In Ukraine we see good Ukraine citizens believing that ‘slant-eyed’ Russians ( perhaps Mongols from the 12th century?) have invaded their peaceful country, and along with a tiny number of Ukrainian traitors, have managed to fend off the advances of the peace-loving Kiev government army and neo-nazi Right Sektor militias to return Eastern Ukraine to the fold. We need no evidence- we simply know that this is the case.
In Syria, every good Sunni knows that it was Assad’s government that created ISIS; where else could it have come from? -in order that evil Shi-ite Persians and Lebanese Hezbollah could invade their country. Clearly Sunni Saudi Arabia and their Wahabbist crazies had nothing to do with it!
In America every good Democrat knows that it was only because of Russian intervention and ‘hacking’ that Donald Trump won the election. How else could he have won?
And in the U.K. and in Poland the Russians are coming, if they are not already here! Russia’s aging long range bombers and their sole smoking aircraft carrier are ready at any moment to bring apocalyptic doom to those good democratic shores..
I am once again reminded of my great great grandfather’s time here in sleepy New Zealand, when in the 1890s, a Russian Empire rust-bucket of a warship managed to creep this far south in the Pacific to to cause chaos and concern amongst us gentle white folks. Vast sums were raised to buy ( from British armament factories) long range guns to install on every headland to forestall the imminent threat of a Russian invasion. The Russo-Japanese brief naval and land army altercation of 1904 was to quickly prove how much of a threat those Russian warships and armed forces actually were..
So- those are a few tangible examples of collective pyschosis – how we as humans can so easily be swayed into believing an alternative reality- because everyone else is believing it too.
However – much much bigger than those relatively small events, is humankind’s current conviction (since at least the ‘industrial revolution’) that destroying all of the living things on this planet is ‘progress’ . And, decade after decade, each one of the remaining indigenous cultures have been sucked into this ‘word-view’ that we humans must produce things to make us humans happy and ‘progress somewhere’ . Every one of the material things that we produce comes at the expense of another living thing…
The evidence is very much out there- and has been increasingly obvious over the past fifty years, that we as humans are incrementally, and at an ever faster pace , destroying the capacity of this planet to provide a sustainable habitat to not only ourselves, but to all of earth’s living things. But we are still ‘locked in’ to ‘progress’ – destroying life for another bauble that will inevitably self-destruct in a few months or years…
Perhaps, just perhaps, if we had had a slow motion time-lapse video which had showed the world’s life steadily being steadily and rapidly drained away over the past 2000 years – year upon year – then just maybe we might have done something about it. Instead, we talk about it; we pretend that our machines of ‘progress’ can redress the problems, when the reality is that only other life, other species, can reverse the apocalypse- if we have time.
And that – as we all know- is not going to happen. Because human ‘progress’ its believed, is going to save us with more technology, more ‘progress’ (and more destruction of living things)…
A mammoth global campaign to plant and grow trees everywhere – to revert all our feedstock lands to forest, to plant trees on every available inch of land that is not absolutely necessary to provide humans with a meagre vegetable diet; might permit this planet to survive as a living entity….but the odds look very very slim….Trees not only once almost entirely covered the landmass of our little planet, they provided a home for a huge biodiversity of other plants insects and animals that kept our planet viable flexible and adaptable to climactic and other planetary changes. That capacity to adapt through species diversification is now being squeezed from this planet.
Lovelock had it right the first time. Our planet is indeed a single living entity – Gaia -composed of millions of different living interlocking entities- much the same way as the human organism functions.
We are killing her…