Individualism has its own kind of blow-back, or collateral damage.
We have come to worship individualism in the West. Individualism promotes opportunism. Notice I did not say opportunity. However, what we see as an opportunity arises with each problem we create, or are aware we have. Some of these manifest through opportunism, particularly, and become a kind of incentive to invent and not worry of consequence.
Pollution is an example of a known problem which we generally agree to live with for our lifestyle, or else, we might have “political” resentment for the collective society reigning in our freedom to do what we want. Even if what we want harms the whole, we can convince ourselves that the benefits to us outweigh the evidence or consequences of our action to others. Many convoluted contrapuntal arguments are made over this oppression of the individuals free choice to effectively alter the health of others and the planet, while remaining unaccountable.
Many a proud individualist defends their “right” to do unto others as they might not wish done by others unto them without a say. Large areas of land and ocean are being devastated over these individuals freedom, proud freedom to profit mightily over doing what they want. They try to rig political systems to preserve these “rights” and or have propaganda campaigns to bias the public to favor their point of view. They effectively have an unfair advantage to swing perception, with the same public always being who actually is funding the whole enterprise.
We humans like to solve problems, and if there is a solution, generally we want it. This is both beneficial to creativity yet problematic since the environment will be in some way manipulated. That is most always another problem waiting in the wings. The problematic nature of all this unbridled invention is; we are not wise enough to know what we are doing when altering the environments. We have begun to notice for some time that unsolved problems, and problems coming into awareness are building into a kind of loose mountain.
In a universe of interconnection and interrelationship of all things, each alteration sets into motion unknown and sometimes unknowable consequences. To put it mildly, this is reckless as it becomes large scale. Yet if one even looks at the Internet for example, it is teeming with attempts to gain popularity and hopefully some kind of market share of some product.
It is all about the now cancerous philosophy of more and bigger is better. Many are seduced by their own insecurities to “succeed” at weaving this noose around the human experiment. Yet we can assume the endemic opportunism, or this lack based philosophy, is not comprehended by those seeking fame and fortune. Even movies are made, such as the well meaning “Bucket List”, as well as books printed about the 100 or 1,000 places to go or things to do, all for ones own betterment! These pursuits and their winsome followers, are generally oblivious as to the suicidal carbon footprint being promoted, which may well represent humankind’s own comet exterminating impact of 65 million years ago. Only this time it will not be the dinosaurs going out. It will be everything you have did or known ceasing to exist in active relevance.
A most unfortunate case for this ultimate problem, is the utter resistance of the cancerous philosophy of opportunism to detach from public consciousness. As usual, the youngest among us still “feel” the oneness of the world, but school, most schools, attempt to drive that sense of connection and responsibility to connection out of their minds. Then we are literally out of our minds, our natural based minds that is, and into that individualistic fantasy world of success and or fame. You are off on your own to make your mark. Those marks are adding up into something monstrous.
It is notable, how soon in life so many young people seek to do stunts or film events to get noticed. The cry for connection is literally switched to individualistic drama seeking attention as success. There are millions wanting to be movie stars, or basketball stars, or? …, the list goes on and on. We can question how relevant to the big problem all of this wanting to be top dog in the pyramid scheme is.
The desperate drive to get to the top in some way, or at least appear to be a success in a materialist culture, marks the personal rope burns around humankind’s neck. Time will tell if this detachment from the environment and basic laws of cause and effect will leave humankind’s swinging in the gallows. One thing is sure; the delusional mindsets of more and bigger is better is contaminating all environments on earth. Until the attitudes of we humans change as to what our collective responsibilities and requirements are to continue to survive on this world. This world may all too soon mark the beginning and the end of the human experiment. No matter how nice your house is, or how much you help the poor, or plan on world tours.
There is a finite number in this deceptive equation of individuality in a mass consumption based paradigm; The individualist on earth do not realize that consumption is in a fundamental way, consuming the earth out from under our feet. That is the problem of materialist individualism in a wholistic* environment. We are building in our own obsolescence, and taking the rest of this wonderful world to oblivion with our fantasies.
The Blue Marble
Credit: NASA. Link to collections above.
(I spelled holistic with a w to be more accurate)