I think about culture and values and beliefs and narratives and how they literally are the psychological or sociological fabric that ties it all together, and ensures the institutions comprising the societal system function
And I try to observe when a glitch occurs.
Interestingly, around the time when Constantine introduced Christianity, there was a definite and slow erosion of the Roman culture that I think culminated with the fall of Rome
I think about the idea like a rogue virus that upset the fabric
That overturned all the values
It could be totally coincidental
I wonder if the USA could be similar
How the fabric is Christian puritanical ideals, and if that foundation is upset and the string is pulled, the whole thing unwinds
That’s the problem tho
No uniform belief system
People today are squabbling over the same shit said differently
I think everyone has good intentions. Everyone’s out to self-preserve.
But each person has a different idea of what their self is comprised of, the sphere of their identity, and whether that’s limited to kin, or extends to ideals, and how generous or charitable they are when someone ideals manifest a little differently from their own.
I think Hitler had good intentions. He just limited to a very specific conception of what was worth self preserving. And he had no regard for anything else.
Stalin. Mother Theresa. Gandhi.
They wanted to protect their ideals. Some had a more narrow idea of what they meant and how to do that.
I think it applies to every politician
It’d be easier if everyone shared the exact same set of ideals and beliefs
Which is why religion is such a powerful and enduring force
Today, corporatism has replaced religion
Self awareness would solve a lot. Self awareness breeds compassion and humility.
We worship brands and personality icons. These are our new gods, our new deities.
It only works because, as a culture, we have no other faith.
For better or worse.
For worse because, like religions of the past, those in charge of these profit and extort. Like the money changers at the temples. You must pay to be righteous. You must give to the church, give your paycheck if you want to embody the brand. Buy it all.
It’s like an unconscious drive to worship, to fixate on a set of ideals and sacrifice to it
Or maybe there’s another interpretation I’m missing.