Monday, July 26, 2010

Industrialism And Lost Innocence

The thing about innocence is that you were always more innocent yesterday. Am I right?

What do I mean by this? I mean several things, but to state it another way, you're always innocent of whatever's going to arise tomorrow, as long as you don't know about it. That's one thing. And, two, because of experience, which always goes along with innocence, if you haven't had particular experiences then you're innocent of what those experiences would be and participation in them.

We see this all the time with society, being on a larger scale than the individual. In the '60s we looked back to the "innocence of the '50s," then in the '70s the "innocence of the '60s," and so forth. Right up to today, where we're always looking back to the innocence of the '90s or the pre-9/11 days or what have you. But as we all realize, I hope, the times we had weren't so innocent at the time!

The solution is just to stop time and never experience anything, never advance or regress. I've done that to a certain extent, so I'm a relatively innocent person. Right out of high school, like other boys, I figured I'd go to college, get a fancy job, get married, get my own place, have kids, etc. But none of that happened. Instead, I moved in with Grandma and Grandpa (who since has died, 1978), and here I am, now an adult caretaker of my aged grandmother.

There are advantages and disadvantages. The wife I would have had, she and I have never had any arguments nor has divorce been threatened or carried out. The children we would have had, they never get sick, don't need new shoes, video games, or a car. They never need school supplies, permission slips, or lunch tickets. They don't bring home unruly friends. They don't get pregnant or impregnate others. We've never had a fight. The house I would have had never burns down. I never get in trouble at the job I would have had. They've never loaded me up with paperwork. And I've never had the joy of college loans. The disadvantages might be ... here I am, more or less all by myself.

I'm as innocent as they come, and that has to count for something!

All this applies to industrialism in the same way. With industrialism -- as great as it is, in particular with the Residential Industrial Movement (RIM) -- we have the ability to own the means of production, to produce endlessly, to make a lot of money, and to keep prices dirt cheap. There's nothing we can't have if we want it. And I think that's wonderful. From my closest neighbors, anytime I want I can go and buy wheels for hospital beds, disposable diapers, and industrial vats. Just to name a few. And they can come to me and buy a few of my tires or contract with me for electricity. It all works together.

But how innocent are we? Once upon a time, our yards were just yards, with fountains, flower beds, squirrels feeding at the bird feeder, and rabbits enjoying our gardens. Children would run through the neighborhood, flying a kite or shooting firecrackers. You'd see neighbors fanning themselves on the porch, taking it easy, or sitting in a lawn chair out on an actual lawn. Now it's just factories and industrial complexes everywhere, and warehouses. And occasionally someone will throw a rock through a window in one of the warehouses, making a mess.

As great as the RIM has been -- and the full story of its future glories is still to be told -- one can't help but, just occasionally, shedding maybe a tear now and then, like if something gets in our eye from one of the spare parts, for whatever innocence there may be that we've lost.

I'm not trying to be a downer. Industrialism really is great, so let's work together! There's still plenty of innocence ahead, which we won't lose till more time has passed.

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