by cleaves Sunday, Jan 16 2005, 10:28am
international / social/political / opinion/analysis
The recent South Asian tsunami disaster has drawn attention to geological articles and reports written by the world’s leading geophysicists. [Your favourite search engine would furnish you with ample information in this regard.] From even a layperson’s perspective it becomes clear that this type of event is a relatively minor ‘rumbling’ of the earth’s crust.
In view of specialist opinion regarding other areas in zones straddling the Ring of Fire/Pacific Rim and continental plate junctures, one would imagine that governments of vulnerable nations (which include the US and Japan) have implemented strategies to prevent massive loss of life. In the case of the US West Coast it is known that a major earthquake is long overdue. The magnitude of this certain future event could easily dwarf that of the undersea quake that created the tsunami in South Asia and even plunge large portions of coastal land into the sea. The ensuing loss of life in those highly populated areas could easily exceed tens of millions – yet no significant strategies have been deployed to prevent the potentially horrendous loss of life. The short-sighted corporate driven US government has other priorities.
With today’s advanced monitoring technology and the existing information presented by leading geophysicists, is it acceptable to maintain a fatalistic attitude or is it completely unrealistic to expect that a culture’s priorities would change? Present cultural trends and prevailing attitudes would clearly suggest affirmative answers to both questions. Yet we all know that no one wishes to be a victim of these disasters. Herein lies the contradiction of cultural (or mass) consciousness and particular or individual consciousness. Cultural (mass) consciousness is akin to the ‘patients taking over the sanatorium’ (and by consequence, the profoundly insane would occupy positions of authority) whereas individual consciousness maintains a relatively rational approach. A national or cultural tendency toward perversity can be readily determined by the disposition of its leaders. Is the reader able to identify any nation where the profoundly insane occupy the seats of power? Therefore, it is with regret that we express our sincere condolences for the tragic deaths awaiting the majority in California.
In order to curtail needless loss of life, the ‘herd mentality’ would need to be displaced by the rationality of individuals who do not forfeit their sovereignty. A mutually cooperative approach prevents (among other things) mass mindlessness. The priorities of a cooperative society would necessarily favour the well being of its citizens. Unless the herd mentality is abandoned expect the irrational to dominate and lead the horde to continued calamity.