I am going to whistle past the graveyard of the current socio-cultural and political circular firing squads currently gunning down innocent civilians on city streets all around the world, at least for a few paragraphs, and plow ahead by 1st attending to some unfinished business from Part I. The Mosaic narrative, in my opinion, exemplifies this notion of how terribly poorly things can go when you join a collective only to ultimately be consumed by it. Attempting to list every instance of where this is true would be an exercise in futility, especially because, like a cancer metastasizing and spreading into multiple systems simultaneously, the effort would result in a game of whack-a-mole impossible to win.

Readers that have been with me for a while are aware that I have a separate Substack page, “Essential American Wisdom,” that focuses on American governance in the context of Human History, and this material has nothing to do with my Hermit life (or the batshit crazy world I am forced to contend with when I’m trying to tend to my own personal affairs and otherwise be left the fuck alone to live in peace). Admittedly walking a tightrope between these two areas of personal interest, it’s unavoidable that there will be some overlap in this series of essays because finding meaning and purpose in our individual lives is made more difficult (and more susceptible to unwanted outside influences) by the pressures put upon us from so many (often times competing) collectives, demanding pieces of our own self-interests in order to further their cause(s) even if we don’t agree with, or share, their value or belief systems.

It is breathtaking to see how far the human race has drifted away from the early days of collectivism. As I have said, there is value in this social construct, but the initial well-intentioned promise of better lives for each member of the group, working together toward a shared goal or interest, taking care of each other, watching out for each other, and tending to the needs of each other, has been weaponized and turned against anyone who doesn’t join and enslaved themselves to the demands of the leadership. Not only is this anathema to Human Nature, but it is entirely at odds with our Primal imperatives and completely undermines our Individual Free Will, running in the background, that influences everything we say and do. The human race cannot long survive in a world that demands the Individual surrender itself, in its entirety, to the collective.

With the problem statement established, and because this is an essay, not a bitchfest blog post, let’s transition into what we can glean from human history and what we know about how our species is wired as it relates to what the hell we are going to do next? We know that we cannot survive long without human interaction, and we know, too, that we can’t survive if we don’t commit ourselves to at least some amount of turning inward to pause, reflect, collect ourselves, and regroup in our own solitude and self-isolation. Where do we go next?

We know from history that, either by conquest or self-inflicted internal social collapse (almost universally due to the excesses of the vain and self-indulgent class(es) in charge), it has always been those of the lowest station that is tasked with cleaning up the mess and standing up new leadership classes. This is likewise a paradox of the Homo sapien; surrender self-determination to another and be punished for it by those you surrendered it to. Honestly, it would be comical and entertaining if it wasn’t so eternally fatal.

History is also rife with explanations for how Dynasties and Empires rise and fall, and much study and analysis has been conducted in an effort to understand why. What often gets lost in the mist are the stories of what effect these things have on the ‘lowly’ individual lives at the bottom of the societal food chain as the smoke begins to clear and the survivors dig themselves out of the rubble to assess the damage. There isn’t much coverage about the “little” things… The depth of their pain and suffering, their agony and torment as they dig their mass graves. And not much is said about their lost children or being forced to eat sick or injured livestock or family pets just to avoid their own death. And don’t even get me started about what little any of us ever hear about the filth and squalor and non-existence of basic bathing and toiletries supplies or fundamental personal hygiene materials.

Personal devastation and loss, for an individual suffering through horrific unimaginable circumstances, drowning in sadness and despair, just isn’t sexy enough to make the history books despite the sad reality that real human beings all around the world, each and every day, have been made to endure these things throughout the history of humankind for over 300,000 years wherever a handful of people are in control over every aspect of the lives of their masses. What does this tell us about the level of value placed on the individual as determined by the collective? Okay… That was clearly a rhetorical question.

Nearing my self-imposed 1,000-word watermark, I’d like to paint a picture for readers to visualize while I put together Part III of this series; imagine a world in which the most used word in language and conversation is NO.

There has been a great deal of talk in recent years about civil wars, outlawing political parties, censoring speech, de-banking the non-compliant, and so on ad nauseam. For one thing, there’s nothing civil about an armed conflict between human brothers and sisters but, more to the point, these are the words of people already in control but feeling pretty damn insecure about the strength of their grip on that power. And since no collective can exist where individuals refuse to be compelled to join, it’s not hard to picture a world that would be far better wherever the individual puts his or her foot down and refuses to be made to deny their Primal imperatives and surrender their rights to self-determination. I’ll get pushback on the feasibility of such a proposition as a practical matter, given the state of things in our current “real world,” but given that collectives were created by individuals, it must also be true that individuals can change what is allowed to be done by collectives. Just sayin’

More soon.


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