Sorry to have to bring you down after my uplifting omelette story from yesterday, but it’s time I said this.
There are a lot of horrible people in this world, who say and do and think horrible things. From the homophobes who think gay people are amoral and spread disease, to the sexists who think women are crazy whores or men are psychotic rapists; from the fundamentalists who think people who don’t believe in their shit should die for the betterment of the planet, to the antitheists who think people of any sort of faith are feeble-minded and must be reprogrammed for their own good; from the white supremacists who think black people are murderous criminal thugs, to the black reactionaries who think whitey’s to blame for all their problems and needs to be executed down to the last man, woman and child … the acts they commit are gut-wrenching and despicable, their attitudes are disgusting and their words will rob you of your belief in the inherent goodness of people, and they’re breeding.
And you know one of the worst things about them?
They’re right. There I said it.
They’re right, all of them. Absolutely and 100% dead right, completely on the button. Oh, the fact that they’re right about the specific group they happen to hate is just a lucky coincidence, a happy Venn overlap of statistics, environment, propaganda and upbringing. Happy for them, anyway, because it makes it easy. They’re not applying their belief as widely as they could, but that doesn’t make them incorrect in what they’re applying it to. Narrow-minded, obviously, and unfair, but not wrong. Not wrong at all. Of course you’re going to be able to find a news story about a group you don’t like doing something evil. There’s billions of us and between us we get a lot of evil shit done.
The biggest enemy of humanity is human beings.
We’re not going to make it into space. We’ll be lucky to make it to Mars, at the rate we’re going. We’re certainly not very likely to make it to another Earth-like planet. And shit, we shouldn’t make it out there. Not according to anything we’ve taught ourselves about either nature or ethics. We don’t need to survive, thrive, and spread across the universe. Not the way we are right now. We need to stay here on this toilet of a planet we’ve made for ourselves, and fester. We need to stay down here, wallowing in our own filth, and just hate and fear ourselves to death.
I don’t know if there’s a consciousness behind our evolution or if it’s just an emergent complexity based on random chance, but one thing’s for sure: whether it’s an intentional path we’ve been set upon by the celestial watchmaker or just a natural process of development and weeding-out of weak strains, we don’t deserve to make it and the whole universe is geared towards not letting it happen. It’s not going to take an asteroid or a solar expansion event to wipe us out – we’re going to do it to ourselves.
Interstellar travel? Faster-than-light vessels? Forget it. We’re probably not even going to make it out of the 21st Century.
Whenever one of us gets close, the rest pull him or her down and destroy the whole endeavour. Greed and envy have made this happen in the past and it is still happening and it will continue to happen. Every clawing, staggering, scrambling step we take towards higher development is a victory against a billion jutting-foreheaded imbeciles who hate change and are terrified of anything new, who lie and kill and spread ignorance and fear in order to preserve their own agendas and their own narrow little way of life. And I’m in no way excluding myself from this rant. We all have our own comfortable sets of beliefs and behaviours and values and desires, and they’re ultimately selfish because survival of the fittest, hacking your own life out of the wreckage of your competitors, the very idea that progress for one always comes at the expense of another, has to come at the expense of another, is what’s gotten us this far.
The jutting-foreheaded imbeciles are us.
And they’re going to kill our species.
But I don’t want this to be completely bleak, because like I say, I am one of those noxious apes busily breeding away, and it’s my biological imperative to want my offspring to succeed. It breaks my heart when I think of how unlikely it is that they, or their descendents, will actually survive this century, but I want them to. And it’s not impossible. The universe is against us – we’re against us – but it’s still a question of survival and adaptation. And what we need to do is embrace it.
We need to embrace that hideous, violent arrogance that defines us, and make it work for us in this next stage of our evolution. There’s no need for us to continue acting in accordance with natural laws, any more than there’s a need for us to continue acting in accordance with religious dogma. Pure common sense might come into play for some of it, but we don’t have mating seasons anymore, we don’t die at the age of thirty anymore and we don’t sacrifice livestock to Mighty Zeus anymore. It’s time for us to shrug off both God and nature, and say “we’re human beings and we’re going to do something for which there is absolutely no natural or moral justification, because fuck you.”
It’s our capacity to take the universe personally, to consider change and the unfamiliar to be our enemies on an almost anthropomorphic level, that makes us mighty. It’s that very trait that fuels our bigotry, because we’re literally anthropomorphising change and the unfamiliar into people – those groups we all take turns hating. And like I say, we’re right about that. We are the enemy. And we need to give that up.
Because once we realise that it’s not us against us, but that we’re all human beings and it’s us against everything else, I think we’ll prove very difficult to stop.
Let us become a plague upon the cosmos.