Monday, July 31, 2023

The New Conditions

Conditions change—society
Changes. It’s value-neutral, but

If you want society changed,
Don’t change people, change conditions,

Then hope for fine consequences.
Demography, technology,

Geography, discovery,
These are what shake societies.

The results are usually mixed—
Maybe less inequality

And/or bloodthirsty violence
But more surveillance and control—

Greater in-group charity, but
Greater out-group hostility—

You can find your own examples.
But you have to change conditions.

Unless . . . The time may be coming
When the individual flesh

Can be altered permanently
With unforeseen consequences

On the life of society.
But there’ll be pockets, even then,

Probably, of people like you,
More shaped by the new conditions.

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