|La invasión de los bárbaros o La entrada de los Hunos en Roma - Ulpiano Checa, 1887 (Source)|
I suppose it depends greatly on context. Put one hundred people behind the wheels of motor vehicles, set them loose on the highway, and I think that the number who become raving lunatics is still pretty small. But there will be at least one guy who becomes that raving lunatic, that barbarian if you will.
But in any organization or group of people there is always "that guy." The one who doesn't want to play by the same rules as everybody else, the one who deems himself "special." You know the type, the rules are for everybody except him.
I'm using the masculine pronoun here, as 99% of the time, "that guy" is exactly that, a guy, a male of the species. Women, who can get very nasty when defending their young, aren't normally the type to flip you off right after they've cut you off on the highway. Hey, it happens, but normally it's a guy, not a gal. Women are far more civilized than men, at least in my experience.
But that's behind the wheel of a vehicle. In normal circumstances I can't say I see that sort of barbaric behavior in other contexts. I seldom see folks barge to the head of the line in a coffee shop because "I'm in a hurry, don't you know who I am?" I'm sure it happens, I just don't see it all that often.
Perhaps I need to get out more. Or not.
Now civilization, society if you will, is not going to break down if a small percentage of the population acts like a$$holes. Things begin to break down when most of the people no longer see a need to obey the rules, and I don't mean the arbitrary rules imposed on us from above.
I mean the unwritten rules like get a job, pay your taxes, don't cheat on...
Well, don't cheat on anything really.
Now if we start thinking that we can get something for nothing, or making someone else pay for most of it, then things start to break down. Once people see that there's no point to performing an honest day's work for a fair wage, that there's no point to not lying about contributions to charity on your taxes, that there's no point to skipping a couple of martinis for lunch...
That's when things start to go to Hell in a hand basket. Everybody starts blowing things off. Why bother to play by the rules? Everyone is doing it, morals are not absolute, they're relative. Today's taboo is tomorrow's "choice."
Maybe it's the political antics being played out in the media, maybe it's the mid-winter blues, at any rate, sometimes life can be pretty damned annoying.
Today is one of those days.
Hey, world! Hilary is a criminal, Bernie is a Communist, and The Donald is a demagogue. If you waste a vote on them, you probably shouldn't be voting to begin with.
And for what it's worth, IMHO, Pluto is still a planet and "Hwaet" means what it has always meant.
Just want to put that out there.