We (mankind) have a tendency to form factions, and we disagree about everything. I’m including myself in this – I belong to a lot of factions, and I imagine you do too. If Republicans come out in favor of Motherhood and Apple Pie, Democrats are likely to be against them. (Some already are – the Gay movement and anti-obesity crowd.)
I’m writing this before the outcome of the so-called “Fiscal Cliff” resolution is known. Will legislators find a way to kick the can down the road a few weeks, and tickle their propaganda machines to claim they’ve done something wonderful in doing so? Probably. But the underlying problem remains, and I think it will always remain: we simply can’t agree on what the problems are. If we do see a problem, we can’t agree on how to fix it. If we know how to fix it, we can’t get together and do it.
All I have to do to prove my thesis is list a few of the unending problems we have (but of course some won’t see these as problems) and note how little real progress has been made on them.
Poverty? Lyndon Johnson declared war on it, but the percentage of people below the poverty line is the same (but then, politicians keep raising the line);
The deficit and the debt? They just keep going up, and we’ve recently re-elected their champion;
Bad economy? The better to keep the Democrats in power, My Dear;
Family values? What is a family, these days? Two guys? Two women? A single mother with four kids, drawing ADC? Eight or ten illegal aliens, living together and working at a meat packing plant? A man and a woman living together who haven’t bothered to marry? The conventional family, a man and a woman married is way down on the list these days;
Religion? We have people among us who believe if they blow themselves up and kill infidels, they will wake up in heaven and be attended by large numbers of virgins (that should be a dead giveaway – in my experience, those are hard to find); we have people who want to take Christ out of Christmas; we have people who don’t do anything for themselves because they think a big invisible guy in the sky will make things all better (in spite of a lot of historical evidence to the contrary.);
Political freedom? It seems to be going south. As governments grow, freedom shrinks. Our government is growing. It wants to solve all our problems (so we won’t have to, and so we won’t want to vote it out of office), and in doing so it has to make rules to address all the problems. But, rules and regulations reduce freedom. Example: a company wants to build a pipeline or a nuclear power plant, but the government says no, so we don't;
Ignorance? It has always been with us, but now it may be out of control. There are many who don’t know American history, traditions, or values. They have no idea of what the constitution says, or why we have one.
Stupidity? It’s the twin of ignorance, and often results in bad choices. Some folks are so racially prejudiced that over 90% of them vote to re-elect a bad president because he happens to be of their race. Then, there are too many people so religiously biased they won’t vote for a Mormon, even though the alternative is a greater evil;
The division between the Left and the Right is unending and appears to be a form of war. Do we want to end up like North Vietnam – totally left (and loving it, or else) or like Greece, totally socialist and in trouble, or as a capitalistic democracy with limited government and economic success? There shouldn’t be a question here, but in fact we’re in the middle of a vast Leftward pull.
I haven’t even touched the surface of chronic problems we aren’t solving. We who collectively comprise Mankind may be so flawed in our basic nature that we never will solve them, even if total collapse is otherwise inevitable. For a myriad of reasons, we don't work together to solve major problems.