Click Map for Details

Flag Counter

Monday, October 14, 2013

My View on the Current National Politics

I owe it to my readers to be frank regarding my views on the current stalemate in national politics. If you have read my blogs more or less extensively, you are aware that I am a man of faith who has on occasion in the past not compromised on issues. Take for example the draft in 1968 during the Vietnam War. I refused to be inducted and was sentenced to federal prison as a result. So right off the bat I have some identity with those who hold uncompromisingly in their position against some macro developments in our country. I disagree with those who are currently willing to decline funding provisions regarding the national debt. But I have been there in a way. I have done that. I know the feeling in the gut that says “This far and no further NO MATTER WHAT. When you think about it, many historically admired people have had the same feeling—Jesus Christ, Luther, Bonheoffer, Gandhi, MLK, and many others. So we cannot conclude categorically that uncompromising conviction is bad.

And I cannot take the tack that the consequences of my decision redounded only to me whereas the decision of current staunch House members would affect all of us. Surely I must recognize that some may have died or suffered life-long injury directly as a result of my decision refusing the draft.

For me clarity in this matter depends upon discerning the root causes of American economic escapism. In my view the burgeoning American deficit is a clear indication that we are carefully nursing some fundamental delusions. My sister-in-law and I talked on the phone the other day and I asked about the bees hived in their yard in north Georgia. Heavy rains had destroyed the blossoms there about so she was pressed to feed them sugar water to keep them from starving—which she did. I told her that now her bees will have become accustomed to an entitlement and that they would never again hover about the countryside gathering nectar. This is really so far as I know an open question, can bees be re-educated to never browse for nectar again but rather depend upon sugar water handouts? I like to think (though I don’t know for sure) that the first chance they get to gather nectar productively they will do so.

Just so with man; if there is nectar to gather even if substantial effort is required, if not encumbered by overwhelming negative forces, they will prefer to creativity fulfill the hunter instinct. This is an unproven supposition on my part, but I strongly suspect that is true since happiness derived from productive creativity is affirmative and supportive of self-esteem and happiness.

Now in American “overwhelming negative forces” are seated in the worship of capitalism as the primary if not sole determiner of the distribution of wealth. This has led to great disparities in wealth as the labor market sets prices of significant swaths of productive labor below its true value. That is, from the get-go there is an arbitrary redistribution of wealth from its actual sources. When this is combined with the principle that possession is nine-tenths of the law, the scene is set for great injustice and atrophy of overall economic activity. Instead of widespread abundance, we have widespread marginality and poverty. (Note: I have repeatedly asserted that capitalism as an economic engine is a necessary though not sufficient factor in the US economy.)

Thus, I do not fault those concerned about the burgeoning national debt since it represents the result of a sure to be fatal escapism. I disagree that the fundamental problem we are facing is “lazy bees.” I think the problem rather is the unjust distribution of wealth at the fountainhead—at its source not only among the entrepreneur capitalists at the top of the mountain, but among the many laborers at the base. Perhaps bees, at some point, rather just die than work for nectar insufficient for survival.

Print Page