Friday, November 07, 2008

People and Responsibility

I have been wondering what is wrong with people. So many of us tend to ignore common sense or have some kind of personally skewed definition of what it even is. I wish I was a better writer/researcher because I would love to write a 21st Century response to Thomas Paine's "Common Sense". For any who have not heard of it, as I had not until a few months ago, it was a letter to the people during the build-up to the Emancipation of the American colonies and the forming of the USA. I believe all, even non-Americans, should choose to devote a bit of time to reading and later revisiting this timeless plea for common sense.

However, we live in an even more complicated world now. Distractions run rampant; television, shopping, toys for kids of ALL ages, food, games, fucking, travelling to Istanbul for 3 days so we can talk like we know the place, etc, etc, etc. For some reason, especially (from my small experience) in the US and Canada, millions and millions of people seem to devote themselves to an almost anti common sense lifestyle. I have moments of being as guilty of this as anyone, but I sure as hell try to avoid it. However, part of the problem is how easy it has been made to ignore common sense.

Part of what led me to today's rant was wondering just how many people think about what happens to products which are not sold. We have monstrous buildings full of contraptions of all sorts. Can they all get sold? Could they even all be taken apart and rebuilt into new products? How many are just scrapped? I saw a comment somewhere which stated that "the law of supply and demand dictates that all products will be sold at some point, at some price". I can't help but be reminded by such people, that most of the world's population once KNEW the world was flat. When did we become so totally devoted to such pseudo-scientific knowledge paradigms?

Is it not closer to common sense to think that research should definitely occur on a grand scale, but that development should be need-driven instead of market-driven, especially when we see how much energy is divested in CREATING markets AFTER product development?

The other thing that led to today's rant is the reaction to Tuesday's election. Over and over I have heard references to the new President-elect as a Savior, a Messiah, even as a King. I cannot help but react with astonishment and a little bit of disgust. Any President, any world leader, any dictator, any politician, any shadowy power just a human being. They have only that power and that control which WE hand over to them (or which we beg them to take). For such an "advanced" society we certainly provide a lot of reasons to support an elitist belief that most of us are just basically mindless chattel. Why must we keep trying to raise up Kings and looking for Saviors?

Why can we not see that in real common sense are all the answers we need? We have a world in which we can have comfort for all, a balance between labor and leisure. We must remember the value and reward of physical labor. We must ignore the temptation to attain wealth by little other activity than scheming and denigrating others, living or non. Of equal importance, we must help others too weak to stand up to it on their own, and stand up to those who blatantly accept that temptation!

We cannot keep living with our heads in the sand, waiting to be led to glory and salvation. To continue to do so WILL lead to the destruction of all we know, all we need.

As I have said before and will keep saying, yes we need leaders, but we do not need to find leaders, we need to BE leaders. And we need to use common sense.

Peace to all.

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