By Chic Hollis – Philosophical Musings
The practical social philosophy of “live and let live” is dead, it just needs an official burial. With so many more humans populating this globe, so many strongly held human beliefs confusing social/economic issues, and so much human motivation to be “right” about something important, unity, harmony, and goodwill are disappearing from the interpersonal relationships in our human society.
Whether some serious, educated person espouses Democracy, Individual Freedom, Communism, Socialism, Capitalism, National Sovereignty, or some commonly held religious belief, there is someone else disputing that belief and objecting to the right of the other person to defend his or her irrational position or unprovable philosophy. The snow-balling polarization of diverse human beliefs, theories, and projections about the future is whittling away at the tenuous boundaries that keep opposition forces segregated and somewhat under the control of those humans entrusted with law enforcement.
The popular beliefs promulgated by the alarmed media about Rogue Nations, Somali pirates, Muslim “Jihad” against other faiths, the oppression of the rich, the arrogance of imperialistic nations, and the annoying disputes about same-sex marriage, legalizing addictive drugs, who should pay for entitlements, and how many immigrants should be permitted legal entry in another country challenge an individual citizen’s compassion, patience, tolerance, and judgment.
Activists, terrorists, and anarchists are disturbed by their constant confrontation with opposing beliefs. They are eventually moved to do something to get the attention of those they cannot convince to “go along” with them in hating what they subjectively evaluate are unsound policies designed to ruin their lives and destroy their preferred lifestyles. When money isn’t available to buy political “change,” then resorting to violence is the only other solution available to them.
As more and more humans crowd our cities and highways and jobs become scarce, abject poverty becomes more obvious and its consequences more frightening. Increased access to what is going on in the remoter parts of the world tend to squeeze out local issues from the front page and influence how we think about the issues that are challenging our leaders, how we evaluate solutions for difficult to solve problems, and how we consider our family’s role in the future.
What is most disturbing to voting citizens is the acceptance of our diminished role as an individual in promulgating the laws that affect our daily lives. The impact of a vote in America has been reduced to almost one-third since I was born. The power of the elected oligopoly that rules this country has become totally enmeshed in holding onto their impractical political positions regardless of the lack of popular support. Serving the country or the state justly, honestly, and practically is secondary to becoming re-elected.
All that is necessary today to convince the public is some highly touted beliefs like those false ones that enticed our federal government to invade Iraq. A political leader only needs 51% support of his or her agenda in some poll to do anything, right or wrong, in this nation. The recent decisions in the District of Corruption about federal income, inheritance, and social security taxes verify how Congress and the President ignore the obvious consequences of short term solutions for problems that linger far beyond the foresight of a distracted public. “Let the future leaders of this country handle all those hidden consequences.”
Each day will produce additional political excuses for taking unsound economic action like entering a war without proper financing! The public didn’t understand how mortgage policies could hurt them until it was too late. Reducing Social Security contributions now is obviously unsound, but who is seriously objecting to the new policy that reduces pension funds available for retired Baby Boomers beyond 2012? No one!
Why was the new law requiring medical insurance for everyone who lives in America not being implemented before 2014? What harried citizen is worried today about how they are going to pay for this enhanced and expensive medical insurance package when they aren’t sick yet? Besides, most folks have to pay off credit card debt for their Christmas purchases.
Find an excuse for temporary political action like not increasing taxes on the middle class, and go for it. The unborn voters can complain. The “pay-as-you-go” philosophy is not popular any longer. All Congress needs is enough “expert poll” results for justifying destructive action or inaction. Our cagey leaders will find some rationalization for implementing their current “wisdom.” Like the frequently heard argument that is generally accepted by the appointed members of the Federal Reserve Board: “Things will be worse tomorrow if we don’t borrow more money from the future to help the current unemployment problem.”
Relax! Be optimistic, hopeful, and cheerful! Don’t sweat the small stuff. Live your life as you so desire, but don’t bother me with the details! “Let the dead bury their dead,” and let the unborn pay for our generation’s selfishness, cowardliness, and profligacy.
Try hard to convince yourself that modern Americans are living in the “best of all possible worlds” (according to Voltaire), and you are being expertly guided through John Bunyon’s “Slough of Despond” by qualified leaders who are truly the only humans responsible for this arrogant debt-ridden, imperialistic-acting, no longer recession-proof superpower!
Happy New Year!