To Gina with thanks for her response to my earlier posting

(Paragraph breaks missing because this was originally a posting to Gina’s Facebook response to a posting of mine.  I will provide her statement if she will give me permission to do so).

To put my thinking at this time and this place in the history of things, I am in a very uncomfortable state of mind because I am wondering a lot as to whether human beings can be humane enough to build a truly humane society, one that does focus on the welfare of human beings, that decides what it decides according to what information acquired and dealt with sensibly, rationally considered, points to being what is in the best interests of all human beings. Plans that are based in making some miserable for the sake of the many have to be considered what they are, disrespectful to those who will be sacrificed, that disrespect somehow explained for what it allows to be achieved and how it justifies the necessity of the some making or being made to make the sacrifice they will be asked or forced to make. Such respectful discussion would, I think, if humans are truly capable of humanity, keep to the absolute minimum causes that justify such sacrifices. Any policy or act that serves a few at the expense of many would automatically be discarded, the onus on the beneficiaries to clearly show how such decisions and the actions they would lead to really are somehow for the good of the whole. The conundrum that needs to be faced, one that has been used as an excuse for some being done harm to better the lives of others, is that in the long term, eventually, all or most will be served even if initially some suffer more than others, some suffer while others enjoy, the enjoyment predicated on that suffering. Trickle down economics is such a scheme and so is war, particularly of the kind the has been most often fought by this country, soldiers from the ranks of those who do not have so much dying to make possible or protect the interests of those who have much more. The promise of more later if you abide by the rules is a provenly untrustworthy predicate for accepting the conditions of life under any system and to trust that a better day is coming to you if you will only do what you are told is stupid in a world where so many times over the promises have not been kept. Yes, capitalism might, in some form, be able to tolerate humanity but the forms we know, have, and have experienced have never been humane, producing good numbers of losers who lose so others can gain. Capitalism, elements of it probably should be kept, for instance, individuals maintaining the right to do the kind of work they want to do to earn the ability to purchase the goods and services they desire to have. But, when the many work for others in order to have enough to survive and when the many cannot do what they want because they do not have the capital to do so, do not have the education they need to do so, have to work for others who benefit from their labor than they do, to put it bluntly, the system is fucked. And the system remains fucked because, as the case in our society, wealth buys power and the powerful use their power to maintain the system that serves THEM, you have destroyed democracy and you have created an underclass that is the majority, the individuals who make up that majority not wealthy enough and/or mot so well educated as to be able to do what capitalism in a free society promises them. What is so insidious about our current form of capitalism is that it not only sponsors inhumanity but celebrates it. Consider the bragging that goes on when the successful are able to “pull of the deal,” that deal so often “good” because of how bad it is for people on the wrong end of it! Add to this atmosphere of screw the other to get what I want the trick of making really good education available to a relative few and educating the relative few to become ever better at making deals! Again, there are books that have and should be written about why we are who we are today even though a whole lot of people do not like where they are. Suffice it to say that the decently good society can only happen if good people, the truly humane, do what is necessary to deal with what is bad about the present system. This would mean a great amount of sacrifice, participating in large scale economic boycotts, for example so the greedy are hurt where they very much do not want to be hurt, their styles of life severely affected by the actions of those who do so much to pay for their big ticket pleasures. Taking money away from those who buy power with wealth is essential to restoring governance by the people and not just by some. Destroying the wealth buys power equation is also something that must happen but it will not happen if the wealthy have the power to override the people. This is what I understand must be done and this is what I have reason to believe at this point in my life will not happen. My best hope is that I am wrong about the condition of our public will and our public intelligence. Proving me wrong on this would allow me to experience the greatest pleasure in my life.

By lafered

Retired professor of education concerned with thoughtfulness

Leave a Reply