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Understanding American Society: Humanity's Paradox of Progress
Understanding American Society: Humanity's Paradox of Progress
By Michael Emero / filmsforaction.org
Apr 19, 2017

Civilization is really just the organization of humankind coalescing and maturing. Our contrasting ideas produce positive collaboration when peacefully harmonized- artistically, culturally, and scientifically. Unfortunately, our modern conveniences and advancements have not helped us improve who we are overall as a species. Technology is just a tool; an inheritance of our predecessor's cleverness to do whatever we'd like with, or at least whatever we can get away with. To our ancestors, we might appear to be lazy gods.

Yet the same contrasting ideas that brought us this close are sometimes fought over as primitives would. Despite being able to communicate instantly across the globe and having access to countless libraries of greater context, a few still convince others that spreading damage, pain, and death is the key to higher morality, humanitarianism... and even peace. The familiar saying goes that "With great power comes great responsibility"- a piece of wisdom left behind as all kinds of power become accessible for enough money.

This is where our computer-driven fast-paced lives hits a make-or-break point of humanity's development: When we must make a heavy investment of our time and effort, serious thought is usually put into it. Not just how to do it, but if we should at all, after considering all available perspectives and alternative resources. That's forethought, that's responsibility, that's wisdom. Unfortunately, it's becoming rather difficult to maintain in this profit-based world relying on consumerism, snap judgments and impulsivity.

 

"When awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.” -Carl Sagan

 

We think being smart is knowing all the answers. Being successful at life is winning some popularity and monetary game. Freedom means free to choose- among a pre-selected array of approved options. Hesitations and doubts are portrayed as weaknesses, while false confidence gets cultivated. Acceptance of all humans being equal is spun as extreme political views; meanwhile, divisive, hateful bigotry is getting rebadged as a valid counter-movement. Thus, our humility, tolerance, patience, and thoughtfulness get killed off.

The advancement of knowledge and technology are facilitating our petty flaws instead of used to become a civilized species. Disguised by normalized indoctrination, we actively prey upon each other, pillage the only planet we have, idolizing privilege whilst punching down hoping to raise ourselves up. This is just animal behavior made palatable by obfuscation, ignorance and peer pressure. It's decentralized villainy, perpetuated by cattle-like imitation over generations, duplicitously defended by any benefiting from it.

If this is who we are, who we allow ourselves to be, our quest for civilization has failed. Humanity has no future when cults of ego, false pride, and Strength through cruelty becomes successfully protected to maintain an increasingly unequal, unsustainable status quo of conformity to injustices. We can strive to be better, or we can empower the lowest common denominator; continuing to do the latter while reassuring each other it's the former has become a sick national cult of self-defeating suicidal toxic gullibility.

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Understanding American Society: Humanity's Paradox of Progress