Looking Forward to the Next Civilization

 

        The history of mankind has been a parade of one civilization after another, each giving way in its senility to the awakening birth of the next.  Each time that man stands atop the mountains that they proclaim to be the pinnacles of culture and arts and government, the mountain turns to dust and the mighty of that period become the dry history, the forgotten saga for the citizens of that which arises in its place.  How many great and wise men have been lost to the pages that chronicle only the selective memories of those who won the battles and leveled the glorious temples of those now vanished?

    This procession of growing and dying empires has always produced the hope and the opportunity for something grander and more enlightened to come.  Often, though, the carnival of dead and dying societies leaves behind what was good and supplants it with a lower order of humanity.  The destruction of the Library at Alexandria came to pass because the soul of the world had turned black in violence.  Greece fell to ruins at the hand of those who worshipped greed and war over thought and learning.  Egypt and its pyramid builders were conquered by others who knew only obedience to gods of warfare and carnage.

    Too often, great civilizations fall, not from forces from without, but from decay and evil and ignorance within.  Spain once ruled a vast Empire as did France and Great Britain.  In each case, the death of their dominions came from within through the abuses of the lower classes by the upper or the enslavement of entire peoples for the greater wealth of the few.

    America is another such empire.  What began as a grand experiment in government by and for the people has slowly lapsed into just another ignorant, slothful and greedy realm in which the submission of the masses by the favored few is the rule, not the exception.  America, a nation once boasting of its freedoms and its future and its wealth and power now only boasts of its wealth and power.  America has become a nation that no longer demands that religion stay behind a strong wall separating it from the affairs of state but, instead, has become a nation that allows the malicious and the brutal from within to place their twisted and dirty vision of god above all others.

    We have quietly abandoned all that we once held dear and valuable, taking as its surrogate unattainable visions of happiness emanating from the shelves of the corporate stores and the flickering lights radiating from the only important possession in our homes.  We prefer personal comfort to personal freedoms.  We desire false feelings of safety over the dangers of standing up for our rights.  We follow the pointed finger away from our own thoughts and towards the caprice of those who beckon us into their private hells.  We have seen the terrible results of our ignorance as flames and debris raining down upon the innocent but choose not to demand sanity to take control of our nation's power.  Instead, we wave colored cloth and ask invisible entities to protect us and destroy those whom we term "evil" but are just "others".  We believe, against all evidence, that we can give up our liberties, granting all encompassing powers to a government whose sole difference from the norm is for the great number of criminals that control it.  We design chaos and carnage and misery and make it rain down upon the world's poorest and most defenseless inhabitants and recoil in horror when we reap in return the terror that we sow.

    America is quickly approaching the brink of suicide.  We are rotting from within and blithely refusing any hope of slowing or stopping that decay.  The soul of this nation is infested with the maggots of greed and hate and fundamentalism far more deadly than any of the perceived threats from without.  Even when offered opportunities to interrupt that fatal process, we instead retreat to our small, square hovels and seek amusement and distraction and comfort in the hope that those in change will take care of us and we needn't fret or fear for the future.

    The next few months will see the beginning of the end for the great trial that was democracy and personal freedoms.  The slippery slope has been reached and our self destructive speed has attained such abandon that there is no hope to avert the ultimate disaster, the end of our time in history.  We will murder thousands or hundreds of thousands or maybe even millions in our head long dash into obscurity.  We will sit back, drink our beer and watch grown men and women play children's games while the world plots and plans our demise.  Only when the fire and ruin is at our very doors will we suddenly awaken from our self induced stupor and find it far too late to alter the path of the whirlwind.  We will only find enough time to cry out against the injustice of our evil being showered back upon us.   

    I do not necessarily fear this ending.  The Dark Ages had to pass for the enlightenment to arise.  The empire that Great Britain built had to begin to die for the great experiment of democracy to find fertile soil.  Jim Crow had to end for civil rights to gain a foot hold.  Now America will have to move into the annals of mankind for the next great civilization to grow in its stead.  I speak not of some superstitious "end times".  I speak of the complete eradication of a nation that embraced ignorance and sloth and the worship of the insignificant. 

    Perhaps our passing will lead only to a second era of religious zealotry and mystical fanaticism that may equal the Inquisition in its butchery but brought forth by the evil that leads other religions or other fundamental creeds.  Our evil has fertilized and become substance in such a fanatical devotion to our destruction that the hatred becomes incarnate in their suicides in search of our annihilation.  Can that inferno of disgust and fervor be quenched through the demise of all that we claim to value or will it turn within and create the onset of another Dark Age, one fueled by Islam against the heretics of all other religions.  If it does, indeed, signal only the beginning of another historical period of carnage and torture in the name of some invisible and  unproven deity, who can predict the length of that hell or the effects upon the human soul? 

    History has shown, though, that darkness and wickedness will reign only as long as light and truth can be hidden or forbidden.  Always, from some small corner of humanity, a voice will whisper of marvels that once were or should be.  That whisper will speak of decency and love and hope, values long thought beaten out of the spirit of man.  Slowly, that voice will become a chorus and the chorus a roar until all would be told of the possibilities that lie just beyond the reach of those who would deny their very existence.  Knowledge gained is power and that power may well spark the next period of enlightenment and anticipation of things beneficial.

    Perhaps the next endeavor at creating a world and a people dedicated to personal freedoms paid for through personal conscientiousness will have more success than ours.  Can they avoid the mistake of drawing lines on a map and declaring one piece more sacred than all others?  Will they escape the pure stupidity of the tribal mind?  Possibly the human character will have become strong enough that protecting those liberties will take priority over mere passing divisions created by the smallest and weakest minds among their numbers.  Ultimately, can any future effort towards a union of informed and active citizens spare themselves the embarrassment of seeking idols and role models from the same superfluous places as America has in sports and movies and cowards?  If not and the public in the new world cannot attend to the business of a democracy then they will surely follow us down into the abyss of being controlled by morons and villains and avaricious scum.  Of course, thus the cycle would begin anew.

 



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Copyright 10/11/02