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Since the dawn of agriculture, it seems like there has always been one characterist in every society everywhere. That is that there is a group of people who are powerful and wealthy, and another below them that are oppressed and poor. The gap between the rich and the poor just seems to get wider as technology advances. There are occasionally times when the oppressed rise up against their oppressors, but in time, the 2 classes again emerge. Free Market and Democracy overthrew the monarchies, and Socialism overthrew Free Market (or monarchy). Both of these "revolutions" were intended to take back (respectively) either the power or wealth from the high and spread it out equally to include the low. But they failed. Why? Is it because greed is a part of human nature? Is it just because greed has been a part of human culture for a long time, but can be changed? Is it because it is just the natural order of things for there to be and upper class and a lower one? I don't think there needs to be an upper and lower class. I think that it is possible for people to all live in harmony and share power and wealth equally, and I don't think that a revolution is ever going to be what makes this happen. Every time it's been tried in the past, it has not worked. I think Love can save the world. Not a revolution.
A little tune I like...
You say you want a revolution Well you know?We all want to change the world You tell me that it's evolution Well you know?We all want to change the world But when you talk about destruction Don't you know you can count me out Don't you know it's gonna be alright?Alright Alright You say you got a real solution Well you know we'd all love to see the plan You ask me for a contribution Well you know?We're doing what we can But if you want money for people with minds that hate All I can tell you is brother you have to wait Don't you know it's gonna be alright?Alright Alright You say you'll change the constitution Well you know we all love to change your head You tell me it's the institution Well you know?You better free your mind instead But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow Don't you know know it's gonna be alright?Alright Alright
Re: Equality [Re: ] #1238154 - 01/22/03 12:16 AM (15 years, 2 months ago)
What a lovely post. I have a quote from a book you may be interested in which is consistant with your ideas. It is from a new age/spiritualist book called conversations with god (god apparently spoke through author). Here god is saying that society can be changed through smaller groups with compassion for the oppressed changing the way the larger group thinks.
" Individuals adn smaller groups must affect larger groups - and ultimately, the largest group of all, which is ALL humankind- for there to be permanent and significant change on your planet. Your world and the condition it is in is a reflection of the total, combined consciousness of everyone living there. As you can see by looking around you, much is left to be done. Unless of course you are satisfied with your world as it is. Surprisingly, most people are . That is why the world does not change. Most people are satisfied with a world in which differences, not similiarities, are honored, and disagreements are settled by conflict and war. Most people are satisfied with a world in which survival is for the fittest, "might is right" , competition is required, and winning is called the highest good. If such a system happens also to produce "losers" - so be it - so long as you are not among them. Most people are satisfied, even though such a model produces people who are often killed when they are judged "wrong", starved and rendered homeless when they are "losers", oppressed and exploited when they are not "strong." Most people define "wrong" as that which is different from them. Religious differences, in particular are not tolerated, nor are many social, economic, or cultural differences. Exploitation of the underclass is justified by the self-congratulatory pronouncements from the upper class of how much better off their victims are now than they were before these expoitations. By this measure the upper class can ignore the issue of how all people ought to be treated if one were being truly fair , rather than merely making a horrible situation a tiny bit better - and profiting obscenely in the bargain. Most people laugh when one suggests any kind of system other than the one currently in place, saying that behaviours such as competing and killing and the "victor taking the spoils" are what makes their civilisation great! Most poeple even think there is no other natural way to be, that it is the nature of humans to behave in this manner, and that to act any other way would kill the inner spirit that drives man to succeed. (No-one asks the question, "Succeed at what") Difficult as it is for truly enlightened beings to understand, most people on your planet believe in this philosophy, and that is why most people don't care about the suffering masses, the oppression of minorities, the anger of the underclass, or the survival needs of anyone but themselves and their immediate families. Most people do not see that they are destroying thier Earth -the very planet which gives them Life - because their actions seek only to enhance their quality of life. Amazingly, they are not far-sighted enough to observe that short-term gains can produce long-term losses, and often do - and will. Most people are threatened by group consciousness, a concept such as the collective good, a one-world overview, or a God who exists in unity with all creation, rather than separate from it. This fear of anything leading to unification and your panet's glorification of All That Separates produces division, dishamony, discord - yet you do not seem to have the ability even to learn from your own experience, and so you continue your behaviours, with the same results. The inability to experience the suffering of another as one's own is what allows such suffering to continue. Separation breeds indifference, false superiority. Unity produces compassion, genuine equality. The events which occur on your planet - which have occurred regularly for 3,000 years - are, as I've said, a reflection of the collective consciousness of "your group" the whole group on your planet. That level of consciousness could best be described as primative."
I think the reason nobody is replying is because it is so hard to translate love into concrete political terms. So people don't really want to touch the issue.
Love takes many forms. I think we could say that greed is also a form of love. I think most people who are greedy are that way NOT because they WANT to deprive other people (although there might be a few such bad apples) but because they love themselves, and they love their own (family, kin, city, nation, whatever) and they also love the wonderful, multifarious things of the material world. So greed is simply wanting more for oneself, and for one's own--wanting more of the wonderful material things (a nice house overlooking the ocean, fresh-cut flowers in the vase, delicious food, a library full of books, clean clothes for the kids, etc.).
I think the reason capitalism has been relatively more successful than communism is because capitalism is rooted in a form of love. Yes, I'm serious. Greed and self-interest are the lowest, basest forms of love imaginable, but they are still forms of love.
Revolutionary movements (of all types), on the other hand, very often claim to be rooted in concern or compassion for those who are weak or downtrodden, or in high principles, but it seems that they very often get highjacked by various forms of hatred--hatred for the wealthy, hatred for the status quo, hatred for various enemies, real and imagined.
Please do not get me wrong--I am not an apologist for capitalism! I believe that capitalism and communism are simply mirror images of one another. Both of them are completely materialistic at heart. Both of them define human happiness and dignity in MATERIAL terms, and more or less ignore everything else. I believe that, if humanity manages to survive for another couple hundred years or more, both of these social forms will be left behind as transitory stages in the history of human consciousness and human social arrangements. But, if one had to say why capitalism has edged out communism, it would have to be because capitalism was positive--rooted in greed and desire, base forms of love but love nonetheless--whereas communism was negative--rooted in the inflamation of antagonism (in this case, class antagonism).
If humanity can manage to devise a social system that is rooted in a higher form of love than mere greed or self-interest, then we might be getting somewhere! The point, however, is that it will take more than a "system" per se. Any system, no matter how ingenious, will lead to the same suffering and injustice if the people living within it are still at a base level of human development. More important than the SYSTEM is consciousness itself. Right now humanity is passing through a very difficult and traumatic phase that has lasted, oh, for the last two centuries or so. It began with industrialization and European imperialism (both of which began the slow but steady processes of widespread pollution, mechanized warfare, burgeoning capital markets, globalization, etc.). We are still in the midst of it. This phase is either going to destroy us all or serve as the birthing pains for a different form of consciousness that we can only imagine at the moment.
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