Friend Or Foe?

Civilizations can be considered as frameworks that allow humanity to function at scale by reducing the cognitive burden of assessing the question whether someone you come across is a friend or foe and by making it easier to work together in groups without knowing a lot about each other.

We use language, peer-verification and host of other tools that have evolved over time to accomplish this. Modern socio-economic systems thrive by blindly trusting these tools and these tools also rely on the consensus of their acceptance as a non-negotiable. We have come a long way as a civilization, the warts included, by going about it in this manner.

The worrying theme of the current times is a calling to depart from this consensus as a means to acquire and grow power. It breaks the framework of identifying friend-or-foe by painting everyone who disagree with you as a foe, of yourself and then of the state. This disruption causes everyone without power to be placed at a significant disadvantage and provides them no incentive to keep the consensus going in other areas.

It also creates grave risks to groups by making it easy for malicious actors to create massive disruption by faking friendship through their foe-ing of the same people you disagree with. You soon reach a place where you can’t trust your enemies, and you are no longer sure about your friends, because your friends can also be enemies who do the things you like to do.

If the this current trend continues it is going to be safe to assume that more than an asteroid, an extinction-level event is going to be a possibility thanks to norm-breaking.

Never mind.