24 May 2009

Challenging the Dominant Paradigm

We are Worth MoreThe following is a comment I made on facebook in response to a friend's status update: "capitalism: boom, bust, boom, bust." There was ensuing discussion about the comment. There was talk about taxing the "rich." One person said that if we were to increase taxes on the rich, then he would want to know how to define rich, because he makes a lot of money and wouldn't want to be taxed...

So the following are a few thoughts I shared, thoughts about harmful economic activities, about cultural change, and etc.. It's not thoroughly fleshed out here; it's not perfectly composed and it's far from complete. But it is important to challenge the dominant paradigm, so I wanted to share.

Everything is not okay. It's not "all good." Still, all the same, another world is possible -- a better world -- a truly richer and more prosperous world. A world that doesn't infringe on the health and well-being of so many (in the present and in the future.) So please, read on.
There are multiple ways to define rich. It's important to have common definitions from which to work, for the purpose of intelligent conversation. I won't attempt to define the exact perameters here, but for the purposes of this discussion, I suggest this definition for affluence: the ability to buy without regard to, or worry about price.

There is nothing wrong with making money, in and of itself -- so long as no one gets hurt in the process. The problem is that we're dealing with socio-economic harmfulness on a grand scale. There is a lot of harm being done, it's so prevalent that it's actually easy not to see it. It's easy to take for granted.

superfluous flower and plant photographSo, while many activities may not be illegal -- it doesn't mean that they aren't harmful.

It just so happens that many of the activities that generate great financial profit are also harmful. Currently, the tax rate is not high enough. Harmful economic activities should be taxed 100% -- because we will all be better off without harmful economic activities. All of us.

We have a culture that promotes aggressive and destructive competition. But we can change that.

Another world is possible. A world where people don't take without asking. A world where people don't beat each other up. A world where people don't seek to dominate each other. A world without oppression.

This other world is possible.
...a world without bullying...a world where people have power with each other, rather than over each other...


  1. "The reasons for Palestinian hatred toward Israel stem from forced relocation, and also from cruel, degrading and inhumane treatment over many years."

    You never bothered to provide reasons for Israeli behavior. Presumably they are just violent, greedy, mean-spirited people by nature, right? That goes without saying, right? Funny how Liberals always have a "background story" to rationalize everything (including suicide bombings), but the people they disagree with are inevitabily "evil", "belong in jail", "not peace-loving" and so on. Let's hear the Israeli background story Berd. One that sees them as "good" human beings acting rationally based on circumstance. See? That's where peace lies. You are still a very confused young man.

  2. Let's hear the Israeli story. By all means. The Israeli story deserves to be heard.

    Have I ever indicated a belief that Israelis are "violent, greedy, mean-spirited people by nature"? - NO.

    Let's hear the Israeli story. Let us hear of centuries of persecution and anti-semitism in Europe. Let's look at Jewish history with an un-biased and objective lens.

    Yes. Let's hear that story. Let's hear how centuries of hate toward Jews resulted in the creation of a Jewish State. A State that now wages war on its own supposed enemies in much the same way war was waged against its own people.

    Let's talk about ending the cycle of violence, and exploring the root causes of animosity between people.

    I have never waivered from the simple belief that people on all sides of this conflict (and all conflicts) deserve true justice. Justice is on the road to peace. Both sides must be held accountable.

    In the current situation, it is largely the duty of Israel to take the first steps, and make concessions toward peace. Israel is the power broker. Israel has the guns and the money. Israel has the power.

    So long as the Palestian people are oppressed and repressed, in many cases utterly subjugated to cruel and inhumane existences, then there will be no peace. Israel must take the first steps. Israel must begin to see the Palestinian people as human beings, equally deserving of dignity and economic justice.

    Both sides must be willing and open to finding mutually agreeable solutions. But so long as Israel oppressed Palestine, then the possibility of attaining peace is non-existent.