My Lifelong Agony and Hope for the Future (Polemic) by Edwin L. Young, PhD


It is peculiar. From my earliest days I had this paradoxical love for and understanding of people (as a child that understanding was inchoate). As I was growing up, I began to observe and try to understand the social institutions in my small town and try to understand the many ‘disordered’ people within it like the insane, retarded, and criminal, the extremely poor and the racially ostracized people. I tried to understand why groups such as churches or even schools ridiculed and denigrated each other, why rivalry was so almost fiendishly encouraged, and why merciless bullying was not only tolerated but was even a major part of sports. I tried to understand why there was such distrust and hatred for people who were ‘different’. I tried to understand why parents, adults, authorities and the like would use punishment and criticism to force their children so as to gain compliance with their demands, and yet many of these seemed odd, hypocritical, and even irrational to me.

As I grew up, even from my middle teens, I began to want to try to find ways to change these states of existence, these negative ways of behaving, that I saw in others, and I began to want to try to change peoples’ ways of being in relation to ‘different’ others. I soon found this goal profoundly difficult to achieve and, consequently, I almost frantically sought deeper understandings and explanations of why, not just individuals but, civilization(s) and its institutions are the way they are. It all seemed too counterproductive and even harmful to me. When I grew into adulthood, I doggedly sought more effective ways to reform these anachronistic, ossified, and malignant institutions. The fact that I could not succeed in doing so then and cannot now, except in rare instances and then only on a minute scale, did not and does not make me renege on that quest. It has, nevertheless, left me with an almost perpetual underlying agony and bewilderment over this sad state of human existence and over humans’ constant unwitting and variegated inhumanity to each other.

My structuralism philosophy along with my internationality theory eventually helped me to understand ‘the why’ of all this but that understanding just left me with a sense of futility, of being overwhelmed with the irrevocable finality of this unfortunate knowledge. Now, in my old age, I am despairing over the fact that I cannot make the slightest dent in the twisted nature of human civilizations and their unfortunate, unwitting, inescapably captive inhabitants.

To me, this is a pervasive fiendish dynamic inherent in civilizations’ globally; a condition persisting now and as it has been for so many, too many, tens of millennia of the past.

On the one side, the bottom side, are those in our own nation who are victimized by externally manufactured strife and stress and also those around the globe. There are those in underdeveloped countries whom the West has made to scavenge for their survival and having to do so on their own exploited, raped, and natural resource depleted native soil; while on the other, the top, side there are the plundering plutocratic aristocrats of the US and Western nations who have, sempiternally, been inflicting such malevolence on those beneath them for centuries. These elitists are perennially deceiving and exploiting those who are poor, ignorant, disadvantaged, and uneducated, especially if they have something of coveted value.

Globally, now, the West has whole populations that are unwittingly trapped in the corporately imposed soul-depleting rat race for success that primarily serves the elite; The West now has near googols of humans who are enforced into and locked into impecunious, slavish, debilitating, treadmills of labor; it has vast numbers of nearly entire populations and segregated groups coaxed into civil war within them who are tyrannized by foreign, profiteering, Western invaders and arms dealer.  So many, now, of those under-developed peoples have been devastated by rapacious Western contrived civil strife which strife has then been used to foment wars while foreign ‘Western’ nations’ arms manufacturers supply them weapons for profit.

These blights on humanity all are created by the elitist ‘proprietors’ of the vulnerable, ignorant peoples of the rest of the world. Entrenched in their very existence as elitists, these Westerner political, military, and corporate leaders seem to be determined to exert an abysmal yet intransigent force over all of the rest of the world.

All I can do is utter my little tidbits of insights into this condition of our human existence, declare the results of my lifelong studies, and write about my understandings coming from my analyses of the histories of malformed civilizations that extend from their origins in very distant antiquity up to the present day. Still, I hope my claims have the ring of some degree of reality about them and that they will be thoughtfully and well received and will be reflected upon by friends and my readers.

Nevertheless, looking around me at the earth and its creatures, I am in awe of what has occurred over these billions of years and of what magnificent forms of life have evolved on our tiny planet.

Understanding the structural causes, inherent in civilizations, of what I consider the idiocy of the malevolence and cruelty of ‘civilized’ humans toward each other and, furthermore, considering the so-called civilized humans destructive behavior toward all other forms of life within nature helps to foster, within me, an empathy for all of those many subjugated, slavishly civilized, yet abused, humans as well as for our dear earth’s victimized mother nature. Yet, at the same time, I maintain a reverence for all of our wondrously evolved nature. Both of these positive feelings, these positive tendencies, are in me as is their inverse as well. These polar opposites exist simultaneously in my heart and mind. Oddly, these positives joyfully exist in me while paradoxically and simultaneously existing side by side in me along with the horror and agony over all of the horrible negatives inflicted upon our species by twisted civilizations.

Aged as I am, still, I cannot but persist in doing whatever I can within my infinitesimal corner of the world to enlighten others as to this pitiable plight of our species as they go on meandering along within their clueless, physical, and psychological overlord-’civilization’. Yet undaunted from my tiny corner of the world and from the vast open intellectual arena of my mental world, I would, should you accept, take you on a brave intellectual journey that, while somewhat intimidating at each new step, still, as we enter that each new step takes us into the clearing, into a new vision of a world, a vision contrary to civilization’s crooked and perilous previous previous path. There then, with that vista before us, I hope it will open to you a fresh, unspoiled understanding of nature as it should have been, as it could be. It will open unto a wondrous new vision of a beautiful new human nature and a vision of a creative, life enhancing, new way for our global civilization to become, a way just waiting to begin the massive challenge of restructuring our planet’s future.

As I contemplate this situation, I wonder how many of you, my dear readers, will come to share these same paradoxical feelings and tendencies that yet that will open onto a wondrous, healthy, beautiful, new, and humane future.


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