Thank God for Progress!

nature-contra-progress

Thank God for progress! Where would we be without it?
Progress is what brought us all out of the dark ages, where the common man toiled all day, while the common man’s wife toiled for him, all day, for little more than being able to survive the night.
Those were bad old days, for sure. Little point to life, you’d think.

But now, in the sunny present, things are very different. Most of us common men can lie around, drink beer and get high, tapping away on social networks, and sharing our vast wisdom on every possible thing, or maybe view porn while gorging on junk food, while dumping temporary partners, willy-nilly, on a whim.

Indeed, freed from the onerous and time consuming drudge of unimportant things, like growing food and gathering fuel, we have unlimited time for more productive things. Like activism, and demonstrations over this and that, or whatever caprice takes our immediate fancy.

To think! There were times when stuff like food, warmth, shelter, family, were important. It’s hard to even imagine what that must have been like. We know better now, of course, thanks to progress. Now we know what really counts: the names and appearances of random people called ‘stars’ who do mysterious things that magically render them famous, but are difficult to actually describe. We all might be like them, too, because another thing we all know, nowadays, is that we are all equal.

Which is why we spend large amounts of money – usually other people’s – on lottery tickets and gaming. Because, logically, being equal means we all have an equal chance of winning big, like the last big winner we are all equal to.
And if we tire of that, well, there’s always a bit of altruism, to rack up our social standing.

It’s a good thing, really, that there are still so many things to be concerned about, though, and so many remaining problems to raise people’s awareness of, because there are just so many hours in the day. Imagine what it must have been like to have to spend all of it producing useless stuff, like food, warmth, housing and clothing.

Yes, it is a happy time to be alive. We can rejoice in our incredible success as a species, having eliminated every possible form of competition, and replacing it with over seven billion of us. No bears, tigers, snakes, wolves. No mice, foxes, raccoons or ants. No birds, bees, slugs or fleas. No flowers, creepers, vines or trees. Nothing. How wonderful is that?
It really is a case, in modern times, of ‘Low-Maintenance’, and ‘Humans Rrrrrock!’

And God. Ah, such naivety beset our dimwitted ancestors. It seems so unlikely, in retrospect. Cavemen being scared of some angry old creator. You couldn’t make it up. It is ironic, though, somehow, don’t you think? That we still say things like:

Thank God for progress!

19 Comments

  1. LoreTek says:

    Hey! I don’t know if I like your tone! :P

    Like Jiminy says “When you wish upon a star”.

    Great article, sometimes sarcasm IS the best way.

    1. crow says:

      It’s funny: although it probably is sarcasm, I don’t really see it that way. It’s more like humour, when humour is the only possible way left when faced with the surreal craziness of things.
      I took one half of a rather weak dopey-making antihistamine pill, last night, and it knocked me out for so long that my wife had to rouse me eleven hours later. The first thing she said was that LoreTek had made a comment on this essay, and had said:
      “I don’t know if I like your tone!”
      It was good to laugh my head off, without even being five percent awake.

      1. LoreTek says:

        Yes it was humour! Sarcasm was just the best word I could think of at the time, but it entails the wrong emotions I think. This was definitely more lighthearted than sarcasm…I guess humour is the best word haha.

        The picture is also great. That little tree somehow looks grander than the entire road around it. It just goes to show that even if humans think they can outdo nature, they never make anything better, and nature always gets its way in the end.

        Glad I made you laugh as the piece certainly lightened my mood!

  2. John says:

    Excellent article…very well stated! It has started to dawn on me that the modern view about how horrible things were before our “enlightenment” is really to a large extent propaganda and lies to convince ourselves of our secular superiority. I’m trying to find the courage to leave the comfortable corporate lifestyle I am now in – seems like such a huge step. Is there hope for us??

    1. crow says:

      No. There isn’t. As Lao Tzu states:
      Hope is as empty as despair.
      There are better things than hope.

  3. Hauer says:

    Progress is such a vague term. It is meaningless without context. Progress describes a means and not an end. It represents the trajectory of something, not its destination.

    No one ever thinks about themselves in terms of being ‘regressive’. After all, who would want to be against progress? If someone truly wants to be clear, it is best to be honest and describe oneself in terms of his objective. Methodology is always secondary when all is said and done.

