We're going nowhere
Race and gender are an issue in the democratic race for nomination between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. After 200.000 years or so that we are around on this planet, race and gender are an issue?! Radio host Sam Seders (I like his talk), in a whim, painted this as an ironic situation. As if this were symptomatic of our failiure to stop making inferences based on race or gender.
I think the irony is that we have such expectations. How could gender and race not be an issue? Are we expected to factor out race and gender in our relationships? Are we expected to be indifferent towards these human features?
Let's say you meet a woman with a bulky nose. Your thinking goes: Oh well, she has a huge nose, but i won't let that influence my impression of her physical attractiveness.
Stupid cavalier! Of course it does have an effect. It does because it does. We perceive differences around us, because if we did not, there would be no human species.
In highly industrialized economies (the west, whatever) there is a trend to promote the virtues of female capabilities. There is also more ground for people of different nationalities to respect each other. On a global scale though, i doubt that there is any real trend toward equalizing either race or gender differences.
Should we be conscious and respectful about other people's race and gender? Absolutely. Should we play over the differences, as if they would not exist? Absolutely not.
I think it is futile to expect that either gender or race should play a decreasing role in our relationships. It is not something you can expect, because it is not something we naturally want to do. Nobody really wants that. But as our economies grow more together, it is simply something we have to do. So we put a veil of respect over those issues, because it is probably in our self-interest to wear this veil.
I think one should accept one thing: Race and gender play a grim role and that will never change. Electing the next president is exactly where it should not be surprising to see that such differences play out.
To get ahead as a species, I think one should acknowledge another thing: We want others to have less freedom and unity than we want for ourselves. Achieving our freedom however depends increasingly on allowing others to have it. More equality is however not in our interest. So where do these pressures lead us?
To space = maybe
To war = absolutely
What do you prefer, going to heaven, or going to hell?
We're going nowhere, unless we're going to other planets. Social orders on our planet are so muddy that you can easily sidestep and drown. That's not pessimism. It is just what happens when you stuff more and more people into a crowded place. We're not good at keeping that crowd entertained. We're good at production, but not good at matching supply with demand. Would that change if our supply would become more sustainable, more green, less exploitative of our planet's resources? Can technology reign in greed, race and gender differences, and all that?
I think we should shoot straight for space.