Why is it so attractive to believe (if not proselytize) the notion that change cannot happen, and that any proposal or advocacy on behalf of change, subtle or radical, is delusional or naive?
We don’t need to make this conversation so philosophical as there are many simple, straightforward and tangible examples to use, wherein a proposal for change to the given situation is typically met with a torrent of gratuitous opposition.
Take free public healthcare for all citizens in the United States as an example. The mere fact that such a proposal would be considered as a political issue boggles my mind. For myself, its a matter of basic human rights – all citizens in this country deserve by the grace of God and the State the right to full medical care provided through a common tax pool. South of the border they’ve conflated it into some kind of quasi-moral issue based on what I consider to be a generally poor understanding of some of the basic tenets of the philosophy behind the founding of the American state and the religious inclinations of the so-called Founding Fathers. Medicare causing a pseudo mass existential panic seems absurd in a Monty Python-esque vein to me.
We are not merely possessed by mediocrity as a societal handicap, we defend it, sometimes in terms that seem to suggest a a general desire to pursue the path of least resistance because it is ‘virtuous’ not to rock the boat. Or is that we’ve lost the will to defend any proposal that doesn’t meet with the near total acceptance of those within immediate and arbitrary geo-political boundaries? Perhaps I’m naive to believe we were ever any different than how we seem to be today, or perhaps I believe the situation to be more grave than it is. My academic inclination to doubt camouflages me into the background of the pop-contrarians inasmuch as it sets me apart as part of the ‘idealistic Ivory Tower elite’. How fucked are we really? To fight the tide of humanity’s combined multi-millenial anti-intellectualism? For those in power, for whom any change is potentially personally destabilizing, the inclination towards preservation is great and the resources they can tap into are buried deep into our subconscious mind. This is the result of 99% of humanity’s past and present spent under the boot of the rich and greedy. This is what happens to the suppressed born blissfully ignorant of their socio-economic reality and led to believe they themselves are participating in the machinations of a Capitalist society. When the realization is made – on an individual level – that the citizen is truly, generally powerless, the resulting crise-de-conscience leads to a perpetuating class-based malaise. Perhaps this is why we dare not dream of improving our society in any real way.
I see cities as fluid, living organisms. Evolution is citizen powered, but not by individuals, by societies and communities cooperating to achieve shared goals. They conspire towards greatest.