Give or Receive?

‘Tis the season of giving and receiving. One might say that it is truly the season of giving and of being selfless, but there wouldn’t be a giver if there isn’t a receiver (I am fully aware of your ability to find innuendos out of what I’ve just written, but come on, let’s focus). This led me to thinking about the idea of abundance and the glaring separation between the haves and the have-nots. I understand there is a thing called the middle class, but I want to focus on the fact that a small percentage of the population has enormous wealth, whereas a large proportion of people have very little monetary resources. Each socioeconomic class has its own hardships as well as its own advantages–which is a topic I will not discuss at length in this post for time’s sake–but quite obviously, poor people have more difficult lives on many different levels. I’m not going to go into a criticism of our country’s glorification of the capitalistic system while we simultaneously fail to produce genuinely beneficial results from that system. I’m also not going to talk about the disparity of wealth and inequality of economic power amongst countries either. I would simply like to focus on the majority of people who have little versus the minority who have lots…a bit of a piece on the plight of the common individual, in other words.

I recently finished reading 1984, written by George Orwell. It was written in the late forties if my memory serves me correctly, and it was written as a fictional look into the future year of 1984, where the world was turning into a negative utopia ruled by Big Brother and the Party. I’ll surely spare you a book report, and if you haven’t read it, no big deal. One of the main points that the book elaborates on is how technology and industrialization had done little to improve the way of life for the average person, even with the surpluses this new era produced. The reason the book gave for this lack of material comfort and security for every human being was WAR. Industrialization made it conceivable that everyone could be well-off in a material sense, but war was used by those in power as a way to take the surplus and usse it to blow things up. The manufacturing technology was used to make giant war machines and equipment instead of food and clothing. This was but one function of war, but one that I’d like to point out for you to ponder over…why has industrialization not produced more abundance for the human population?…I do realize there has been improvements in the lifestyle of the average person, but I’m saying why not more? The book also describes how the function of war changed in the 20th century and how an oligarchy was created to continually be at war with each other to keep people in constant fear. It’s a good book that I brought up to raise questions about the role of war in keeping people destitute.

I already said that I won’t go in depth on the failure of the capitalistic system to create a society that’s worthy of the terms we use to pay tribute to the United States’ wonderfulness. I will say that the trickle down theory of tax cuts and such for the rich one percent is complete bullocks in the sense that it never really helps the majority. I know this ‘trickle down’ phrase was used during the Reagan era, but it is a policy that is widely practiced in our government today. In my opinion, it must be cold outside because the trickle tends to freeze on its way down. I’m sure the extra money does help for consolidating more businesses and financial power for the wealthy. Then you have the deficit and the Federal Reserve scam, but who is in debt to whom? This question is key in beginning to figure out how to make positive changes in the structure of society. All I’m doing at this point is listing out a few of the institutional factors that contribute to poverty, but I want to ask, is it necessary to be like this? How about paying workers a decent wage? I find it funny when people are given handouts from the government, since they get paid nothing for their work. Minimum wage is crap. It’s for pimply-faced teenagers working at their first job at the movie theater, not for adults with children to raise. To me, it seems like the same money, but one comes in the form of a job-well-done and one says, “you worthless bastard, you’re a drain on the society…have a nice day.” I know there are many more factors that go into this, but all I’m saying is that the money is still getting to the people, but in different contexts. The real crime in this predicament is no matter what form the payment comes in, either from getting paid for work or government handouts, these people at the bottom of the class system get only enough money to survive. On top of that, to put it in another fashion, many people in poverty misuse money in gambling or other bad habits, since they feel this disempowerment in the first place (I’ve got no stats only my opinion on this). I’m not trying to put square blame on anything or anyone at this point, I just want to shed some light on our situation. How about bottom up economics that doesn’t come in the form of welfare?

“The System” maintains dependents. Watch the Matrix, it’s all there, or a lot of it for sure. Why? Control. One way to control the masses is to attempt to control the mind and the consciousness. Keep people focused on surviving or buying and you’ll do well keeping them enslaved. I’m not criticizing materialism per se, but the focus on it with disregard to higher forms of consciousness is not good for humanity. Don’t let people develop a real sense of world-centric perspective as opposed to ego-centric or ethno-centric; world-centric being a stance that identifies with a connection to all life forms. Stop them from relating to others and seeing how we’re all in this together. Divide and conquer. This is how you keep people in bondage. For instance, the person who steals needs to see how they are really stealing from themselves, or in a sense, not stealing at all…for you cannot take that which is already yours. The action of stealing maintains the separation within the thief’s psyche. Understanding this puts having ‘things’ in its place, yet at the same time not disregarding the function of ‘having.’ People need to begin seeing through the veil to incorporate change in the world.

Will the system crash? Will people wake up? Do people need a catalyst to do so, such as unbearable suffering? The latter of these three questions is something I may focus on in a later post. In short, though, I think there may be a difference between necessary and unnecessary suffering. I also think the concept that a tragedy is necessary to wake people up could be quite off base. The fact that suffering can function in liberation doesn’t constitute its necessity, necessarily. Liberation can result in other ways, but this is a greatest-good vs. end-in-itself philosophical discussion for another time.

Well, we’re in the midst of the holiday season…Will you be a little more giving and remember the have-nots? I don’t know; it’s up to you. Was my quick description of a world-centric view a bit dry? Probably. It’s easier stated than lived…’white discussion,’ I suppose. When there is a giver, there must be a receiver. Nothing’s wrong with that. Giving is a very selfless and honorable thing to do, as long as it’s not giving to get. I just hope that we start improving on our way of life, so that giving becomes more of an act of appreciation as opposed to an act of sympathy. It’s okay to give out of sympathy, but what I’m trying to say is that if the common individual’s life improves in a widespread fashion, there’ll be little need for it. Right now poverty is a reality…but I’ll leave you with this last question…do charities really help poverty victims or act as a means to protect the system to which poverty is a result?

One Comment

  1. I just skimmed the article tonight, because it’s way past
    my bedtime, but I promise to read it word for word soon.
    It looks well-written
    and well-thought-out.
    (You spelled “dial”
    wrong. Ha Ha)

    - ginger (Dec 14, 2005)

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