I wonder at what point I would finally break. What would it take for me to risk everything including my family, my friends, and my life to achieve freedom or democracy or whatever it is you might call an environment of political self-determination? How far would the Senate and House have to go? What stunning action would the President have to take? How much further would the rupture of civil society have to go for me to finally say “no more grotesque, damaging, dangerous individualism and unbridled greed…we must collectively serve one another for the greater good!” Would I ever reach that point?
Haven’t they already done those inexcusable, impermissible things? Haven’t they already crossed that solid line over which no government can be permitted to cross without intense, overwhelming, enraged repercussions? So what are our options now, now that we have accepted servitude and shackles?
I think we’re all too afraid and too weak to do anything but whimper and complain. I think we’re praying we’ll be saved by a cadre of truly fierce and patriotic citizens who will risk chaotic civil unrest and their own lives and freedom by being the brave ones to rein in Washington’s elite with bullets and shrapnel and burning gasoline. I think we hope for a bloody revolution, but we want to take no part in the bloodshed. I think we are hoping for what I would call the equivalent to a Buddhist coup, where suffering is swept away in a river of decency in which the political class is drowned in the acidic, fetid juices of their own self-aggrandizement.
We are, indeed, pathetic. We await a savior to undertake the tasks we should have long since undertaken ourselves. What we need, but will not admit, is not democracy but, rather, a tempered version of anarchy. We need anarchy guided by the ages-old admonition to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” We have only the hope, but not the stomach, for anarchy.
The more I think about it, I think it’s not political self-determination we need, nor is it democracy. It is a hybrid of morality and obligation, tempered with individual responsibility and commitment. Anarchy with heart and soul. We need the desire for the collective safety nets that breed government, but without the stranglehold such tangled nets seem to spawn. Governance without the government. Collective caring.
The dystopic futures so frequently portrayed in science fiction stories probably will come to pass. Creative people tend to see through the fog of societal evolution, enabling them to see a clear image of what is ahead. I think they have seen the unraveling of human society. As a species, we have outgrown our ability to accept our differences. We’ve been turning inward for centuries. It has reached the point that we are incapable of looking outside ourselves. And so we slog forward toward those inevitable dystopian meltdowns, thrashing about helplessly as we propel ourselves ever faster toward oblivion.
I read an article yesterday that argued the extinction of humanity is inevitable. I remember thinking, years ago, that I wished I could be here for the end of human civilization, just to see what its disappearance might be like. I think my wish may be coming true.