Tonight I was watching “Fiddler on the Roof”, the movie. This movie, along with many others, as well as many written works, both fiction and non, has helped shaped my view of our world.
As I was watching I was recalling many lessons of history that I have learned over the the years.
History has provided so many lessons for mankind…yet we seem oblivious to those lessons, regardless of what source from which they emerge. From the late 1980’s and the events we saw in the Eastern Europe to the various issues arising in various sections of the Middle East. Not to forget the struggles in the Czech Republic or South Africa…or many other nations in between.
The last few weeks has provided us with an amazing opportunity. WE actually WATCHED, live, on TV and the internet, HISTORY in the making, in Egypt. BUT how many of us will actually LEARN anything from what we saw and blogged about?
WHEN systems (any system …for that matter) FAILS to recognize the NEED of people…it fails. NO man made ideology is perfect. HOWEVER, if MOST people are not benefiting from the IDEALS espoused by ANY ideology, I think it is safe to say that the ideals behind that concept are failing the PEOPLE. THUS the ideology may be flawed, because it fails to understand human failings.
Egypt provided US with a modern day example of what goes wrong when ideologies collide. Egypt was under the rule of a totalitarian regime. This ruling system WAS what was REALLY wrong with their system of governance. THIS corrupt despot ruled with an iron hand BOTH politically and ECONOMICALLY. THUS the economic system, which was MORE capitalistic THAN socialistic, WASN’T the problem…but rather the SYSTEM that controlled the economic system was the problem. AS too many of the people of the nation, were left wanting for basic necessities and hope for their own economic futures. People will put up with a LOT, if they have food in their bellies and opportunity to change their lot in life.
Human beings are NOT perfect. THUS any ideas that man devises will have flaws. NOTHING man creates will be perfect and thus many will learn how to use any system DEVELOPED by man to bastardize it for their own self interest. THIS is both an economic problem and a social governance problem.
With that said, there is a difference between a ruling system of governance and an economic system of allocating resources. SADLY the two concepts have been conflated. TOO many people, ESPECIALLY in the UNITED STATES, don’t recognize the difference between economic systems and ruling systems. HENCE the confusion between a republican style democracy and capitalism…vs a totalitarian system of governance and socialist economic ideals.
ERGO, understanding the difference between economic concepts and RULING concepts is essential to any political conversation. Not to forget to mention, the two concept often intertwine.
SO, I suggest that ANY system (economic or political) that professes to extol the virtues of selfishness or self centered behavior is inherently destined to failure. AT the same time, I suggest, that any system(economic or political) that pretends to extol the virtues of ALL man’s good features and good will toward one another, IS ALSO destined to failure. In addition, I, also suggest ANY system controlled by an elite economic CLASS or power hungry entity is equally doomed, in the long run. In addition, I suggest that any system ruled by the LEAST able (intellectually) is not a good idea, either.
WHAT we need to develop ARE systems (both politically and ECONOMICALLY) that espouse EQUILIBRIUM. Like a teeter totter, both aspects of mans GOOD points and man’s bad points…need to be even, in order for BOTH sides to be able to remain equal. IF one side is stronger than the other…one side falls and the other side rises. I suggest, that economically, socially, culturally , intellectually ALL of those concepts MUST be balanced for any society to truly thrive.
Whether it be economics, social issues, cultural issues, politics, relationships or what have you….balance is the key. Somewhere along the line WE (human beings) have lost this basic concept and have drifted to much to ONE idea or the other, on various issues. WE live in a ‘black and white’ society, and have forgotten that there are many shades of gray ON ALL issues.
WE can’t have a really stable and thriving society IF those who control all the wealth dictate all social concepts and ideas. At the same time, it is not necessarily TRUE that those with the most wealth have the most intellect or moral compass. TO think so, is utterly without understanding of human nature or history.
NOTHING in life is really so ‘black and white’, yet we pretend that it is. WHY?
Even the idea behind the American concept of democracy has been regulated to a ‘black or white’ concept. When in truth that as NOT what our founders had in mind. Our founders, wrong or right, never intended for the ‘least able’ among us to have much say in our systems. ( SAY goodnight Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman…those two were definitely NOT what our founders thought would ever have a ANY say in the leadership of this nation, sadly our current president wouldn’t be one of their choosing either).
When I say least able, they never intended for the most DIM WITTED to have power nor did they intend for those who they believed to be of the lower classes ( uneducated or poor) to have power either. They weren’t a fan of the monarchy (remember…monarchies gave power to those who were born into the ranks of power, merit wasn’t a consideration). THEY also weren’t fans of those who they believed were ‘lessor’ in their ability either. SO when we look at the founders we should be honest as to what they believed were appropriate leaders. I’m not saying I agree with their ideas, but I think we should be honest as to what they wanted for leaders of their concept.
WE should use their ideas as a stepping stone and continue evolving and creating new ideas off the old, that will HELP ALL of mankind and not just an elite few. Although, THEY didn’t see it at THE TIME….that doesn’t mean we should be mired in those concepts TODAY, when we have so much more information about so many more things. THEY didn’t have today’s understand of sociology, psychology, philosophy, macroeconomics, marketingfinance, global trade, etc…that WE have today!
With that in mind…I have to bring up an idea that really bothers me….
Many people get mad at me and argue with me, when I make the following statement…”BUSINESS exists to benefit mankind…MANKIND does NOT EXIST to benefit business.” In my mind, this simple concept seems to elude many in today’s society. ANY concept, ANY CONCEPT, devised by MAN, is supposed to benefit ALL MEN (I MEAN PEOPLE) . THAT means ALL men(ALL PEOPLE) and not just an elite (select) few. (IN THEORY ANYWAY)
AND when I say “ELITE” I am not limiting the concept of “elite” to only those who are economically elite, intellectually elite, manipulatively elite or powerfully elite. THE term “elite” can mean ANY who are in a position of authority or power of the masses.
Sadly, TOO many of the masses are confused by the concept of an “elite class”. Elite can mean many things…it can mean the intellectually elite, the economically elite ( the rich and powerful) the political elite.
I suggest in our current society that elite should be a term used exclusively for the economically advantaged; those who are born in to great wealth or those to whom great wealth has been gained…regardless of how it was attained. MY reasoning behind this concept IS that those with great wealth have great power in today’s society. HOWEVER, those with great intellect or education do not necessarily possess the same access to power. THUS wealth equals power in today’s world.
Unfortunately, there are many among us in society who don’t realize this difference and wrongly assume intellect and education are the same as economic power. These are the people who are most susceptible to propaganda that conflates the two concepts and are least likely to engage in intellectual pursuits, such as higher education.
SO here is my suggestion…let’s STOP centering on the ideas of the late 18th century, and rather LEARN for the history of that period, as well as the last 200 years and TRY to find NEW ideas that mesh with our current human situations. WE are in the 21st century after all and HAVE developed MANY news concepts over that time. ELECTRICITY, HORSELESS carriages…not to mention the INTERNET and MUCH MORE are NOW passe in today’s world. DIVORCE, bastard children, multi racial/cultural/religious families, sex without marriage and living in sin, in addition to same sex couples….ARE all the norm today.
LET US start looking at how we can IMPROVE the human situation for ALL peoples and end the class divisions. LET’S MOVE ON…we should be further in our development as human beings then we currently are…let’s move on from the arguments of the past.
WE owe our future generations a better future.
- The tyrant has gone. Now the real struggle begins for Egypt | Pankaj Mishra (guardian.co.uk)
- Egypt’s Warning: Are you listening? (chrismartenson.com)