We are currently witnessing the death of society.
In place of a structure of nurture and mutual support and a prime directive that obligates us to look to the ongoing viability of our species, (the fundamentals of any functioning, viable social structure), we have now entered a period where that is all cast aside, decried and devalued.
In its place we have a burgeoning casino culture, with attendant cults like the American Tea Party Movement, in which anti-intellectualism dominates, facts are to be damned and empirical reality is to be discounted as some type of plot by the mainstream media, "liberals," or "elites."
What is casino culture? To see it in full flower, just look at any of the advanced western societies (America is the “best” example). Rational decision making, based on sound scientific knowledge is set aside in these societies, and in its place we have the adoption of irrational, high-risk strategies. These strategies are based not on knowledge but on dogma. Like all dogma, it needs no foundation in truth, it is “right” because it is “believed”. In the place of valid climate science and the theory of evolution we have the absurdities of creationism and “praying for rain”.
Empathy, love and social justice are cast into the rubbish bin of social values by the casino culture and replaced with greed, self-centeredness and immediate self-gratification.
Hence, we have decisions being made now regarding the use of the planets resources that threaten the very viability of our eco-sphere and all species in it, including ourselves. But in casino culture, where high risk taking behavior and irrationality predominate, the high rollers are betting against all odds that they can survive. Supposedly what they win will make them immune to the catastrophic outcomes that their high risk decision are imposing on the entire planet, such as irreversible global warming, poisoning of the oceans and permanent degradation of the arable lands. The high roller is blinded by his immediate wins and “forgets” that money doesn't get you or your children far in a world of poisoned air, filthy water and barren wastelands.
In casino culture there is no society, only individuals, acting alone. There is no web of life connecting all the planet’s species. There is no mutual obligation only the pursuit of self-aggrandizement through greedy risk taking. All “others’ are merely the means of your own self-promotion. Teamwork, cooperative behavior, social cohesion and compassion for others are seen as negatives and labeled as dysfunctional.
Real functional social units such as the family are essentially being destroyed and degraded. You will get lots of lips service paid to “family values”, but practical supports for or assistance to the cohesive family unit are non-existent. Children are now brought up in chaotic, insecure and unstable environments in which stable authority is next to non-existent.
It is little wonder that children raised in the casino culture at best embrace confused values and at worst are dishonest, indifferent to casual violence or aggression, and devoid of respect or consideration for others. If you have no way of properly determining right from wrong, life becomes a giant game of “Red or Black”, in which random decision making predominates, and morality and virtuous behavior are marginalized or decried as boring.
In casino culture if you bring good manners, honesty and a concern for others to the table, you can expect be aggressively shoved aside, bullied or intimidated by the casino high rollers. In casino culture collective decision-making is bad, free markets are good. Greed is actively promoted by an army of PR men who spend a fortune sparking personal dissatisfaction in the masses.
The biggest high rollers of the casino culture are the bankers. At the very heart of corporate banking structures is the vociferous adoration of insatiable greed. The corporate banker is essentially a psychopath who would sell his soul for material acquisition. The pay packets of bankers can’t be justified except as reward for embracing and espousing massive risk. It’s clear that psychopathology is at play. How else can you explain the repeated bubbles of “debt” being continually inflated then burst?
The risk addict is king in casino culture and the obsessions of these unwell psychopaths are praised and labeled as acceptable and "successful" and handsomely rewarded. If your not “maxing out” your debt you’re a loser. Ironically, on occasions, the odd high roller is labeled as running a “ponzi scheme” or tagged as a “rogue trader”, and dealt with harshly. In reality the whole banking system is a ponzi scheme, run by rogues, maintaining a thin veneer of order, overlaid to deceive the general population.
If you’re down on your luck in the casino culture you can expect to be vilified and your plight is a manifestation of some personal flaw (your lazy) or cultural deficiency (your black and lazy). The “winners” and high rollers label the unfortunate as “lazy losers” on a daily basis, consigning millions of people who are down on their luck to some subhuman underclass. The winners propagate the belief that there exists a large pool of "undeserving poor" who suck the lifeblood out of the rest of society. This belief lies at the heart of the narrative of the casino culture. Its bizarre counterpart is the high roller spin that says the rich are "wealth producers" and "job creators."
Television and other media that rejoices in and celebrates dysfunction, violence and anti-social behavior perpetuate casino culture. Selfishness, shallowness and often sheer nastiness are “normalized” and presented as “valid” realities. If you haven’t got the newest, shiniest and latest of everything, in the casino culture you’re a loser.
If we are not to be sucked into the black hole of irrational risk-taking at the center of casino culture we need to get back to genuinely supporting functional families and adequately provisioning economic safety nets for the truly unfortunate. As Martin Luther-King said: 'The institution of the family is decisive in determining not only if a person has the capacity to love another individual but in the larger sense whether he is capable of loving. . . The whole of society rests on this foundation for stability, understanding and social peace.' It is in family that obligations and values are learnt.
Real, functional, solid family units are based on secure work incomes. Living from paycheck to paycheck is a recipe for relationship instability and the eventual disintegration of the functional family unit. A society that has solid family units and builds genuine caring institutions will flourish.
Casino culture on the other hand is the sure and unpleasant route to hell in a hand basket for mankind and the vast majority of the species that currently co-habit the planet with us. Not even the cockroaches will survive when we have smashed the web of life on the roulette table of greed and self-gratification.