Friday, 10 January 2014

Not All of Mankind to Blame

I have amassed a large collection of video films, and every once in a while when I feel like watching a film I rummage through them. Yesterday was one such day when, as I was checking the titles, I came across a video by non other than the late Michael Jackson. 
The late Micheal Jackson

At one point, he is shown giving a speech at a ceremony of a charity movement he sponsored. As I listened, my attention was caught by the line "we are destroying the environment".

Front page news on yesterday's paper had carried a report made by scientists of the state of the environment, and prognosticated a 50 year period before the earth became uninhabitable, this coming right after the refusal of some industrialized nations to cut down their emission of harmful greenhouse gases. I remember imagining generations who survive the catastrophe wondering what went wrong with their ancestors, and, since you are happy with what you have, probably writing us off as a primitive stage of their development.

What caught my attention in Michael Jackson's speech, however, was the use of the term "we". I have heard this said by many before, but now, it just didn't sound right.

It is right that an ecological tragedy would be humankind's disaster, but then a qualification needs to be made here. Some of humankind has been responsible for the disaster, not all of it, since, while the disaster has unfolded, much of humankind has not had control of their destinies, hence little if no control on this disastrous end.

I know that this sounds racist. Many can argue that the catastrophe could not have been avoided even if other groups of mankind had been in control. It was an accident that was waiting to happen since man learnt to control fire.

But looking at our time from the future, and not from the present where much is lied about, some things become very clear. Adding a bit of every day common sense to the whole seals the case.

Looking at our present from, say, 5000 years in the future, historians will be able to map out the origin of the problem, and its spread to the rest of the world. Unaffected by our present misinformation, they will know that when the system came to the rest of the world, its center of control stayed in Europe, for the duration. The fire was started in Europe, and fanned from there. The rest of humankind helping fan the fire doesn't make them accomplices, merely players simply caught up in the whole.

For one, future historians and scientists will know the course of all of humankind's history today, and be able to tell where the destructive culture originated. They will be able to follow all cultures, follow their environments, and be able to tell who had a culture destructive to his own environment, and who didn't, and, when it became too late, who had control of the situation, and who had a knife held to his neck.

We are all people, but there is something wrong with a mentality that accepts that all are to blame for a problem. As such, problems cannot be resolved, because, by becoming everybody's problem, they also become nobody's problem.

If there is a pedophile in the area, and everyone says "we are pedophiles", then no one will bother with confronting the culprit, since everyone is the culprit.

This truth can be applied to all of humankind too, since they have their own distinct cultures, languages, and countries. Stating the culture that is to blame for the catastrophic state of the environment goes a long way in helping that culture face up to its faults.

With this in mind, recent aspirations to cement our cultures forever to the western cultures, to become partners with the other house, are worrying. This need shows nothing more than a lack of concern for our environment, and humankind. If we want to give humankind a chance, then the best attitude is avoidance of fusing with systems with a destructive record, especially when the culture itself seems incapable or unwilling to correct its faults.

This move not only shows a lack of discretion, an inability to be creative, but also a belief that nothing else is possible, which only encourages the warped culture in its ways. There are so many advantages to being brave, realizing that one is also creative, and embarking on a one way ticket to one's own ideal of a perfect society, and knowing, and of course ensuring all the time that one will survive. It not only gives a glimpse of hope for mankind, but is also the only way to ultimately challenge the dominant, destructive orientation with visible results of a better way, as opposed to mere talk.

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