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I wonder whether the goal should be to argue how to move towards a theoretical utopia or to work out how to deal with our pending and very practical apocalypse.

My view is that the Enlightenment was and is an experiment, and most likely will prove to be a failed experiment. While I wish it were not so, the majority of people are happy with regular meals, some crude shelter, and a combination of football and beer, and family and gossip. The more motivated capitalize upon this broad lack of interest in politics and science, and set up power structures they can control. The result, and by far the most enduring power structure, is the monarchical dictatorship. Since most people have very limited intellectual curiosity, a religion that supports the monarchy is welcomed by both the masses and the powerful. This is the enduring political system.

And we have such massive global overpopulation that a strictly fair economic system will push everyone to a low living standard instead of raising the poor to a western living standard. Achieving fairness cannot happen under such circumstances, because the people who live in climates where heat is needed in the winter will fight ferociously to obtain the required energy, even if it involves further beggaring the third world.

So, I believe, we are doomed to regress to the situation before the Enlightenment experiment, and we are doomed to suffer the fallout of overpopulation. The only way out is to first significantly reduce the population (probably by disease) and then secondly figure out how to find a sort of human who will actually support over the long haul a utopian system.

[asdf's Crystal Ball of Doom™ Technology]

by asdf on Sun Aug 30th, 2009 at 09:33:34 AM EST

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