Wandering Through Time and Space

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When looking at revolutions, it’s important to remember that they often take centuries to work themselves out. 

European countries are still working out what it means to be democratic, the United States is still developing and defining itself as a nation.  Russia is still sorting itself out from the Tsarist world, and the Chinese may be seeing one of the shortest lived dynsasties they’ve ever had.  African countries are still working out their geographical borders and ethnic relations post colonialism (with all of the pre-colonialism and inter-colonialism baggage that was to be had).

My point is, is that for some odd reason, it takes a very very very very very long time for things to work themselves out in the grand scheme of things, especially in politics and government, even though changes can happen in an instant.

Take England, for example: Parlaiment is about eight hundred years old, and it is only recently that all of the UK citizens were enabled to vote for their respective MPs.  It took a civil war some four hundred years after the founding of Parliament to settle the question about whether the monarch and the nobles should rule or whether the House of Commons should rule.  Likewise, the split second decision of King John I to come out and appeal to the rebelling peasants under Wat Tyler, after Tyler was killed by the Mayor of London led to the continuation of the monarchy’s station  and the nobles’ positions in England, rather than their elimination at the hands of the peasant mob.

New ideas have sprung up over time in various parts of the world and have led to cataclysmic, but also highly generative periods of time.  The concept that the religious authorities aren’t always right was a boom in Western history, both to the authority, legitimacy and station of the Catholic Church and to the explosion of new religious concepts embodied in the various Protestant faiths, in addition to the Scientific Revolution.  While the concepts of secularism and a-authoritative religiousness flourished in the West, it took on a completely different theme in the nearby Muslim countries, who continue to this day to hold their religion and their religious authorities close to heart.   It will be interesting to see where this generation of Muslims take the faith, and their religious authorities, in the coming years and decades that are ahead, especially in light of the resurgance of political Islam to its more natural place in these societies against the backdrop of the Arab Springs, which challenged the Westernized, secular leaders for the past fifty-sixty years.

Societies are rumbling these days, that’s for sure.

Partially it seems to be caused by the barbarity, ineffectiveness and callous senselessness of the existing political elites; partially because the traditional role of business and banks in the political processes are coming under fire after the 2007-2009 Financial Crisis.  Partially it’s because of the poverty that’s been visited upon the masses through the Financial Crisis, partially it’s probably also due to the changes in our environment that we’re making.

Nothing ever really stays the same, except for the internalities of human societies and cultures.  America will probably always be an enterprising jerk of a country, even if it does have the most potential for changes to be made within it.  Russia will always be a cagey and complicated muddle of authoritarianism and backdoor political arrangements.  England will still remain tormented, shat upon and bullied by those on top of their social systems, India will be a convuluted mixture of different peoples who work in different directions and China will continue as a homogenously collective and highly interwoven society that does cool stuff.  Japan?  Highly regimented and disciplined, just like their old samurai heroes. 

These are broad generalizations that are intended to capture the big picture of the respective country/territory/group of people that is being discussed.  Exceptions to these rules abound, much like the individual colors of hair vary tremendously, in actuality.  These are just the “hair colors” of the countries and their people, based on what I am aware of and how I’m perceiving them.  They could be different in actuality or I could be looking at them with too much of my own tinting.

But the take away point is that these hair colors don’t necessarily change over night, even after experiencing highly dramatic and tumultous revolutions.  The dye of revolution is weak, and most societies, at the end of the day, go with something that’s more natural to their sense of things than something completely different and wild.

What does this have to do with anything about me?

Well, I enjoy thinking and learning about these things, for starters.

Secondly, it’s part of my larger theme that what I’m proposing isn’t really all that radical or different or inorganic to what is already found in American society and in many aspects of human nature.  The ideas that I have, if implemented, may have radical effects on the world, that’s true.

But what they really are are small differences in the ways that we think, feel, operate with and manage our affairs as an individual and collective species.

Yet that seems like such a great stretch for so many people, even though it’s only two steps forward without the one step back.

All for survival and well being.

And nothing else.

Think about it.

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