If you’ve watched basically any movie or played any game in the last four decades you’ve likely noticed a theme. The general commentary that the natural trend of humanity is towards violence and destruction. With the rise of technology and our unprecedented connectedness it is probably pretty easy to just accept this as truth.
But have you ever wondered why? I don’t think the answer is all that complicated. The nuance of the answer, surely, but the basic issue? As with so many things this is a numbers game. This is an issue of entropy, or less obscure, a house of cards.
There are very few ways that everything can be happy and lovely. But there are nearly infinitely many ways that everything can be awful. Likewise there is a very precise order needed to keep a house of cards standing. Remove even a single card and the entire thing collapses.
Humanity works similarly. This makes sense because we are trapped in the same universe and must follow the same laws. And ultimately I think this is the crux of the problem.
If you want to have world peace you have to convince everyone that it is in their best interest. You have to convince everyone that they shouldn’t want for everything. Because it only takes a small handful of greedy people to set the wheels in motion to move towards dystopia.
This is why you can ask just about anyone what they want in life and you’ll find a reasonable and rational response. It is why if you follow the actions of just about anyone you won’t really be mortified by who they are. But the small group of people who would give you nightmares are enough to cause a breeze. And all it takes is a single exhale to shake the cards.
A small group of investors can ruin the lives of hundreds, thousands, or even millions of lives. A couple hundred people can lead to the deaths of millions in the blink of an eye. A couple dozen people can keep an entire country crippled and starving.
It’s something I’ll want to touch on in a future post. When people ask “What is wrong with wanting to make more money?” I think they are underestimating the very problem that cripples humanity. There is a point where extra wealth will have no appreciable difference in your personal life but it will have a negative impact, sometimes vastly, on the lives around you. And I think that is the problem with wanting for everything.
Another thing I’ll want to write about is how you (for lack of a better term) brute force this problem. I don’t think the answer is violence or simply imprisoning the problem humans. I think the solution is to prevent them from being able to ruin others in the first place. You must create a world where people can satisfy their greed in a nearly isolated state. Technology ultimately is the TL;DR of that future post.
I don’t think it is futile though. I just think it isn’t easy. Short of gluing the cards in place you have to actively make sure the environment is supportive of a house of cards.