Thursday, February 7, 2008

Are They Crazy Dangerous or Just Plain Crazy?

Are They Crazy Dangerous or Just Plain Crazy?

You can tell a lot about a group's danger quotient by taking a quick look at their preferred future. The CSIS document was written in 1999, so the authors had their eyes wide open looking for millennialist groups looking to bring on some variant of the Second Coming in 2000. That threat, of course, has passed; but the general rule still holds. Any group that's insisting that The End Is Near -- that the world is about to end in fire, ice, Rapture, or a Racial Holy War -- has already taken one giant step back from consensus reality. Interestingly: the report notes that "not all foresee a violent turning of the millennium; in fact, many see it as the catalyst for peaceful and harmonious change." Harmonic convergences and Jesus' Thousand-Year Kingdom also apply here. (Note, however: global warming, which is supported by thousands of studies, does not.)

The core point is: people who think this way have given up hope that they can create any kind of fulfilling future within this society, and have retreated to a fantasy future that they find more emotionally compelling. This is important: as I've discussed before, creating a common future is the fundamental goal that keeps societies together; and the shared vision and collective effort this goal inspires are critical to a functioning democracy.

Yeah. Thank you. If your goal is not to make this world a better place but instead to hasten its end, your goals do not mesh with mine. End of line.

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