Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Loss of Reality

We are losing the ability to view and discuss things realistically.

The natural world, of course, runs on realism.  We refer that sort of realism as natural laws, or gravity, or the water cycle.  A spark hits dry grass, a wildfire is created.  If a rock is dropped, it falls.  Predators hunt and eat prey.  And there are fifty thousands ways for us to die when we mistake reality for the way I want things to be  e.g. I cannot fly or breathe underwater no matter how hard I try.

But when it comes to everything else - social interactions, society, finances, political interactions - reality has been driven from the room.

There are any number of ways to define it - political correctness, social consciousness, just plain shutting people down - but the end result is that conversations and dialogues are being forced into narrow, pre-planned channels where debate and discussion are neither welcomed nor tolerated.

Take forest management - a thing close to my heart as it is a constant threat where my parents live.  Well managed forests and land - like The Ranch my father has managed for 20 years and that was managed by him and my great uncle for years before that - has some risk of fire (always, of course) but not as high a risk because underbrush has been removed, dead trees thinned out, and the the forest is healthy.  But some, any sort of intervention in the forest - a single tree cut, a single underbrush removed - is evil because man destroying the environment (mind you, the forest fire does not just destroy the environment, it completely devastates it.).  Also, mind you, the Maidu that were there before anyone also set forest fires to clear parts of the forest for planting.  Typically such wisdom would be honored, but in this case it is carefully ignored.

Take what I have just related to any aspect or issue facing us today and, more than likely, you can walk out a similar scenario in your own mind.

Where does this all end up? Two places, really.  The first is internal to those societies, where it (eventually) stifles any sort of free thought or free speech or action.  Want to see what a society that does not tolerate dissent looks like?  Look to the history of the Soviet Union or Communist Eastern Europe, or to the now of Communist China.  Eventually the society becomes stagnant because no-one is willing to risk being shouted down (or worse).

The other place it ends up is for those societies that do see things realistically and act accordingly.  For them, they do as we do with the law of gravity or hydrology cycle: they take the confines of the rules and work within them to advance their goals and objectives.

Which, unfortunately, usually involves rolling over everyone else that refused to see things realistically.

We can deny gravity exists.  But ultimately we cannot escape it.

4 comments:

  1. Anonymous6:43 PM

    Once again, you've hit the nail on the head, and your example of forest management is an excellent one. The ability to entertain free discourse was so fundamental to our nation's birth. Somehow, we've forgotten that in a vain attempt to be inclusive and inoffensive. I find it fascinating (and yet horrific) that being intolerant of other's ideas in the name of tolerance is so highly valued (and misconstrued). It worries me that we are on a quick crash course as a nation. As the saying goes, "you don't know what you've got till it's gone."

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  2. Anonymous - Thanks for stopping by!

    It is crazy, is it not? Forest management is near to my heart; when I was young, i remember actual lumber mills up and down our part of the mountains; now, they are all gone due to "forest management." And the solution, after everything burns, is that we have to move everyone away from the forest.

    The fact (as you so cleverly point out) that intolerance is now counted as a virtue and the actual free exchange of ideas is either labeled "hate speech" or "anti-intellectual" should concern everyone who thinks about it for a while. I wish people would read their history more - see what happens to societies that controlled speech. Look at China now.

    They may get their control - but they will come to rue it.

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  3. Indeed Deb. I think only He can at this point.

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