Guest Opinion: Let's talk straight
One undeniable measure of the true values of a society is whom and what they reward with wealth, power and recognition. Although we as a society seem to eschew self-examination, this is as clear as the nose on our face; those we have declared the...
One undeniable measure of the true values of a society is whom and what they reward with wealth, power and recognition.
Although we as a society seem to eschew self-examination, this is as clear as the nose on our face; those we have declared the winners, the darlings of our society are the 1 percent who flourish like no others in our history being rewarded with our wealth and our power. We have turned over most of the control of our nation, our present and our future, to that very select group. That is what we have chosen, either by clear choice or tacitly. Let's see where it takes us.
And what is the other side of that "values" coin? Why it is a society in which we have less and less regulation or public control; in which the concept of government and public services are devalued; in which privatization runs rampant while workers are devalued.
It is a society in which the poor and those who are struggling to survive - those who are in great need - are more and more often simply left to their own devices; a society in which poverty and prison populations grows to the highest in the world, in which our infrastructure crumbles, as pollution and carbon emissions continue unchecked.
It is a society in which we are perpetually monitored on a level that would have been the dream of the Stasi. We spend huge amounts of our taxes on a military that straddles the world and intimidates with drones and targeted assassinations to protect American financial interests; a society in which secrecy thrives and it is seen as treason to expose what is really happening.
It is a society in which the successful are beyond the reach of the law and those on the bottom are at its mercy. It is a society in which "religion" and "morality" are cavalierly used to justify what would hardly be condoned by any God or any human philosophy or ideology.
It is a society that justifies self-indulgence whether it is in its use of guns, breaking rules and laws with impunity, driving gas guzzlers or simply indulging in whatever your prejudices might be about gays, blacks, Muslims, immigrants, foreigners, women or whoever you damn-well want to dislike.
This is a description of an irresponsible society, one that not only rewards those with the greatest self-indulgence wrapped up in their arrogance and delusions of grandeur but also a society which has turned its back on its own citizens and the rest of the world and is now in the process of finishing the job of locking those values in place for our short and sad future.
Bob Passi is retired and a resident of Baxter.