This is a victory in civil rights, and is (unfortunately) the only defining change of our generation. I didn’t expect public sentiment to change towards this so quickly, but I may have been projecting the bigotry of my religious family onto the elite lawyers that run the country.
That said, I wish it could have been decided by referendum like in (Catholic!) Ireland instead of at the barrel of a loaded gun in the U.S. supreme court. Autocratic tendencies are a drawback of life in larger countries. But I guess it would have been too hard to convince the South to support another form of egalitarianism for many years, and politically dangerous for Southern politicians to support it. (Other states also needed their state supreme courts to overpower the accepted wisdom of the dumb masses.) It’s a classic example of the question of’ “Do the ends justify the means?”
Sometimes there is a strange interplay between (personal) liberty and authoritarianism. Individuals cannot stand up against the crushing force of an oppressive majority. You therefore cannot have certain liberties unless an elected group enforces protection of your civil rights. (At least in America or China – I’m not as familiar with democracy in Scandinavian countries.)
It’s sad that society must still be told by men with bigger brains (or bigger sticks) what to do. I wish we could evolve beyond this tribal behavior.
When the people in charge don’t have our best interests at heart, or abuse their power for their self-interests, it can propagate violence and war. But that doesn’t mean democracy doesn’t do the same things: pure democracy is inclined toward mob rule. Democracy is probably like communism: it sounds nice, but it can only survive/thrive in rigid conditions.
I think genetic engineering might be the final requirement for our species. Someday we will have to take our evolution into our own hands and improve upon nature. We will need to dampen our violent tendencies and foster cooperation rather than competition. We will need to cease to be human, but we will keep our sentience. We might even breed certain individuals to be gifted at certain tasks (which sounds frightening!)
I don’t know how we will get to that stage, but that is the ultimate destination. Popular democracy requires cooperation we don’t see enough of naturally. Otherwise as our weapons become stronger, we might slide into totalitarianism or self-destruction. Contact theory and enforced tolerance are fragile measures, when an uptick in dogmatism (i.e. fundamentalism) could bring new terrorism and cycles of violence at any moment.
Capitalism is leading toward that, unless the elites can become empathetic and provide satisfaction for the lower classes. Income inequality is rising, while the lower classes have only risen a little. If a person has food and shelter, but enormous jealousy, is that enough to cause revolutions? Is Socialism enough to satisfy, and preserve rule of law?
The idea that mankind in a natural state may always totter on the brink of destruction is frightening. I suppose that’s why I’m so attracted to science-fiction futuristic scenarios where we artificially create stability. instead of of creating our own Godhead, (hivemind or robotic), we could genetically engineer ourselves to be unable to not love and empathize, and share with one another.
No matter what route humanity follows, more tolerance and acceptance will be the foundation of a successful future. To be fair, war and competition have brought many technological advances, but at a terrible price. I want to believe we can (artificially) rise above that and still advance. I really think we need to step away from that, and changing our biology might be the key. (I don’t think we can wait a few million years and trust natural evolution to us.)
If there is friendly alien life out there, they wouldn’t want anything to do with us until we quit being so warlike. Thankfully, if aliens have visited us they don’t appear to have exploited us in the way the haves have exploited the have-nots. It would suck if we had to engage in interstellar wars with aliens, because one or both sides couldn’t overcome biological vices such as xenophobia.