Worzels World - Standing in the way of progress
It is becoming increasingly difficult not to give way to sadness. Contrary to popular opinion, and my own occasional boasts, it really isn’t much fun being right about certain things. It was over a decade ago when I had a lively discussion with a friend, which to those listening may have seemed more like a full-blown argument. It was about such wonders of the modern world as credit cards, cell phones, genetically modified organisms and other technological wizardry.
I insisted no good would come of it. I still remember his stoical response: ‘You can‘t stand in the way of progress‘. I told him he had become too much like the sheep that he farmed and that like them he would, no doubt, be led down the garden path at the end of which would be an abattoir.
These days, for the sake of my own peace of mind, I try not to look too hard or too long upon the world of men. But when I do I see where ‘not standing in the way of progress’ has brought us. Cancer rates have increased dramatically. There must be a cause related to modern lifestyles but in spite of the millions raised and spent on research either no one has any idea what this might be, or those that do know are not talking. Not so long ago one child in 10,000 was autistic in the US, this is now one in 28. Obesity and diabetes are also at epidemic proportions as is depression and suicide. Many jobs that were once done manually are now done by machine and the natural physical exercises in life – work and sport – have been replaced with computer games, machines and gym memberships.
But you can’t stand in the way of progress. Political and public service corruption is endemic. When what little remains of the free press exposes it is a case of ‘ho hum’ (‘They all do it you know’) it’s not really news any more.
There is outrage at pigs in cramped crates yet no one really cares that people live in their cars or on the streets because there is no suitable housing. The possibility of affordable housing is further precluded by consents and compliance regulations that make building costs prohibitive. Beggars are moved on because they make the city look untidy. But you can’t stand in the way of progress. Infrastructure has become increasingly run down and can only be maintained, replaced or upgraded by incurring massive debt as well as increasing the tax burden on a steadily dwindling number of productive citizens. Those once called the middle class and who comprised the bulk of Kiwi society are now an endangered species having been mostly divided into the well-heeled wealthy and the working poor.
Burglary clearance rates in Northland are currently 6.8 per cent yet police have ample time to issue infringement notices for minor traffic offences that have not harmed anyone but which raise millions for the consolidated fund. Many school leavers are functionally illiterate and innumerate.
University graduates end up having to work at Burger King. Wealth disparity is at an historical high while moral values at an historical low.
When I was a kid at school we had maths teachers, english teachers, a headmaster and a school secretary. There was no school counsellor. Nor was there ever a case of suicide. But you can’t stand in the way of progress and the suicide rate amongst school children has certainly progressed. New Zealand has moved from a simple land and sea based lifestyle founded and grounded in the natural world, to a sophisticated cosmopolitan culture embracing corporatism, greed, selfishness and ten different ways to have coffee. Oh and let's not forget cultural diversity.
You can't stand in the way of progress. Or can you? I certainly wish I had stood a little more staunchly in the way of so-called progress in the past and am resolved to do so from now on. The population is so busy, so regulated, so brainwashed, so dumbed down and so put upon that very few are prepared to take an objective look and say ‘let’s stop all this, it is not really progress’. No, it is only the sort of progress that is made by a condemned man who is kept busy digging his own grave. There is a progress of sorts as the hole gets deeper and nearer the six foot mark. But deep down he knows that the end of all this progress is not what he desires and this feeling grows stronger with every shovel full of clay.
There are however some who, rather than go along with the status quo, have simplified their lives, have woken up, rejected the spirit of consumerism, eschewed corporate control, decided that slavery and condemnation is not for them and have looked for the truth that still exists and is available to all who seek Him. They put aside the shovel and climb out of the hole before it has become too deep. Time is short but it is not yet too late.
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I certainly wish I had stood a little more staunchly in the way of so-called progress in the past and am resolved to do so from now on.