[personal profile] wingedbeast
Part of the motivation for the previous tip is what may very well be what spells the doom for this pre-apocalyptic world. There is that desire for apocalypse, the desire for things to be burnt down so that we, as a civilization, can start over, of course. But, there's also that desire to exclude, to purify civilization so that it's only "us", "the right people".

All of this is vexing, not only because of the danger, because of how it gets debunked time and again. Each time, someone will repeat the same talking points that have been debunked, only to have them debunked anew each time. Each time, they will have the right to speak, but demand that they be debunked now, as though they've never been debunked before.

Here's where I put forth an important element of my philosophy of civilization, from which this advice stems. Civilization is conversation. That is, civilization is the communication, exploration, and, yes, deconstruction of ideas.

The rest of it, that stuff upon which that we've come to rely, is all side befits. Science is the conversation, technology is we do with that. Philosophy is conversation, law and planning are what we do with that. And, yes, history is conversation, not repeating mistakes is what we do with that.

But, some will deliberately ignore elements of the conversation that have gone on before. Or, more to the point, they'll never hear the counters, never hear the stories, never see the consequences, because they'll be isolated enough to achieve that intellectual inbreeding I warned of in the previous bit of advice.

In the pre-apocalyptic world, we have a saying that "those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." Those who do not fully acknowledge the ideas of the conversation, including the parts where ideas are challenged and found wanting, are doomed to make us all repeat the same conversation over and over again to no effect.

If those seeking the purity I advised you against previously do manage to achieve apocalypse, thus making this advice necessary, it will be because we let people forget the conversation that had already happened. We let them repeat the conversation, over and over again, adding nothing new and exhausting us against the corrections that had come up before. They will repeat their urge to purify, standing behind a justification of the controversial conversations being needed when, indeed, the controversy has come and gone.

It's not controversial to support white nationalism. At this point, that idea has been explored, deconstructed, and the basic premises have been found false. At this point, it's not controversial, it's just plain wrong.

With both this piece of advice and the last one, I'm presenting you with a conundrum that my own civilization hasn't managed to solve. There might not be an easy solution. There might not be a complete solution. But, it is essential that we find a way, either before there's an apocalypse or in your time, lest we end our capacity to converse at all.

Date: 2017-02-17 03:58 am (UTC)
dragoness_e: (Echo Bazaar)
From: [personal profile] dragoness_e
Stories. The conversation that we already had and worked things out, becomes the stories, myths and legends that we use to teach the children and fools what to do and what not to do. Cautionary tales: Jenny Greenteeth lurks in deep pools waiting for wayward children not because there are troll hags that eat tasty children, but because young kids who don't swim so well don't necessarily listen to parental warnings, but they will scare each other away from dangerous places with stories. See Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels for some serious philosophy on the function of stories in society--particularly the Witches and the Tiffany Aching stories.

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