Saturday, June 12, 2010

we have failed part II

rant part deux.

first part here.

We Have Failed (part II)

A hypothesis: In an era of unprecedented wealth, we are witnessing the flowering of the first generation of unprecedented privilege. As loathsome, odious and inhuman as they are, the first generation of these ultra-privileged--the Cheneys, the Blankfeins, and the Haywards of this world--are going to be left in the dust by the younger versions of themselves that are coming up now.

We are breeding a generation of remorseless, obscenely affluent children, monstrous offspring so cocooned in privilege that they are utterly unaware of the value of anything or anyone aside from themselves. They are unaware even that other people and things could be said to have intrinsic value apart from the uses to which they can be put.

This is a new creature stalking this poisoned and dying world, a cold, alien organism lacking conscience, morals, and even basic humanity. Empathy is a concept they are unequipped to grasp, much less experience.

But Van der Sloot, Dick Cheney, Lloyd Blankfein, and Tony Hayward are not aberrations. Nor are the elementary schoolchildren who torture and kill one another, nor are the teens who leave overdosing friends to die, nor are the girls who deposit their newborns in dumpsters and return to the prom.

They are simply acting out the logical extension of a value that has lain hidden at the heart of civilization since the times of the Egyptians.

Only now it is surfacing more blatantly and more overtly than it ever has before, and among a wider swath of people, and from there broadcast to the rest of us: the knowledge that the ultimate commodity is not gold, nor diamonds, nor oil.

The ultimate commodity is people.

Controlling people, whether through brute force, physical intimidation, religious intimidation, or economic coercion, is and has long been recognized by the elites as the key building block toward so-called civilization--and not incidentally, towards the elites’ own state of privilege and comfort.

And controlling people, the treatment of people as a disposable commodity is exactly what Van der Sloot, Dick Cheney, Lloyd Blankfein, and Tony Hayward have in common, and it is what makes them all monsters.

We should not wonder that the second generation of these monsters, that cold, demented children like Van der Sloot behave in these ways; we should marvel that more of them don’t. With the examples they are given--people who demonstrate that consequences don’t matter and that you can do whatever you want, to whomever you want as long as you’re rich--we should be surprised that sport-murder isn’t more prevalent among the prep school/Ivy League crowd.

Patrick Bateman has arrived, and he brought friends.

That is also what makes us a failure as a species: that we have let the ones who set this example and who live by this mindset continue unabated for so long.

Any sane animal, any rational clan or group in nature would have recognized these sociopath aberrations as something dangerous, as a threat to their individual survival, as well as something that jeopardizes the entirety of the clan, and they would have shunned them.

Or, more likely, they would have cut them out of the gene pool altogether.

We, on the other hand continue to worship the obscenely wealthy as though they were keepers of some magical secret knowledge, not the lucky, dishonest and ruthless monsters they are, descended from more of the same. Thieves breeding thieves, sociopaths breeding sociopaths, they sharpen their foul, twisted gene pool ever-finer with each generation, each becoming better at preying on the human species, the species which they have elected to leave behind, and which they judge as something lesser than themselves.

We all pretend that the underlying system of thought--humans as commodity--is fine and dandy, that it’s just a few bad apples that have gone outside the pale.

But in allowing these creatures and their poisonous philosophy to reach the destructive, institutionalized heights that they have, we have doomed innocent individual humans, entire regions and cultures of humanity, and potentially hundreds or even thousands of other species.

In other words, we have failed. We have all failed, and we have done so spectacularly.

If there is a god or an alien species or a Gaia spirit that is considering taking charge, they better get their ass in gear.

Pretty soon there might not be much left to save.

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