A friend of mine recently wrote a blog post about the future, and how nihilism was basically for cowards. Frankly, I agree and I think it is a shame that so much of our futurism is eyes deep in the ‘optimistic’ outlook that everything will be destroyed, we will struggle to start again and then also die.
Admittedly I have the advantage of currently living in a very beautiful place while surrounded by many wonderful people. Just yesterday I could look out of my front door and see the peak of Mt Fuji covered in snow while the sunlight warmed the autumn trees just starting to change colour. On my days off I can walk to a park and bask in the visual delights that nature has to offer, while remaining only a stones throw away from ‘civilization’. With this in mind I can completely understand why it is so easy for someone like me to imagine a more positive outlook, where society doesn’t have to be brought down to its knees, decapitated and then burnt while some strange plague/ zombie horde/ alien space monster rampages around us.
When there are so many people who are being crushed by a way of life that will literally kill them if it doesn’t stop, it is easy to understand why nihilism looks appealing. But these are not the same people who are making the zombie movies, or writing the end of days books. These people struggle through and make the most of it. They tolerate a lifestyle that I think is fair to say would finish most of us in less than an hour, but if the interviews and documentaries are anything to go by, they still hope for a better future and not the end of the future.
So why are we, the reasonably well off few, so desperate for a future where there is no hope and only a fleeting struggle against the impossible before oblivion kicks in? (you know, the worst of the elder scrolls games…) At this point, I don’t have an answer, but I would suggest it is because we have no idea how hard it would be to survive in that sort of world. We have no experience that can relate to these situations so we fantasize about how much better it could be if our bosses were all zombies and could just kill with the justification that they were already dead. So this is why I think it’s more important than ever for people like me to become people who act (says the guy writing a blog post). If we are so sick of our current conditions we need to start doing something about it that doesn’t destroy what already exists. Again I appreciate this is easier said than done, but we can become other. Already people are trying with small scale communities and larger projects like Asgardia. Sure right now these may seem crazy or even just impossible, and maybe you’re right. But if we don’t try we will never know, and surely trying for a better future is a whole lot better than just sitting around and waiting for this one to end?
Personally, I believe that with enough like-minded people this better future can happen and it doesn’t need millionaires either. Just being nice to people is a great start, literally world changing. As always, easier said than done. There are customers from previous jobs who I would very much have enjoyed hitting with a large heavy object, but long term that doesn’t solve anything and just makes the world a slightly darker place. So please, if you can, let’s try and make a better place for anyone who wants it. Stop hoping for the end of all existence and instead try and build a place we would actually all enjoy living in, and then invite all the people who would enjoy such a place to live in it. Ultimately I think it is possible for us to create a ‘safe space’ where we can leave the power hungry and the warmongering behind, and maybe they will eventually kill themselves off, but we won’t be struggling to survive the collapse of society because we will already have a much better one.