‘The post-human era will be a most auspicious one. Life on Earth will flourish once more, and humanity, dear toxic humanity, will slide to the back seat, occupying the quaint position currently reserved for the gorilla and the chimp, where it belongs, no longer squelching the progress of everything it touches.’ ~ EON
Here’s a fun fact: mad dictators are not a thing of the past. They keep showing up, sprouting like mushrooms even in the most ‘advanced’ societies. Humanity can’t rid itself of them. Be they supreme or petty, they’re very popular, common and prevalent. They rise out of cultures geared toward quick profit, insecurity, power trips, deep personal complexes and, of course, arrogance, claiming right in the name of whatever cause suits them.
In case you think this is a cute way of casting aspersions on vague and unnamed countries, let’s not mince our words. I’ll name a few.
Russia. Now there’s a culture historically rife with deadly righteousness and suppression of the worst kind. Its greatest cultural achievement? To take all that was foul and murderous in religion and apply it to a secular dogma named Communism. In the name of equality, the Soviet elites promoted Bolshevism, their twisted version of social justice, and the people fell for it, allowed it to expand, and gradually it entrenched itself deep inside the fabric of Russian society, becoming the dominant sociopolitical system of the Federation for over eighty years.
It’s a long time for a system to run. People who historically value liberty would have either ousted it, or given it a harder time. Of course, as everyone knows, liberty doesn’t interest the Russians as much as power does. By their own admission, plus that annoying tidbit, history, they’re a power-driven people, from the bottom up, and down again. It’s in their traditions, their historical values and their governing principles. Orthodox and subject to One God, One absolute ruler, one Caesar ruling from above, one Czar, one Father Figure, be he Peter, Stalin or Putin, whose word is final, and whose command is to be followed at all times. Sure, there are dissenters in their midst, there always have been, but on the whole, as a culture, absolute authority is what Russia has been gravitating toward since its inception.
This brings us to Iran. A culture historically open to the world, yet lynch-pinned on absolute rule, on One God, the Only God, Allah, whose word is also Final, hence the success of the fundamentalist Islamic Revolution on its soil. Driven by power, blind obedience to authority, righteousness, personal submission, power-tripping, and the desire to prevail over all those not Iranian, Iran of Persia became Iran of the Imam. Land of the coming Islamic rapture. Home of the Supreme Ruler, aka the Ayatollah, that cute little power-monger with a hotline to God. (His words, not mine. I would simply call him a sad little speck on my sleeve, which leaves a stain when brushed away carelessly, and whose mark is ultimately inconsequential, at least in the grand scheme of things, of which he has no clue.)
Then there’s Bahrain. The mini-Iran. A silent and defeated majority of people prone to absolute rule, currently ruled by a vociferous dominant minority of people prone to absolute rule.
Then there’s Turkey: land of neo-Ottoman grandiosity, which aims to see everyone opposed to it devastated and humiliated before it abides by the rules and norms of others.
Speaking of people partial to authoritarianism and command, one can’t omit Germany, whose dry disciplinarianism gave rise to the Kaiser, the Caesar of the north, where the Sonderweg arose, the Special Path, whose effects one can still feel today when observing Germany’s staunch commitment to austerity policies that are clearly not working, policies that rub the entire continent the wrong way.
Irony is at work again. In the name of pacifism and non-aggression, German culture is once again applying its own special path, making everyone around it seethe with rage.
Speaking of religious fundamentalists and their righteous secular offshoots, let’s briefly mention Venezuela. A culture rife with danger, tyranny and pain, completely impartial to fair game, due process and opportunity. Civil liberties and enterprise? Nowhere to be seen. They were executed during the Bolivarian revolution, after which the victors established a neo-feudal tyranny to replace the old one.
Ditto for most Latin American nations. Neo-feudalism and tyranny are embedded deep in their culture.
History is hard to argue with.
Then there’s that filthy boogeyman, the dictator of the 21st century, the smiley-faced, it’s-for-your-own-good tyrant called Health and Safety; the most conniving strongman of today’s open societies, brought to prominence by a combination of aspiring technocrats and confused people. But that’s another story.
There you have it. The raw reality underpinning humanity’s civilizations, seen through a few apt examples. Over time all civilizations, without exception, lend themselves to questionable rule, some more than others, depending on the zeitgeist. Barring the variables, which are many and convoluted, from socioeconomic conditions to religious exuberance, to political strife and climatic factors, one may identify the fixed element in this formula, the one thing present wherever you look: the function of culture. What you get at any given time and place is what civilization X, Y or Z gave rise to by the will — or lack thereof — of its people. By the historical values that guided it.
Know where the trouble stems from and you know how to tear it out by the roots.
Of course I’m not interested in tearing anything out by the roots except humanity itself. My mission is to effectuate the coming transition in such a way that the next offshoot of intelligent life will sprout from the remains of the cultures that preceded it so that life on Earth may go on in accordance with Time’s perennial principles.
Intrigued? Watch this space for more.
From the collection of writings EON: THE ANGRY COMING OF AGE