We all attempt to live our lives based around some framework of principles. These maybe logical, socially acceptable, positive, or equally outrageously unlikely, disagreeable, negative, divisive. An individual can built their foundation upon any ground they choose whether good solid rock or the most inadvisable quicksand. The best principles are inclined to be vague, elusive, transitory, able to change and adapt through circumstance, degree of necessity, urgency, or simple convenience. However some truths once set form a framework where the slightest adjustment is wholly intolerable, rigid codifications that once bent are inclined even obliged to collapse into anarchy or nothingness.
Both the adaptable and the fixed are capable of steering successful civilizations, societies, political and financial systems. Forms positive or negative have more to so with the ethereal than the tangible, more concerned with nicety than viability, pleasantry than practicability. Perceptions of the success of failure of a monolith are purely momentary, based upon the emotions of a fixed time frame, the present, rather than studious referencing of actual cause and effect. The question of popular consensus is purely arbitrary, a best guess based on historical data which never accurately reflects circumstance. Was stone age humanity happier that Elizabethan, less concerned than dark age peoples, more satisfied than the Victorian?
The only consistent trends to be noticed in homo sapiens ascendency are the desires for physical comfort and a reduction in drudgery. These aspirations suggest a continuing transference from physicality to the intellectual, or at minimum an acceptance of adaption and inventiveness replacing muscular and neural growth, the original genetic assets that seem to have largely and very succinctly achieved capacity. Perhaps in this modification, a seeming far less impressive form of evolution, lies the basis of humanities ascension to prime predator, a role we are theoretically unsuited too.
I am reminded of the opening of ‘2001 A Space Odyssey’ when to the thunderous notes of Also Sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss a base primate commits the first murder with the aid of a handy thigh bone.