I’ve been bothered recently by the impression that a large proportion of the people truly have lost touch with reality.
Every hour, the news is filled with another group of people vocally asserting their minority point of view. Free speech is a good thing. As I have never been deprived of it I have no way of knowing how far I would go defending it. Free speech does not in any way imply a guaranteed audience, guaranteed access to media or any formal acknowledgement whatsoever. There are a great many individuals and organisations who fail to grasp that there isn’t some infinite source of wealth that can be eternally tapped to have someone else take responsibility for every subcategory of misfortune and stupidity. Dreams are great, but in real life you can’t tick all the boxes on a wish list.
The way I see it, in a so-called “Western” society/economy, what we get is essentially multi-choice. Thing is, the primary producers within a country can only afford to adequately fund a limited number of choices. Pleasing everyone results in either doing everything badly or living on credit.
I dearly wish more people would read Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” and, putting aside any opinion on the literary style or quality, seriously consider how close we are coming to the society that finally strangles its producers.
Somewhere along the line the principle that a democratically elected Government represents the people has been mislaid. It does not rule the people. Each time I hear about another strange piece of legislation, I find myself wondering exactly what part of society will really benefit. If the Government appears to be taking on the nanny role a bit more than we might like, that is only because we are behaving like children, demanding this, that, and two of the other thing. By our voting we authorise a Government to prudently administer, for the duration of an agreed term, the interests of the country which we support by our productivity. That’s the ideal anyway. I’m a little confused by the idea that the Government is also accountable for the constitutional acts of an earlier Government, which have, with hindsight, proven to be less than prudent. Theoretically the Government of that time was enacting the expressed wishes of the society of that time. That actually means that we are accountable alongside our Government (criminality aside, of course). Hindsight is best used for educational purposes.
Obviously things are a lot more complicated than that. Matters of individual and corporate wealth can make it very hard to distinguish common sense, let alone common good. It’s not easy to extract from the political/commercial mumbo-jumbo the fact that a great many of the things we embrace as progress are, to be proven with certainty in the near future, highly detrimental to the future of our species.
It’s really important is that everyone, as individuals, grasp the fact that we are completely interdependent – relative wealth is managed. It is not possible, by definition, for everyone to be wealthy. Wealth is a relative term – dependent on poverty for its existence. Sure, meager efforts are made to soften the bottom just a bit, but does anyone seriously entertain the belief that Western society wants to see the countless millions of poor around the world actually achieve a standard of living comparable to ours? For that matter, do we really believe that poverty will be wiped out in our own countries? That would place a very interesting strain of competition on the world’s resources. I really don’t care to think how we would eventually deal with it.
“What can I do as an individual?” Well, here’s a choice. You can follow the advice of the Government to save and plan for your future. On the other hand, you can follow the advice of the Government and spend up large. Each will help part of the economy. You can decide whether you’re going to support the environment and save a recreational river or enjoy stable food prices because production has been improved through irrigation. What you can do as an individual is “Pick One”. Every time we oppose something, the cost to the economy is enormous. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t care, we should just give a little more thought to the real world implications of our chosen stance. Implicit in this is the need to understand that the individual cannot represent the highest value.
And all of this has what to do with AVS? I usually allow myself some time during a session for my mind to range free. Tonight it lighted on the absurdity of this evening’s news and I spent some time finding all the Newspeak in current use. Newspeak? The revisionist language adopted in George Orwell’s, 1984 – a language designed to obfuscate all meaning beyond the functional.