By David Moncrief (2/19/14)
To follow one’s passions and to be able to survive is something largely lost in society today. The influence and restriction of money, the corruption of intent it induces, negates the ability to follow your interest. For an example you need only look to parents who decide what career their child will take based on its average salary.
The world now contains 6.5% of all humans that have ever lived. That number may seem small but when stretched over our evolutionary existence it puts the magnitude of our species in perspective. We inhabit every continent, indulge in every climate, and sustain ourselves with widespread luxuries. Yet with all our numbers we are failing to provide the same opportunity that was presented to each successive generation of our ancestors. Some blame this on over-population, but I say it is under-utilization. People today live by working jobs that serve the purpose of upholding the functioning of a society that has grown to its seams. We produce food for our population with only 2% of our workforce being in agriculture. That means that the other 98% are working jobs that do not directly bring food to their plates. They pay for it with money they earn but the jobs they do are not working fields and tending cattle. This is an advantage over every single earlier generation where large portions of the population were directed only towards providing sustenance. Yet because of this we have the development of an economy largely aimed towards production of unnecessary goods and overconsumption. We structure our ideology and goals to be excessive beyond measure and individualistic to desensitize ourselves to the injustice and irrationality that simultaneously creates billionaires and starving children. This ability to create that has been given to us by agriculture’s mechanization is usurped by the necessity to be a “productive member” of the society that has no long-term purpose.
Is this the height of civilization? Has there been a civilization that does not claim to be an improvement on its past? Cries for revolution seldom come in the form of “follow me and I will make it worse.” However, intentions and implementation are two things that seldom overlap. Robert Michels had a theory he called the “iron law of oligarchy.” It stated that the one thing that was certain for a civilization is the eventual conglomeration of power in the hands of a few. In representative democracy this claim extends to a façade being created in which the rule of an elite is made legitimate by what is presumed to be the “popular vote.” This elite has worked our political structure to place blame on the public. They use the argument that bad rulers are the fault of the electorate that voted them in. I have often said that I prefer a monarchy to the bureaucracy of democracy. When something went wrong, when the country was failed, when oppression became too great…you knew who to point towards. The failures of today are remedied by plausible deniability and scapegoats. The improvement on the past is one enjoyed solely by the elite who continue to rule. Democracy, much like technical advancements that enable eavesdropping on every citizen of the digital world, has confined us.
We live lives that are cut out for us within the structure made by “job creators.” The mass populace is looked on as sheep that need to be led to pasture and told what to eat. We fit where we are told we fit. Those who revolt are left to exist at the bottom. Only by changing yourself to what is called the “gentlemen ideal,” the set of values as described to be that of an elite, successful, moral person, will one become successful and integrated into the economic structure of society. That is a world ruled by necessity.
Now imagine if those 98% of individuals were able to wake up and follow what they found to be their life’s purpose. To take the passion they have been dreaming about or saving up for and start that business or write that piece of music. What would the world be like if the people who were versed in civil code and statutes instead placed their abilities in philosophy and rationality?
As a species our issue is not that we see ourselves only as individuals, though that is a fallacy, but that as individuals we are unable to cohesively work together for a common purpose.
The error is in our inability to act as the person you are, not the person you have to become. There is no end goal in that way of life, only a purpose. That pot of gold at the end of the rainbow will always be out of reach. This society that creates blind individuals to their true selves and instead creates their egotistical counterpart remains crippled. If our social structure allowed for the lowering of inhibitions and induced the confidence that comes from experience, we would have a population of humans on this world that fully loved what they did and cared for each other as people and not as means to an end.