Sometimes the causes that mean well do the most damage. They do so by misleading people. (Better ask the right questions and aim for the right things, and everything else follows suit.)
Peace on earth, as it stands, is a meaningless statement, a noble-sounding, hollow jingle that can’t be applied because it goes against nature, not just human, but all nature, all paradigms of life on earth.
A functional symbiosis with the environment is a more interesting statement. It points to a real issue. Address it practically and pragmatically and ‘peace on earth’ falls in place, by default — to a certain extent — as do many things, like the curtailing of exploitation, excess, superstition, and armed conflict.
As for equality, the day we’re rendered equal is the day we stop evolving and become an evolutionary cul-de-sac like — just an example — the Bonobos: cuddly, friendly, admirably peaceful, but apes nonetheless, animals we study and tag and cage and displace and conserve because, you guessed it, we can.
If my stance sounds cold and extreme, consider the technological, literary, artistic, social and economic state of a monastery, any monastery, where the moral imperatives of peace and equality have been enforced/applied. Why? Because a monastery is what our species will resemble if we apply the same principles to our grand state of affairs. Same level of novelty, action, blunt non-edge. Will there be any space travel? Technological innovation? Any grand gesture of magnitude whatsoever, at least in terms of the mundane — we live in physical reality, y’all! — any action over and above the limits, any competition or race to a goal, any goal, any attempt to promote competition, advantage, achievement, excellence?
Think about it for a moment. I mean really think about peace and equality and monasteries and how such a world would function.
Thrive In Restlessness
Utopias are nice, in theory anyway, but dreams are nicer, and in our dreams we envision something better and apter than a peace-full fairytale. We anticipate a transcendental future version of ourselves, doing things unimaginable, if, and only if, we embrace the reality behind the drive for progress, acknowledging the need to compete, exceed, conflagrate, and reform into newer, fresher states of being.
Unless, of course, we don’t care about the way ahead. Many of us happily drink the peace and equality Kool-Aid, ready to give up on the future and settle on the land like monks and farmers and tribesmen and tribeswomen on an isolated island, observing a crippling notion of harmony, all in the name of a better life that will leave us eating the dust of those willing to embrace reality and move ahead, warts and all.
Now there are also those among us who are critical of all environmental reforms. They point out all too eagerly that such reform involves the peace-equality utopia I’m talking about — that any attempt at establishing a functional symbiosis with the environment will lead to the same parochial state of being. Not so! There could be a functional, forward-looking symbiotic arrangement between ourselves and our surroundings. one based on further development, achievement, progress, innovation and transcendence of all limits, material and abstract, provided our approach were non-(pseudo)moralistic and truly pragmatic i.e. solution-based.
In the meantime, let’s work on becoming a lot more compassionate — a statement altogether different to the ‘peace and equality’ jingle — while maintaining our velocity toward a meaningful, unsettling, challenging future.
From your annoying Spin Doctor, Peace!