It is not a lack of ideas and issues, but vision and priorities that is hindering Western culture and politics. As societies’ become increasingly complex, connecting all of the dots and developing a comprehensive world view is nearly impossible, however, priorities can and should guide the way.
Ideas: Not all ideas are good ideas. The dust bin of history is filled with some really bad ones, which may have appeared good at the time but ultimately led to suffering and destruction. Progress, a term used to sell the populous and idea, just as easily and with regularity leads to something negative.
Vision: Today there is vision vacuum in our political and philosophical spheres. It is a hodgepodge of competing ideas put forth by special interest groups. These are being thoughtlessly slapped together. Like the built American landscape that has suffered from poor design for nearly a century, it is a landscape of decadence and decay.
Priorities: The things that are collectively prioritized ultimately are accomplished. Once a set of priorities is set, all other actions fall in line to support them. Humans’, a cooperative species, excel at working toward common goals.
While divisiveness and distraction may be the top news of the day, in reality most people want similar things. When you peel back the onion people want to feel a part of a community, have a meaningful vocation, health, liberty combined with responsibility, economic security, and a supportive family, social and spiritual life. Yet, these have failed to be priorities; instead we have become something akin to indentured servants to a failing debt-based economic system, based on consumption and credit, and sickened by faulty social ideologies too often that appear engineered. These have stripped us of purpose, well being, and turned us against one another.
It is really not that hard for a civilization to set a list of priorities, but as long as each of us remains susceptible to dazzling rhetoric, misinformation, and public relations (propaganda) schemes we will remain weak and divided. Tomorrow we could all decide that family and raising happy, healthy children is a top priority and let that guide us. In this case we already have plenty of data and social science to guide the way. We could make physical and mental health a top priority. These things would change how we design our neighborhoods, produce our food, availability to recreation and our work lives. Our culture has become infected with a value system disease. If culture does not support health, happiness, and achievement what good is it? Ours has become corrupted and is in its final decadent stage.
How did a civilization founded on the high intellectual achievements of the Enlightenment and Protestant values become so disfigured? To answer this it is hard to shy away from the realm of conspiracy theory. We have seen great technological advancements, and truly intelligent people in leadership positions, if these were organized and applied to a virtuous society it would already exist. The fact that we seem moving further away from enlightenment and into darkness, suggests something nefarious.
The people, the masses have a lot more power than they realize. If they could put aside from measly, rather idiotic ideas that divide them, great things can be accomplished… it’s not too late.