Best case? Hubristic self-destruction.
That sounds bad, but realistically, we’re so much more likely to go for the petty self-destruction option, that a bit of hubris wouldn’t go amiss. At least it would imply we had hopes.
I don’t really believe in destiny, so I’m a bit stuck on this one.
I wish I could do a Leary or a Wilson, and sing about the beauty of inevitable intelligence expansion and the natural trend towards positive loving open communication this would bring. I wish I could talk about a world where everybody suddenly switched perspectives, learnt to pay attention to each other, and moved into a bright shining harmonious future.
And obviously. That’s what I’m always pushing for. And aiming for. And hoping for.
The problem with destiny, is that even the faintest notion of a destiny can make you lazy. You can see this in current fatalism towards imminent collapse. People think the system is all just about to crumble, so they’ve given up doing anything, and are just waiting for that crumble, assuming there’s nothing that can be done until we’re picking up the pieces.
Life is not pre-destined. And if it was, then we wouldn’t be able to tell, because we’re all pretty damn good at maintaining the free will illusion. If it’s all set in stone, there’s nothing we can do, but we’re just as destined to pretend that we do matter, and we still have no idea what comes next.
So we’ve got to build our best case, not let it come rolling towards us like a bowling ball. And we do that by not believing in destiny. We do that by pushing for the best possible everything. We do that by raising consciousness, in ourselves and in others, until people actually are paying attention, actually are looking ahead, actually are giving a damn.
And then we accept that the world we want, is not the world we’re on the road to. And then we stop. Change direction and build a new road.
One that doesn’t involve most people being dicks.
If we stopped exploiting the world’s resources and people, then certain large parts of our ‘civilisation’ would crumble.
This would be okay. Because it meant that they were the parts built on exploitation. That kind of crumbling can only be good for the soul. (I’m not sure I believe in the soul, but I believe it stands well in the place of something important that we don’t have a better word for.)
The best case scenario is the one we build from that starting point. Big reset. Rebuild a fairer world. Put people’s lives back in their own hands. Teach everyone how to build independent small scale personally/community controlled infrastructure. Rebuilding life from the bare essentials, and basing it all on principles of love and community.
It’s a dream. But it’s the starting point for the best case. From their, things would move slowly but without greedy consumption we might go far.
Illustration by Henry