For most of us ordinary folks who don’t have the privilege of an inheritance or an advantageous environment, worrying about what happens in the world is a bit difficult since our personal (and never-ending) struggles to make ends meet are daunting. But for those who do find time, it has been an exponentially uphill task to be optimistic about the future of humanity.
The Brussels bombing is but one of many fanatical ideological assaults the world has had to bear, but it is also symbolic of the many escalated conflicts YET to come. Without any intervention, people of faith can always be counted on to burn each other’s mosques, temples and churches. Even within faiths, Sunni and Shia Muslims continue to massacre each other – just like the bloodbath between Northern Irelands’ Protestants and Catholics (albeit for political reasons too). And there’s no reasoning with these fundamentalists.
Faith conflicts have always existed but now transplanted in a modern context, the consequences are absolutely terrifying. What do you think will happen if ISIS got their hands on a minituarised nuclear weapon? Do you think they will have last minute moral qualms? Do you imagine them repenting, faces blushed red, like in cliched Disney movies? A single detonation, and unimaginably large swathes of land become uninhabitable – and that’s not counting the millions who would die first. These scenarios are not flights of fantasy. The Brussels jihadis had initially planned to infiltrate a nuclear plant.
Even if faith is left out of the equation, it’s hard to be positive about the affairs on the world stage – North Korea’s propaganda machine rolls on and it continues trumpeting threats of a ‘nuclear retaliation’. Like a petulant child who had his teddy bear taken away from him, North Korea is keen to remind us that its presence is not to be forgotten. But it’s hardly any better with China who has recently given a blanket (and non-negotiable) imperative that ALL state media must be absolutely loyal to the government. Not only does China manipulate its history textbooks, props up lies as truths, it ruthlessly kidnaps, threatens and publicly parades (by shaming) any dissenters. And it’s now forcefully insisting democratic Hong Kong teach its beliefs, values and loyalties through carefully ‘selected’ teaching material.
And there’s Turkey where President Erdogan has been jailing dissenters, cracking down at the smallest slight, and even those who poke fun at him find themselves suffering the full fury of judicial ‘law’. He’s since forcibly shut down a news outlet that opposed him, and recently, demanded that a satirical video (that’s actually kind of true) be taken off Youtube. Turkey has nothing compared to Russia though. Russia is the indisputable monarch of dissolving the opposition, which in literal terms, is the process of assassinations (through poisoning) and inexplicable disappearances of political opponents.
Even America, often hailed for its democracy, is now largely run like an oligarchy (small group of elites in charge). Money is now inseparable from politics. By ‘funding’ (or donating to) a political campaign, corporations guarantee themselves a position of influence and assurance for favourable policies. The one candidate who opposes these (and therefore sets himself up against the incumbent oligarchy) is Bernie Sanders. But since the oligarchy controls the media, Bernie’s received minimal coverage, had his victories played down, and most written pieces about him are almost always negative.
What about Singapore? We certainly don’t have the same freedom (or right) to free speech, and we score very poorly for press freedom. Like China, we are often reminded of our father figure who almost always did no wrong. But unlike China, we don’t crackdown as regularly on discourses that criticise policies (though some would disagree) and if you look hard enough, there’s some breathing room to be had for something to be said. But we do live in a very controlled and sterilised animal experiment, almost like mice in their specially built parks where every knob and tube have been calibrated for that perfect equilibrium. Though not obvious, Amos Yee was a litmus test and it’s made clear that you are either with the government’s position or be stripped of all privileges.
I always find it darkly entertaining that the single largest enemy humanity can face is always itself.
So, have you thought about (HYTA) the future of humanity?