Tuesday, 9 July 2013
Humanity doesn't need another ideology. It doesn't matter how accurate it may be, or how helpful. Most ideologies have some level of truth to them - not all, but most.
We think of the all the ideas laid out in front of us, and it seems that their content is the important thing.
Which is a very weird thing to say - of course the content is the important thing, what else would be? What else is there to a belief but content? Sure, perhaps you could mention boring little philosophical vignette, but when you really break it down, wrong is wrong and right is right.
If someone believes that all people should be equal, that we're all in this together, that we should all do the best we can for ourselves and others, that we should all try and help each other and best we can, and just sort of get through life, and smile as much as possible, and have friends, and chill when possible, and enjoy things when possible and generally live and let live....
If someone believes that? What's the harm, surely?
And you know, it's a fine thing to believe, most people believe it, or something like it, in one form or another.
But then if the history of all human society teaches us anything, it teaches us this - that there is no belief, no matter how innocuous, no matter how good, no matter how profound, no matter how right, or how deep, or how decent, that humanity cannot turn into a train wreck.
Live and let live sound fine and good. But everything can be made into an ideology. Everything.
And ideologies are extreme. They don't like heresy. They react to suppress it, to ridicule it, just as they have always done.
Do nothing while the world dies, while your life and the life of everyone you know, the life of all humanity is debased by consumption and fear. Mock any who would stand up and seek a better way as charlatans, fools and crazy people. Become an artist of excuses. Never try anything that would put you at risk of failing. Viciously attack the failures of anyone with the temerity to try.
Armchair humans living an armchair life. A life lived in opinion, and never in action.
A great consensus has built around this ideology. Vast and well-funded, it serves to make humanity into what may well be it's final form. The consumer.
And heresy is not the answer, it never was. A shrieking heretic is just the same as a shrieking ideologue. And besides, what would be the point of heresy in a world which lives to consume? It would just be eaten as today's meal, and then spat out.
It's not the content of our beliefs that really matters. It's how humble we are in the beliefs we have.
How willing we are to be wrong. How capable we are of being wrong. Humility to the real, to reality, to what's really going on beyond our opinions, and against which our opinions are very small indeed, no matter how grandly we frame them.
Not another ideology, but something else. Humility in all ideology, humility to what is really happening, a willingness to be wrong, and in that willingness, the ability to, perhaps for the first time in human history, make some honest-to-God headway as individuals, and as a people.
There are many different kinds of damage we have wrought, and continue to wreak, upon ourselves, each other, and the world in which we live.
We do not live in a world that wants for noble causes. We live in a world that wants for noble people.
But noble in a new way. Not trying to unite all under one ideology.
Instead, having the humility to recognise that we are all already, always and anyway united in reality, and all that splits us from each other is our own little conceits.
All who act with courage and humility, act as one.