How to live in a society already stagnant, nihilistic, purposively-dysfunctional, demotivated; and apparently doomed to mega-collapse?
This is a burning question!
Some advocate that modern life should be a case of "Do not go gentle into that good night; rage, rage against the dying of the light" - in other words, we are obliged to expound (presumably in the mass media - so that as many people as possible should get to hear about it) loud defiance of inexorable material, social and psychological collapse.
Despite that this activity is believed to be futile - but which we supposedly ought to do anyway, just in case our best calculations are off and our warnings may be heeded?
Or should it be a case of being as unworldly as possible - while yet doing one's loving duty to some others, whom life has put in our orbit (in full awareness that this strategy almost certainly cannot succeed in its own objectives except on a small scale and temporarily, in the face of inexorable overall societal material collapse)?
Should Life be a case of living for the here-and-now, doing whatever duty is placed in front of us (and damn the probabilistic consequences) - of short-termism. Or should it be the opposite: always do the right thing as if we had forever to do it? Absolute and uncompromising long-termism?
(Something could be said for each.)
Should we focus on the past (as a time when people were certainly smarter, more creative and also more virtuous). Or should we focus on recognizing and encouraging the best on offer around us? (Something could be said for each.)
Or maybe made-do-and-mend and simply hope for the best? But no: Man absolutely needs purpose or else he will despair.
The 'trick' is to be realistically pessimistic about what will happen; and hopeful at the same time: to be pessimistic about the probabilities, yet never to despair (because there is much we do not know or wrongly assume we know, and new things may come from unexpected places)?
That is the way we would like to become. But what do we actually do?
The answer is not easy - is not meant to be easy - and there is no one answer. So there is not much scope for criticizing the specific strategies of other people - so long as they are both realistically pessimistic about probabilities and at the same time hope-full.
From this large strategic field Our Lives must be sub-created - each life by each person using his own actual abilities and from the materials actually available; and in light of what each person discerns is the best course.
Also, we must - we simply must - have faith that the materials for this decision, and the wherewithal to judge our environment and discern our path - are indeed at-hand, available, find-able. That there is a path, the path is for us, and we can get onto that path.
A Christian knows that Our Loving Father and Creator would not leave us without sufficient guidance and sufficient strength to find a good-enough path - our path: if only we choose to turn and walk with hope in the right general direction.
This has always been the case; and the impending collapse of Mouse Utopia does not fundamentally affect it; any more than living-through the utter catastrophe of the Black Death - when half the population of England was killed by Plague over a few decades in the late 1300s - affected the fundamental paths and performances of those great, humane Christian poets Chaucer, Langland, and the author of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
Data on the Black Death:
Mouse Utopia is following on from: