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April 1, 2017 / Congau

Doubting the Status Quo

We should always question the status quo because it is never right. How could it be? Of all the possible societies that might have been and all the possible states of human affairs, it is extremely unlikely that what we happen to have today is the best of all conditions.

History has taken its more or less arbitrary path, seen many kingdoms and produced many different cultures. Everything has been the result of an infinite number of interactions – and here we are today, living in this obscure combination of circumstances. According to the law of probability it is unlikely to be anywhere near perfect. It is just what it is; it is the status quo. Of course we must question it.

But posing questions and criticizing is not the same as trying to change or even wanting to change. Change is in a way always unrealistic since whenever something new is tried, it will turn out different than imagined. Any active contribution that goes against the general social currents will be just another force that will compete for power. The outcome is always a compromise and even the best of intentions may lead to something worse.

How can anyone engage in politics? one might wonder. It is a great responsibility and a dangerous risk. No matter how miserable a society is, it can still get worse so maybe it is better to leave things as they are? This is the reasoning of a conservative mind and so far it makes sense. But from there it is not reasonable to conclude that the status quo is good and that our little world is the best of all possible worlds.

Of course there are irrational structures and injustice everywhere and that should be criticized and even ridiculed.

Questioning the status quo is not the same as having a realistically better alternative. It is good to know what is wrong even if we don’t know how to correct it. It is good to know the truth.

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