Many of society’s laws, customs, and norms are good for us, but some are oppressive. Usually not on purpose. Usually because of ignorance. Or as Halon’s razor suggests, “never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by carelessness.” It takes brave people to make change, especially when the tribe disagrees with you and even wants to punish you for what would actually be better for them.
Some people think the whole world is going to hell in a hand-basket. Many people have thought this over the last two thousand years or so. The fact that it hasn’t and that the world keeps getting better (less major wars, less starvation, better health care, improved social justice, etc.) despite much human stupidity, should make us feel at least a little more optimistic about the future.
Civilization tends to eventually move in the right direction. First it’s difficult to convince people of the right thing, but eventually it becomes the standard. We can’t even imagine now owning or segregating people based on their race. We can’t imagine a time when someone could be arrested for teaching that earth revolves around the sun.
One day in the future people will look back at some of the things we do now and scratch their head. Not only about some of the things we do, but maybe even about our fears about the future.