The Two Freedoms
Bring Back Slavery
—bringin' it on ...
One of my favorite movie (and book) genres is sci-fi, especially the apocalyptic variety. I love those cinematic visions of the world after the decimation of civilization. I've really been diggin' this Jericho scene. But alack and alas, it has been cancelled.
For some time now, I have been an advocate of reverting to barbarism. I am just not a big fan of civilization. It is civilization, you see, that is ultimately responsible for the fact that there is currently a population of some 7-billion human beings swarming the earth. I truly believe that the earth itself would be much better off with a much smaller contingent of humanoid creatures trampling about its mountains, prairies and deserts, spoiling its waterways and so on.
It would also be a much better world for the human beings who continued to live on the planet if they did not have to contend with so many others of their species. I think that a total population of a half-billion humans would be just about right for planet Earth.
And yes, I have looked deep inside myself to understand why it is exactly that I feel this way. Ultimately, it all boils down to control.
I have no control in the modern world. It is true, from one perspective, we never have control, even from the very beginning. None of us has asked to be here. None of us made a choice about being born.
But it is one thing to lack control over the most fundamental features of your existence, and quite another to be overwhelmed by bullshit abstractions.
Paleolithic Man had no control of his basic existence either, but I suspect that he was not overwhelmed by the circumstances of his life in the same way that we are, which means that he wielded a certain command of his circumstances that we do not. In short, he had liberties that we can only dream about.
Consider his movements. Barbaric peoples were at much greater liberty than we are to move about and explore. Compare this to our present situation, where there is not a single square inch of land in the entire North American continent that is not owned by someone. How much real liberty do we have to rove about? Virtually none.
The very idea of owning land was incomprehensible to primitive peoples. Ownership (of anything) is a purely abstract notion, and the ability of our distant ancestors to engage in such subtle abstractions was not nearly as developed as ours.
It is very likely that our obsession with abstractions lies at the root of all our problems. Paleolithic Man was more driven by the real than the abstract.
One of the biggest bullshit abstractions that drives us is undoubtedly the one that seems so obsessed with right and wrong, good and evil, notions that form the foundation of our so-called laws. Barbaric types could truly echo the words of Judge Dredd (albeit from a totally different perspective): I am the law!
Yes, indeed, that is the ticket. Bring on the barbarism. Right about now I'm definitely thinking that even a little just might go a long way.
March 31, 2008