The Future of Man – Part 1
The world is changing. By the time I finish penning this brief article, knowledge will be learned, new problems will present themselves, people will create, and more people will be reached than during a year of early 20th century media. Our reality has changed exponentially since the Founding Fathers formed this nation. It has changed exponentially since the last of Generation X was born in the 1980’s. Some who fear change will say that we are doomed. Others will say that we are approaching near god-hood. In reality, the truth is somewhere between the two.
To a farmer in the late 18th or even 19th centuries, a person from 2015 would appear to possess supernatural powers. Our present knowledge of science infinitely exceeds anything from any other time in history (that we know of – I would still love to know what incredible knowledge was held in the library of Alexandria). This knowledge base is rapidly expanding. It will bring about change, and it will redefine our society and culture. Every aspect of humanity will change by the time our grandchildren reach the end of their lives. Our scientific community will explore concepts that we do not even realize exists today. Our family structure will continue to evolve to meet the demands of a society which demands multiple incomes. Political organization will grow and change to face new challenges of leadership. With growth comes growing pain. It is not always pleasant, but it is necessary. Should humanity embrace the impending changes, we will soar to new levels. Humility must be maintained, lest we meet the fate of past empires who allowed their own advancement outpace their society’s ability to grow. When a culture accepts change, it will grow. When a culture rejects change, it will perish. Either group faces implosion if they place too much value on the future or the past. A society must achieve balance between the societal evolution and its ability to stay true to its heritage and history (referred to here as “stability”). We are not gods, but we are not doomed. We face only the apocalypse of pride.
A Human is an organism of separate parts. Just as the body is a single entity formed by trillions of individual cells working in conjunction with each other, humanity is a single presence comprised of just over 7 billion individuals. Each individual plays a vital role in the development and social evolution of the species. Some are gifted with incredible scientific ability (neurons), while others are laborers / producers (mitochondria, ribosomes, chloroplasts). Some are peace keepers (white blood cells) while another group is the cancer and sickness of society (criminals, sociopaths, frauds). Each component makes the whole. Every part of human society must maintain a degree of balance with the others. Law enforcement is needed to protect from the predators among us. Teachers are needed to impart new knowledge. Scientists are required to bring forth new innovations, technology and medical advancement. Even the deviant elements of society are a necessity – for without examples of deviance – how could we establish parameters for social order?
A virus or bacteria mutates after it has faced the body’s natural defenses. Over time the original defensive actions are not sufficient and the body must adapt. When that is overcome by the illness, human ingenuity provides the answer through the means of vaccinations and antibiotics. Humans – both as individuals and as a species – adapt to their environment through the introduction of innovative new methods aimed at survival. The structure of society analogous to human physiology illustrates the imperative of adapting to achieve that survival. Nature’s system of biological survival can and must be applied to societal survival. Stagnancy and complacency destroy life. It also destroys societies.
In past articles I have spoken of the “Four Realms” as applicable to American Heritage: Greece, Rome, England and now the United States. Each of the first three nations met with failure and destruction when they failed to balance the two elements of Change and Stability. These three empires rose to the pinnacle of power as superpowers in their respective days. However, as we shall see in the next few essays in this arc, each nation fell despite their power. As we look at each of these nations, a chilling realization should occur to the reader: We – Americans – are standing at the same crossroads that Greeks, Romans and the British once faced. We have the same decision to make. Will the nation adapt and change, or will it fiercely cling to past methods? Is it possible to establish a balance between the two?