    1. Tony says:

      It is much easier to say I am a “progressive”. No one can argue against progress ;)

      1. crow says:

        I tell people I am retarded. Works like a charm.
        I can even speak the lingo.
        Anyway, after not breathing for half an hour, recently, I probably am.

  4. Colleen says:

    My sentiments exactly.

    7 billion people is too many to maintain sustainably. Even if they could be maintained sustainably, being surrounded by that many people is bad for the soul because we become blinded to the larger non-human reality. We fall under the sway of fashion and caprice.

    I am curious what people here think is the best and/or most likely solution to the current overpopulation of the human species. Voluntary childlessness? Abolition of federal handouts to people who have children and take no responsibility for supporting them? Abolition of immigration (which wouldn’t solve the larger problem of there being too many people in the world, but at least it would prevent them from coming HERE)? Letting old people die naturally rather than hooking them up to machines? Some kind of mandatory sterilization program for certain groups of people? War and starvation?

    However, it also appears that birth rates are falling in most of the world. Will the overpopulation problem simply take care of itself?

    1. crow says:

      You’re curious? I’ll bet you are :)
      Nature will reassert itself, and the problem will be solved.
      However, nature will not differentiate between the good guys and the bad guys. It will smite all, in good measure, for good measure.
      If anyone is to stand any chance, it will be those who can go with nature, and not attempt to resist it.

      My lovely woods are ruined, by a late winter double-storm.
      I will never undo the damage, in what remains of my lifetime.
      So I will not try to. I remember how it was, and how I marvelled at it, when it was as it was. Now it is as it is, and that is the way it is.
      No regrets.

      1. Colleen says:

        Ah well, ashes to ashes and dust to dust. Ruins can be beautiful too.

        This idea of going along with nature instead of resisting it is very important, though I’ve rarely seen it addressed anywhere except here (and, in a much more sentimental way, by the liberal environmentalist crowd).

        As you say, natural is an amoral force. I think there is some tension between this blog’s powerful moral vision and its exaltation of the amoral natural world as a model for human society. But this is not a criticism. I appreciate the complex, paradoxical perspective.

        1. Colleen says:

          Oops, that should be “nature” in the first sentence of my third paragraph above.

          1. crow says:

            It is encouraging that you recognize the paradoxical here.
            Not so many people are capable of such a leap.
            Nature is not amoral, in the sense that it does not differentiate between the human idea of good and bad.
            Indeed, there is nothing quite so moral as nature.
            Humans fail to see it because they are so prone to tunnel vision. Nature is the epitome of good, even in its short-term, seemingly pointless destruction.
            Nature wins, every time, over periods aeons longer than any human-made civilization.

        2. LoreTek says:

          It’s like asking if humans are animals or if our humanity somehow makes us different. If any dream is worth investing in perhaps it’s that it does.

          That said, perhaps the most confusing thing for me is why the right wing, supposedly conservative, does not include the conservation of nature in its platform. Why they allow this inconsistency with their overall message of conservatism is beyond me and probably leads to a lot more people than they realize considering themselves “moderate”. But as much as I hate to admit it, and I still haven’t fully, the right may really be all about money today.

          I really don’t understand politics once you get to that level. Where exactly do the “1%” fit in. Who are these billionaire left wingers pushing for the liberalization so their position is secure and the general population becomes cogs; who are the billionaire right wingers the left says the right is only protecting. It is all hearsay and propaganda from what I can tell. Anyone have any insight?

          1. crow says:

            What about you? Do you have any insight?
            My insight tells me you are too smart for your own good.
            You see the too obvious, that is too obvious for anyone else to see.
            Conservative. One who subscribes to the concept of conservation. One who abhors waste and destruction. One who prefers to have things last. One who sees something beyond oneself.
            As you say: strange that conservatives never think to mention their core orientation. They assume it is obvious. It is, in fact, so obvious that even they don’t see it.
            Well done, for reminding them.

  5. Foam Penguin says:

    Off topic but I am getting to the point where I would love a “random article” button on this site.

    1. crow says:

      Random as in from the past?
      Or random as in unwritten pieces being whatever you want them to be?

      1. Foam Penguin says:

        Random as in from the past.

        There’s enough articles here that such a feature would probably expose me to a lot of material I otherwise might not have taken the time to pick through.

  6. Tony says:

    Yo dudes, I got my bling. It makes me sing. Good times indeed. I provide identity to millions!

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