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The beast devours civilizations. Especially those technologically advanced, as they present the most opportunities to satisfy its ravenous appetite.
As of early 2009 it appears the beast has killed every advanced civilization which preceded us in this galaxy.
What is the beast of which I speak?
The beast is an unforgiving universe scientifically proven to be tilted in favor of madness, death, destruction, and decay. This is an essential characteristic of our universe, known as entropy to the educated.
Amazingly enough, science has so far failed to follow up its original discovery of entropy with its logical implications for technological advancement and social progress.
And this failure may spell the end of us. Just as it did for our predecessors in this galaxy. Just as it will likely do to those who follow us after our demise.
Entropy unequivocally shows our universe to be set up to stymie or bedevil good or thoughtful works and humanitarian endeavors of all kinds, as well as just generally inhibit the progress of civilization and peaceful advances in technology and social welfare. And as commercial enterprises are overwhelmingly configured to exploit and extend these traits of our universe for purely economic reasons-- the only way to prevent a civilization from ultimately destroying itself is to make government a fierce opponent of entropy in all its forms.
Natural forces cause capital, power, and influence to always seek excessive concentrations in the hands of a tiny few, thereby excessively endangering the civilization entire in the events of mistakes and natural disasters, as well as making it more inefficient and less productive over the long term. These insults cause more suffering and vulnerability to disease, stifling of innovation and competition, etc., and make the whole world poorer than it should be-- while an ever shrinking minority ends up owning and controlling almost everything of tangible value.
With most all a civilization's tangible assets controlled by a tiny elite, any waste or mistakes committed by that elite are magnified out of all proportion to their relative numbers among the population.
Or, in other words, where the same mistake is made by both a billionaire and a pauper, the billionaire's mistake will usually have far, far greater potential to ruin the lives of multitudes of strangers.
And the billionaire will have opportunities to make mistakes in many areas that the pauper never could; such as world stock markets.
And so it's only a matter of time before some single error occurs which is so grievous that the entire civilization itself collapses or is destroyed by the subsequent cascade of failures through political, social, technological, and economic systems.
I'm talking something much worse than any historical economic depression or world war here (though elements of severe economic distress and military conflict will almost certainly be involved).
The writer Vernor Vinge has warned in his books about a technological society's vulnerability to its own growing complexities. But to my knowledge even Vinge has not pointed out the growing risk of ever more of humanity's fate being determined by an ever smaller number of its very richest members. And how such an intensifying concentration of power will increase the risk of calamity for all.
Note that this is a first order threat. That is, it opens the door to all manner of lesser ills or errors serving as the trigger for a wholesale collapse, from religious or political disagreements, to technological mistakes, to miscalculations in war, to mental instabilities in important leaders, etc., etc., etc.
In other words, reduce the incidence of extreme concentrations of power and wealth among humanity, and you increase the safety and security of everyone-- as well as their average living standards and productivity.
This simple and straightforward strategy towards avoiding the ultimate catastrophe is, unfortunately, something 2008 U.S. Republicans claim they will fight against to their dying breath.
Which I suppose shouldn't be surprising. Since the core of the Republican party today may consist of religious extremists who wish to hasten the end of humanity in whatever fashion they can.
These same folks also oppose logic and reason being used to make government or business policy, wherever such logic and reason appears to conflict with their religious beliefs, as well as various non-faith-based ideas and stands which happen to be espoused by their faction leaders.
If this sounds awful arbitrary of them, that's because it is.
Basically what this does is cause great gobs of ignorance and insanity to become deeply embedded into many of our governmental and business policies. And so thereby raises the risk of calamities of various sorts to absurd heights.
Just imagine: nuclear power plant safety regulations effectively being written by divinity students instead of nuclear engineers. Likewise, financial market rules and regulations...Oops!
Beyond the religious extremists in the Republican party exists another group, whom we might call plutocrats or 'natural order' proponents. These Republicans are basically anarchists, who tend to believe the lucky and powerful are especially blessed by God, and should be treated reverently by the rest of us, regardless of any other circumstance. For instance, they believe the rich should enjoy minimal (ideally zero) income taxes on their vast wealth-- while at the same time serving as the prime beneficiaries of any and all governmental actions funded by poorer tax-payers. That is, any projects initiated or operated by government agencies should put the needs and desires of those few wealthy folks before those of everyone else. Even where the wealthy pay no tax at all into the coffers.
And so we see the roots of Republican opposition to the very things we must do in order to ensure the survival and prosperity of the human race as a whole.
At some point (if we survive long enough) today's U.S. Republican politicians' actions will surely be viewed as some of the most heinous crimes against humanity ever perpetrated in all of history.
Because-- for one thing-- few will believe that at this late date (the early 21st century) those politicians still didn't know the overwhelming wrong they were doing. And actions conducive to human extinction-- for personal profit, yet!-- may be the worst crime a person can commit. And the belief that it likely won't happen during your own lifetime merely makes the act all the more despicable. For in that case, we're talking the ultimate form of child abuse, according to many rank and file Republican voters themselves. For it equates to the murder of all the unborn generations of humanity yet to come.
So today's Republican politicians are actually vying to become the most prolific baby killers ever to walk the Earth...while publicly claiming otherwise.
But that's another typical characteristic of today's Republicans. They say one thing, while their policies actually achieve the opposite.
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