Q: Thank you for replying. I must say, your goodwill and faith in people is quite admirable.
I agree that a shift towards creative / artistic production is something of great value and represents a positive destiny for human beings. The great problem that we face however, is that there is a significant percentage of the human population that is truly vacuous, inane and can see no benefit in creativity. I do not speak solely about artistic production, as creativity. Any pursuit which requires a person to imagine, plan, develop, strategise and do in order to achieve a goal or actually make something has got to be positive (obviously not so much if that goal involves violence or cruelty). It’s about self determination, and then positive action in a purposeful direction I suppose.
The great mass of humanity however is obstinately, and blindly stuck in a repetitive consumerist dynamic, that can only be sated with newer, bigger, more. These are the Philistines. These are the people who litter our beautiful countryside with McDonalds and KFC refuse, who live for generations on Welfare payments quite proudly, or conversely who stockpile fortunes and steal from hard working creative producers. They are different, but the same, they need each other.
Some humans are above this dynamic to a certain extent (we all must participate at some level, consciously or not,) and living truthfully. If our consumerist culture hides a search for meaning, well that just confirms my opinion that many people are vacuous and inane. After several centuries of good living standards, one would hope that the lucky amongst us (the Westernised world for want of a better description) would have arrived at a nobler and greater expression of the meaning of our lives.
We haven’t. Instead, we are becoming more spoilt, more spoon fed, more demanding. Everything is false. People “give to charity” from their credit cards, instead of helping their neighbour who may be struggling .
I am being somewhat polemical, as obviously, this is not always true. There are pockets of resistance, which naturally, the dominant culture attempts to subsume, and then mass produce the results to increase profit.
Whilst the majority continues to sleep, and fails to dig beneath the gloss and artifice, the idiocy of human beings will only increase.
I think human beings are deliberately dumb, until they are forced from their ignorance, and then they begin to wise up.
For now, the fact that “good men are doing nothing”, to me, makes us evil.
In answer to your question; What should people spend their time and resources on?
I would say people should spend more time getting their hands dirty growing food, walking or cycling to work, creating community projects, asking serious questions of their municipal councillors, raising funds instead of demanding funding, refusing to purchase the next big thing, taking a risk, laughing at the deliberately ignorant, being outspoken, and less time gossiping about The Voice (guilty as charged), purchasing processed foods, spraying Monsanto chemicals all over the countryside, and dumbly believing that what they see and hear on mainstream news is actually anywhere near the truth of the matter.
Whatever happens, I have a feeling that soon enough the truth will be revealed. There will be those who are capable of handling it, and there will be those who simply cannot.
A: I wouldn’t say that I see human beings as intrinsically either good or evil, but as capable of manifesting both. The question then becomes how can the good be promoted (because in my experience, suppressing the evil is counterproductive as an approach).
The chief problem is this. In the sea of thought, most people are not swimmers. They need a boat –i.e., a elaborated system of beliefs and structures –to keep them from drowning. Even when a cultural system is “sinking”, people won’t abandon it unless they feel confident they can transfer to a new boat (another system) that will float.
That’s the current situation with relationship to consumerism. We all know that boat is sinking, yet in the absence of a workable alternative, people cling ever more desperately to what they know. Accordingly, my emphasis on the Arts is only partly because of my own love of them –I also think they have the potential to serve as the foundation for a more healthy socioeconomic system.