Long time ago the Mayor of Babylon Town decided to erect a tall tower, the Tower of Babel to link the town to Heaven. Construction advanced and the Tower became visible from Heaven. God feared for his privacy and decided to sink the project. He elected to use “confusion” for the job. One night a platoon of Angels implanted different “language microchips”, (“cells” they called them then), in the crania of the tower builders. The morning after, all were at a loss to understand Architect’s orders and could not communicate with each other. Predictably, this caused the Tower to collapse and helped God dispel his privacy fears .
Eventually God repented for that “Act of God” and sent his Son to give Earthlings PR-filtered information about God, in lieu of that which we sought to learn first hand by prodding Heaven with the Tower. The Son founded the biggest communications enterprise ever on Earth, dotting the landscape with retail outlets c/w loud Bells. It resulted in the Dark Ages.
After Dante Alighieri pushed back the Dark Ages, Gutenberg, Nietzsche, Marconi Marshall MacLuhan and a host of others, rushed to break the monopoly and the monotony of God’s message. Mythology aside, the Babel Tower story illuminates the enormous significance of communications.
But have we learnt? Learnt what? Learnt that that which we need know changes as time goes by. It is like watching the changing scenery from the train and coming to terms with the changing landscape – in Italy we eat spaghetti, after we cross to Germany we eat schnitzel. In wartime, killing a thousand is heroism – in peacetime killing one is murder. We need understand that we learn as we go. Civilization advances and enables us to discern and understand the laws of nature. We need learn that “saviours” are “contemporary fashionistas, that “change is the only constant”.
We humans came to the top of the food chain by using our brain. But we carry residues of the primitive “survival instinct” to “obtain eats and avoid being eaten”, which served us before we got smart. This instinct often surfaces and takes the best of us, suppresses our mental prowess, commands our conduct and turns things ugly.
When the Inquisitors were working on Galileo we “knew” that the Earth was standing still, did we not? We also knew that God wanted us to burn at the stake heretics like Galileo; and to launch “crusades” to rape and pillage.
During the Cold War McCarthyism ravaged the USA. It destroyed people and wreaked havoc with civilization. McCarthyism amassed adherents and caused widespread mistrust, fear, angst and anger. Eventually, Joseph Welch stood up “six feet” in front of Senator McCarthy and hit him with seven words: “Have you no sense of decency, sir?” America was listening and made that the end of McCarthyism. Check it out, it is a magnificent moment in the history of Democracy.
Look at our Canada now, some 60 years after McCarthyism. We are pushed to decry our ancestors, our siblings, ourselves ... Peoples’ careers are destroyed and peoples’ lives are routinely ruined. We are ceaselessly driven to affirm disdain for our country, our parents, and ourselves. We are urged to turn Canada into a gigantic morgue wherein to spend our lives lamenting our heritage. What would be left?
When we lose loved ones, we mourn but eventually recover and resume living the one life we have. Now “they” are driving us to become masochists forever seeking causes to lament, forever and ever more. We appear to take it passively, because “they” have isolated us each in a cell of a huge honeycomb securely holding us isolated and scared. As in the Babylon Tower disaster, we are prevented from understanding each other. They supplant “symbols” and “slogans” in lieu of discussion and debate and force us to “follow” those. Symbols paralleling the “Crucifix” and slogans like “Praise the Lord” of the Dark Ages.
The society is suffering with multiple wars perennially fought over the fragmentation lines. The issues range from “good to bad and in-between” – there is no doubt about that. But the meritorious matters suffer in the darkness imposed to protect things which cannot survive the light of day.
Political Correctness personifies the wrath of God who frustrated the Tower of Babel by “polyglotizing” the builders. PC prevents us from discussing the dictates of the bullies and the calls for fairness and compels us to obey unexamined the dicta of the warlords of the inter-societal wars.
The above lead to the conclusion that we badly need a truce in the inter-societal warfare we now suffer. We need a period of calm for reflection, a period for “question and answer”, “examination and explanation”, “analysis and synthesis”. There is no time like the present to start on that for mañana could be too late because the slippery slope is unidirectional downwards.