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Supposed you knew that your current lifestyle was to end shortly. For example, many in Europe knew in 1934-8 that their lives would be wrecked by the pending war. People in several Latin American countries have experienced the loss of their wealth due to runaway inflation. There are other circumstances like the pandemics which sweep societies as well.

In these cases you have several options. You can retreat into mysticism or religion, you can try to leave, you can try to set up a defensive fortress, or you can live for the moment.

I claim, without any proof, that many people fear their lifestyles are about to change. There are the threats from unseen enemies, unstoppable diseases, loss of the economic underpinnings of society, and climate and raw material catastrophes being predicted. The reactions seem to be those I listed.

There is a rise in religiosity, hedonism and self protection. Notice that even among those who feel that something can be done (like the bloggers here), most of the discussion is about defining the problems, and very little about providing solutions of a magnitude large enough to be meaningful.

Perhaps being selfish and irrational is actually rational in such circumstances.


Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Sun Feb 19th, 2006 at 10:39:09 AM EST

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