By Wakiza McQueen
There is truly a sickness plaguing the American people. Our society has become (maybe always has been) quite individualistic and self-effacing. One often wonders if Charles Darwin was not only a scientific forerunner, but a prophet describing the evolution of the human species, as it were, when he produced his seminal work, On the Origin of Species. For it is truly survival of the fittest in today's society. And the fit, in America, are the top 1% that control the wealth in this country, not excluding corporations. I am by no means an anarchist or a far-left wing zealot espousing the virtues of a socialist economy. I am an American first and foremost, and like our fore bearers, believe in a capitalistic economic system. However, as quoted by Arianna Huffington, capitalism requires a moral foundation with which to operate successfully:
"In capitalism as envisioned by its leading lights, including Adam Smith and Alfred Marshall, you need a moral foundation in order for free markets to work. And when a company fails, it fails. It doesn't get bailed out using trillions of dollars of taxpayer money. What we have right now is Corporatism. It's welfare for the rich. It's the government picking winners and losers. It's Wall Street having their taxpayer-funded cake and eating it too. It's socialized losses and privatized gains."
Indeed it is "Corporatism" and "socialized losses and privatized gains" that has infected our culture, and like a virulent retrovirus, it is destroying us from within and there seems to be no cure in sight, nay, not even a vaccination; we're all susceptible. Natural selection too is taking place, but not by the evolution of the best qualities for success being passed along, but by government intervention, call it "elitist selection", by which our government picks the winners and losers: AIG, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citi Bank, et al.
The solution is simple. We need to change Washington and enact a public campaign financing system that supersedes the existing private campaign financing system that corrupts our politics in this country. We need to change the for profit industrialization of healthcare, the military, and the prison system, that treat human beings as commodities to be bought and sold (I thought slavery was outlawed in this country with the emancipation proclamation). Finally, we need to elect politicians that represent their constituencies and care about the social welfare of this country, and legislate for the common needs and rights for all people in our society. Bertrand Russell said it best: "The problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubt." So the question remains, when will the wiser among us wake up and make a stand? I'm on my two feet, how about you?