posted on Feb, 14 2008 @ 06:28 AM
When a governing body wants to glorify itself and instill contentment among its subjects, one method of doing so is to find fault among alternative
nations, ideologies and ways of living. The flaws and failings of other countries, other regimes and other cultures may or may not be exaggerated, but
they are nevertheless often emphasized by your leaders (and other patriots in positions of influence) in order to highlight your country's
achievements. The desired message is that 'the grass isn't any greener on the other side'.
I don't think this would be much of a revelation to most of you. It's fairly natural, expected behaviour from anyone in a leadership position.
But what if we were to take the same concept and apply it to time!
Pretty much everyone I've ever met believes that our modern age is irrefutably the absolute pinnacle of human happiness and achievement. We are so
dead certain that our current politics, our excess of technology and electonic entertainment, our food, our relationships, our healthcare and our
spiritual understanding as it is NOW must be the best it's ever been. And even if we are discontent with one or two elements of our modern
world, we are still usually pretty sure that overall we have it pretty damn good.
Could it be that our leaders, historians and media are using the same 'grass-isn't-greener-on-the-other-side' tactic on our history as they
commonly do on our cultural/political divisions? We always hear about the horrors of the dark ages, the barbarism of Egypt, Meso-America, the Vikings
and Mongolia. We hear about the ignorance of the Pagans (who were apparently too stupid to understand nature without the use of symbolism). And
further back yet we're told that our pre-historic ancestors were dumb cavemen too stupid to even build shelters until several thousand years ago, let
alone cure illness.
Now I'm not disputing that our ancestors had their shortcomings. I just can't help thinking that it's possible that those shortcoming have been
dwelled upon and exaggerated to help make us - here in 2008 - feel totally content and happy with our current state of affairs. Such contentment is
vital for those in authority to guide the human race in desired directions. For example, would widespread surveillance and other liberty-detracting
developments be possible if we didn't believe it to be a necessary aspect of our superior modern way of life? If we, the average person, concluded
that life was overall more satisfactory and prosperous say 2000 years ago, then CCTV, huge pharmaceutical mark-ups, corporate slavery and central
power would be absolutely unacceptable... and consequently impossible to maintain.
So you see, it is very much in our leader's best interests to demonize the past.
As a final note, I'd like to mention that many cultural legacies tell of a 'golden age' - either at the beginning of our current 'age', or the
end of the previous one, where peace was a given and where our biological and spiritual health were paramount. I can't help thinking it's a little
unwise to blindly accept our modern world as superior for little more reason than 'because it must be'.
I'd love to hear some thoughts on this.