By some happenstance or other this posting got published when only the first few lines had been written. I fully intended to publish it here but I always throw out a few lines as a kind of marker for myself and keep those as a draft to start from. That is a stage at which I never publish the post I am working on at the time. But this time it happened which kind of hurries me along in case some of my readers had already read those few lines out of context. It was a mistake and it must be corrected and therefore acknowledged and addressed. In my post to my relatively low standards and for relatively small stakes it is easy to make such improvements. It is not so easy for the world to be made right or any major part of it.
I have gotten around to advocating large-scale change. The future is not at all certain and so I am playing the long pass and the swing for the fences. I think that unless we succeed in greatly and profoundly transforming the discourse we are just burning through all hope, long-term capital, and resources to make a decent and livable future. However, in the end perhaps a brutal stupidity is the greatest of all superior powers. If one has enough brutal stupidity one can always feel that one is doing the best that can be done. One can always believe that one’s faults and shortcomings or inconsequential and the myriad lies, offenses and acts of intellectual and other kinds of looting and thievery can first be justified and then rationalized. Almost every day of my life I have lived in the sense not of how gosh darn wonderful life is but of how amazingly horrible the world and the human adventure has become and how (in so many both distinct and combining ways) we live in the worst of all possible (really possible that is) worlds. The programs and changes I propose would involve on of those periods when a significant part of humanity engages in setting things right and cleaning things up. It will be a costly period of progress if it happens and that progress will not endure forever as a living process. However, I believe that it from such periods as I hope to see coming into being that much of the survivability and almost all the good progress of the human race has largely come.
Our dreams are also in trouble. The Bible is not (except in a handful of places) really in the category of dreams, fiction and what could be if all were perfect. Far more often the Bible contains elements of history and biography as written in a particular time on the one hand. While on the other hand it includes advice for imperfect communities of imperfect people aspiring to a perfect communion and a plan of life progressing towards perfection. However, science fiction is about dreams and I have also written about it in these posts. I really enjoy the things that are being filmed and written today. I see a lot of good in them. However, I see that there is so little being done about using resources of our own solar system and of our seas in ways that we could if we perfected and enhanced existing technologies and had the heroic spirit easily created in fiction. Even our dream machine is failing to lead us forward.
When I think that we put men on the Moon more than forty years ago and exploded a nuclear device more than fifty years ago it makes me very aware that we have not followed the paths to a full a rapid development of the kind of resources in outer space which would make it possible for us to have a more slow and cautious pace in the full and rich development of ourselves. One great truth which Thomas Jefferson was very aware of and wrote about a good bit during his life was that America offered humanity a chance at a better path of development if it allowed people to slowly evolve from healthy agrarian communities. This kind of development need not oppose science and venture such a s founding universities (like Jefferson’s University of Virginia) nor need it oppose technology (just as the USA led demand and assisted in the growth of key technologies like rifles, railroads and telegraphs more than other countries of comparable importance because it had so many agrarian centers to link together over a large area). We really should have a thriving colony on the Moon by now just as we really should have many other things as a human species. Like many of the challenges involved in developing the United States we would find that the colony was pushing nuclear, communications, solar power, recycling and other vital technologies. However, working on these technologies without a great cause like the space colonies will not pay as well and therefore will harm far more people and other living things than necessary. We can define free market capitalism as we define and practice it these days as the fine art of kicking the can down the road. Many other economic systems have been worse. However, the fact that there are so many other worse alternatives does not mean that there are not also better ones left untried. In fact it does not mean that we do not face terrible consequences for not doing better than we are doing.
One can think of the billions of gallons of untreated sewerage that enter the water surrounding cities at the same time when many of thee cities have people who need low-level jobs and a demand for the fodder that could be grown on marginal lands with slightly treated waters and their heavy organic waste loads. We are all drunk on and addicted to the kind of liquidity our economic doctrines, models and concepts. We can think of how little attention we have given to fixing our decaying dams and sewer lines in the United States and remember that we are still above average in regards to some of our infrastructure. Katrina in New Orleans and 9-11 in New York are both small tastes of the horrible feast being served to the world. Worldwide humanity is failing to make key improvements to its infrastructure as it make widespread increases in demand on both the infrastructure and the surrounding environment.
Family farms and foundations as well as all sorts of laws and programs which support varied forms of community striving to be viable in a complete way must be successful participants in the change we need. We must include the right kind of input from the groups which can reward respect for the slow and precious values capitalism ( and many other systems) can only destroy unless they are kept in check by other values. Those values must be supported by the institutions which are able to act within a structurally secure position within society.
I am hurrying to get this post published because of the early partial posting. That is making it hard to do justice to the four parts of the title. Yet I am also more determined than usual to keep that early title. That is why I may have to revisit parts of this topic sooner than I would have chosen to do under different circumstances. It also means that I want to state clearly ( and using my typical lists) the basic concept behind this posting.
1. The era we live in focuses more on society as an institution than on family or community and to a degree that is not desirable. Yet ironically we also deemphasize society too much compared to the concept of the economy and the drive of personal gain. These are important things but are often excessively prioritized in this era.
2. I have reached the point where I am openly working to help usher in a new era. I am encouraging others to take more or less pronounced actions to help bring us into a new era. This is not a position to which I have applied myself as directly and for as long in the past although I have worked for several transformative causes.
3.We will need constitutional support for the structure of families and communities within a more intrinsically stable society.
So this is an effort at the post I would have written if it had not been prematurely published. It is not exactly that post. Like everything one repairs and reworks it is not the thing it is when it was new, nor the thing it was when it was in most need of repair. On the other hand it is not an entirely new thing either. That is how both America and the international order of things would be after being revamped and brought into a new order.