Chapter 20 - Ice Cream and Wine
Civilization is culture.
It reflects our humanity.
If we loose our humanity, civilization disintegrates and society with it.
Healing begins with a private renaissance.
Our rather extensive hike to the ice cream store brought us to the main highway and to a brightly-lit junction with a road, leading north. There was a large gas station located right across the street from the ice cream place at the highway. However, there was no traffic moving on the road. Two Soviet Army trucks were being fueled, as far as I could tell. Apart from that there was nothing going on.
The ice cream store itself was on a corner lot. The place was empty, except for the waitress and one soldier buying a loaf of bread, so it appeared. The place seemed to serve everyone's needs, from being a coffee shop to being a grocery store. It was appropriately bright. It was as brightly lit as the gas station across the highway. But oh boy, did they have wonderful ice cream! Their ice cream seemed to have been made in the old-fashioned way, with real dairy products. Also, they had two flavors to choose from, vanilla and chocolate. The choice was easily made. We simply chose both.
It appeared that Olive agreed with what I had said earlier, and with what her professor had also said. She suggested that on the strength of it, the titanic struggle by the imperial oligarchy to eradicate all traces of the humanity of mankind is ultimately doomed to fail, because no universal principle supports the imperial insanity. Olive suggested that the Golden Renaissance had started an irreversible process six hundred years ago, of mankind's awakening to the Principle of Universal Love that will continue and put us onto the third level that the woman from India called the sublime, from which nobody drops out again. And it won't be a linear progression. Discoveries of advanced ideas don't happen in a linear fashion. They happen suddenly. This appears to be valid also for mankind's self-discovery as human beings. Putting the future onto the agenda of the present, may be just enough to cause such an upward jump in society's self-perception. Olive suggested that this quantum jump to the sublime, which Friedrich Schiller had promoted long ago in Germany at the end of the last great renaissance period, has already caused enough of an awakening of society's humanity, so that this awakening is now seen as a death threat by every oligarchy, anywhere on the planet, whenever the faintest sign of it appears. Historically, the oligarchy therefore roused itself to wipe out every trace of every renaissance there was or ever would be. Olive suggested that mankind's awakening would continue in spite of that, and that the end of oligarchism would be the inevitable result of this trend."
Olive added that this end of imperialism would not likely come as the result of any form of fight to eradicate the oligarchy and its empires. She said that a repeat of the mistake of forming the historic League of Cambrai would be as big a mistake today as it had been in 1508. She suggested that the end of imperialism would come about by society finally correcting the mistake it made in 1508. This means uplifting and transforming the oligarchic imperial system into a renaissance system in which the oligarchy would have a richer and more secure existence than it had in its entire history of its warfare against humanity. That warfare has been as big a mistake for the oligarchy, than the mistake of Cambrai has been for the renaissance of mankind. She pointed out that neither side has had a 'moment' of peace and security since those historic mistakes were made. "It's time to start with a clean slate and uplift the whole front with no one being left out in the cold, or left behind," said Olive. "We either survive in the coming Ice Age as a single humanity, uplifted to the highest standard possible, or no one survives. That is how the future will impact the present. I also think that we are smart enough as human beings to respond to the imperatives of the future. That is why I am optimistic that we will have the brightest future ahead of us, and this includes all. We may be terribly small-minded at times and petty in our smallness, but we are not stupid. We are after all, human beings."
Olive suggested quietly, as if it was an after-thought, that we would therefore not see an end of civilization in the fire of a nuclear holocaust, or in a whimper, as the Ice Age sweeps upon the world. "History is on our side," she said.
"I can agree with that," I replied. "The Golden Renaissance came very close to wiping out the Venetian Empire around 1510. The vital step of society's scientific and spiritual development, which puts mankind onto the third level, had not been possible at this time, or at least this step hadn't been taken. They also failed to realize that the lack of that missing element in humanist development could not be compensated for with the force of a military league. Had the League of Cambrai actually succeeded in wiping out Venice, nothing would have essentially changed. The steps to the third level, for creating a real renaissance, would still have remained lacking. Nothing can bypass the need of society to be powered by the value that it finds within the common humanity, and individually this is rooted in the human being universally. There simply hadn't been enough discovered of that value at the time of the Golden Renaissance. A lot of the residue of the Dark Ages appears the have persisted. A as a consequence the military option was sought."
"Nevertheless, the little awakening that occurred with the Golden Renaissance was enough of a start, to begin a phase shift in history, Peter," said Olive. "Before the Renaissance, the empires of the world only regarded each other as an enemy. The Renaissance had opened up that second front for the empires, which became a much more dangerous threat for the empires. With that phase shift, it opened up the beginning of their end. It opened up a New World that would challenge the legitimacy of empires. It opened up a humanist dawning, a dawning of the brightness of our humanity, even if this dawning was not enough at this early stage to reach down to the grassroots social level. But that potential exists today. Maybe we have come to the end of the beginning.
"We already see this potential being recognized and exploited, which comes with that phase shift," Olive continued in a quieter tone. "A new phase shift seems to be occurring now, as the Ice Age is putting the future onto the present agenda. This huge phase shift might not have been possible five hundred years ago, or even three hundred years ago. Can you imagine what the world would be like today if that had been possible then, if the dawn that had made the Golden Renaissance golden, had been radically brighter and had reached all the way down to the home gate of society's grassroots social living to cause a full phase shift already in that time? The resulting renaissance would have uplifted the whole world beyond anything we can imagine. Nevertheless the portion of it, which the Golden Renaissance had successfully established, served as a starting point. It opened the gates to the second level of society's self-discovery, the moral level. It started a fight against slavery, against looting, and against inhumanities and all the abominations that empires rest on. The Golden Renaissance thereby became a danger to the entire imperial system even at this early beginning. Putting the future with its huge imperatives into the sphere of the present, changes everything. The Golden Renaissance became a danger to itself, as it stopped two levels short of what its goal should have been, where society would have been safe. I am certain, Peter; this higher goal will be reached under the new agenda that the coming Ice Age has imposed. Maybe we should celebrate the return of the Ice Age for this reason."
|| - page index -
|| - chapter index -
|| - Exit -