We’re living through a second brutal dark age

With renewed bigotry, superstition and terror.

And if you thought we’re on a preordained, exponential path of progress

Then I suspect you might be making a fundamental error.

 

Since the collapse of the twentieth century experiment in socialism

With equality and global brotherhood as its imagined creed

We have succumbed to the ideology of individualism

Which turns out to be  nothing but a fig leaf for corporate greed.

 

The natural dialectic between cooperation and competition

Has been cynically twisted in favour of the latter

Never-ending wars between regions and religions

Divide and rule, while the elites grow grotesquely fatter.

It’s a dark age with twenty-first century characteristics

But with some cruel medieval barbarism thrown in.

Terror begets terror across our exhausted planet

In a senseless war that humanity cannot win.

 

So the need for a renewed Enlightenment

Is self-evident, as the planet’s rotting detritus piles higher

The destructive forces of drones and jihadists

Have pushed the old order to the absolute wire.

 

The starting point for our second Enlightenment

Must of course be empathy and reason and science.

And the acquired dogmas of the previous centuries

Need give way to a more humanistic alliance.

 

All religion is but accumulated superstitions

Manipulated by Machiavellian elites

And all nations are but artificial constructs

Driving humanity into endless retreats.

 

There are no gods, no prophets nor heavenly paradises

No creators with omniscient power

Just ourselves in this ever expanding universe

An integral part of the evolutionary flower.

 

Like all animals, our prime purpose is survival

Which is the origin of our persistent tribal behaviour

But in this age of thermo-nuclear and biological capacity

Cooperation can be the only human saviour.

 

Seven billion people competing for finite resources

With our numbers growing relentlessly by the year

Reason tells us that global cooperation is the only answer

The alternative being perpetual warfare and famine and fear.

 

So the essence of the New Enlightenment

Is revamping the dialectic between the individual and the tribe.

But the tribe now is the whole of humanity

And to survive we must all willingly subscribe.

 

And if there are other civilisations in the Universe

More advanced and more rational than our own

Then no doubt they once navigated this self-same precipice

Surely we homo-sapiens are not governing alone.

 

The New Enlightenment must permeate all our thinking

Our politics and our poetry and our prose

It must emanate from our universities and colleges

And embrace our families and our friends and our foes.

 

It must rekindle a new sense of optimism

That the early socialists and suffragettes once inspired.

It must transcend the old tribal dogmas

Whose time has patently expired.

 

But above all it must be dialectically grounded

In the contradictions that bedevil our days.

And it must address the central contradiction

Between competition and our more cooperative ways.

 

It must ridicule the ideology of private ownership

That has held sway for five millennia or more

And it must rewrite the history of humanity

Bringing our commonality of our existence  to the fore.

 

It must definitively challenge all superstitions

Be they of nation, of religion, or of caste

And in so doing it is just remotely possible

That our homo-sapiens adventure might last.

 

End JPK Copyright 24/10/15

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Last Updated ( Thursday, 05 November 2015 18:02 )