approach might suggest that we should really do most of the work since we're mostly to blame - we suddenly turn socialist and talk about shared responsibility and keep hemming about China/India/Russia (who all should absolutely take action as well).

Anyway, I have no cogent analysis on any of the above. Nor do I offer concrete solutions. I'm simply not that smart. But what irks and saddens me is there are people who are smart enough to propose and execute viable solutions. Have we listened to them or allowed them to credibly ameliorate anything? We do possess the power and perhaps the will to solve many of our great problems - or at least come close. But will we before it's too late? I honestly don't know if we'll make it as a species - or if we really deserve to. The tragedy is that we may have completely befouled the Earth and all of its other life before we exit.
Full Post

No comments:

Post a Comment