Our real story is different, because our real self …
Our real story is different, because our real self spends more than it makes. It approves the torture of detainees. It investigates the geology of countries before it invades them, because it has wasted most of its oil. It tolerates the manipulation of markets and tax codes that result in the working poor, who aren’t free, and the idle rich, who lack the sort of purpose in their lives that would allow them to do something constructive with their relative freedom. It turns its gaze away from observable phenomena when they contradict projections of economic growth and technological triumph.
Laing would say we’re in the process of discovering that we’re nuts. Hard facts are beginning to destroy the myths we’ve lived by. When George W. Bush called the American Constitution just a piece of paper, and America’s Supreme Court proved him right, all of technological civilization took a giant step toward reality. Another giant step came when America’s military got away with violating the Geneva Conventions. Another came when American politicians enacted more tax cuts and higher spending, which means we’ve realized that in an inflationary economy wealth is debt, and debt is wealth.
We’ve reached Capitulation Level with our cultural story. We’ve stopped believing in things we cannot touch or see, and a bleak, pragmatic survivalism has taken hold, even in that Font of Narrative called the Oval Office.
It’s a good thing, because it’s the start of sanity. But sanity is an inhospitable environment for technological civilization. It’s an inhospitable environment for any civilization.