And what of global political and social aims? Would it be anything close to sane to say that China’s interests are aligned with those of the U.S.? Is it rational to say all nations, facing the same simultaneous supply shortages, are not in a state of competition, forced to aggressively defend their own interests first? Of course, it’s all still developing, and yet to be determined what sort of competition will endure. But is it fair to suggest, at least in a practical sense: No, perhaps we are not all in this together? At scale of nation, state, city, community, family, as selfless and charitable as we may strive to be, in true crisis, are we not first responsible for our own?
Of course in the grander scheme, it’s my belief we certainly are together. Facing the same human trials, we have the same basic fears, desires, and intertwined fates, and so we can help each other to survive and thrive. But in the practical world of governance and policy, even as we now face the consequences of rapid wealth concentration and its associated dependencies, there’s a strong case to be made that not all cultures are equal, not all economies can be leveled or somehow combined, not all in the world will be fair and equitable. Nor should it be, as the argument says we are all degraded by lowering the exceptional and even left more collectively helpless in such an “equitable” state. But alas, at this moment in history, it may no longer matter what is “just.” It only matters what is expedient and effective, and what is optically acceptable.
“Imagine there’s no media…I wonder if you can”
A radical detox that many can’t endure. And yet for those who do, the mental landscape begins to heal, cleaner air and water, flora and fauna return to the once-desolate mind.
Truly. Imagine for a moment, a period of isolation from ubiquitous communication, news, and entertainment, where the individual is forced to draw their own conclusions through anecdotal experience and common sense. A radical detox that many can’t endure. And yet for those who do, the mental landscape begins to heal, cleaner air and water, flora and fauna return to the once-desolate mind. Now apply this same logic to a nation, forced to solve its own problems and become as self-sufficient as it can, within the constraints of its resources. You can expect in the U.S. we’d surely be left with many unmet needs, but also needs we didn’t realize we could meet on our own, forced to cut back the superfluous and replaceable. In the end, we’d know better what we truly depend on others for, and what we can and should trust ourselves to provide. It is true no man is an island, but it is also true no man can be the entire depth and breadth of the ocean. The exercise would amount to a process of finding out what is real, and what is imagined.
As for the individual, so it goes for the nation. Could it be, in the early stages of this global black swan event, that The Turning Away has already begun?