The Technological Terror of Our Times
Technology is the great benefactor of modern society, or so we are told.
Does the world today have technology or does technology have the world?
Who is master and who is slave?
Technology itself is not as significant as the type or form of technology. By type I refer here to a specific aspect of the centralization of modern technology.
When of the greatest inventions of its time was the flyer of a Saxony spinning wheel. it sped up the production of yarn and thread by ten times. Cloth was abundant including linen cloth. The rags made paper affordable. More than the printing press this discovery brought books to every part of society.
In fact, the printing press was more the result of the Saxony spinning wheel than anything else. More and more technology became more and more complex. With that complexity there came a centralizing of of the sources of technology. The spinning Jennies put the home spinner out of business. Soon you could not make a shirt without a million dollar factory.
Modern Technology has not made us more independent but less. It is has not made us free but has bound us in a cage of dependence.
Out in this desert where I live I came across
what looked like an old airplane engines half buried in the sand. I discovered that it was a wind generator. At the foot of the nearby mountains I found a huge cast iron Pelton wheel, including a two foot GE rheostat that looked like a giant ceramic clock.It was all used to locally generate
electricity as a part of wind and hydro electric plants back in the thirties. The Pelton wheel like the wind generator was also buried in the dirt and forgotten.
I realized that many years ago electrical generators were springing up all around in independent communities. Then came "Rural Electrification", a government program designed to bring cheap electricity to rural society. It was not CHEAP.
That thriving cottage industry and local community independence in power generation died. Massive tax subsidized electrification into central location destroyed the growth of
independent power generation. Today, just below my house is a large dam built by horsepower [teams of horses], which now holds back a mile long spring fed lake[Anna Lake]. Thousands of acre feet of water drops to the river below every year but
generates no usable power because subsidized energy prices keep the local communities plugged into distant sources of energy which they have no real control over.
The centralizing affect of systems of mass technology both draws mankind together and keeps him apart. The small plant technology remains relatively expensive because power is subsidized by tax dollars. People are pulled together in the arms of major technological industries not by community love, cooperation and concern. Most everything we need comes from strangers.
"Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, but to weigh and consider... Histories make men Wise." 1
Rome was a very technological society. It was a complex system of well educated men and women with huge industry and accomplishments, some not rivaled even today.
Rome had been a predominate influence for many years. Roman trade was prized and their engineering ability to construct roads, aqueducts, harbors and ships were unsurpassed.
The Romans poured concrete bridges, buildings and mined whole mountains out of existence. They were masters of trade and commerce and devised a tax and record keeping system that was so complex that it had not
been rivaled until today.
It had a vast system of welfare, importing and distributing millions of tons of grain in Rome [500,000,000 bushels of grain a year from Egypt alone] and had banking and stock systems that dealt in
millions of dollars invested. It sent engineers all over the world to build structures still in use 2000 years later. It built ships that carried more passengers and crew than the Titanic. Romans were building
ships larger than Noah's ark in 400 AD. Ships that carried tons of cargo thousands of passengers including "4000 rowers, 400 other crewmen, and 2850 marines."
It had a complex system of laws and courts which is identical to many present court systems in the world and their maxims of law are still quoted today.
The more corrupt the state, the more it legislates.---Tacitus
Is it flashy media technology and computer
megabytes that regulates the ebbs and flows of civilization? Although technology today glitters and flashes more than it did in the times of Rome its centralizing nature has brought with it a similar moral breakdown.
There are many ways that morality of a society can be defined.
From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
"The quality of an action which renders it good; the conformity of an act to the accepted standard of right. ... The doctrines or rules of moral duties, or the duties of men in their
social character; ethics."
These doctrines or rules of moral duties may have what is called Religious overtones. Men like Abraham, Moses, Buddha and Jesus may be called founders of religions but in fact they were
social reformers. They were bringing people's attentions back to the duties of every man and women in their relationship to, family and community which includes all social aspects of self governance.
