World Peace Is Possible - Part 12
There's a "secret weapon" for winning world peace.
Many people will automatically assume that a world without men could never possibly happen. This is an understandable assumption built upon reference to human history and the widely accepted perspectives of our current culture. And in that context, I can agree. A world without men will never be possible, or even considered a serious idea, in our world as it is today.
I’m still writing about a world without men though, based on the belief that our world as it currently exists can change radically without warning at any time. This is because we are steadily impacting today’s culture with ever more powerful technologies. Let’s talk about some of the cultural shifts which technologies of vast scale may bring in to being.
The Status Quo
In today’s world, most people are working, building careers, saving money for the future, and perhaps having children too. These very normal activities are based on the assumption that the world as we know it will remain more or less fundamentally the same for the rest of our life, and thus, we plan for our future based on that belief. An ever accelerating knowledge explosion makes this assumption of stability ever less reliable.
Any real world events which shake our belief in the future can have profound impact upon the nature of our society, and the set of ideas which are considered reasonable.
As just one example, some number of young people today are declining the longstanding practice of having children, based upon their concerns about the destructive impact of climate change. This is a big shift from previous generations when it was generally taken to be an obvious given that young couples would have kids.
Climate change takes time to unfold, but there are other change factors like nuclear weapons which have the potential to radically change our world, and our relationship with our world, in the blink of an eye.
Rapid Change To The Status Quo
I’m writing about a world without men based on the belief that it’s only a matter of time until the next nuclear detonation. There’s just no credible reason to believe that we can keep big stockpiles of these weapons forever and they’ll never be used.
We already know about nuclear weapons. We already know what they can do. But so few alive today have actually been here when a nuclear detonation happened. I’m 70, and Hiroshima happened before I was born too. And so to most of us nuclear war remains an abstraction, an intellectual understanding, a collection of facts, almost a part of history. To us, Hiroshima is just an old black and white photograph.
When the next nuclear detonation happens and we witness round the clock coverage of a city that’s been destroyed in a moment, nuclear weapons are going to become real to us in a way that they never have before. The media will feast on this event in a manner that will make 9/11 look like an obscure footnote, and graphic imagery of mass death and destruction will be relentlessly pushed in to every home on the plant. To make this more specific, click here for the part of TannyTalk which shows the impact of a nuclear detonation on each of America’s fifty largest cities.
Once the next detonation happens, our experience of the threat presented by violent men will shift from being a remote abstraction, to an emotional relationship, to horror, to fear, to a loss of faith in the future. When losing the miracle of modern civilization becomes a real possibility to a critical mass of human beings, our culture is going to start digging deeper in the search for a solution. And the good news is, when we human beings have our backs against the wall we can be incredibly resourceful.
Today, pretty much nobody wants a world without men. We don’t even want to talk about it.
But what if the choice becomes a world without men, or a world without both men AND women? What if that stark choice becomes real to us in a way that none of us can fully imagine today? That’s what I see coming.
There are lots of people who have rethought their entire lives from the perspective of their death bed. If we start seeing nuclear weapons actually being used on our TVs in real time, a lot of us are going to start having psychological transformations of that nature. In that dark moment, a lot of us are going to start thinking that maybe a world without men isn’t such a bad idea after all.
Pain Is Our Teacher
An inconvenient fact about we human beings is that we don’t learn by reference to the processes of reason anywhere near as much as we like to think. More often our beliefs are formed by reference to various forms of authority, and by pain.
Pain is the “secret weapon” in the quest to save ourselves from our worst instincts. Pain is part of nature’s plan to keep us on the right track. When we try to do something we shouldn’t be doing, pain often arises to steer us back on a better course. Touch the hot stove once, probably won’t touch it again.
If reason was sufficient to save us from nuclear weapons and other technology based threats, we would have never mass produced nuclear weapons in the first place, for doing so was an act of madness. If reason was sufficient to save us from nuclear weapons, we would not today be largely ignoring the threat that they present, for doing so is both irrational and suicidal.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that it’s true that a world without men will never be accepted as a credible idea in TODAY’s society.
But the thing is, today’s society is not going to remain the status quo. When violent men push our culture to the brink of collapse, when their knife is at the soft flesh of our throat, solutions currently considered ridiculous are going to get a 2nd look.
This coming pain may sound like bad news, but there’s a silver lining. The odds are that the “secret weapon” of pain will work, and that sooner or later we’ll see the threat clearly, and get serious about meeting it.
And our reward for finally meeting the threat presented by violent men can be world peace, the best thing to ever happen to humanity.
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