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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

America's Secure Energies

"This has ever been the fate of energy in security; it takes to art and to eroticism, and then come languor and decay." -- H.G. Wells

Is Mr. Wells right about this? The idea is that when man has conquered every need in his world, he will grow "stupid." With out the challenge of necessity or danger, his intellect will dwindle to something like the dim horizon at twilight. When his energies can not be spent on survival, they will be spent on distraction (ie entertainment - art and eroticism).

When I read this quote, I thought of America. We are certainly one of the most secure nations in the world. But do we fit Wells' perscription of "energy in security?"

I mean, take entertainment. We can't deny that while actors, directors, authors, models, and sports figures may not be the wealthiest people in America, they are certainly the most notorious. And how much import does our society place on sexuality? Do we spend our energies on eroticism?

I personally think that Wells is right, when we are totally comfortable we grow weak. Just take your body for example. Without the discipline of excercise and eating properly, we get flabby. However, I don't think that humanity will ever reach a point where they have mastered the earth or society completely. We live in a broken world where things constantly tend toward decay and corruption. New things go wrong, new diseases appear, new enemies rise up.

We have been relatively secure in America for the last decade. No real threat of an outside attack has existed since the Cold War. Here's a thought for you: Based on Wells's theory, do you think the possibility of terrorist attacks might be a good thing? Does it present something to turn our energies toward, other than art and eroticism...?


Anonymous Sarah F. said...

That's a good question, Tin. After 9/11, our energies were all the sudden focused on higher purposes. Church attendance boomed, and everyone seemed to be seeking more meaning in life. However, 5 years later, it seems like we're back where we started. Will it take something even bigger to get our attention? I certainly hope not.

9:49 AM  

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