Some problems seem intractable, and might continue to be until values and beliefs that once were productive and healthy are no longer held by 80%-95% of our culture.
I was recently asking about “what happens if/when robots can do 90% of the work human beings do, leaving 90% of people permanently unemployed…but the amount of actual wealth the same or higher?” I suspect that the answer cannot be agreed upon while people born under the old paradigm (“work to eat!”) are still alive. There are other instances where the answer doesn’t exist within the mental set that created the situation/problem. Some examples:
- Race relations won’t (mostly) rationalize until those born before 1970 are dead.
- Gays won’t gain full(ish) social equality until those born prior to about 2000 are dead.
- Real gender equality won’t happen (to the degree it can) until those born before about 1965 are dead.
- Environmental concerns will not really be addressed until those who grew up in the “be fruitful and multiply” or “renewable energy cannot support our civilization” era are dead
And so forth. Note that I didn’t say: “white people are dead”, “straights are dead” or “men are dead”, or whatever. The problem rarely exists on one side of the equation. The biggest problem, as well as the greatest solution, is always the person in the mirror. This never denies the fact of ubiquity of self-centered, solipsistic sleeping children masquerading as adults. But the more you focus on the problem “out there” the more likely you are to be missing what’s in your own heart…and that is what will destroy your dreams.
We’re always exactly smart enough to deceive ourselves. If there isn’t enough opportunity, as a group, that’s the responsibility is largely with those who have oppressed, usually with a wink and a “who, me?”
But if YOU as an individual aren’t living your life to its limits, and ANYONE who started where you started did better, your question needs to be: why not you? If the bottom 30% of your field is out of work, why are you one of them? If 30% of people will never find love, why are you one of them? If 70% of people cannot control their weight, why are YOU one of them? If 80% of people cannot save money, why are YOU one of them?
Either you take responsibility for your life, or your life gets away from you.
Yes: Group action against bigotry and blindness and selfishness and hatred and fear.
Yes. Individual responsibility as well. ANYONE who focuses, models, works constantly and deals with their fear can get into the top 20% of their field/group. That needs to be your goal, if you want to enjoy your passage through life.
Then…sit by the bank of the river and watch the corpses of your enemies float by. Yes, you’ll see your friends floating too. We’re all dying, a little bit every day. And all is well.