We have been living according to certain principles, you know the ones passed down through our culture. Men wanted to be in charge and for the most part, got their way. They devised really outlandish methods of “making a living” and used exploitative means to amass great wealth, status and fortunes. Through wise use of a power and control complex, they eliminated most females from history, relegated the ones they did allow to hussy status and systematically degraded over half the population to keep them from mounting any real challenge to their status. It isn’t hard to find roots, trunk and branches of this within our culture. For me, some of the worst and most vile vestiges of this old way thinking are the “jokes” about women, especially wives. Of course, there is an unwritten rule that you are supposed to cut people slack when they tell bad jokes. I guess it comes from the fact that it is impolite to tell people outright that they are stupid. In this day and age, however, it has come to be time to let people telling degrading jokes about women that they are stupid. Especially a wife, who presumably inspired “love” at some point in the relationship, should not be torn down in an attempt to make people laugh. Think about it…
Principles that deny the humanity of all of us, but especially those of us deemed to be “others”, are part of our language, our daily lives and our concept of the world and in some cases the universe. The Calvinists, who I harp on regularly for their stupidity, left us with the concept that humans are brutish, greedy and base. Any teacher worth their salt knows that this is the worst sort of self-fulfilling prophesy. We also frequently hear such contrary opinions as finders keepers…revenge is best served cold and he who laughs last…all of which only serve to validate impulses to hurt others. When people rationalize hurting us, however, and the shoe is truly put on the other foot, who cannot see the fallacy of the position? We often forget the value of thinking for ourselves. The social norms and cultural blind spot that we have for hurting others is feeling more and more like a black hole to me, that is why I want to shed some light on the dark underbelly of a culture that is dangerously close to self destruction. Nothing any of us could do will hasten the collapse of our current way of life. It is collapsing of it’s own weight. The principles have structured things in such a way that simple revisions will not be enough, the way of life that we have tolerated, the one that allows exploitation and degradation to run amok on so many levels, will have to disappear completely if we are to move on to a more interesting and humane existence.
I purposely picked the idea of principle and interest because few seem at all interested in this idea, yet it influences virtually everything we see, hear and touch. It is exploited in nearly every commercial, news program and scholarly endeavor. It has become a way of life that we are often too close to to be able to get any perspective on true dimensions, or even at times the character of the issues that arise from dehumanizing more than half the populace. There is also a corellation between what we know in financial terms and this idea. The largest part of any loan may start out as principle, but over time, the interest can have a much greater effect on the cost of money. So too, the costs of living without interest in this essential part of our culture has tainted the lives of over half the population with pain and sacrifice for the few, for centuries.
We need to develop an interest in this important subject and make serious change come into the culture if we are to survive as a people. Even if we are only able to make small change around the edges of society, there will be a chance for greater change in the future.