Armchair politicians are just as guilty as professional political operatives of the same kinds of fallacies.
Some claim that the “last gasps” of a society or civilization can be measured (or even predicted) via one particular metric, often varying between people of differing political leanings, socio-economic status, and personal philosophies. Many of them include anecdotes about the ways in which we treat criminals, the environment, the poor, and even each other.
The way I see it, a government or society loses legitimacy is when it seeks total control: total control of the flow of information, total domination of economies, or total oppression of a particular group of individuals with common traits. When a government or a society seeks that kind of control, it often seems that chaos and confusion ensue.
We have an awe-inspiring array of information and methods of dialogue to begin asking the important questions about how we operate as a society and how our government operates as a whole. Rather than pointing fingers, we should be asking the really difficult questions:
- Why is total control of this particular facet of human life important?
- What precipitated the need for control?
- What can we (as a group, society, culture, civilization, species, etc.) do to eliminate the need for that control?
When we start asking these questions and having an open dialogue with each other (and ourselves), that’s when things will get really interesting. In that dialogue, that’s where the good stuff happens.