Friday, November 8, 2013
When did this happen?
It is not clear as to exactly when American Self Reliance and Rugged Individualism morphed into a Winner Take All - Me First and Screw the Other Guy philosophy. But the picture above clearly sums up this atrocious world view that has come to be championed by a large part of our citizenry.
There have always been demagogues who appeal to our lowest most primitive nature. Who revel in naming and blaming the OTHER while claiming some sort of nebulous moral high ground. Who talk about championing the electorate while amassing private power and personal fortune. Perhaps it is a natural flaw of Democracy.
The Greeks obviated this flaw by creating a very high bar for citizenship - that included a thorough grounding in Philosophy. Now that would be considered Elitist. To the Greeks elite was an a great compliment rather than a term of opprobrium.
And perhaps there have always been sociopathic types in the halls of Corporate America. After all, a Corporation is an entity charged with winner take all maximization of profit to the detriment of all competitors. But, at one time, it was thought that the rules and regulations and oversight that reigned in this Me First Sociopathic behavior were beneficial to an equitable society. Now the rules, regulations and oversight are seen as an evil set of controls hampering our natural drive and natural right to screw then hell out of anyone who stands in our way.
It would make for an interesting study to try to determine when this happened to us. But even more interesting is the question: Is this sustainable?
The clearest measure of sustainability is in our Currency. Because our Currency is entirely devoid of Intrinsic Value, thus it is entirely dependent on Trust and Good Faith. Without those two nebulous qualities our currency will lose all of its usefulness as a store of value.
So the question is, in a society where nobody trusts anyone, where everyone is out to screw everyone else, and where Good Faith is seen as the illusion of the Ultimate Sucker, how long can our currency retain value?