Friday, November 05, 2010

All Is Not Lost

After another disastrous "election," the citizens of Hawaii will have another two years of complaining and realizing that nothing is being done (or done right), before repeating their history of voting for the same people again.

They seem to think that voting for the same people and policies, is all that is required to bring about change and improvement -- while everything seems to stay the same, or get worse.

When a population is young, they can get away with it for several years, until the tipping point is reached at which most of the population is old -- and not doing the jobs they are still getting paid for. Increasingly, more money just goes to pay those who are no longer working -- and so there is very little money left for those still doing the work, or for the unfortunate segment of the population, for which government aid programs were conceived and funded for -- when the government workers themselves, think that is the money intended for themselves -- which they are entitled to.

What is required at such inflection points, is for a healthy balance to be restored -- in some fashion, or all the money is being paid out, but nobody is producing any work, product or service -- and so the quality of life is limited to what one can actually do for oneself, because any exchange at that point, is to trade something for nothing in return.

While this is quite obvious and understandable on a personal level, this simple lesson seems to get lost when understanding society or the state as being the aggregate of all such individual transactions. Money has worth according to the greater good one can receive in exchange for it -- and if nobody is producing anything, but merely wishes to defraud or extort more from one another, it becomes a vicious cycle favoring the most ruthless and unconscionable. We then fully expect, that people we elect, have no intention of living up to their promises -- but their saying so, was all we wanted to hear, without further expectations, of any follow through or connection to future events and outcomes.

The early anthropologists of the last century would study and report on the difference in such societies -- of which the community good and reciprocity (mutually advantageous exchanges), was the golden rule, while in others, "getting over" on everybody else, was the more admired trait, which is the familiar getting something for nothing, or over -- until one, or a privileged few, have it all.

So these patterns are very familiar, if no longer discussed -- because elections alone, are enough to validate and justify the present order of injustices and imbalances of power. Might, or the majority, doesn't make everything right -- particularly if people just know how to win elections, or wars for that matter, as the only arbiter of right, and good, so that people can force that belief on a population, even if it is not true. This exercise of power is done everyday, in all one's transactions and exchanges with other people -- we individually and collectively know as our relationships and society.

That becomes our world view and outlook -- which is that things are getting better, or things are getting worse, and there's nothing we can do, because even and as often as we vote, the results are always the same.


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