The Is No Savior

in #hivelast month


Western society has a deep flaw.

It has many deep flaws, I know, but the one I'm going to talk about is really deep. It's old, meaning it had time to cement into the most profound fabrics of the Western culture, and it's incredibly powerful.

I'm talking about the "hero" myth. The savior. The one who will take all sins upon him and free us from our own undoings.

You already recognized the main prototype of this myth: it's the 2000 year old Christian story. It is indeed the prevalent myth in the Western world, it shaped it for millennia.

But there is another one, a little bit older than that, and it started in the ancient Greece. It's the "judge" persona, which is part of a system in which "justice" can be found, evaluated and imparted by a specific person, during a trial.

These two cultural artifacts are the most powerful drivers that shaped the Western world. Every time you watch a Marvel movie, you are watching a reinterpretation of these myths in modern language. There is bad in the world, and there are heroes fighting the bad stuff and they win. Always.

Every time you hope for someone to solve one of your problems, you are re-enacting one of these myths in your mind. You are resorting to a ritual in which you always expect the same result: someone else will give you redemption.

This "someone else" used to be a warrior, during Middle Ages, fighting for your freedom. As the world became a safer place, and conquering wasn't done by war anymore, but by money, it melted into the archetype of an all mighty entrepreneur.

The savior is now Elon Musk. He will reinstate "free speech", because, well, someone seem to have stolen it. He will also save humanity from climate change by transplanting it to another planet, literally starting a new world.

Only he won't.

Don't get me wrong. He may very well put humans on a ship and send them to Mars, and those people may start a terraforming and colonization process. He may also replace the current censorship on Twitter with a more "permissive" one. He can do that.

But he won't save anyone.

Because no one can save you. If you want free speech, you just talk. You evaluate the consequences of the act of speaking, and act accordingly. If it's too risky, you just shut up and wait for another opportunity. If the risk is manageable, you keep talking. The subtle change here is that it's up to you, not up to Elon Musk, or Iron Man, or whoever might be the next human embodying the basic traits of an external savior.

It is always up to you.

You came into this world alone, and you will leave it alone.

Every time you direct your hopes at an external savior, every time you wait for a hero to save your ass, you in fact give up power, you enslave yourself. These saviors are humans too. They are flawed, just like you. And they will eventually let you down, it's just a matter of time.

And they won't do it because they're intrinsically bad and they want to delude you, that's just how being human works.

They may act with the best intentions and, again, if you evaluate the risk of following them in their endeavors and that risk is manageable, by all means, go for it. Follow them, support them.

Just don't expect them to save anyone.

Curb your enthusiasm. It will do wonders for your own power.


I strongly agree.


musky boy won't do jack shit, neither on twitter or on Mars. He's all about hype, just look at hypeloop (not even an working prototype that comes close to his promises after more than a decade), self driving or the tunnel fiasco (I could keep going) . Sure he has had some things materialize after years of delay and I don't want to take away his contribution to the car industry getting greener. But he's mostly about hype and enriching himself

Expectations > reality, always.

His results in space travel and electric cars area are nothing less than stellar. Other venues, mediocre, at best. But that doesn't make the other achievements less. Nor they entitle him to tackle impossible, intractable problems like "free speech".

Anyway, there is no savior, being it Elon Musk or somebody else.