Our Place in History
Ernest Hemingway once wrote “The world is a great place, and worth fighting for”. It is difficult to believe that less than 50 years later is seems manipulative or naïve to utter such a phrase. However, thinking about the quote in a broad historical sense, it seems like maybe this type of thinking is more pertinent today that ever before in history.
Considering the fact that history is simply the cycle in shifts of wealth, and that the oppressor’s have always been the oppressor’s, and the oppressed have always been the oppressed, it’s possible that people who are active in the struggle against oppression, and who appear to be making little progress, are possibly the last barrier in the defense of the poor by the ruling class. If people of conscience and goodwill believe they are making no difference, and give in to the pessimism of greedy men, then its possible that the whole house of cards will crumble and the poor will be left with no services whatsoever. It is disheartening that while the unstable house still stands many cards are being removed one at a time to build up the mansions of cards occupied by the upper strata of our derisive class society. Most people on the right or left – or wherever on the political spectrum – with any moral character whatsoever do not want to leave economically disabled individuals and families at the mercy of the brutal economic and employment markets. However, they do use the guise of “personal responsibility” to only help those who have fall so far that the only services hoped for are the most basic necessities – food, water, shelter, clothing, etc. What this thought process fails to recognize is that, while those who show little “personal responsibility” fall father down the economic and social ladder, society is degraded as a whole due to the debased function of the moral responsibility of the state. Therefore, we in essence are left with a society devoid of moral responsibility to individuals, but expect individuals to display moral responsibility for society. This is a major example of “do as I say, not as I do”; or simply taking the cart before the horse. To ask the question of why individuals don’t display a personal “moral responsibility” without first asking the question of where both societal and individual moral norms come from, is a moot question. So which has the effect, individuals promote societal moral responsibility, or society promotes individual moral responsibility (which came first, the chicken or the egg)? History, and the development of moral character [or morals period] seem to have been codified with the development of society. This simply helps the argument of evolution, and the idea that as humans multiplied and began to come into contact with each other, the interactions expand understanding and problem solving; therefore, developing (evolving) the brain as well as society as a whole. It’s important for me to make a distinction here between biological and physiological evolution, and the evolution of the mind – creating higher thinking processes, i.e. critical thinking, problem solving, and the ability to create new ideas. In primitive society every problem was taken at face value, and therefore the options in solving such problems usually involved brute force or simply ignoring the issue.