Thursday, June 17, 2010

"Us" and "Them", Continued

Today is Wednesday, 16 June 2010.

Throughout human history the “morality” of “Us/Them” has always proved seductive, since it seems to provide the most benefits for individuals and “blood”. Often this has been the case, at least in the short run. But then, cannibalism seems, under certain circumstances, equally cost-effective.

I suppose it comes down to what sort of life one wishes to work towards: societies which will always be nothing more than a zero-sum game of beggar-thy-neighbour, or the possibility of something better, which encompasses all humanity. (And, for the record, “Singing Along”, I’ve always found “We Are the World” to be one of the most obnoxious, superficial, cloying pieces of crap I’ve ever heard.)

In reality, blood morality as a global survival/benefit strategy was exposed as a naked emperor on 16 July 1945, with the detonation of the first atomic bomb. This truth is compounded by human overpopulation, global warming and its corollary, the loss of many of the planet’s most productive agricultural zones, the accelerating gap between rich and poor, etc.

When W. H. Auden wrote, in “1 September 1939”, that “We must love one another or die”, he wasn’t channeling Pollyanna: he was stating cold fact.


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