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FROM MY CORNER: Random End-of-Year Thoughts

Howell Hurst American News, Corporate Avarice, Defense Spending, Economy & Finance, People, People Politics, Poverty, War and Organized Mayhem

Looking though the several “From My Corner” comments I have placed on Facebook over the years, I happened upon the two items below: one mine, one a quote from a friend of mine.

Once I wrote: “Why do we allow the Federal, State, and Local governments to own and control so much land (not all parks) when much of it could be owned by individual citizens? Allocating a piece of land to everyone not owning property would help level the battle ground between rich and poor, providing forever at least a place to live for everyone, no matter how impoverished they might be.”

And:

Once Charles Darwin wrote: “Probably all organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed. There is grandeur in this view of life that, … from so simple a beginning, endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.”

It strikes me, as it long has, how much better people could live together and rationally govern themselves if they would keep such ideas in their mind instead of primarily obsessing about their own financial security and safety. About making a buck.

We people are possessed of pretty deep paranoia regarding life, I believe. We keep a good front going, a stiff upper lip, but each of us at our most basic do (and have to, I suppose) look out for ourselves.

We frequently forget that we all originated from one place: the beginning of our now present lives. When I see photos of a hundred white supremacists standing at attention, Heil Hitler saluting skyward, it reminds me how many people are utterly ignorant of Darwin’s thoughts on the origin of us.

We all have to pay for white supremacists’ (and our warring leaders’) ignorance in their violent outbursts. Why we remain incapable, as members of our common species, to collaborate and better insure our mutually peaceful and secure existence, remains a puzzle. Schools of fish do it better than we do.

But consistently it certainly does elude us. It is driven on the simplest level by the desire for individual personal gain, I guess. Darwin’s survival of the fittest has apparently been translated by us into survival of the wealthiest, as if the two really had anything to do with one another.

So, I suppose, we’re all still pretty ignorant, shortsighted, and feeble minded. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a staunch Humanist, you know: I think we have in us the as-yet untapped ability to overcome our mental limitations, but we just don’t seem to see how to do it yet. Hopefully, it’ll evolve eventually.

When I sailed four years ago to Mexico, after weeks out on the ocean it became clear to me how foolish we are here on land. Consider: we place our highest value on what we call profits. And what is our most profitable worldwide industry?

It’s war, isn’t it? Doesn’t that show where our real values are? Yep, we’re a pretty mixed up bunch of people, we must admit. The most long-time surviving species don’t commonly spend most of their time killing each other.

No, they don’t. They spend it working together to keep their species alive. And even then, 90% of all species have always gone extinct. So by my calculation the odds seemed stacked against us humans, even if we stopped warring.

But, the slight edge we’d gain by trying it seems worth the effort in my books. Then, what do I know? I’m an optimist in the face of the apparently inevitable most probable future that we won’t last forever no matter what we do.

Keep that good front going, that upper lip stiff.

Onward, I say. Onward!

Until next time,

Hal

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