What Would It Look Like If Civilization Had A Nervous Breakdown?

January 17, 2008 – Are the accumulated pressures of “civilization” finally causing it to suffer a “nervous breakdown”? The evidence of breakdown and flailing efforts to somehow preserve the system are everywhere. Desperate people are lashing out against one another, uncertain who or what to blame for their personal problems and our social problems.

By The Cerebral Aesthetic Vagabond

Nervous breakdown
Non-clinical definition: general term for various emotional disorders causing severe life disturbance.
Symptoms: inability to cope.
Causes: Extreme stress, emotional trauma, grieving, severe anxiety.

I recently read a fascinating article that referred to a discipline known as ponerology. [1] It captivated me because I had never before considered the hypothesis it raised: that our systems of government and commercial enterprise across the globe have been irreparably corrupted by a “critical mass” of evil people, who some have eloquently termed “pathocrats.”

That would explain so much about our world today and why everything seems reversed: what was once wrong is now right; truth, once considered noble, has given way to endemic dissembling; where we once championed helping people in need, today we push them away (as in the case of the homeless) or simply kill them (as in Palestine); knowledge is scorned, while unsubstantiated belief is embraced.

The world today reminds me of that excellent Star Trek episode, titled Mirror, Mirror, [2] in which in the midst of the transporter beam, several crew members swap places with their counterparts from an almost identical parallel universe, but in which everything is backwards: evil is endemic, violent ascension is admired, the administration of pain thinly conceals a latent pornographic lust, just like in the case of our own Abu Ghraib prison scandal. ...

Because of the length of this essay, it is presented as a PDF file, which can be accessed here.

The End