Sometime in the course of life one has to embrace ideas that once ran contrary to the foundation of one’s identity and existence. These sorts of discoveries are made at pivotal times when due to the natural order of things one must change places with their parents or when one is now longer a member of the most energetically active demographic of society. The Sphinx of Oedipus marks these junctures out in terms of levels of mobility, ‘4’, ‘2’, ‘3’. While this number sequence is not necessarily indicative of a golden mean from the pen of a Pythagoras, the sharp distinction of the methods of locomotion inferred make a fundamental point. That at least three times in the course of one’s lifetime, their view of the world is very likely to fundamentally change. Possibly to a polar opposite!
Is this so very hard to see in the culture of a society? The paradigm of Western Civilization as influenced by groups at its extreme has been reversed in its course many times. The idea of brutal punishment for societies’ transgressors has flipped flopped many times over the centuries from the socially informed criticism of a Victor Hugo, “Les Miserables” to the political expediency of a Guantanamo or Abu Gharaib. The slow inevitable campaign towards bringing all cultures to bear under the rule of a single entity resulting in the institution of Totalitarian policies as a means to a supposedly utopian end. The current controversies that reach the national stage on the list of mass media unsupportable causes are populated with modes of thinking that were not to long ago considered mainstream. The irony of these sorts of polar shifts being that the flip flop back and forth is never mentioned as the ‘year zero’ of the appreciation of history is always pushed up to hide the follies occasioned by the last arrival to similar conclusions.
If one were to make a scholarly assessment on the ‘newly-popularized’ topic of Political Science, one would quickly apprehend that these periodic shifts are the mechanisms of those who for centuries broker the transfer of power proverbially from behind the curtain. The closest description of fundamental strategies behind these mutable epochs in the hands of children’s tales as with a Frank Baum or the more erudite George (Orwell) Blair. And in keeping with the larger cosmology of surrounding society, individuals are tasked not only to amass knowledge from their life’s experience but to put it into action on behalf of their own kith and kin. The most longstanding form of stability in social relations being an ongoing balance of opposing interests moderated in the spirit of detente. Not the imbalance as being cheer led today where elite mercantile oligarchies rule through deceptive institutional persuasion of a population from cradles to grave. Survival is dependent upon identifying where one’s best self interests lay and not supporting bilious concepts that result in ruin for the benefit of public policy that ultimately only benefits the top echelon of organized society. There is no sin or grievous moral crisis in the consideration of the overall health of one’s family and loved ones being set highest above. Or for that fact to judiciously give aid to foreign recipients. But as the airline signs posed above your seat in the plane proclaim, make sure you, “make sure your own oxygen mask is properly secured before trying to help others!”