Are we civilized? We are starting to witness the beginning of a new era. It is full of information and technology, and it will decide how the future is going to be. But despite all our new inventions and ideas that show us how we’re better off than the generations before us, have we grown in any other ways? Does being civilized only mean to become more advanced technologically, or does it apply to our moral foundation? It is very obvious that society has developed a lot in learning and technology. Today, we have inventions such as the stealth fighter, the home computer and nuclear powered power plants and naval vessels. Things that were imagined many years back have now become today’s reality.
Single machines now hold the jobs that used to take hundreds of men to accomplish by hand, so in this sense, we have become more civilized. On the other hand, not all of the inventions that have been developed from the technology world are used to do good deeds. Our great society has allowed the production of many weapons whose sole intention is to create mass destruction and to kill large amounts of life. Many people now live in constant fear of the use of these weapons, while others sit back and enjoy them for protection. We still have as many wars as we did in the past, but now the new technology used in them helps bring about more human casualties. An example of this would be Operation Desert Storm.
I was a 23-year-old man, sent off to fight for the liberation of Kuwait and to kick the crap out of a bully named Saddam Hussein. I was the crewchief on an UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division from Ft. Hood, TX. From the time the air war started to the 100 hours of hell we threw at the Iraqi Army, it was never more evident the role that technology played in decimating an enemy and b! reaking his will to win and survive. The pictures that my young eyes saw will forever be burned into memory. Technology was a teacher of pain and suffering, but it was also a savior in helping bring home the lives of many young men who might of not come back in previous wars. Besides the wars, society really has yet to understand other people.
Prejudice is alive and burning in the hearts of many throughout our society. Many hate groups are still around today, as they were hundreds of years ago, and many new groups are starting to form and become active. Oklahoma City felt the wrath of some very passionate people who were trying to avenge the loss of comrades to the Federal Government. Many innocent people were killed, and it all boils down to beliefs and ideas. Racism still has its hand around the throats of many in our society as well. It seems that some of the worst racists in our society are the ones who say they’re not racist, but on the inside they really are.
These are the people who say they’re not racist, but they don’t hire the East Indian employee who was the most qualified of the candidates. They coach the all white basketball team. They fight over the red and blue colors of bandannas worn around their heads. The worst part is, it d! oesn’t even phase them when they are doing it. In the past when our country was just starting to be formed, there were many prejudices just because people were different. Now over a century later, people haven’t changed much, which makes me wonder if we really have become civilized yet.
Democracy is also something that has played a big part in our journey to become civilized. A democracy in my words is where the people who choose to live under it run the government. And to have a true democracy, everyone must vote! People vote to exercise their democratic rights. If only 70% vote, then 70% control 100% of the government. Voting without adequate understanding and choosing candidates for the wrong reasons are symptoms of voting for the sake of voting and not taking an active interest in how our country is run. Instead of making an effort to understand issues and party fundamentals, too many ignorant people actually base their decisions on what the candidates say. The result is that everybody feels “burned” by the government, never realizing that he or she could have tipped the election simply by paying attention.
Another problem with our vision of democracy is the structure and size of it. It seems everybody is always trying to help somebody get something ! for nothing. This just creates class envy and finger pointing. I personally believe the government’s goal is to keep us divided as a country so we will fight amongst ourselves rather than pay attention to what’s going on. So, is this civilized? I think not. Technically though, if you want to look at it really hard, we have become a civilized society. We can now travel across the country in a few hours or send someone an email.
Most people believe that to become civilized you need to create new inventions and spend lots of money on social programs, making most people think that they are becoming better off and are more civilized. But our nature has not become more civilized. There are still wars, hatred, and acts of violence. Maybe it is more important to grow in this area than the other is. So in reality, we’re not as civilized as we think we are.