Friday 10 May 2024

A world of tactics without strategy: Spiritual negation of the nation

Progress? Britain 2020..

And... Britain 2024...

This is no more than a small hunch or "observation" derived from my intuitive-feelings about The West now, especially the UK, especially England. 

There is an extraordinary and surprising vacuity of thought and attention. 

I would have expected that, by now, some-thing or another - something Big - would have been imposed upon us by the government-media-corporate Establishment...

I expected some kind of Big Thing like the Birdemic, MLB-type antiracism, the peck-frenzy or some other healthism, some ginned-up Climate Emergency; or a war-fever. Maybe even something new? 

(Well, no I didn't really expect anything new, because there hasn't been anything culturally new since the 1970s. But some novel spin on the old-things, perhaps?)

But, so-far - as of writing - none. 

Just the usual bunch of little, stale and distinctly half-hearted, pseudo-issues - perhaps mainly a drip-drip manipulation towards "electing" a government in which the puppets are Labour Party Tweedledums, instead of the usual Conservative Tweedledees. Yawn...

But British people have, at root, never been less interested in politics, never less enthusiastic about the positive possibilities of any allowable regime change. 

(The last residue of optimism was crushed by the vacuity - the pseudo-victory that was utter defeat - that is BRINO... Last year saw the highest {admitted} levels of UK mass immigration in history - something like 700K extra people {presumably plus those many deliberately not counted}; an extra 1% in 1 year with similar levels for more or less for 20 years; more people than a city the size of Sheffield - fifth biggest in England.)

Nothing has been learned from 2020, there is zero interest or insight concerning UK's adoption of a front-line and firing-line role in the Fire Nation war - indeed there is neither interest-in nor knowledge-of anything at all important. 

Life now is a vast and settled state of spiritual negation

The past has less and less influence, but the direction and destination future is ignored as far as possible; yet the present is (compared with 50 years ago) hedged-about with pervasive guilt, chronic resentments - potentially-overwhelming fear and despair are only a heart-beat away. 

What applies to England and the UK, applies to Western civilization - and indeed to most of the world. 

Our civilization is bored with itself, and aspires no higher than temporary distraction from a futility that is baked-into its core and deepest assumptions. 

The highest virtues in everyday life are means without ends; such as cheerfulness, niceness, sociability, and a keenness to express "concern" on matters that are encouraged - or at least allowed. Energy is admired - so long it is directed into short-termist goals like sports, pop music, charitable work, travel...  

This is a world of tactics without strategy, survival without meaning; as we see in Western attitudes to the Arrakis war, in which opinions (for what they are worth!) run high on both sides, and "peace" is the mantra; but where there is no remotely realistic long-term "goal" that does not entail annihilation of at least one side, and potentially both.  

The bottom line (when there is one, e.g. in wars) goes no further than mere survival*. Survival for what? - has become the unanswerable, hence unaskable, question. 

*Or since survival is impossible in this mortal, entropic world - what is on-offer is not so much survival as... somewhat prolonged, continued-existence...   

Our culture has defined this life as without ultimate purpose or meaning, and taking place in an accidental universe; and the mass of people now operate on that basis. 

In such a world that cannot be any real strategy; and life devolves to tactics for getting-by... 

Until getting-by is recognized as more trouble than it is worth

The only solution is in our own individual minds; but hidden so deep in our assumptions, that most people regard it as irrelevant to "real life"; or non-existent - mere wishful thinking.

Thus we make our own thought-prisons, lock ourselves inside, hide the key - then forget that it ever existed. 


agraves said...

Consider the Western world as a computer that has had its' hard drive removed and is now gone. All the information stored there is now essentially out of reach and not retrievable. There appears to be nothing to be done short of war, real war. It also looks like the
West is looking for a way out but can't find it. On the one hand destroying itself daily and on the other hand seeking wars worldwide. So all the West can provide is destruction. It will have to be forced to change its' ways.

Bruce Charlton said...

@agraves - Well, nobody can be *forced* to their their ways. It is a choice, and it might go either way.