People who followed in the wake of their influence often convert and corrupt their wise teachings to a point where they become mindless rituals of control, voiding the steps forward into virtue and morals brought by those
early prophets and teachers.
Pride cometh before the fall.
"The system of morality to be gathered out of... ancient sages falls very short of that delivered in the gospel." --Swift.
At the time of Jesus, Rome as a faltering republic was well into a process of decline and decay. "Of a population of about two million, well-nigh one half were slaves; and, of the rest, the greater part
either freedmen and their descendants, or foreigners. Each class contributed its share to the common decay... The free citizens were idle, dissipated, sunken; their chief thoughts of the
theater and the arena; and they were mostly supported at the public cost... While, even in the time of Augustus, more than two hundred thousand persons were thus maintained by the State, what of the
old Roman stock remained was rapidly decaying, partly from corruption, but chiefly from the increasing cessation of marriage, and the nameless abominations of what remained of family-life."
Family values were a chief topic of political rhetoric in Rome at the time of the first Caesar. Before every election in Rome and during the writing of the new constitution by Augustus Family Values weighed strongly in the formation of
his political platforms.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Even though governments often proclaim the importance of family values in their speeches their actual contribution are mere tokens and often counter productive. Their efforts generally weaken the family because they are lifting
the responsibility off the shoulders of those families with their seemingly benevolent programs within the community. They create dependence rather than independence.
"Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy." Ezekiel 16:49
A more malevolent, selfish and indulgent spirit grew in the people. The tempering of personal charity and sacrifice of a free society was no longer needed. Ease, entertainment and indolence grows in a society that is robbed of the choice of sacrifice.
A man often becomes the lover of soft things at the price of what makes him a man. Men learn to love one another because they see the sacrifice of one to another. No one loves a machine or the machinery of government. They may become addicted to it, depend upon it, even covet its power but they do not love it.
Rome had been in a process of decline for several hundred years and that decline had begun to accelerate. "All contributed to the general decay.... The social relations exhibited, if possible,
even deeper corruption. The sanctity of marriage had ceased. Female dissipation and the general dissoluteness led at last to an almost entire cessation of marriage. Abortion, and the exposure and
murder of newly-born children, were common and tolerated; unnatural vices, which even the greatest philosophers practiced, if not advocated, attained proportions which defy description. As regards
the Roman rule, matters had greatly changed for the worse since the mild sway of Augustus, under which, in the language of Philo, no one throughout the Empire dared to molest the Jews." 3
"Significantly more child behavioral problems are found in those families that have an unsatisfactory marriage than in those with a happy marriage, but the behavioral problems from the
single-parent families are far worse than in unhappily married families."4
The centralization or delegation of the duties and services of the family in the state makes the Natural family obsolete. When the State is your Father then the family is debilitated or dead. Eventually there grows in society a disregard if not a contempt for the institution of the family. The idea that the only government that could be possible are ones of exercising authority and individualism or the free association of nationalism based on common values becomes its enemy.
"As long as the child breathes the poisoned air of nationalism, education in world-mindedness can produce only precarious results. As we have pointed out, it is frequently the family that
infects the child with extreme nationalism. The school should therefore use the means described earlier to combat family attitudes that favor jingoism... We are at the beginning of a long process of
breaking down the walls of national sovereignty. UNESCO must be the pioneer."2
Authoritarian societies as a whole is continuously degrading the family as a unit through economic, social and legal means even though the family is the foundation from which the society is built. Centralizing a dependence on technology is one of the great tools of tyranny in our time.
"If we want better people to make a better world, then we will have to begin where people are made --- in the family."5
Economic pressures may burden and exhaust the parents. Social Security often removes the grandparents from the family unit. School systems distance the parents from the mental development of the
children as they are molded outside the natural family unit. The media and socially applied peer pressures add their own unique and varied distortions to the child's development.
"When the foundation fails all fails."
