"My name’s Suzie, and I found my husband on the Internet," go the radio ads in the US now. Marriage arranged by an algorithm instead of an aunt. Loneliness, not destitution or disease or tyranny, is perhaps the greatest fear in our syndicated personals laden world. That love can now be a roulette bet $49.95 personal profile match is not a reflection of the internet’s growing humanity or its ability to build communities around weightless ideas. It simply means we live in a much more lonely world than we ever anticipated, made lonelier by the abandonment of risk-taking in our deepest most meaningful endeavors. Standing alone is no longer seen as a courageous act. That goes as much for societies now as people.
In some ways capitalism is the most dangerous system on earth, because it is equally adept at peace and war. Unfettered courage and conviction can drive anyone’s ambitions in a capitalist system, and sometimes you (or whole societies) get screwed. But most of the time, if you work hard enough and strike the right balance between your courage and convictions, you improve your own life and the lives of those around you.
"That’s cool," said Butthead.
I don’t need a bulletproof car and a fulltime security detail to walk my dog, get a quart of milk or to share my opinions with you in this column. Listen to any business owner in Mexico City or Lima (or Baghdad), however, and you’ll understand that a society is as much (or more) defined by the risks it requires of its ordinary citizens as by the rewards bestowed upon its most successful. Maybe America is as dangerous, both physically and psychologically, as its detractors claim. I mean, everyone seems to have the time and safety to sit around, listen to the radio, "blog," and shove Hot Pockets in their lonely pie holes.
Maybe all this civilization wasn’t worth it. Anyone for peeing out windows into open sewers and giving tithe to a feudal lord on the hill?