Categories
Philosophy

Half sunk a shattered visage lies…

Shelley’s Ozymandias always comes to mind when I see the selfish empire builders and power hungry dictators of this world.

The greatest irony of every instance of civilisation collapse has probably never been that it comes without warning or time to avert impending catastrophe, as even then when disaster looms it is never entirely unexpected or unforeseen by those bearing sufficient intellect to observe its impending arrival.

It is much more likely that we will find the bitterest truth in that the central reason for civilisation collapse dwells in the hearts and minds of those very little men (and yes it is usually men, not women) who, in their own fear of insignificance and of being lost to memory or meaningless expanses of time after their own brief lives, seek to impose their will upon this world in conquests and cruelty.

Granted, there are those who sit idly by as these tyrants and decorated misanthropes ingloriously go about their essentialy evil and self-serving business but in the defence of the common person who just seeks to live a long and healthy life, human beings seem almost predisposed to gullibility and to being swept away in grand visions of rhetoric, fantasy and myth.

It is almost as though we want to be misled and in so doing might easily cast aside all the doubts and burdens of uncertainty with which we are born, knowing full well that following the Great and Terrible characters of history and living inside their Other lie we need not hide from our own fears of meaninglessness, forgetting and insignificance – we can hide inside theirs.

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