Mudcat Café message #959301 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59921   Message #959301
Posted By: Little Hawk
26-May-03 - 11:12 AM
Thread Name: BS: Conservative, Liberal, or Human Being?
Subject: RE: BS: Conservative, Liberal, or Human Being?
Either rich guys or poor guys can be exceedingly dangerous, depending upon their intentions and their general level of morality. Rich guys are usually dangerous on a larger, more impersonal scale (affecting many people), while poor guys are generally dangerous on a more in-your-face personal and individual basis. (But these, of course, are generalizations, and you can find exceptions to them, I'm sure.)

A society that encourages the maintenance of a rich elite also encourages the maintenance of a great many poor. Both are dangerous in their own fashion, and they are the right and left hand of the same beast which is...inequality and injustice.

A just society does not try to make everyone exactly equal...which is impossible anyway...but it does try to ensure that everyone is up to a certain basic standard of living which is fairly decent.

In other words: everyone has a home, everyone has enough food and clothing, everyone has medical care, everyone has access to a good education and a job, and so on.

Simple societies like tribal societies in America or Hawaii for example, did that naturally without a bureaucracy, because it did not occur to them to do otherwise. In so doing they achieved a kind of natural socialism, and a degree of freedom and equality for the individual unknown in class-conscious Europe at the time.

More advanced modern technological societies which require an extensive bureaucracy in order to function simply cannot achieve it, however, without what we call "socialism", which is a publicly funded and publicly administered effort, NOT done for dollar profit but for social profit in a human sense. And there is no such society, including the USA, which does not have a considerable amount of socialism as a result, whether or not they choose to consider "socialism" to be a dirty word.

An interesting aside on this: I know a Polish couple who run a very good car-cleaning business in Orillia. They moved to Canada prior to the end of the Communist administration in Poland, and they like Canada very much. They went back to Warsaw recently for a visit, and were shocked by the change in the country. There were two things that stood out... 1. The incredible profusion of consumer goods of every kind, which was a big change from the former system. 2. The incredible profusion of crime and social problems of every kind.

They said that under the old system the city was entirely safe, day or night, and there were lots of people out on the streets at night, and everyone had a job too, and everyone they knew was basically okay. They say that under the new order now it is very unsafe, and the stores are full of stuff which a lot of people can't buy, because they are unemployed or underemployed.

They say it was much better under the old system, that the new one is rife with gangsterism. How ironical. Gangsterism masquerading as "freedom".

In any case they are glad to be in Canada, but they are not well impressed by what the West has given Poland. I saw the same contrast when visiting Cuba (socialist) and Trinidad (capitalist). They're both nice countries in their own way, but Cuba is one hell of a lot safer, and its poor people are way better off.

Remember Captain Bligh and his boat of survivors after the mutiny? They all shared the food and water equally. Bligh was not stupid. Equality is the first requirement of a just and cooperative social system, especially when times are tough. The alternative is moral anarchy, murder, and rule by the most amoral and well-armed. People like that get no mercy when the tables are turned.

- LH