It’s the Greed, Stupid POLITICAL BUTTON
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This cool design does not rely upon puns or complex twists. This design is another tip of the hat to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Of course, for those that been around for little while, you’ll recognize that this is a takeoff on the presidential candidate Bill Clinton campaign slogan, “It’s the economy, stupid”. His Republican opponent, Pres. George H. Bush, was dealing with yet another economic turn downturn produced by the soon-to-be named “irrational exuberance” and casino economy that inevitably cycles into booms and busts. Some things never change. It almost goes without saying, since we worship the economy, that moneymaking by either corporations or by people in the form of jobs is perennially issue number one, and number two as well. If you don’t think that we worship the economy, the next time you hear a news report or read a newspaper, just substitute “God” for “the economy” and it will make a lot of sense. In this case, in this design, the simple twist is a substitution of “greed” for “economy.” This hones in on the normative driving force of the so-called neutral or generic economy. The 1980s resulted in the coining of the phrase “greed is good.” The inevitable logic that led us to such a stupid conclusion is centered around the idea that the economy is the ultimate provider of good in our society, i.e., our god. This is why we must constantly serve the economy, feed the economy, and make it our ultimate focus. My simple definition for what constitutes one’s God, is what one values the most, what one serves over and above other potentially competing values. It’s interesting to note, that in the 10 Commandments, while God commands us to serve God first, God does not claim to be the only god. There are plenty of gods to choose from. A companion to the incredible confusion that would lead us to say something as stupid as greed is good, is Western civilization’s quest for objectivity or neutrality. Unfortunately, this perennially leads us to the conundrum of talking about what we value most while trapped in an underlying worldview that denies that any one thing is actually better than another. This quest for ultimate objective reduces morality to simple if-then statements, neutering any morality. This is the Achilles heel of denying subjective reality. Just because something is subjective doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, it just means I can’t be pinned down in some definitive empirical way. Objectivism in our culture, and current political environment, is probably best represented by Ayn Rand. Ayn Rand and her ideas are idealized, even idolized, by folks of the libertarian variety. There is great force behind these ideas, that is, if you don’t mind ignoring the metaphysical violence that inevitably results. Another term for objectivism is scientific reductionism. In both objective reality and subjective reality some things follow other things; there is an order to the universe. Those who have ears to hear, and those who have a heart listen. A contemporary case in point would be Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul. Many folks with a libertarian sentiment find Ron Paul’s political philosophy very attractive. In my judgment, his judgment is largely negated by his gross inhumanity that frequently crops up when he takes his political philosophy to its logical conclusion. For example, in denying health care for those who need it and cannot afford it, quite literally saying “let them die”, reveals forcefully that his God is not about caring for one another, or caring for creation as a whole, but raises each individual to the status of a god, and is forced to accept the ensuing violence that is inherent in such an inhumane philosophy. If the individual is a god, not subject to any higher power, then individuals are condemned to be at war, and civility, in its best sense, will be run roughshod over, necessarily so. Bringing this all back to the economy, greed is not good. To have to even state such a truism is a testament to the sickness from which we currently suffer. The idea that greed is a legitimate organizing principle for society should be offensive to anyone with a heart. Of course, if being heartless is not a barrier to living one’s life fully, then go ahead and follow this mechanistically violent path to its logical conclusion. I guess my concluding point would be that logic reaches a conclusion before life does, and that to continue living, that is to not reduce ourselves to being some mechanistic robot, we need to transcend logic. This is the realm of the heart. This is the realm of God. By living fully into this realm, logic need not be tossed out, it merely serves a higher purpose, a humane purpose, a godly purpose. May it be so!