Fear of Death
Diseases and civilizations have been hand in hand with the whole history of humanity. Like all living things, we have evolved through symbiosis with other life forms. Through struggle, conflict and ingesting of living beings. Life has made its way through the perils of time, and death has marked the ultimate boundary to every species. Fear of death, the intrinsic need for life to escape it. The need to ensure its own survival, to grasp a breath of existence.
Pandemics and Religion
The pandemics of the world have been varied and they have pertained not only to disease but to social infliction. Be it religion, or politics or spiritual infatuation. Philosophers have wandered the earth with their ideas, and their ideas have been carried away like diseases. They permeate societies as infections permeate a human body.
A beggar from the desert claimed that the world needed to abandon the sword and to embrace a universal compassion. Love for everything. Love for peace and hatred towards anything that represented power. No violence, only love, compassion. The extent of that love would have been love for the enemy, to cherish it and to welcome pain as a means of spiritual purge and exaltation. The greatest sufferers have the heavens ensured. Their greatest humiliation will be their greatest victory. And the poorest sectors of society welcomed these ideas, and deemed them as a way to revolution.
Revolution of Morality
The rulers of the world feared the epidemic. Their symbols and pillars of might were not immune to this new moral compulsion. Their morality was compromised. A new era fed from their shadows of their pretension and vanity. The leaders of the world could not contain the pandemic and decided to use it in their favor. Priests and kings took these ideas and absorbed them as their own. They abandoned their ancient values in favor of a new ideology, and gave to it political power.
It spread through the cities as a means to legitimize a political order. As any pandemic, it disseminated through fear and inflammatory propaganda. The end of the age, the vanity of the world, the redemption of man. By that time, any representation of power was seen as a sign of sickness. Any form of pride, any form of joy, any form of health. Misery was the norm. It represented the sign of purification and glory, everything else was devilish. Those who once were healthy became the sick. Sickness became sanity, the world was upside down, and yet, functioning as a well oiled machine.
The Coronavirus Age
Coronavirus is no different. In reality it is no different to any ideological infatuation, no different to any seasonal flu, and yet, the world has panicked through it. Economy has shut down, society has stopped, the cities have become silent. And the threat has remained as invisible as a microorganism can be. Ironically hospitals and morgues have remained quite empty as well.
But the internet has been pretty much alive. The feed has been continuously active, and fear has been the common trend in it. Don’t leave your house. Stay safe. Await for vaccines. And the people has complied to it, trusting their leaders as cattle trust their shepherds. Civilization has grown around the idea of obedience. Abandon intellect to a ruling elite, abandon self to blind faiths. Abandon free will to herd instinct. Whatever the majority accepts is the way. Whatever the majority withstands is the choice. Whatever the majority smiles at is safe. And civilization has evolved through this imprint, it has grown around it, it has been molded by it.
Herd instinct is the intrinsic pulsion of safety at the warmth of the majority. The possibility to be freed from the dampen and cold of being an individual, of being responsible of yourself. Herd instinct is the eagerness of the solitary man to feel safe in the crowd of the tribe. To be absorbed by the guidelines of their laws, and to relieve all risks of living by his own in the desert. Because that’s what an individual is, an outcast of the tribe, a desert dweller, a mountain hermit. And he alone is the sustainer of his own law and the provider of his own morality. What a great risk to be your own law giver at the frost of solitude. And what a great risk to find your own law contradicting the law of the tribe.
Incertitude of Individuality
And that’s what we are, fearful individuals, who are not willing to contradict or oppose the sentiments of the tribe, the law of the herd. We want contempt, we want safety, we want certainty, and true individuality will never grant any of these.
The Eye of Civilization
So, society has grown to become docile, to obey the herd in order to feel safe. It has been ages since our whole kind determined this to be the way, and it has been by this moral imprint that our fate, as human civilization, has been determined. An all seeing eye has raised above humanity and we all have accepted it.