Utopia

Posted on Monday, July 20th, 2009 at 12:15 pm in

There are zombies who mindlessly accept society. And there are zombies who are mindlessly rebellious. You shouldn’t rage against the machine unless you have a good alternative in mind, or its replacement could be worse.

Just sayin’.

As far as alternatives go, there are two basic options to solving society’s problems:

  1. Destroy society, all humans, or most humans.
  2. Change human nature or something else integral to the system, after going through the long and laborious process of finding the problem and applying a solution. This might still involving killing many people.

Option 1 is a lot easier, it’s been shown that we have the potential to destroy ourselves. Option 2 is basically reformation into a utopia.

But how would a utopia work? Existing methods seem to involve taking what we have and removing human defects, and adding perfection, moonbeams and wishes. I suggest an alternative utopia. Consider the Native Americans. They used every part of the buffalo. They were a sustainable society, apparently content with their way of life. I have no doubt that the Native Americans could have continued their society indefinitely, as they filled their ecological niche as animals.

But, one might complain, they certainly got their fair share of misery and death, being "primitive" people. So what? There cannot be life without death, and no happiness without misery. Most people’s idea of a utopia seems to revolve around everyone being happy, and no one dying (yet mysteriously, they still have kids). I say this is either impossible or, if not, a very bad idea. Which might make it seem like I deny that utopia is possible, but I am saying that it is not a utopia.

Happiness is an emotion, it’s superficial. Humans are animals, albeit with delusions of grandeur. Much of our behavior can be explained this way, and it’s time we recognized that. There are certain pesky religions which would lead us into the temptation of thinking otherwise.

The recipe for a utopia seems to be a way to satisfy our basic animal desires, to be happy, eat, not die, and reproduce. These desires evolved out of necessity to survive in a harsh environment and are certainly no base for deriving an optimal society. This is taking them out of context. The mindset that would allow us to be sustainable, and yet grow technologically is totally different.

Finding a goal for humanity is difficult, since life has no discernible meaning. So I go to a more basic level and say with a level of certainty that a utopia does not destroy itself or the natural resources it depends on. Turning Earth into a lifeless rock is no fun, especially since we’re the only life we know of. The only thing off the top of my head that qualifies is the Native Americans, or other primitive people.

Populating another planet would be radically awesome, but all we would be doing is plundering another world.

Of course, humanity could be subjugated into behaving properly. But that would require a dictator who knows what he’s doing.

I bring this up because I was reading about clean energy efforts. The clean energy replaces existing infrastructure, when the whole infrastructure needs re-doing, or better yet, society itself, or even better, the people. While they are a step in the right direction, they are skirting around the real problem. Why didn’t we strive for clean energy to begin with? I know there are practical reasons, but why didn’t someone ever think of the ramifications?

In researching science fiction spacecraft, I found lots of efforts to find ramifications of space travel. It seems that we only do this when our asses will theoretically be in danger. A.k.a. the its-okay-if-it-does-not-kill-me-in-ten-seconds-rule that lets McDonald’s stay in business.

But what to do? The panic is here. We know something’s wrong. The weight of our failure rests heavy on our shoulders. It’s depressing, really. But hey, no one said you had to like it.

Listening to: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. Once you learn to play an instrument, you learn to appreciate classical.

Well, back to re-engineering my comic. ‘Cuz i have nothing better to do.

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2 Comments

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  1. kamen - October 27, 2010 at 5:39 am

    Give your kind, sharing friend credit where it is due comrade. I say, to be happy and immortal, you give up the ability to have kids, and same the other way around. And that is what The Blue Wolf Star Empire will focus on. Giving humanity goals such as global defense, understanding and exploring the universe, and spreading earths life to dead planets, and use the resorices of asteroids. Also, religion in the industrial revolution, and the standard mindless behaviors of the masses is why clean energy is a very very new thing. And do not be depressed, this is a time for hope. For human civilization WILL fall and WILL die, and threw its death will come the birth of something grand.

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