A classmate told me in a recent e-mail he was not sure of my position on various issues I have addressed. After answering him, it seems I fairly well expressed my worldview. So, the following is what I wrote to him. Let it serve as today’s Blog.
My perspective is that the idea of a Far Left tax-and-spend ideology is worn out. And that a Far Right, let’s-destroy-all-government ideology is equally bankrupt. I lived several years in Western Europe, which has 2,000 years of history behind it, versus our quarter century of history. Western Europe has found a reasonably functional mix of both capitalism and socially valuable government support.
Europeans generally have no problem with private enterprise that maintains through its government a consistent social support net to help those cast out periodically by the inherent greed and over indulgence of consumer capitalism. So, when people are cast out by the rigors of the marketplace, there is a support net to help them reintegrate into the economy. That sounds much more sensible than all the petty cat fights our political Right and Left endlessly engage in while 30 million Americans go without jobs and income.
After 10,000 years of written human history, it ought to be apparent that all of us navigating our lives in a manner to sustain all of us is more important than each of us reaching our petty little personal goals regardless of the consequence to others. The individual is vitally important, but only as he is able to sustain all of his species. He needs a broader perspective than his own life to be a rational creature.
We have an obligation to those who follow after our deaths to have built as sound a human support system with an ethic of collaboration as possible. Our individual egos get in the way because we each individually think in such narrow minded self-centered ways. We need one another. It is our strength. It is what will keep us going another 10,000 years, instead of destroying ourselves.
Several advanced civilizations have destroyed themselves. I see no reason why we might not also design our own extinction. So, why don’t we all see the importance of collaborating to keep the entire species going, and within that model compete for excellence instead of simply the shallow goal of getting rich? Human nature does not decree we must think shallowly. It’s a matter of using our brains. We have them. Why not use them?