Progress = Decline

There is a profound paradox slicing through our global-world civilisation – progress is also decline. However, the contradiction is easy to understand once we accept the erroneous nature of its inception.

Growth is supposed to be a virtue, but any growth that goes beyond natural limits is a vice. The values ingrained in us, telling us that growth is an essential component of our well-being and happiness, are not in step with reality: they are perversions, breeding deadly monsters and engendering tragic scenarios.

The problem with civilisation in the 20th century, therefore, is that it is built on this dangerously false premise. Our System tells us that the greatest value for all societies to aspire toward is growth and that non-growth means death. This argument is absurd and wrong and yet at the same time it is so widely accepted that it is the driving force of civilisation. Because of this, we can and must declare that with this century we have now become deeply entrenched in the Insanity Age.

The growth that is preached to us from the pulpits of economic wisdom, has been tagged, at the political and social level, as progress, even though the result is decline.

Our world is an empire without an emperor, and its decline began with its inception, so that there never has really been a vice, the vice is embedded in that which is.

When analysing the insanity of our age, one has to wonder if there is some kind of phoenix-hope psychology embedded in the subconscious of its affirmations. What the global-world civilisation longs for is a resurrection via a process of annihilation in its all-consuming-fire economy. This kind of thinking is of the most primitive kind: an observation of the seasons and a sympathetic-magic belief in the power of cycles. But, there is no perpetual growth in nature, it would be impossible.

The cycles don’t support perpetual growth, they inhibit it. They pull it back. In nature also, winter is not a crisis, it is a natural alleviation and a necessity. There are no elites in nature who benefit from the cyclic organisation of the biosphere; natural cycles unfold in order to create harmony. So, if we really must be cyclic in our organisation, let us be honest about it and take the real seasonal changes into positive consideration.

To have faith in progress without having any conception of what that progress is moving towards is absurd. So is the idea of progress as a nothing more than a quantitative thing, such as growth. And yet, this is our present insane condition. We are condemned to the absurd whilst we remain in the impossible tension of progress through nihilism.  

Progress will only happen when we can replace the work elite with the values of thinking; using the theoretical to lift us away from the constant tyranny of the pragmatic. We have been building machines to alleviate labour for millennia and yet, in many respects, we work as hard as ever – we are certainly more stressed than ever – and, despite social networking, individuals in societies suffer more alienation than ever. For progress to happen we need to have a theoretical image of where it should take us. The future is a guide and our objectives are horizons – we can always see them, and they are constantly changing and can never be reached, but we need to keep advancing toward them for progress to happen.

Progress has to be measured qualitatively and not quantitatively. Our obsession with the quantitative measure of reality has been the greatest error of our Insanity Age.

CIVILISATION, NATIONALISM & WAR: The decline and fall of the homo sapiens

fall

OUR EVOLUTION

1) 2.5 million years ago – evolution of the first hominids: able to walk upright and make tools.

2) 200,000 years ago – evolution of the homo sapiens: bigger brains and better ability for making tools; social organization and the cultural adaptation to different kinds of environments.

3) 12,000 years ago – due to the impact of climate change and the scarcity of food, some communities evolve from being hunters and collectors to being herdsmen.

4) 6,000 years ago – New techniques of irrigation and drainage, allowing for intensive agriculture based on the use of the plough.

The emergence of the first communities practising husbandry and agriculture was a result of necessity rather than mere wilful choice, and they were responses to needs created by environmental realities (first of all, the Ice Age and later because of desertification in the Middle East and North African regions where the Earth’s warming brought about extensive desertification).

Sedentary society in the early Neolithic era was classless and communal, in which the nuclear family did not exist.[i] As such, it can be affirmed that he first steps toward civilisation were a divergence from a basic form of communism. But why did that divergence from social harmony take place?

THE DECLINE:

The production of an abundance of food that agriculture provided caused a rapid population growth. However, this same population had to be maintained, and agriculture in the Neolithic era was still precarious. Plagues, droughts and other natural disasters had tragic results for many Neolithic communities. Also, populations kept increasing even though arable land was scarce. Over farming created sterile land: exploration was needed to find fertile spots where the community could be replanted, and different social groups began to find themselves with conflicts of interest. “Poverty and property, scarcity and abundance were the primary causes of the first wars.”[ii]

FIRST WARS:

The earliest archaeological indication of violent conflict dates back 7,500 years, and it was in the 6th Millennium BCE that groups emerged that began to identify themselves with a certain area and dominate that area for their own. As such, the year that the mythological Cain killed his brother Able should symbolically be set in the Neolithic era, at around 5,500 BCE.

But for war to occur, there needs to be the kind of complexity in a society that can fashion armies (soldiers and arms for those soldiers). We don’t have any evidence of armies before the creation of civilisations. The earliest pictographs of armies have been dated at 3,500 BCE, from the kingdom of Kish,[iii] at the beginning of the Bronze Age. Historically, in the evolution of western societies, war is a consequence of civilisation.

But civilisation alone is not a reason for the creation of warfare: these first wars were made possible not be mere cultural organisation, but by a mixture of complexity, necessity and manipulation. Needs existed where scarcity was the norm and abundance was something that others had; or where one’s own abundance was threatened by the scarcity suffered by one’s neighbours. We have nothing while they have so much, or we have so much and they want to take it from us. But this condition alone is probably not enough to drive two communities into an armed combat in which, a priori, a large number of individuals will be killed. There has to be powerful psychological motives to ignore the natural possibilities of sharing and/or exchange and sink into the extremism of violence and combat.

War could not happen between communities until the communities themselves had developed an imaginary identity around themselves. The identity of the tribe: the ones who dance a common dance around the same totem.

The tribal identity is a mini-nationalism which used a primitive form of national-history, based on the imaginary stories of the totem myths, in order to define themselves as a group. Without this controlled separation through the creation of identity, it would be impossible to organise a force of warriors designed specifically for the killing of other humans, members of the same species; people who should have been tied to one another through human empathy toward their common species.

CONCLUSION:

Societies created their own identities, and the process of socialisation-through-identities was an anti-humanising process designed to create people who feel different to other people in order to create anti-human humans with the potential for making enormous sacrifices for the community (and the king) in its struggles against other communities. It was the creation of these social identities which lay the foundation for the possibilities of all wars. It was also a preliminary step toward the forming of the class divisions in society that we suffer from today. Our anti-human identities are now the greatest misfortune we suffer today, for they are the progenitors of all our other misfortunes. They are deeply embedded in our System, and their omnipresence and seeming omnipotence makes any ideas of real systemic reform seem futile. Nevertheless, at least we know what needs to be extirpated from the System to make it work for humanity. Rolling back 6,000 years of anti-human history may seem like a daunting task, but it is the only choice we have now if we want to make humanity human again.

[i] Neil Faulkner, DE LOS NEANDERTALES A LOS NEOLIBERALES, p. 27

[ii] Ibid, p.29

[iii] Source WAR IN ANCIENT TIMES https://www.ancient.eu/war/