Saturday, October 15, 2011

For the Benefit of All . . . . .

I have spent years studying the complex, so-called neo-modern, continental philosophies which, in recent years, have blown away a great deal of traditional rational, teleological, analytical, meta-theoretical ideas. And I have a great deal of respect for many remarkable neo-modern thinkers like Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, and Gayatri Spivak.

And yet, at another level, I think the questions of practical political philosophy is much simpler than many make it out to be. I think that there is one basic reason for society and that is mutual benefit. If society is not a structure that is intended to create mutual benefit, then I really see little justification for it. This, in simplest terms, is why I am, and have always been, a socialist. My grandfather was a founding member of the English Communist Party and spent 20 years as a shop stewart for the local of his engineer's union in London. He and his associates fought hard to ensure the rights that we all take for granted today. He worked as an activist because he believed that society should exist to ensure that everyone has a fair share in its benefits, not only a select few. Rightwingers and capitalist have told me since I was a child that the only reasonable motive for human ambition is personal financial gain. But the example that my grandfather set taught me that this simply wasn't true and all my life I have observed that the lion's share of people work continuously and tirelessly for the benefit of others.

Some people talk about the "occupy Wall Street" crowd as being a bunch of nut-bars with no direction and no purpose. But they possess the simplest of all purposes, to wit: a society that exists for the benefit of everyone, in which we are all stakeholders in a common future, in which the weak and vulnerable are given a voice, in which poetry matters as much as interest rates, in which we all belong and none are excluded, and in which people are judged by the content of their character rather than their gender, their color, or their sexual preference.

"Let us live for the beauty of our own reality."
                                 -Charles Lamb

1 comment:

karen said...

Good heavens, what else could society be for? I feel a little sorry for the people in pursuit of money and stuff!stuff!stuff! I always like the way you put things, you have a lovely way with words. Thank you.