Sunday, January 31, 2010

We-the-People as Vendors

In our society citizens are vendors, business persons. You have to sell something to make a living. The only product most of us have to market is our time/energy, our labor, which we sell to the highest bidder. Education and skill improve our competitive position as employees. Employers increase profits when they reduce or keep wages low. Most of us drudge away our sales day, at best making the best of it. Failure at or refusal to engage in business has serious consequences - the street being the ultimate enforcer, the bottom line.

So our life-blood is traded for whatever level of food, shelter, education, health care and entertainment, we can attain. But suppose these were givens, the goal in fact of our society as a whole, for all, instead of enrichment of the few, the clever and the ruthless?

Suppose we set out as a nation to solve this riddle: how to create a society whose top priority is the basics (food, shelter, education, health care) for every citizen, at a sustainable level - one which doesn't despoil the earth, air, soil, water? This as the driving force of our culture, to replace the pursuits of profits, privilege and power.

If this attempt were made anywhere else and showed the least chance of success it would be crushed, as it was in Nicaragua, Chile and other countries, by the United States. It has to begin here and before the momentum of patriarchal capitalism finally consolidates its power internationally.

It will happen when we elect state and national governments, and courts, who embrace these values. That can only happen if we-the- people first adopt them, which can only happen through grass roots education, which we best be about. The means to this, as I’ve said in other posts, is to be found, not exclusively but clearly, in the teachings of Eckhart Tolle.

1 comment:

  1. this is part of an exchange with someone infatuated with Ann Rand and who sees "Marxism" lurking in this post:

    ya, i read it when i was in the army in se asia... i was rather impressionable in those years... just thought it was a novel, hardly remember it... so my statement that marx is smarter than rand is really uninformed... michael parenti (a marxist i think has put marx in a different perspective to me since i haven't read marx beyond stumbling across some of his writings and being very impressed by the intelligence) anyway, he pointed out something interesting.

    without glossing over the terrible features of the former soviet union he asked the reader to consider a comparison: the average person in the soviet sphere of influence, ie, east germany, poland etc; had a guaranteed job, free health care and education, an apartment (true, extremely annoying scarcity of food, luxury items etc;)... if they opposed the government of course they were in deep trouble, gulag most likely.

    now compare that to life in the U.S. domains... say, el salvador, guatemala.... very high unemployment, no free health care, education for the wealthy only, precarious economic life around food, shelter etc; for all but the wealthy or lucky, and a death squad at the door if you objected in any public way to these conditions. the average person in these nations would happily have changed places with the average person in poland etc; so it's not so black and white as portrayed here by our "liberal" media.

    btw, i also went to u.s. educational institutions and never encountered marx there, certainly not required... maybe in philosophy dept. since he was a sig. thinker