Our progress is so slow and loaded with violence because we, as individuals and as a civilization, refuse to acknowledge that no system can change itself. It applies to all systems, of any size. Natural and artificial. Physical and ideological. From countries and their governments and educational institutions to biological and chemical processes.
All changes occur when a member of a system, it be a single cell organism or an intelligent human being or anything in between, discovers that a new and therefore different state of being is possible.
Once an intelligent human being discovers a new state of being, either as a physical experience or as an imaginary construct and decides to experience, describe and formulate it (as a formula, sentence, piece of music, etc.), the new experience should be allowed to enter the existing system and creates a change. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
Therefore, all changes are created by the member of the system whose development is affected by a previously unknown force. In case of an intelligent human being we are talking about previously unknown experience (internal or external, internal being an ability to imagine a new solution or event, and external being an ability to detect and describe a previously unknown event).
Thus changes are never introduced by the controller of the system because it is A) too busy to search for new experiences, and, B) too far away from the environment that offers the opportunity to encounter a new element or a new experience. It is not some purposeful, evil selfish desire of the controller to remain in its position. It is the way our system operates. Fortunately, it is possible to change it.
A simple analogy would be to look at the queen within an ant colony (or we could talk about real human kings, queens and presidents, etc.). Unlike the workers who have to explore the edges of their known systems (we could talk about mathematicians, architects, miners, astronauts or any other professionals who are genuinely interested in new experiences and see money as an additional bonus rather than the key motivating factor) and then go beyond them in order to look for new resources and new software and hardware solutions to the existing and new problems, the leaders never have to leave the positions they have earned or inherited. The nature of their position, it’s a position of privilege, dictates the nature of their actions. To increase their power and extended their control. It’s never to share their power.
From single cell organisms, to apes to Galileo, Copernicus, Newton, Einstein, and people like Assange, Snowden and other scientists and engineers who are urging us to change the existing software and hardware manufacturing and distribution practices in order to change how we use natural and artificial resources in order save hundreds of thousands of lives that are needlessly lost every single day, we remain unable to acknowledge the need to introduce a system that would welcome new changes rather than suppress them.
We remain unable to create and introduce a permanent system that would look for sources of changes, acknowledge them, assist them, improve them and use them to modify itself (the existing system). Thus the existing system continues to struggle.
Furthermore, the nature of the new system, the system that we need, must go beyond simply looking for individuals who are thinking outside the square but it must teach all people how to think outside the square. All people should be encouraged to express their individuality.
Why should we do so?
Because changes are inevitable.
Changes must occur because the individual is an intelligent organic entity whose level of intelligence continues to grow as a direct response to thus as a consequence to the process that is created by its interaction with the system within which it is born and brought up.
Each new baby will be smarter than the previous generation of babies because it will exist within a system that is more intellectually demanding than the previous system. Therefore the natural tendency of the baby’s brain will be to outgrow the intellectual demands of the system that is used to raise it. The baby’s psyche, mind and intelligence will attempt to outgrow the demands of the system within which it is born because they are designed to try to adjust the baby to it by enabling it to control it and eventually to improve it.
It is the most natural cycle in the universe, and it applies to natural and artificial environments, and the true scientists and artists have been trying to articulate it for centuries. I am doing it here.
There are alternatives to anything. To political systems, to economic systems, to anything.
To become more intelligent is to imagine and play with new possibilities. It is that fun and unpretentious. The more random the connections the greater the discovery.
All we have to do is be willing to embrace them.
Unfortunately, we, again, as individuals and as a civilization, refuse to acknowledge and accept the nature of the most natural process there is: growth. As individuals we grow and change every day. Therefore, inevitably, we must be prepared to grow and change, every single day, as a civilization.
We might not be able to change the entire system we use to govern our civilization every single day but we must begin to change our systems of control and governance in order to enable them to introduce changes (hardware, software, and any personality changes of individual members) as quickly as possible rather than to preserve the existing systems and structures.
Attempts to preserve the fixed ideologies and physical structures are what creates conflicts. Not the new ideas. New ideas create conflicts only because they are not embraced. The moment they are embraced they move the civilization to a better and more civilized place.