Life has simply become too confusing for many people to cope with. When we see the roots in our foundational concepts like religion and morality challenged daily we become fearful.
Advances in science and technology have led to recent improvements in our picture of the universe. Our new knowledge is forcing major changes in those concepts at the very core of our society’s belief system. A direct result of our society’s discontent and growing fear has been the ability of a few shrewd operators to manipulate us with that fear.
Wealthy and powerful people have managed to set aside our basic rule of law. Our country’s original premise was to be governed by a rule of law which provided equal justice to everyone; no one was above the law. That system has been replaced with a two-tiered justice system. We are now governed by the elite, who by means of their wealth and power have been able to place themselves above the rule of law.
Therefore, it is no wonder that many of those over 40 have a tendency to want to cling to the past when things seemed less uncertain and more comfortable. Taking a nostalgic look backward feels much safer to us than looking forward into an uncertain future.
But do we really want to go back to the age of the telegraph and give up our iPhones and the ability to communicate all over the world in an instant with twitter?
Going back to the past, in spite of the movie, is not possible. Clinging to that past will only cause major social disruption and stymie progress. Not only are we experiencing change at a pace bewildering to everyone, but the rate at which changes are occurring is increasing as well. The “old faithful” security blankets of the past are gone forever, to be replaced with…
Well, that is the question really, isn’t it? Even the best and brightest among us seem to have no idea what the future has in store as people and capital move more and more freely about the globe.
When we grow older we become more experienced, and as a direct consequence to that increasing wisdom, we become more conservative. Keeping things the way they were has the appeal of bag balm for a fearful psyche. We grow nostalgic for a past we conflate with glory and greatness. Our view to the rear is through pink lenses polished to a rosy perfection.
Sooner or later progress will have its way with its reluctant backward looking dreamer and society will move inexorably toward that uncertain and fearful future. Has it ever been any other way?