Escaping modernity

Every now and then, all of us have dreamt about escaping from society.  It’s a common fantasy entrenched deep within popular culture.  It is an undeniably romantic concept to break free of modernity and start living like our ancestors.  We’ve all seen films and books that exploit it.  It often comes in forms of being lost in a desert island, exploring the frontiers of the past, or even post-apocalyptic science fiction.

However, rarely anyone ever acts on this impulse we collectively have.  It would require a lot of courage and determination, both which most of humanity sorely lack.  It requires you to rely on your own strength and deal with your own limitations.  In return, you’d gain a level of freedom a fraction that rarely anyone that has ever lived has seen.

This is the essence of living in a society.  You give up your freedom for security.  For many, especially the weak, it is an easy trade. The first farmers in the post-neolithic world gave up their mobility for an easier source of food.  Peasants gave a portion of their crops to their lords in exchange for protection in Feudal Europe. Today, we bind ourselves to multinational corporations to gain money.

As modernity marches on, the freedoms it demands as tribute will continue to grow larger.  Nature never gives without expecting something equal in return. It is easier to be alive today than at any point in human history, and never before have so many people less free.

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