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Monday, August 29, 2016

The Peripatetic Philosopher ponders:

Nowhere Man in Nowhere Land

PART TWENTY

Progress & the Great Divide!

James R. Fisher, Jr., Ph.D.
© August 29, 2016





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The Siren’s call of progress over the past hundred years has been society’s most important civic religion. This theology has had an insatiable appetite for new technology to satisfy its unquenchable unconscionable needs.

Profits have come before people and robotics before humans, as the machine has no heart. Industrial robots have made blue collar workers obsolete; in a decade they will make the agricultural business bereft of farm workers.

As the great divide widens between people and progress, new paradigms are created that enliven the discourse but fail to reduce the divide. We are in trouble and “Nowhere Man” sees barren “Nowhere Land” just ahead.

Urban communities changed in the 20th century after WWI, frolicking to what was called “The Roaring Twenties,” then they were blunted by the sobering experience of The Great Depression of the 1930s, only to rediscover new momentum and spiked enthusiasm with WWII, which was followed by the synthetic economic booms of the 1950s, 60s and 70s, while the vaunted middle class thrived on fool’s gold, only to be interrupted from that false sense of security with the Vietnam War, with draft eligible aged young men saying, “Hell no, I won’t go” (to Vietnam), flying off to Canada to avoid the draft, while the Flower Children left behind formed communes and gravitated to weird religions chanting on psychedelic highs, “Make love, not war!”

Vietnam is history, but not Iraq and Afghanistan, nor such trouble spots as Syria, Iran and North Korea if not Russia and China, but while the economy is tanking and the national debt is spiraling no one seems to be all that concerned early in the 21st century, as seemingly no one is charge.


NEXT:

Nowhere Man in Nowhere Land -- PART TWENTY ONE -- Christian Missionaries on the New Frontier!