Historic Lamentations

The fictional tales of The Gentleman from Massachusetts
Circa 2014. Massachusetts.

Friends, I do not recommend an examination of history — not even a casual glance. Because within the historic narrative, lies the needless suffering of a people already past. But if you do peek, it will certainly leave no lasting impression upon you, as history is so oft repeated, it is surely a waste of time.

Why, just look at The Great Depression of yesteryear, a calamity not induced by natural disaster, but by the mismanagement of the nation’s vast resources. So much suffering, yet necessities were plenty, just poorly shared amongst the people.

And not until the introduction and enforcement of a massive and unprecedented realignment of the nation’s riches, did needed recovery come. And so powerful was this redistribution of wealth and influence, that it created the most prosperous generation within this nation’s history.

But those that were born of this prosperity were not those that bled for it, so it was not precious — it was simply how life had always been. And with fading vigilance, came fading fortune, and the good-times became a quaint blip in the historic narrative.

Of course, we could simply study the historic record and the well-documented repercussions of particular conditions and their proven solutions — but by no means should we do this, friends. No, let us instead fall prey to the propaganda of parasites that feed as we fall upon our self-destructive path.

Dirty Hands

The more a civilization relies on advanced technology to sustain itself, the more its foundation is built on what it does not understand. If something breaks, the civilization may crash, and primitive methods may be insufficient or forgotten.

Therefore, a goal of any civilization should be locally sustainable farming and manufacturing. While advanced technology is a worthy endeavor, it must be a layer on top of society, not its foundation. This, coupled with the human need for fulfilling activity, means humanity should seek direct experience with its surroundings.

In other words, what should the bulk of society be doing with its time? Should people play an active part in their own maintenance, harmonizing with their environment — or should they receive food pellets, becoming sheltered from nature while transported to jobs with outcomes too frivolous to appreciate?

Multitudes languish in roles without meaning, no sense of purpose or fulfillment — so why not seek the authentic life? Hands dirty, shaping their surroundings, communities growing and building what they consume. Or alternatively, continue on the path to isolation, eyes fixed upon screens, consuming an artificial experience created within remote factories.

United We Stand

The fictional tales of The Gentleman from Massachusetts
Circa 2014. Massachusetts.

We must therefore strip away our perceived differences, those definitions that divide and conquer, leaving society susceptible to exploitation by predators. We must come to realize our common core of existence, the struggle in which we all partake.

And to become a people united, we must focus on that which binds us: our desire to participate in this grand society through gratifying activity, our desire for fair treatment, our desire for protection from life’s brutalities, and our desire to contribute by way of a meaningful education. And if we are to have these things ourselves, we must wish them for all.

Society is an orchestra in which each musician plays his part — if each is not at his best, the symphony falls flat. At the close of our performance, how can we expect praise with so many out of tune, how shall we be judged amongst the squeaks and squeals of discordance? Is it not our duty to our fellow players to ensure their success, as it ensures our own?

So if we are to succeed, we must resolve to establish unity, dismantling those ideas that separate us — as a house divided against itself cannot stand. Confusion has ruled because we are a people without purpose, individuals susceptible to being picked apart by life’s cruelties. But life need not be so cold — united under the purpose of well-being for all, we find strength and fulfillment, not only as individuals but as a people.

Common Cause

The fictional tales of The Gentleman from Massachusetts
Circa 2014. Massachusetts.

To bring about general prosperity within a society, its people require solidarity — they need to feel as one, cooperative, giving, self-sacrificing — and when they do, the government reflects the will of its people. A people cannot be forced by law to embrace one another, it must come from an underlying sense of unity.

And unity is merely an idea, a feeling brought about by a particular narrative within the mind. We know this because allies and enemies shift over time — foes oftentimes become friends. So what must be overcome, is the idea that particular groups of people are fundamentally different than one’s own group — or the idea that distinct groups exist at all.

Solidarity is what remains after bursting these constructed bubbles of differences. Throughout history or even at the schoolyard, we can see unions formed through shared hardship, a common cause, a mutual enemy, or exhaustive conflict. From these bubble-busting events, a collaborative story is written within the minds of participants, creating fellowship.

