"It'll always be this way"
"nothing we can do about it"
“This island is a spiritual desert,” it said, “and you know why? Because it has no philosophers in the government! Together with the top generals, business owners, they are families and dynasties and priesthoods unto themselves, so they do not ust look down on us original thinkers, they simply disregard our insights with perpetual silences!”
”I don’t think so,” I replied, “The younger ones of this century are bringing about unprecedented changes, even as they soon grow old and fossilise into their bigoted ways.”
“Pah! Youth!” It rebutted bitterly. “Every child here fed into the factory lines of formal schooling, engineered and sorted with limited options of variation (would you like black, white, or black and write - which we call grey - with your order?), then conveyed to the finishing queues of national economy (few neat categories of employed servitude). And guess who’s at the top? The best students of precise, narrow examinations, culled from the top institutions of prestige early on, heavily groomed for the few peaks of meritocracy in this land.”
“That’s not how it feels to me,” I responded, “We are a world-class city, you and me, where the probabilities remain unbounded, plugged into media and awareness and latest trends as we are, to score more firsts infinitely, into the endless future.”
”Ha ha ha! And when this place goes south, like less developed humanity, or submarine, as with climate change,” it went on. “where do you think our elite establishment would be, pal? Their children would be secured in other lands, other universities, other citizenships, while we the faceless masses who built this nation would be expected to give our lives, so that eventually they return gloriously from exile. No thanks!”
”For me, for us,” I concluded, “I, we, would do all we can, naturally as ourselves, day and night, supporting the improvements that must come in miniscule ways, like nudging a meteorite approaching Earth, until it misses crashing onto our planet, like what also happened to those poor mega-dinosaurs.
It shook its head, “They don’t care about you. They won’t bother with local talent and priceless native human resources, except where and when it benefits them obviously in the short-term. Not even their next Generation Z and Alpha progeny are being heeded. You keep dreaming.”
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Fascinating back-and-forth essay between two opposing viewpoints, of what I believe are the author’s own opinions. I understand and share both outlooks about my own Western society. Nice work, Alan! Definitely worth a reread from time to time!