Here's my take on our situation. I'd be curious to hear the thoughts of others.
Every living thing has an instinct for self-preservation. However, when groups of things gather into a system – a colony of bees, a pack of wolves, a civilization – their instincts tell them that survival of the system is more important than their own welfare.
Of all living things, only human beings have the ability to choose which systems to belong to. You might be willing to undergo hardship in the service of your country, or your faith, or your family … But you are substantially less likely to do so for someone else’s country, or faith, or family.
Therefore, as far as human systems are concerned, it’s a popularity contest. Raw numbers are important, but more important is buy-in. The company with the most loyal customers gains market share. The political party with the most fervent supporters wins elections. The religion with the most devout believers spreads its message the farthest.
And the civilization with the most ardent population will be the richest and most powerful in the world. It will dominate, and it will survive. If conspiracies are hatched, wars are waged, and terrible crimes are committed, it is because the instinct of every organism is to participate in and protect the system of which it is a part.
The system will grow: not with careful strategy and consideration, but by accretion. Whatever sticks to it becomes part of it. A law does not work as intended, but it is part of the system, so it can not be changed. A business promises one thing and delivers another, but it is part of the system, so it is not accountable. A court promises justice and fails to deliver it, but it is part of the system, so it can not be questioned. A prison built to rehabilitate criminals turns nonviolent offenders into violent ones, but it is part of the system, so no alternative will be considered.
As the system grows in this way, it becomes less effective. Like an addict who can not think past the next fix, the system will adopt increasingly desperate measures to perpetuate itself. Borrow money to grow, and then borrow money to pay the interest on those loans, then keep on borrowing. It can’t work forever, but a system can not conceive of “forever.”
If the system feels threatened, it will find enemies within; foreigners, minorities – people whose customs or appearance suggest that they are different, other, not really part of the system, and therefore not worthy of its protection. And it will devour them.
Like a mob, capable of committing atrocities none of its members would do alone, a system will commit genocide, wage wars, and destroy the Earth itself in an attempt to survive.
The system is the synthesis of big government and big business that controls every aspect of our lives. We live and die at its whim.
How then, do we escape? Or, more importantly, how do we overcome it? Is there a strategy for emancipation?
In 1970 a gallon of gasoline cost about $0.36 cents. Today I hold three silver dimes in my wallet for show. I can sell them at the cash for gold place for $6.00, I can get more gas now for those 3 dimes then I could have in 1970.
As you point out and I agree human beings have a choice which system to belong to and by extension I'll add that human beings can invent new systems (to belong to).
I believe true emancipation is not possible. We will always move to system thinking and behaviour. Accretion is a good word.
That said, the puzzle for me is which system do I want to belong to and how will it thrive?
Does not apply to humans because it is missing a very important attribute that a flock of birds has not. Our society is driven by greed for money and power over people. This desire and the system inherently attracts a certain type of person - the idiot. The system automatically attacts one type of person "The Idiot", we are lead by the least among us (eg Obama, Harper, et al). Basically idiots standing tall and speaking with a loud and convincing voice that tricks people because bull shit baffles brains. Remember, most people are idiots too, and a common characteristic of an idiots is to accept everything he hears. The classical idiot dos not use critical thinking to discern truth, he just accepts what he hears. People just assume these leaders are intelligent and trustworthy, but the reality is the opposite. They are power hungry idiots who believe they are very special and enlightened, they also know they are leading the same idiots. The very same idiots that gave birth to them.
The escape mechanism is rope. Give them enough rope and they will hang themselves. History teaches us 99.99% of the world's leaders simply idiots, just watch them tie the noose and dangle until it's over. You need only be patient! All idiots / leaders have the same fate.
You are my hero. Hat tip to you!
I shake my head at how stupid some idiots can be especially those politicians who's only desire is to suck the buttocks of a bigger idiot ideologue for his/her gain. The true test of a political idiot is once they leave office they are forgotten. They then live happily ever after on their sole purpose of office - the indexed government pension.
Only one other thought re idiots. Many of us idiots only appear to be idiots the reality is, and sadly so, we just don't care.