Thursday, October 25, 2007

Survival of the Fittest Herd

Gary posts an article on AWOL Civilization titled 'Survival of the "Fittest"'.

Here are a couple of excerpts:
[...]There is a conflict between survival and achievement, and we must choose how much of each is desirable. Either extreme can become unbearable. The same choice also faces the individual. If one drives obsessively toward a certain achievement, it could jeopardize one’s chances for survival. If, on the other hand, one is obsessed with survival at any cost, life can become tepid and meaningless.

Today, the pendulum has swung heavily to the side of survival. This is evident in the ever-expanding health craze, and in a general focus on one’s own well-being. Survival is a new idol, expressed in a fanatical drive to eliminate risk. While the individual is being relieved of responsibility and indeed of significance, “society” is expected to implement and enforce risk reduction in everything from bathtubs to ice cream cones. One by one, commonplace activities considered dangerous are regulated out of existence.[...]

We invent threats at an ever-increasing rate. If it’s not second-hand smoke, then it’s an exaggeration of the dangers in routine human action. We go from the ridiculous to the harebrained: At the Starbucks chain of cafés, drinking-straws are wrapped in paper that says, “Not recommended for use in hot beverages.” Children are not allowed to engage in vigorous exercise on school playgrounds, over fear of injury.[...]

Under the regime of survivalism, what is the purpose of “evolving” to a more advanced stage? Are we to become ever more obedient, passive, and helpless? More protected than a flock of sheep in an enclosed meadow?[...]

No comments: