Friday, February 01, 2008

Into the Light

Many people in contemporary Hawaii have expressed a desire to return to a more primitive time -- in which people can brutalize one another and throw the weak off of precipices. So it is not surprising when it actually happens and makes the headlines -- not as an anomaly, but what is now happening throughout society but only rarely coming to the public’s attention as a major social issue. In fact, the reporting is to suggest that the frequency of such events is a remarkable random fluke -- rather than admit of this underlying state of callous disregard for the rights and feelings of others -- of virtual and unrelenting warfare within society and disrespect for any other, instigated and incited by the local media and legacy institutions, to promote and sustain their own dominance.

Yes, it has come to that -- that people see nothing wrong in creating the great social ills of their time -- because they pay particularly well by the powers that be. In times past, people of integrity would not take such “jobs,” but now they rationalize, if they don’t, somebody else even more unscrupulous, will beat them to it.

Societies and communities rise and fall -- like everything else in the world; nothing stays the same permanently -- as a winner or a loser. In the world of mediated reality, today’s winner may be tomorrow’s loser -- or quickly forgotten person. It takes a lot of energy to maintain one’s position of visibility -- and once “successful” at achieving that fame, it is beyond one’s control, and one is at the mercy of other people’s opinions, ensuring that one loses their own.

That is the “dark ages” of tyranny beyond one’s control, which fortunately, most will never have to deal with. In the dark ages, the categorical imperative of society is not the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness, but the control of everybody else, so they cannot attain it either. So any society, and interpersonal interactions, are done with those objectives in mind -- not of enabling everyone to win, but in ensuring that nobody can.

Thus, people cheer when bold, highly visible ventures fail -- and explain that that is what the gods want -- so that nobody dares to envision something better, or different, from the “harsh realities of life” they must be condemned to. And they are warned, things are the same or worse, elsewhere.

So fear and intimidation become the major products of this society -- to convince one that there is no choice, and those that appear to be, are only worse than the ones that have been chosen for and imposed upon them, that they must accept from the all-knowing leader.

Fundamentally, things haven’t changed much from 200 years ago, which many now look wistfully and longingly as a golden age of enlightenment, in the history of the Islands. That many should feel that way at any time in history, is an indication that things are getting worse and not better -- and that improvement, is simply realizing that they can exercise their freedom to accept another fate.


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