I don’t know how often Americans think about how very unique our society is…tho I suspect a LOT of immigrants do. I wonder how many of you have ever attended the ceremony of immigrants becoming American citizens. It’s special.
I’m watching my slow dissolution of hope; Citizens United and graft and judicial appointments and partisan divisiveness… I appreciate how far we’ve come in my lifetime, only to turn away from achieving the goal of equal opportunity for ALL of our citizens. Women, the disabled, the sexually exploited communities have all enjoyed progress in recent years.
We were all young, once. I came of age hoping, perhaps naively expecting us to continue on the track of equality I saw unfolding before me. I went to Vietnam. I watched Communism fail. Dictators fail. Democracy and capitalism, as governmental models seemed to be gaining market share. But $ is apolitical and eternal; it flows to whomever offers the best return on capital. If the product involves slavery or war or immorality, so what? So it goes.
Most people born to money presume they deserve it; acquired wealth seemingly validates the recipients “worthiness and courage”; stolen money is as ancient as dirt. “You had some shit and I took it.” As great wealth is amassed by a statistical few, a growing dissatisfied population simmers. They want more. They feel they deserve more. And clearly, they do…but they lack the means to change the playing field, to change the rules. They can protest, they can strike, they can rebel, they can fucking die (and a shitload do)…but they cannot truly win. Because the scraps for which they must risk their literal lives for…even if obtained, will never change the dispassionate math.
$ is trump. That goddamn name. Ironic as hell; Vonnegut would approve. BRIDGE is a centuries old card game, little appreciated today. But the suit (there are four suits in a deck of cards) that was declared as trump, meant that any card in that suit, no matter how small would defeat even the Ace of any other suit. So that word Trump had 19th and 20th Century resonance…just because of a card game. My tribe gravitated to Bid Whist.
Perhaps it has always been so, but never before more clearly: Modernity has simply made classic greed more efficient. I realize that I can watch on my tv – on any given day, in any given state – a man who looks much like me being assaulted or shot dead…by uniformed, identifiable employees of my governments.
So apparently it ain’t gonna happen in my life time, this Utopian community that achieves those mythical goals: Freedom. Equality. Justice. Equal Opportunity. Sorry about that, Tucker…maybe next time around.
It was good PR, it resonated ( and still does) with a world of other people who weren’t born on third base. But I’ve peeked behind the curtain…and it’s the same old wine…and the bottle ain’t even all that new…
Haven’t seen many random postings about the metaphor of Kilauea. Idealized Paradise, consumed by the very core of the earth. Relentless, implacable. Perhaps now being composing. But my simplistic metaphor would be that Eden can exist. But our core (Mammon, $) is molten and dispassionate…and it will eventually find its way to the surface and overwhelm whatever lies in its path.
I dunno. Maybe this is what Darwin had in mind. I stepped out this evening to a pleasant breeze and an uncommon stillness inside me. The Lesson? Watch less news, take more walks…