Our species faces yet another crossroad in the social evolutionary path we climb. “Free Speech”, while vital in liberating the days of perpetual lower class existence, and carving out an equally as vital middle class around the world, has drawn a line between two distinct political ideologies. I watched a segment on CBS Sunday Morning about this great division of the populous base. “Gerrymandering” is the name given to the democratic mechanism for creating bastions of safety for incumbent members of the House of Representatives. New congressional districts are wrapped around supporting voters, thus tipping the scales away from dividing the voters within an existing geographic region. Nowadays either side gravitates towards their respective ideologies in where they live and work, while blasting the rhetoric of their beliefs across the multitude of communication platforms. Unity and happiness are sacrificed at the hands of individually specific wants and needs. Hence, there appears to be no greater good😔.
Societies aren’t and haven’t always been carved out in this fashion. We seem to ebb and flow with the prevailing trends associated with monumental change. Empires of the past weren’t oblivious to the basic needs of their conquered citizens, yet maintaining conformity was of paramount importance. All the people affected by the mandates from Rome had no way of communicating about their feelings on these matters, so it was much more manageable for the few overseeing the many. Later European dynasties felt the advancements of technology, like the printing press and sailing ships allowing for their royal subjects to share information more freely. Of course, rumors took much of the spotlight, and literacy kept the bottom rungs of the social construct at bay. Conservatism and Liberalism weren’t a thing during the British, French, Spanish, or Dutch imperialism era. As far as they could decern, all other cultures lagged greatly in the advancement of our species. Their answer was to whip these dirt worshipping fucks into good standing Christian shape. Surely, that would fix everyone’s problems, right? Suffering with nothing to show for your life is great for building character, as long as someone else benefits from your existence.
Jonathan Haidt has crafted an idea for unifying our species into a better place for everyone. Personally, I much prefer collaborative harmony over disaster reaction. Mankind is pretty damn responsive to disasters costing thousands of human lives, and we always lean into these circumstances with our best selves. The downside though, is the senseless loss of those human lives. Growth should require overcoming that little detail.