07 August 2011

The Dream That Dare Not Speak its Name

Don’t you think the world would be a much simpler place, as well as more cleanly and efficiently run, if more of us would cease to regard our lives as our own? If, once and for all, we’d simply resign ourselves to being self-, leisure- and family-denying foot-soldiers in what, after all, is really a great Global Army of Growth? What’s anyone’s so-called happiness finally worth anyway, compared to the Success of Mankind in ensuring its own indefinite survival, and its own capacity to overcome all human and natural obstacles? What’s friendship finally worth compared to these aims? Or sleep? Or unhurried conversation? Or reading? Or the Humanities? What finally is the value of uncontaminated food to eat, and uncontaminated air to breathe, compared to the immense, presently unimaginable power and longevity we shall soon bequeath to our descendants? 

We were prepared to do it once. If misguided people once considered their own lives as just so many replaceable rungs on the Ladder of Progress, and all in the service of a bad cause – Communism – why can’t we more enlightened ones regard our own lives in a similar light, in the service of a good cause? If people then were prepared to sacrifice their lives, when commanded to do so, to incompetent organizations that barely kept them alive, clothed and fed, how much more should we now be prepared to give our all without question to competent ones – especially seeing that we’re being merely requested to do so, and by organizations that feed, clothe and shelter us efficiently, successfully, and at a profit available to all? And all the more enthusiastically, when you consider that you remain free to do otherwise – that these organizations are in no wise prohibiting or forbidding the satisfactions above-listed, but merely making them more difficult and costly to obtain? 

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