It was September 8th, 1966. It was within a reality that in the time you could take a pot pie out of the freezer, put it into the oven, and cooked it, the decision could be made to launch the missiles that would signal your incineration, your end as a human being. That would leave a poisoned Earth for any survivors and destroy the very reason the missiles were built to protect. That was the sword of Damocles that we all lived under. But that night, just over a year after my Father had died, was one that was special. It was the first episode of Star Trek. It’s not that I am or ever have been a “Trekkie” but I have enjoyed the shows. I was in fact over at a friend’s house, watching it on their gigantic 20″ color television, something we did not have. It wasn’t that the show was in color, or that the special effects were so incredible for the time that has stuck with me for all of these years. It was the fact that we had, at least in the show survived ourselves, that we did in fact have a future, and that we had become something more than those looking for an excuse to destroy each other. A righteous cliff to jump over in a headlong rush to extinction.
All of these years later, now as an old man, I find myself wondering again if we can survive ourselves. The missiles and the warheads are still there, just waiting to unleash their potential of death and destruction. It does now seem a bit further away now, but it is still there. And as that threat has receded somewhat, we have chosen to turn in, to turn upon each other in the quest for power, wealth, and sadly exclusion and oppression. It seems that again, we are much like lemmings, always looking for the highest cliff to fall from, the most righteous of reasons to do so, and back it all with the most ignorant of convictions. They wrap themselves in the words of righteous greed, godly superiority, the god of things, and what they make us, wrapped in the flag of those that actually sacrificed, to build and protect this nation.
Again we find ourselves at the precipice of the loss of what we were willing to be fried to protect, our democracy. Just this time it is not from some “Commie” Russian. It comes from “MAGA” Americans and their diabolical paymasters, the Cons (Rich Ultra Conservative Authoritarians). Again and again, it comes down to the same idiot process. Whether it be missiles with nukes or MAGA’s with Fox News and the Koch Network. It is a struggle for the superiority of some ideology or another! To replace critical thinking, with a comfortable message, intelligent process, with finding your place within a power structure and the material things you buy for selling your soul. It is the march of the “Hard” men and women, to impose upon us, what we were willing to die for, just with a different ideology and a more comfortable yoke. But yet the same thing.
Democracy was the great effort and experiment of the Founding Fathers. Yes, imperfect in its inception and execution, but it has built a tradition of expectation of more than rule by decree and by the self-interest of a ruling class. The question I have to ask is, is not what we were willing to die for to protect, to be incinerated in our sleep for, not worth the effort to keep and protect now? We were ready to fight to protect it, the ability to freely think and to decide for ourselves who and what we are. We were steadfast against the nearly instantaneous death and destruction of the Communists because we couldn’t bare the fact that they would take away the very freedoms of democracy, of our ability to go beyond our birth, to reach our potential through merit. Now, we die slowly under the assault of think tank-produced lies, insane conspiracy theories designed to hide real ones, and the power over the things we thought were freedom, by those looking to destroy it.
I wish to speak to the future. To tell them that not all of us worked to put them into the deepest pit we could. That tyranny does not always come from “The Others” but many times it comes from those you might see as on your side. That democracy only works when it is set with parameters of what is right and wrong based in truth, set in logic and ethics, and within honesty of intentions. That is the rationalist basis of Foundationism. That a society based in a balance of rights and responsibilities, the solid foundation of truth based on facts and reality, logic, ethics, and honesty of why we do things, will keep us away from the cliff we are constantly looking to leap over. Freedom is not the right to take it away from others, to make your fortune by taking from others. That is what the current version of capitalism is all about. Freedom is the ability to see reality and fix those things that are wrong. To constantly be the improving who we are, our human processes and to build a civilization, one individual at a time. To become the builders, of the builders of starships. Or, we can just wait for the inevitable, the next cliff, and maybe this time, we will jump.