But what additional adversity do we need, what goal, what foe or never-ending fight, than that which we call life itself? We as a people already share the fundamental struggle of existence. Without sustenance, we all perish — without justice, we all seethe — without fulfillment, we all grow weary — without cooperation, we all crumble. It is therefore within our interwoven search for satisfaction, that we may find our unity and ultimately our prosperity.

Underlying Solidarity

It simply doesn’t matter what form a government takes or what policies it enacts, the deciding factor of general prosperity is whether there exists a cooperative atmosphere within the nation. If the whole of its people do not get along, legislation cannot force them.

We can see within the historic narrative, how forced laws of integration never brought true equality. And to examine periods of prosperity, we can see what preceded them: intense struggle — so much so, that solidarity was formed naturally. We can also observe that legislated reforms are fought against and stripped away by opponents at the first opportunity.

So no, the general prosperity of a nation cannot be achieved through a political fight. It is, and always will be, the underlying ideas inhabiting the minds of the people that unite them. If they feel as one, then they shall be one, and no law will make it otherwise.

So the political game is a red-herring, a manifestation of the disjointed minds within the nation — it is not the cause but a result. Only when people’s thoughts coalesce in a spirit of cooperation and self-sacrifice will a nation flourish.

Logical Policies

The fictional tales of The Gentleman from Massachusetts
Circa 2014. Massachusetts.

If we simply look at what policies were in place during particular periods of history, we can know which path to take if we want to emulate those particular conditions. For instance, during the 50s and 60s, the Golden Era of American life, we can observe high-quality public education, strong unions, extensive economic regulations, income equality supported through severe taxation of high-income wages and wealth, affordable healthcare, and livable retirement benefits.

If we want to bring about such prosperity for our own generation, we would therefore support those that would enact similar policies. We would subsequently not support those who want an unregulated free-market with minimal worker protections, weakened unions, the defunding of public education, the privatization of retirement benefits, for-profit healthcare, and low taxes on high-income wages and wealth.

From the periods preceding the 50s and 60s, we can observe the cruelty and unfairness that caused such protective and equalizing policies to be sought in the first place. One must wonder if those against the policies of the 50s and 60s are either woefully, or willfully, ignorant of the past. Theirs is not simply a differing opinion of how to govern a nation, where one path is just as valid as another — we can see quite clearly the distinction of outcomes within the historic narrative.

And to be clear, this is not a battle against particular people, it never is. Throughout history, alliances shift with time, enemies become allies who become enemies who become allies. This is a battle of ideas. In one corner, a self-serving and self-defeating race to the bottom, as the nation’s institutions and infrastructure crumble — and in the other corner, a cooperative to reestablish an age of general prosperity and decency, based on proven policies of the past.

National Fever

An excerpt from the fictional tales of Alien on Earth
Circa 2014. North America.

There is a particular disease that afflicts every powerful nation at some point in its existence. When stricken with this illness, a very vocal and persistent faction festers to the point of tearing the nation apart with its ultimately self-defeating ideals. The symptoms are as follows:

Hyper-patriotism, including the denouncement as unpatriotic, those not fully supporting their cause. Also, the draping of everything in flags and patriotic paraphernalia.

Widespread use of propaganda, noted by its blatant and unrelenting mis-characterization of opposition, and the single-minded messages that ripple through followers as if a single voice.

Brutishness, heavy-handed political tactics and power grabs, including bullying, intimidation, and abusive name-calling. This also includes picking on the weakest members of society to blame for societal woes.

Manic enthusiasm for the cause, even people previously reasonable, no longer are. Logic and evidence are not considered, their opinions become unwavering.

Self-defeating ideals, that if carried to fruition, are essentially self-destructive.

Sabotage of infrastructure: those safeguards and institutions that provide a decent life for the whole of a nation are stripped away, while resources are diverted to those supporting the cause.

Excessive militarism: this includes the use of an expeditionary force for foreign invasion, the militarization of domestic law enforcement, and the use of domestic mass surveillance for suppression.

War becomes eternal, enemies are everywhere — the resulting fear brings compliance, the sacrifice of liberties, and the need for preemptive attack.