As part of the discussions I had to try to resolve the car parking problem (which, incidentally, were unsuccessful - so I am parking in the street until the morning's batch of insanity is over, then, during smoko, moving my car into that park), one of my colleagues made a comment to the effect that, although communism had been seen to fail, capitalism wasn't doing much better.
Both of us are very much aware of the push to compete and be more efficient in a capitalist market - the price of doing work goes down, but at the price of increased stress on workers, particularly the ones who are less successful. The capitalist argument is that less efficient workers need to find other work, but I posit that the "less efficient" worker may simply be incompatible with the pace expected in today's workplace, and thus - since that pace is expected everywhere - actually have nowhere left to go.
I know of engineers and other professionals who left their work with the advent of faxes becasue the pace had become too quick and the pressure and stress excessive - before the fast pace associated with emails, Twitter and so on. I am also well aware that people have been wanting to drop out of the rate race for many decades at the very least - not to mention going on spiritual and other retreats for millennia. (See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slow_Movement and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Sauntering_Day.) Shortly before I wrote that, I had a request (during my working day) to do another rush job within a few days.
The pace of the modern economy and "being competitive" is not good for our health.
I also consider our levels of expectations (the bigger house etc) are ALSO very bad, largely for the environment, but that is a topic for another post.
It was interesting, therefore, in light of the foregoing, to read the following in an article on the excellent "The Conversation" website (at http://theconversation.edu.au/):
"In the very 800 page book to which Lukin refers, Chomsky writes in the tradition of George Orwell about terms like “free enterprise” and “free world” which are designed “to insinuate somehow that the system of control and domination and aggression to which those with power were committed were in fact a kind of freedom.” "
That came from an article titled "Chomsky, linguistics, politics and a response to an unfair allegation", at http://theconversation.edu.au/chomsky-linguistics-politics-and-a-response-to-an-unfair-allegation-4391.
I think he has it right. Unfortunately, many of the decision-makers in society, especially too many politicians and business leaders, are innately pushy, insensitive sods, and have to be that in order to get to the positions they're in - they may genuinely see nothing wrong with making a single parent terrified of losing a job if she or he tries to limit working hours so they can do a good job as a parent, or of less confident drivers being stressed and worried by narrower roads or parking spaces. Nevertheless, the fact is, anyone who contributes to such stress is incurring negative karma.
What is the solution? Well, it starts with individuals simplifying and slowing down their lives as much as they can, and being prepared to speak out about this (when it is appropriate - especially on issues of opulence, so, when a friend says, for instance, "isn't my new care magnificent?" a reply might be "do you really need it that big and flashy?"), and, maybe, eventually the media will start picking up on this and then it's just a hop, skip and jump (meaning probably 40 or 50 years) to politicians making some necessary changes ....
Don't hold your breath - breathe normally, in a slow and relaxed manner :)
And on that note, I'll leave it - although I've just today had the experience of a flatbed truck driver stopping in the right lane of a major road during peak hour so he could pick up a few sheets of material from a shop, causing massive disruption to others, and creating a risk of an accident. Yes, this was clearly stupid (there was a service road he could have used), but could it also be (i) a reflection of the pressure to be quicker ("more efficient") in everything, and (ii) the uncaring attitudes of people in power that I mentioned?
There are times when I look at the tailgating, intersection-blocking, late-stopping-behind-other-cars, etc, etc, etc, and think ... would this planet be better off if this bunch of stupid, selfish creatures called human disappeared? Well, yes, probably - but there are signs of hope, mostly that not all humans are stupid and selfish (some are even not either :) ). Still, it is something to ponder: why are so many people incapable of doing something as simple and courteous as obeying the road rules? They're there for good reasons ... why do so many people just not get it?
There are few articles which might contribute to your breadth and depth of thought as you come up with you own opinions on this, and I have one final point after these. They are:
- "Rare victory for workers whose dignity was cut to the bone", by David Whyte, 25th November, 2011
- "What's mine is yours: the rise of the 'share' market", 14th November, 2011
- "Helping hand or not?", 31st October, 2011 (read the Wikipedia links, including http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitty_Genovese, as it appears things may not have been as bad as initially reported)
- "Troll-attack campaign goes viral", 8th November, 2011
- "War and peace: bullets, batons - then 'jaw jaw' ", by John Silveester, 5th November, 2011
- "Invading, not investigating, has led to a decade of violence", 3rd November, 2011 (this won the "Sydney Peace Prize", apparently - which I am not familiar with)
- "Toughing out the teen age shouldn't be such a rough ride", by Tania Ewing, 3rd November, 2011
- "'Pit bull' of skinheads endures agony to remove tattoos and start a new life", 2nd November, 2011
See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_People%27s_Project http://www.onepeoplesproject.com/.
Also keep in mind that tattoos can be for positive purposes - in my case, there is a sp[iritual purpose to all but one of my tattoos.
- "Austerity not the only way", 30th October, 2011
- "Fizzy drinks linked to aggression", 25th October, 2011
- "A space that needs occupying", 21st October, 2011
- "In the cutthroat world of sport, it's the simple gestures that tell a lot", 20th October, 2011
- "Young hearts of darkness", 10th October, 2011
- "Seeking a creed of decency", 10th October, 2011
- "No one's perfect, not even parents", 6th October, 2011
- "Greed of boomers led us to a total bust", 26th September, 2011
- "Australians arise - and kindly stop your whingeing", 24th September, 2011
- "Bad to the bone", 20th September, 2011
- "Boomers go bust over kids", 11th September, 2011
Remember, I neither necessarily agree nor disagree, partly or wholly, with any links I post.
Now, my final point .. I once heard someone say (sorry - "pers. comm." , so no link :) ) that he wished educated people would breed more, so the world wouldn't get dragged down by - my words - lower class people breeding like rabbits. Well, I would lie to see more evolved people on the planet, and certainly more people being raised by caring, attentive, skillful parents would help (and THAT is what I see as the problem being perceived by this person, not IQ - and anyway, EQ is more important), but after weeks like the one I've just had, I am almost tempted to say "yeah ..." ... after all, someone else (sorry - can't find the link) once theorised that advanced civilisations like the Egyptians popped along to leaven the rest of humanity, to reverse the tend of the rest of us towards atrophy/decay. Hmmm ... again, after the week I've just had ... maybe ...
But then again, maybe not - maybe it is all just the cycle of ages known as the Yuga's.
Love, light, hugs and blessings
- "Pers. comm" is an abbreviation from the world of technical literature: it stands for"personal communication", and means that the person being quoted has expresed the point directly to the author, noit in publicly available literature
Tags: society, evolution, selfishness, irresponsibility,
First published: Laugadagr, 26th November, 2011
Last edited: Saturday, 26th November, 2011