Holy Matrimony vs. Marriage
This technological society has become completely distracted and dependent upon its machinery both mechanical and institutional. If something were to happen to pull the plug or disrupt the flow of life sustaining
provisions the entire society would began to implode.
"Don't be too proud of the technological terror you have constructed."
Darth Vader in Star Wars
In society today government is the chief grantor of benefits. They do so with funds they extract from the people with threat, duress and force. The people, the churches, the needy turn not to their neighbor or the mechanism of true charity and love but governments whch provide
assistance by exercising authority one over the other.
The Children do not look to their parents for education and counseling but to the schools and public counselors or the mesmerizing multi media. The elderly are cared for by strangers, receive funding through the power of
government. If we are threatened or in danger we don't call our neighbor with the "Hue and Cry" but instead we often just dial an impersonal 911. People are raped or murdered in the streets where people pull their shades believing it is not their responsibility to offer aid or protection...
There is a vast system that has become the fabric of society. It envelopes our lives and immerses our thinking. Like a giant bag it contains our reality blotting out the light of other
possibilities. Inside the people have lost sight of the secret of their own success.
The independence of early America was tempered with the coming together of people for the needs of neighbor and society. No man was an island. Even the most independent individual will eventually need others. The centralization of benefactors who exercise authority has crippled the independence of the people of the world. Everyday the fabric of a centrally dependent society is woven tighter.
Water, food, light, power is dependent not on our hands but distant unknown hands, without affection. Armed military enforce searches on old women in airports. Is it to keep
terrorists out or to keep the fear bundled tightly in the fabric of our new well ordered world?
"The more corrupt the Republic, the more the laws." Giovanni Sartori
What is in this bag of our making is a mix of good and bad, rotten and pure. When the bag ruptures the good will need to learn to swim. But as with every matrix there are the prophets and seers
who see beyond the darkness of our own confinement. They warn, call, hope but action is the province of those who will hear and step forward.
And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the matrix among the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be
mine; Numbers 3:12
The grid that holds our lives in its hands could all fail in moments. Terrorism, we are told is a threat. But, there are forces in the universe that could shut down electrical power on this planet in a big way causing a global disaster of unimaginable proportions. Mega-flares from the sun [CME] could shut
down power, communications, oil flow for the entire sunlit side of the planet for no short period. NASA and FEMA are acutely aware of this possibility and have published material on this subject.
In a primitive society such events would have little dramatic effect. In today's society with all factors calculated into the equation the results could alter every life on this planet never to
return to its prior state of apathy and euphoria.
Is the moral fabric of society held together by love of family, community and our fellow man? The physical heart is a muscle and needs to be exercised to remain healthy. The spiritual and moral
heart of mankind also needs exercise. Without that daily exercise of charity and self-sacrifice men may not be able to maintain order in a moment of social breakdown.
The moral integrity of society's fabric has become as dependent upon the power and control of the enforcers of civil justice as they are on the electron output of distant unseen generators. Charity does not come from our neighbors but from mindless agencies and institutions that are often devoid of personalized love and friendship.
Technology is a mirror image of the soul of society.
Food production, preservation and distribution is entirely dependent on technology. Maintaining even such basic service as clean drinking water is heavily dependent on the flow of electricity.
The dense congregation of people in some areas could not go through another 1929 depression without the imposition of martial law and the forced migration of vast populations to so called areas of safety. I am not sure that the
moral integrity and the family unit would survive the pressures of such social disorder and breakdown. It would be a crash course in fundamental importance of family and community, self-sacrifice and
"To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so
long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies... It systematically undermines the solidarity of the
1 Francis Bacon
2 William Benton, Assistant U.S. Secretary of State, told a UNESCO meeting in 1946
3 "Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah" Bible CD: CHAPTER XI.
4 1993 Journal of Legal Studies 2, 22, citing Carolyn Webster-Stratton, The Relationship of Marital Support, Conflict, and Divorce ...
5 Braud's 2nd Enc. by J.M Braud.
6 On Doublethink in Book Two Section IX of 1984 by George Orwell