© Fernando Caracena, 2017
The Blame Game
A person does not have to be tuned into the latest news to know that something is very wrong with the state of our civilization. This sorry state of affairs is of extreme peril to a very large number of people, which goes completely against the purpose of government, as defined by the founders of the USA. See a previous post, Maintaining Civilization.
Just look at the mess in the Middle East, the immigrant flood of Moslems into Europe, and the financial system teetering on the edge of collapse. Also it appears that some "religions leaders" have gone bonkers. You do not want to listen to their advice. Also there is some power mad idiot in the news threatening everybody with nuclear missile attacks!
To be able to deal with the way that civilization is going wrong, we first must define what is the problem. Can it also be fixed? If not, perhaps we should just be determined to live a happy life, while we can, whiling away our time in some quiet and beautiful corner of the world. But at least, we can do something. Otherwise, we are paralyzed and struggle to live a good life constantly fearing to make a false step as tectonic shifts happen in public opinion.
We have seen moments of madness in the western world, for example the Inquisition that swept across Europe in the Middle Ages and reached its peak absurdity in Spain. The causes of this madness have been studied, but are not well understood, except that they are motivated by basic human paranoia. The Inquisition finally ended because somehow it played itself out. From the history of the Inquisition we learn that collectively humans rarely reason their way out of messes, but instead these messes just play themselves out after many lives and much wealth is destroyed. Similar statements could be made about the last two world wars, and especially of the recent "police actions" of the US and allies, especially in the Middle East. What have we done in Afghanistan other than to make the world safe for poppies? ...Or for oil pipelines?
Reason and Logic
I am a believer in reason and logic, to which I have committed a large part of my life. This belief motivated me to gain a PhD in theoretical physics. I wanted to know, and more than that, I wanted to learn how to gain further knowledge and reason more effectively. The advance of knowledge and its use are important for the very survival of the human race.
Obscurations and Obfuscations
If you pay too much attention to politicians, you are in danger of damaging your mind. It is a matter of GIGO. From the appearance of the way students are protesting, it seems that major universities are also becoming sources of GIGO. Arguments on campuses, really shouting matches, are polarized into two clichéd camps of Left and Right Wing politics. Even their definitions are confused (click on the hyperlink). We have other terms, such as postmodernism to contend with. Look at the essay, Postmodernism is Leftism, and you will see that there is a problem here that people are trying to define. We have an unsuccessful form of government, socialism or communism, that has never worked, but which many intellectuals pushed in the 20th Century and are still pushing. No one in their right mind would do that. The only way to do that is through institutionalized irrationality. In the past, abandonment of human reason and rationality was part of the definition of insanity; however, today there is no medical definition of the term.
Is Truth Served?
“The truth will set you free” is a common motto in academic circles, which derives from Biblical sources. That the truth is a two edged sword is another Biblical saying. It is called "two edge" because the truth cannot only defend us, but that it can incriminate us. It can shed light on our own dysfunctional behavior that requires reform. The above referenced essay on postmodernism argues that contemporary intellectuals on the "left" have abandoned truth because it does not serve their political agenda. If such intellectuals have gained control of the media, then there is a glaring problem here.
The pendulum of intellectual thought has swung away from science toward irrationality. The result is that our society looks as if it is going collectively insane. Our postmodern society is built on a brittle structure of lies, and for that reason no one in official channels will dare tell the truth. See for example, the essay When We Can No Longer Tell the Truth.... Even in the news media there is much talk of fake news. Indeed, the whole of the mainstream media could be the source of fake news because it is centrally controlled. Today, six corporations control 90% of the media in the US compared with 50 companies that did so in 1983, see also Forbes article. The increase in centralized control through buyouts and mergers are threatening media integrity.
The perversion of mainstream media integrity is a major problem for civilization. As I have stated in a previous post, the free flow of reliable information is of vital necessity to modern civilization. After all, this is an information age and sound information is necessary for its very survival.