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Chronicling the collapse of a failed society
There’s something about the holiday season which seems to bring out the worst in people – or at least that seems to be the case here in Thailand. The last 24 hours have perhaps been the worst in my life, and it’s entirely due to the shockingly mean-spirited actions of my fellow human beings. The details are not worth delving into, but it is enough to say that my day began with being pick-pocketed and ended with my cat being poisoned, with a host of intentionally nasty behavior in between.
Today I saw myself in a world full of Dick Cheneys, surrounded by humans who saw fit not only to benefit themselves at whatever cost, but who seemed to genuinely take pleasure in inflicting maximum harm. Today was one of those days where I found myself questioning the basic nature of human kind – are we a benevolent species? Are our positive tendencies such as love and compassion the predominant ones? Or are our malicious traits the ones which will prove victorious in the end?
Judging by the state of the world, it is easy to conclude that the latter characteristics are winning the battle. It could very well be that human beings are, quite simply, a wretched, nasty, mean-spirited bunch, and that our occasional bouts of goodness are but anomalies in a broader trend of malignant behavior. And in light of such observations, one begins to wonder – why bother at all? Why bother trying to help others, to improve society, to make the world a better place? Why not just join the rest of the selfish bastards and say, “Fuck it, I may as well enjoy myself and screw the rest of you assholes”?
I’m afraid at the present moment I can find no satisfactory answer to that question, aside from a vague, lingering impulse towards egalitarian values that flies in the face of all evidence and logic.