I am looking for a watchword, a way so describe catchily the aspirations and desires of a nation, a continent, an entire species. ‘Twas a time such a quest was simplicity itself, for a century that location was peace, a most generally desirable state, procuring a degree of ease and comfort for all. Unfortunately peaceability has somehow become less seductive, associated as it is with compromise, openness, politeness, affability. Todays axiom, mantra, truism, would unfortunately be divisiveness, a condition as opposed to cordiality as can be easily imagined.
How did this leap from amicability to disagreeability come about, was it perhaps some unnatural and unexpected twist in the progress towards a seeming certain civility in the human race? A less considerate individual might suggests that the increasing non-aggression was a reaction, a direct result of the failure of the geopolitical alignments within the planet that arose in the twentieth century as a result of the collapse of the Empiric aspirations of the nineteenth century and prior. A number of smaller, but equally powerful constructs suddenly being amalgamated into to huge conglomerates, one based on the power of finance and trade, the other on physical and political equalizing inclinations. As should be expected economic considerations overcame idealism, leaving in place a simple geographic confrontation, approximating, but not exactly shadowing, west versus east. A political, social, religious, division almost as old as recorded history itself. We appear back, excuse the triteness, exactly where we all began.
Mine own inkling, a very vague suspicion, is that our ungainly helping of divisiveness is a direct result of either the utter lack of fear, or alternatively such an overwhelming degree of fear than nothing else can possibly take over control.
War is no longer a genuine threat, so peaceability should be a given. The nuclear arsenals saw an end to measured aggression and balanced responses, any new global war will be the last. Pointless you and I fearing the outcome of such an occurrence, our lack of positive control results in a total negation of concern. You cannot fear what you cannot imagine, and I for one find it impossible to envision what circumstances could be sufficiently dire to excuse reducing our world to a nuclear wasteland. I have moved beyond the fear of nuclear confrontation, am decidedly immunized against its causes and dénouement.
The fear lost is that of being the singular amongst the multitude, the voice of reason or more often obsession railing against the majority. Independents considering themselves above the scope of political, or civil will, a quality historically vital against autocracy, but within the framework of democracy subversive, grit in the smooth operating joints of government. A suitable case for the big stick solution, but of such an approach would fall foul of civil liberty legislation, necessary once, but now perhaps but lead in the boots of procedure.
History, like our globe itself, is cyclic, a constantly rotating list of errors, fixes, indulgencies, and severities. The main secret seems to be don’t do anything cataclysmically destructive.