How is it that a rogue NFL player, one of the Housewives-of-New-Jersey, and ISIS can get equal headline attention…? How is it that you and I are so improbably fickle in our public focus…?
Lets start with the cold hard fact — human nature is flawed. Theologically, genetically, socially. When the West replaced aristocracy with democracy, unfortunately the same flawed human nature that had allowed the old elites to rule with vicious self-interest now accompanied the new masses. The only real difference was that in a democracy, vicious self-interest just operates in larger numbers. Remember, though, a mob can exploit you just as well as an elite, as any football stadium brawl will illustrate.
How then to tame our flawed human nature for a better world….?
Religions try, schools try, artists try. The pages of history tell us no one has really achieved that lofty mission for very long. Suggesting to some neuroscientists that we are wired for aggressive self-interest from the get-go, and no outside and/or higher cause really grips us enough for us to be what we are not.
Oh we try. We have prayer vigils, we weep for the cameras, we elect the occasional reformer in hopes of a New Frontier, Sunrise in America, maybe even the Exceptionalism
we like to believe belongs to the United States. All of which is good and hopeful….
…but then along comes something really important, say like Ray Rice or the Kardashians.
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