When facing a problem, a mere tweak is an appropriate solution more often than a complete overhaul. But it seems we’ve become so conditioned to moderation that we lose sight of when a major rebuild is needed.
Our own sense of pragmatism can get the best of us, where we fail go far enough both in our personal lives or our political views. We are warded off from ideas, that may seem fringe relative to the norms, by stories of people that are mocked and/or ostracized for their held beliefs. We subsequently become change averse, afraid of what others may think, or afraid of the change itself. In some scenarios anything other than a small change may seem so unconventional, unrealistic, or utopian we deem it fatuous, and make no attempt at dismantling the status quo.
To make the proposition of change even more dubious, the pragmatic thing to do is many times the easiest thing, and sweeping change requires money, time, work, and often emotional pain. The argument for change is based on the realization that a ceiling has been reached under the current paradigm, and what exists now will never be better than it is or has been; when it’s clear that more is achievable.
When we suggest a big change sanity is always questioned. Someone will always be there to lament how change is too much, and after all there is reason to be weary because from time to time changes suggested can actually be insane terrible ideas. However, if the desired outcome is just, and the path to the change seems reasonable, then it’s simply the amount of change that’s ostensibly ludicrous, and not the change itself.
Too often we settle in our current mold until something catastrophic in scope happens to finally elicit what we should have done all along. Meanwhile, we suffer, and we let others suffer until a coup de grace occurs that finally makes change the only logical solution. Unfortunately, sometimes we let a myriad of better choices slip by before the ultimate realization occurs that change has been needed for quite some time.
Being proactive is consistently trumpeted as the wise course of action because it means change is for betterment and not born out of desperation. Yet when it comes to actually implementing change ahead of schedule we become the embodiment of the adage “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” This is deceptive though because things may still function, but are doomed to failure in short order, e.g. in 2007 shortly before the financial markets imploded we ignored pleas to change because things were clicking along just fine, until they weren’t.
In our political system, whenever I hear change mentioned that is divergent, in less time than it takes a politician to accept a bribe, someone pipes up regarding how the proposed change would be nice, but it’s not feasible because the system is intractable. However our political system obviously can be radically changed for the better, via reasonable means of nonviolent pressure, but it will require a large amount of peaceful civil protest and effort. Those with power are not going to cave easily, and they likely will only be removed from their positions of privilege kicking and screaming in a puerile rage.
However we cling to the possibility that change can come about organically in the current system, with a few tweaks in the status quo, but like the stock market, our political system is a ticking time bomb and fundamentally broken. Not only is the political system itself a time bomb, but its dysfunction is creating other time bombs in regards to the environment, wealth inequality, and long term economic stability.
Furthermore, besides circumventing man made catastrophes, we are settling for a world that is less than our potential. Our pragmatic rationalizations have enabled sociopaths to seize control, and created a machine that uses our own pragmatism against us. Pragmatism that plutocrats in power fail to use themselves. Thus creating a bizzaro sort of reality where moving to a more reasonable equitable system is outlandish, and maintaining the insanity that is Wall Street and our corrupted political system is pragmatic.
Our pragmatism and creature comforts have blinded us, muted our voice, and led us to believe that we’re fine when we’re not. The common argument is to question “Why change?” when I can simply continue to live my own life without all the complications, even while we simultaneously feel empty inside, filled with doubt that what we’re doing is unsustainable, afraid our lives are devoid of meaning, working in a dull malaise of shitty jobs doing work we don’t believe in; all to avoid the discomfort of not wanting to seem unreasonable for demanding change.
But why change after all when tonight I can simply go home and satisfice myself in a bevy of modern comforts. There’s still sex, booze, video games, food, movies, music, sports, books…all to get lost in. See, life isn’t so bad in our bubble, we’ve been provided with panem et circenses, and isn’t that enough? Why push for anything less ostensibly pragmatic because things really are fine, until they aren’t.