how the little green men might defeat us humans 3

In the previous two posts on this theme, I’ve speculated that various aspects of how we experience and understand time might well prove to be our undoing. But there are many others. I’m not sure how deep into the list I’ll go; after all, I don’t want to give too many secrets away.

One aspect of this whole question, and yes I recognize that this is to some extent a reflection on the politics of today, is that we do not yet think of ourselves as a single species. We do not yet think of ourselves as humans first, rather than first identifying with our own particular tribe.

So why is this a weakness that the little green men might exploit? If all the little green men have to do is to divide us into tribes and turn one tribe against another, then how can we come together to face the common enemy?

This is a theme that’s been explored in different ways. There is the classic Twilight Zone episode, The Monsters are Due on Maple Street, where not much more is required beyond rumor and turning off some of the lights.

There is also a story, one of those where the idea sticks in the brain like a splinter but the author and title are long forgotten, where a human man undertakes to save humanity by serving with the aliens as an advisor, telling them how to break the human spirit by in fact persuading the aliens to undertake acts that infuriate and unite humanity. And in the end, he realizes that he must sacrifice himself and never be caught, to maintain the illusion that a traitor to humanity remains with the enemy.

I’m reading spy novels at the moment, and the ways in which we divide ourselves into our tribes features heavily, because that is the Cold War and the reverberations of the end of the Cold War that continue to echo through the politics of the day.

This is one of the reasons why I find Star Trek to be a remarkably optimistic show, and I know that I am not alone in this. In all of the seasons of Star Trek, humanity acts as a united whole. Admittedly, in that universe we almost exterminated ourselves through our internal divisions before we found our way, and these internal divisions did give us some of our most memorable characters.

~ by Jim Anderson on 15 September 2019.

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