Politics

Why You And I Are Not Civilised (Yet)

WE have vanquished slavery, sexism and racism or, at the very least, reached a near universal consensus on how bad they are and why they have no place in a civilised society.

The next great frontier isn’t space; it’s class. As long as the vast majority of humanity can be denied the opportunity to realise their untapped potential — reduced to mere shells of men, vying for scraps dished out by fickle gods — we cannot call ourselves civilised.

We are the same savages of old; forced to sell every second of every minute of our brutish, short, insignificant lives; forced to fight in the gigantic coliseum called society for the chance to extend our suffering by another day.

And all the while, we are watched —indifferently — by those who make the laws; pay the wages; and own the land, factories and faceless corporations.

Labour produces marvels, palaces, beauty, technology and skill, but only for the select few. The worker is left with the world of animal function — personal adornment, eating, drinking and sex — to give meaning to his pitiful existence.

What can one say about a society where profits are privatised and losses socialised?

What does one say about a world where the three richest individuals possess more financial assets than the lowest 48 nations combined? A world where some countries throw excess wheat into the sea while others struggle to feed masses of malnourished men.

Perhaps one day, many thousands of years hence, when everyone reading this will have long since turned to dust, and our words and thoughts and emotions will be as ancient as the sun: people will look back at us and denounce the homo sapiens of the 21st century as thugs, little better than the slave owners, racists and misogynists of ages past for they failed to see that — though man can be reduced to a savage, competitive, selfish brute — he has the potential to be so much more, if only given the chance to express himself creatively.

Inequality is the last great battle before we can embark on the next stage of our evolution as a species.

Civilisation has yet to arrive.

But we’ll get there.

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