We've Seen This Before, A Better World Awaits

in #societylast year

With all the riots and unrest, crime and murder rates surging, harmful policies being pushed & ideas being promoted, and the kinds of people in elected office—you are right to think the world is falling apart. In some ways it is.

But it's not the first time the world has experienced such a period. In fact, it’s happened before for similar reasons.

In 1500s Europe, the Catholic Church ordered society. Then the Reformation came along, breaking up this monolithic rule. It did so in large part because of an invention for disseminating information: the printing press. The immediate result of this break-up was a surge of disorder and chaos and power struggles. Civilians were murdered. religious leaders publicly executed, and some new religions became cults.

La_masacre_de_San_Bartolomé,_por_François_Dubois.jpg

It was messy and confusing and deadly. But it ended. And following the unrest blossomed a whole new world of spiritual expression--from Amish to Southern Baptists. At the same time, more power was given to the people who started their own spiritual practices and social organization, all within a continent where power distributed from one main body to several smaller ones.

Today we're having our own "printing press" moment. Ours is with the internet. Looking back at the last couple of decades shows the rapid rise of disruptive social movements, unorthodox political leaders, and institutional failure--all in the wake of our era's society-shifting technology for enhanced communication of information, ideas, and organization.

People are sometimes letting this enhanced connectivity and information (or misinformation) get the better of them, leading to the destruction and chaos we're now seeing almost daily. Then again, some in the 1500s let the new freedom of their information and social revolution steer them into degenerative cults. The power of drastic, new communication technologies seems to cause an unraveling of society before things are built back up into something better.

If you find yourself wondering if the world is going mad--while perhaps feeling you're not allowed to point it out--know that you're not alone. And remember: The enhanced empowerment and human potential resulting from the Reformation will also result in our lifetimes following the current disorder. Things are ugly now, but hang in there--and even step up to take charge. The other side of this will be a more egalitarian, expressive, free, and empowering world that WILL be rebuilt.

Have a great Sunday.