Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Friday, April 08, 2005  

Shape of things to come

(Blogger was down yesterday and I couldn't post so a few blogs may be dated.)

Shape of things to come

John Derbyshire with his usual and delightfully contrarian pessimism believes:

". . . it seems to me highly probable that the world of 50 or 100 years from now will bear a close resemblance to Huxley’s dystopia — a world without pain, grief, sickness or war, but also without family, religion, sacrifice, or nobility of spirit. It’s not what I want, personally, and it’s not what Huxley wanted either (he was a religious man, though ofa singular type). It’s what most people want, though; so if this darn democracy stuff keeps spreading, it’s what we shall get, for sure."

The reason being is that:

". . . the dehumanized people of that world don’t know they are dehumanized, and wouldn’t care if they knew. They are happy; and if they feel any momentary unhappiness, a pharmacological remedy is ready to hand. If being human means enduring sorrow, pain, grief envy, loss, accidie, loneliness, and humiliation, why on earth should anyone be expected to prefer a “fully human” life over a dehumanized one?"

I believe that my pessimism trumps The Derb's, though because I don't believe that people will be left alone enough by others (barbarians) to enjoy the fruits of dehumanization. No system can last. Societies become weak and the aggressive strike.

Some may imagine that our technology may achieve a degree of both intrusiveness where nothing is hidden, and an ability to discover plots, enemies, terrorists, assymetrical warriors, and so forth and eliminate them without much difficulty.

Maybe. Maybe not. Such systems still require a dedicated group of hard nosed people and where will the Brave New World find them? The Roman Empire had every advantage over the barbarians and the incentive to defend itself (security and pleasure) yet melted away.

I think that the social engineers should keep in mind the axiom, "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans." Of course, such people never do keep such a thing in mind.

posted by Mark Butterworth | 10:59 AM |