Destruction in Gaza-War
Our Rusuk Blog writer Sergey

It is a common assumption that bad news works better than good news. Several scientific studies have proved that people react better to bad news. 

The reasons could lie deep inside; according to science, our mind works faster when something wrong or dangerous happens. I think this is why something dramatic like a war or a big earthquake hits us, taking our breath away. It is a good old ‘hit or run’ thing. In media, this leads to the domination of bad news; it sends ratings sky-rocketing. This attracts not just the audience but also advertisers. 

Bad News Graphic

I must admit that our world generates enough bad news to please our subconscious. Currently, we’ve got war in Ukraine, Trump, Putin, Biden, gays, BLM, LGBT+, racism, you name it. Depending on a person, anything from the abovementioned can be perfect bad news.

The media may focus on bad news, too. But I think it just reflects what is actually happening on the planet. 

Another explanation for the news about war, death, and destruction is that aggression is in human nature. I believe this is another ancient deep-inside thing: aggression could have been something like preventive self-defence to stay alive: Hit first to survive. This is why kids fight each other, and wars happen when it comes to adults. Plus, being a war hero is an ancient regalia admired by cultures around the world. A conqueror turns into a defender and vice versa.

We fight and destroy a lot in our lives and on this planet. Grab an armchair, have a cigar, and prepare for more bad news in a thousand years from now. 

Why is our world on fire?

Photograph of Dean Lewis

During the Dark Ages, the average person worked the land and gave taxes (crops) not only to the government, but also to the rich person who owned the land on which the farm was located. The people literally lived in desperation and dirt. No hope. This continued for centuries until the Black Plague. There were simply not enough people left to work the land and power shifted to the peasants. 

Today we think we have come so far and we are so much smarter. For a few decades after World War Two this was probably true, but no longer. The new Robber Barons ride rockets, both literally and figuratively, to places of which we can only dream. They task their minions in Governments around the world to cut their taxes and not waste money on foolish projects like food for the poor. For the first time in history, life expectancy in the US is decreasing. No hope — again.

US dollar symbol

We live from paycheck to paycheck and pray the car holds up a little longer. Rich multi-national corporations pretend they have been cheated if you’re a week late with that car payment. These corporations have their own problems; dividends for the rich come out in three weeks. Staycations become a thing.

Now, a foul wind blows; the people are becoming angry. They are electing leaders who offer false hope and lies. Lashing out at people from Mexico, Ukraine, or Gaza. An unfocused rage looking … waiting. 

The rich don’t care. They do not care.

If past is prologue, and it is, this will not end well for anyone. The rich now plan to add A.I. and robots to every factory and office in the world. They will lie and pretend they cannot find workers. Don’t kid yourself, this is happening right now. Mass firings will result in ever more people chasing fewer jobs. Pay drops while the pressure builds.

The rich will fight having to pay taxes for robot workers and will demand cuts in programs to help the former middle class. The stupid claim new, better jobs will open up. They will point to the Industrial Revolution as proof. No, each robot or AI computer can work 24/7 and replace three or four people and they are taking jobs, not creating them. There is no post, post-information age. Just how many people do you think it will take to repair a robot? And how long until someone comes up with a robot-repairing robot?

I think this must be how it felt to be alive in 1928. Wannabe Dictators spinning shiny sparkles for the masses. People follow. It turns out we are dumber than lemmings. Lemmings do not run off cliffs, and we are about to.

Why is our world on fire?

Roger Bara

I could easily write about global warming, and how most countries are nowhere near their net-zero-emission promises, but that will be a blog subject in the near future.

We are metaphorically on fire, because war and hate are now prevalent throughout the globe. I liken it to a disease that has run throughout history. There are some who seek power, and are happy to commit atrocities to pave their way to despotic control, and keep themselves there. ‘Twas ever thus.

Just before my life began, over 11,000,000 humans were effectively massacred in just a handful of years, simply because a dogma of utter madness by the Third Reich was allowed to fester out of control by a world that simply didn’t believe that evil on an industrial scale would ever happen. 

Fascism is rising again. Leaders of the far-right are spouting hate and demonising everyone and everything from refugees, gays, even women’s rights. These same criminals are even turning their animosity towards environmental protections, ensuring that our pitiful world of fossil fuels will continue unabated.

Children wave Nazi flags

Trump and the genocide-loving Netanyahu are just two modern examples. Trump uses his followers, mostly the weak, sad, lonely, desperate, needy, and of course ignorant, in exactly the same way Hitler did in the 1930s. And of course, typically, we are refusing to learn from our appalling recent history.

I always thought that us humans were born innocent with natural empathy for kindness and compassion. But maybe I have it totally wrong. Maybe we are all naturally cruel, and most of us learn benevolence and consideration along the way. Historically, some of us humans have always killed, destroyed and manipulated each other for either personal gain, or power, or both. Humanity has proved, and continues to prove, that it is exceedingly cruel. 

Unless we stop it soon, our world will not just be an out-of-control inferno, it will cease to exist.