I have been reading way too much of late, and I started to come to a weird and disconcerting conclusion. Many of the ‘truths’ that I read every day may not actually be the end of the story.
Truths like: Democracy is the best of all bad systems of government; Capitalism allows people to be most free, which then is also assumed to be a good thing; People should be free to do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t immediately harm anyone who is alive right now, by some definition of alive; Anything which cannot be put into a test tube, Erlenmeyer flask, or reproduced in the lab doesn’t exist.
We are told as soon as we start school that these are obvious facts, that anyone who thinks the opposite is deluded or confused. However, we aren’t ever given anything but explanations that require other more hard to believe axioms to get there. If we question people about these beliefs too much, we get more heat than light as their anger rises at the sheer thought of questioning these fundamental “common sense” truths.
But why not? Haven’t we got to where we were because we were willing to question the prevailing common sense of the time. Heck, one of the most prevailing “truths” that is drilled into our heads is to question authority – sometimes to our own detriment.
I’ve grown up in a society saturated with the idea of relativist morality, political correctness and social hedonism. Democracy, unregulated capitalism and scientific realism all are the foundational philosophical structures behind these ideologies. Unfortunately, unlike previous generations which accomplished great successes by working together. Instead, the consumerism we are surrounded with places our societies in an individualistic hell. Hell ceases to be other people, and becomes not being able to ever work with other people effectively.
What other options are there? Well, if you read you’ll learn that a good number of the historical ones used weren’t the terrifying disasters you’ve been led to believe. In fact, many of the myths that prop up our society start to fall down really quickly. Instead, you find out that we are flailing in the air as much as anyone else. Which is an incredibly freeing, if frightening revelation.
This is not the end of history, not by far. If anything it is another coda to the continuing saga of man. It is our choice whether to give up the future by succumbing to hedonistic individualism, or to build great things once more by shattering the myths that hold us back.