Monday, 8 July 2013

Day 219: Have we Reached our Final Destination?

timeline_filosofie When I was in primary school, most classrooms were fitted with this loooong horizontal poster, showing a timeline of history from the hunter/gatherers up to the Modern Age or the ‘Now’. From year to year, grade to grade, we would move up the timeline in our history lessons.

I remember staring a lot at this timeline whenever I was bored, and I remember thinking that ‘we’ve come a long way’. We started with ‘nothing’ at our hunter/gathers stage, being very primitive. Then we moved through the Ancient times with Egypt and the classical times of the Greeks and the Romans and the middle ages aaall the way up to where we are now. The timelines would also have little pictures of ‘significant’ points in history and I remember the last section of the timeline being cramped up with lots of pictures of like an astronaut and a train, airplane, tv, telephone – all the cool technology shit that we’ve got today.

What I had gathered from my history lessons was that we had gone through a lot of struggle in terms of our own survival and being barbaric towards one another – but that we now finally had come to a stage where we had our living environment sorted out and us humans were living together in ‘good times’. As a kid, this made sense. I had a home, I had a family, I had food every day, a bed to sleep, friends to play with, a future in this world. All my needs were taken care of. So from my perspective at that stage, it had seemed that in terms of where we were at in history was our ‘Final Destination’, like we finally got it right, we’re finally living comfortably – from here on it can only get better.

13 – 15 Years later, I got some more perspective.

Turns out, that when we were looking at the' ‘Modern Age’ and nice, comfy living – that this only counted for a small segment of the world population. Turns out, that everyone else is still stuck on various different points of the timeline, where some are still living primitive lives, coming by with the minimum. Turns our, that child labour is not a nightmare of the past, but a present issue still being lived out by many. Turns out, that people are still servants to those with more money with no potential of getting out of such position. Turns out, that poverty has been increasing and more people are suffering today ever before. Turns out that in this Great Day and Age with all our ‘Modernity’ we’re doing fuck-all to actually make a change to these situations, doing fuck-all to make sure that this magnificent point in history as being taken care of completely in every single way, having all your Human Rights secured – is being stretched and expanded to every single ‘corner’ of the earth.

I mean, looking at that timeline now – it’s really one big scam. That timeline did not in anyway reflect world history in a factual way, but was only meant to show the history of a minority and the present of a minority – and then create the idea / belief that where we’re at now in world history is a world-wide phenomena: bullocks!!

I’m busy reading a People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn, and one of the things that struck me as I progress through the timeline, is how nothing every changes. We move from enslaving one kinds of people to another. We move from slavery to servitude. Then, while we have all the real though, shitty, cruel slavery taking place – we have an entire hierarchy of different slavery forms within that, where there’s an entire hierarchy of groups – each one enslaved to the next. So that each time when there is some ‘big revolution’ or some ‘big change’ that apparently happened – it’s really no big deal because they same pattern just keeps re-occurring over and over and over again in different forms, over different types of people, over different regions in the world. Like now for instance, I am reading about how bad the workers and laborers had it round the 1850s, having to work in terrible, life-threatening job environments for a near-to-nothing pay – that’s including the child laborers. So now, while the American people may have fought and resisted hard to have made this change – two centuries later and miles off shore = we have the exact same conditions, the exact same situation playing out, where adults and children are forced into labor, dangerous labor, just to get by another day. But are we going out on the street and strike? Are we getting angry, mad, demanding change in anyway whatsoever? No – because apparently ‘that’s all over and all is better now’.

So from reading this book, it is clear that we have not reached anything. I’ve only read about a third of the book but you can already see where it is going. With what I’ve read, and within seeing what is going on in the world today – we are still repeating the exact same patterns as 500 years ago. We haven’t reached our final destination. We’re nowhere close to it. All those great happenings like ‘Independence’, ‘abolishment of slavery’, ‘end of segregation’, ‘end of apartheid’, ‘the declaration of human rights’ – all those events turn bleak and shriveled in the face of history. They are but minute moments where we thought we were getting somewhere, but they are actually completely meaningless. I mean, have a look at the world today, the wars, the conflict, the economic hardship – we have obviously not learnt ANYTHING. We’re still freaking idiots bashing each others heads in, in the name of survival – while we have all the tools to actually live in a world that’s Best for All. All those ‘Great Achievements’ as the only things we tend to remember about our history = it’s just one big joke. They’re completely meaningless. How can you give those events ANY value in the face of what we live today.

If we want to come to a point where we can stop playing out the same old pattern, and actually settle down – we need to consider changes that will actually make an impact on our quality of living here on Earth. We should at the least implement a Basic Income, such as proposed by The Equal Life Foundation as the Basic Income Guaranteed.  This story has gone on for far too long, let’s create our Happy Ending.

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