People defend their “ideas” passive-aggressively because they first had an impulse, and later invented the “idea” to justify what they did. That is why most people have roughly the same ideas, no matter how many layers of artifice they bury them under.
One of their biggest passive aggressive comebacks is to tell you that it’s well and good you criticize, but it’s easy to criticize, and words are just words. What are your actions? What is your positive ideal? We know what you don’t like; what do you like? And if you don’t answer in 30 seconds they smirk as if to say, “I always knew you were a paltry pseudo-intellectual,” which is how smug overeducated and underintelligent moderns say “poseur.”
I call their response passive-aggressive because setting an impossible task before someone is a form of sabotage, a way of making them fail before they even begin. Outlining the society you would like is a huge task and the best most of us are going to do is a laundry list of stuff that sounds suspiciously like the absence of what we don’t like. The hidden implication is of course anything that is not broken can proceed much as it has been, although some conflicts will occur and will have to be negotiated. But try putting that into a single sentence for a snappy comeback.
But it’s a good question: what kind of society would you like? I can only answer for myself.
Rule by the smart, not the good-looking. Democracy gives us options, but then, the lowest common denominator rules and convinces us to treat public opinion as reality. The result is neurotic detachment from reality and a society that ignores any problems more distant than immediate. If you want to experience involution, go for a democracy. I’d prefer a meritocratic, hereditary aristocracy based on high intelligence and practical skills together, not simply academic testing.
Nature has a voice. Nature is our silent partner in life, producing our oxygen and natural resources, and giving us a pleasant place to live. It is also an intense spiritual symbol and struggle, in that we only feel good about life when we feel we are in sync with our origins. My ideal society would consider natural needs at every step of every decision and build them into our cost structure, instead of imposing them as bureaucratic penalties on the prosperous only.
Censorship. I don’t want to live in a place where I am assaulted by constant commercial messages. Businesses can advertise their name and a logo, but that should be it. No giant signs by the freeways, no constant promotional detritus everywhere. End the idea that if you have a square inch of space showing, you should be able to stick a commercial message on it.
No estate taxes. If someone becomes prosperous, and wants to keep that in the family, they should. We already know they have brains but if their kids are also smart, they’re going to start from a position of wealth and be more sensitive. Let them keep their wealth and go on to do non-profitable but still vital things. Much of our early scientific research and our best art came from such people.
Communities define their own standards, as do states. I like the Confederate model in that it allows California to be liberal while Texas stays arch-conservative; if people in Texas hate it, they can move. This lets people in Texas define the kind of society they want, and California to do the same, without constant infighting. Not every place is good for every person, and they should not “obviously” necessarily be allowed to live there.
Ethnic solidarity. I like living near people who are like me. Genetics is a record of the choices our ancestors made, and I want to be people who are near me and compatible with me, and have similar abilities and ideals. Homogenous societies are always the most stable and pleasant, and this condition continues worldwide today, although it’s taboo to notice it. It’s not oppression to tell people they cannot live on 100% of earth’s surface, anywhere they want; like all things in nature, they have their niche and should stick to it.
Invert the inverted society. Civilization by its nature operates through politics, or the process of herding together masses of people so they can accomplish a goal. The problem with this is that it is inclusive without caring about who it includes — any warm body’ll do. The result is a degeneration of standards, a dumbing down of discussion on leadership, and a subsidization of many parasitic, predatory and useless people. Instead, I propose a society that rewards its best and conserves them — if the Mongols invade, send the directionless, intoxicated, fat, lazy, stupid and confused out to fight them before we send our best people.
Conservation. I don’t believe in green lightbulbs, and the complete stupidity with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) that contain toxic mercury and are only marginally more effective proves why. I don’t believe in green products. I believe in recognizing that our nature as humans is to take over whatever land we touch, so we should set aside at least half of the usable land for nature and leave it. Don’t camp on it, don’t use it for concerts, just leave it. This way we get to keep our natural world and our own as well, and this encourages us to be more efficient about land use. Did we really need that second auto parts store?
Real education. Educators don’t like to talk about it, but you can tell how far a student can go in the educational system by the student’s IQ. All of our standardized testing is a thinly disguised “IQ correlative” assessment designed to work around this impolitic inequality. Education is great, but most people can be taught to read — not understand what they read. Now that we’ve taught them to read, they’re all out there spouting “intelligent sounding” opinions that under analysis, turn out to be mindless garbage carefully disguised as learned opinion. Educate people to the level they can understand, not the level we can make it appear that they understand.
No tail wagging the dog. If Jerry can’t drive, our society says we can’t take his license because he has to get to his job. A sane society looks at the full fact: he is an incompetent driver and does not belong on the road. We can’t save everyone and we make the tail wag the dog each time we say “well, this person is still a person, even if a destructive one.” The way to love humanity is not to love every individual but the best individuals, and to let nature take care of the failures.
Have public discussions on our values. We talk politics a lot as if we expect to be able to pass laws that decide our values for us. Take abortion for example: to the left, it’s a banner of sexual liberation; to the right, rejecting this symbol of a hated and destructive force is important. Why not just talk about the values themselves? Do we want a society where promiscuity is acceptable, and to what degree?
People will of course say I’m a dreamer and these things will never come about. That’s what they’re counting on, of course. Once you liberalize and have a revolution, you have nowhere to go but to greater permissiveness and fewer standards held in common or by consensus, eventually rejecting values entirely. That is how your civilization dies. But not all die. The smart remain and they are perfectly OK with finding a strong leader to pull things back together, especially once the utopian anarchy really takes over and so public services fail like dominoes. The reason I speak of such things now is so that those of us who did not gulp down the kool-aid are clear on what we want so that we can stand up among the ruins, move to a new location, and rebuild without the stupid ideas of the past.