Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Art imitates life imitates art...

We're living in one of those wrenching moments in history when the old order is dying of its own moral disease, and the new one hasn't become manifest yet.  (Likewise, the old gods are dead and the new one[s] have not appeared yet.)

This is certain: the Enlightenment is over.  The old model of doing science without con-science, and increasing our technical capability with no reference to moral responsibility, is finished. So is the notion that for one to succeed, another must fail.

Now two paths are opening up to us.  Either a modern dark ages where superstition and ignorance are honored (see the platforms of both US political parties).  Or we will move on to a more enlighten notion of business and technology - where we pay as much attention to the social and moral consequences on the user end of the fulcrum, as to the ingenuity of engineering at the input side of the fulcrum.  (It's all about leverage: technical and financial.)

Long ago, the author of Deuteronomy described such a time as ours: I set before you the path of life and (true) prosperity, or death and destruction. I beseech you to pursue the former that you and your offspring may live.

To that end, I came across a story today in truthout.org about the ferocity that Quebec has brought down own its own students who rebelled against tuition hikes: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/11040-the-quebec-student-protest-movement-and-the-power-of-the-radical-imagination. The Quebec govt has opened a can of worms it will never be able to close again.

Turning a deaf ear to the students, and then beating them down, is the same mistake the US government made 45 years ago when men of my generation first got called up to serve in Vietnam.  In the first years ('64-65) we were willing to go - as our fathers had in WWII - but wanted to know why before we went.  Johnson, then Nixon, both said "Shut up and fall in line."

When our govt refused to answer that most basic question, young people then began to raise a whole lot of other questions in the late 1960s which are still in front of us: regarding the environment (the first Earth Day), women's rights (Roe v Wade), ethics in govt (Watergate).

Either before or after reading that essay in truthout.org, compare it with this video from the musical Les Miz on YouTube. www.youtube.com/watch?v=IddP8AAIGTQ.  Art imitating life imitating art...

No comments:

Post a Comment