Social Commentary

End of Civilization

A lack of knowledge about how the world really works can lead to the end of civilization. This is true because knowledge serves as the building blocks of life, and putting those blocks in the right place and order can create a better future. Those building blocks can create bridges to the past; linking important events to create an understanding present realities.

People who lack knowledge can become quite dangerous under certain circumstances. The most dangerous are those who would use force for unjust and selfish causes. While what is considered unjust and selfish is subjective, there is no doubt when and if harm occurs. Unthinking passions can quickly transform peaceful situations a free-for-all absent of reason and full of anxiety.

Ignorance is bliss, as the cliché often goes. In some cases it is not dangerous, at least for those with no proclivity to do harm. However, for those who wish to do harm, or simply do not care, they represent a clear and present danger to those around them. The worst part is that those who commit harm will be unaware of the effect their actions have, thus showing a lack of humanity.

An ignorant individual is dangerous when augmented by others: falling prey to the herd mentality that is the secret weapon of a tyrant. Becoming ensconced with others and their destructive thought processes provides a false feeling of safety and security. People comport themselves as an army of lobotomized sycophants with no original thoughts in their head. By this point they are hanging on every word of the demagogue, ready to destroy civilization.

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Social Commentary

Nostalgia

Nostalgia brings about all of those warm, fuzzy feelings from the past. It recalls a much younger, innocent, and perhaps foolish time. Reminiscing about a time when problems were simpler, if they even existed. Life seemed so fabulous and wonderful that if possible, one would do anything to go back to that time.

However, nostalgia is not the best feeling to have on a permanent basis. If precautions are not taken it can become a slippery lope to living in the past. The past is likely filled with illusion and fantasy that revises history. In this state of mind, one is grasping for straws for the elusive feeling of leaving the horrors of the present day.

Remembering the past is far different than living it. Remembering the past can be quite useful if used properly. Remembering he past can be used as a guide for keeping history from repeating itself. In order to accomplish this, one has to have the intelligence and skillful determination to see the patterns and make the right decisions. This is a big step in the process of advancing forward.

Living in the past is not truly living at all. It obscures the possibility of a better future, enjoying what the present has to offer, and reliving or enjoying the past over and over again. Memory has been known to play tricks on history, so perhaps events of the past were not as great as we remember them.

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Social Commentary

Calvinistic Imperialism

God bless America and to hell with the rest of the world. They may be blessed, but nobody cares about them, especially those who are not Christian. We are a special-exceptional people because we believe ourselves blessed. A religious people who cherry-pick the best part of the bible; other nations benefit from our benevolence. What makes the country superior is an emphasis on mammon and being the envy of the world.

All things considered, Americans are Calvins at heart no matter what denomination we claim. This religion promotes classism, but America has no classes which is contradictory and no one really thinks about it. Although written in no religious tome of importance, it is our burden to raise others to our standard. This phenomena is related to the inherent generosity of the Anglo-Saxons as they have shown throughout history. The methods used to promote modernization may be brutal, but it is done out of love.

Various parts of the bible refers to mud people, usually from darker continents. It is our sworn duty to cleanse them with bullets, gas, and electro shock therapy. Their land was blessed with natural resources that should be shared with the world. God has ordained that Anglo-Saxons know how the resources should be put to use. Whatever method maximizes profits for the blessed is always justified.

Despite the fact that early parts of the bible takes place in the Middle East; any intelligent person knows the main characters were Anglo-Saxons. If someone goes to heaven, rest assured they earned their way there through monetary might. The greatest gift god has given the world is the free market, and those who mastered the free market rule the world.

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Social Commentary

Clear-Weather Friend

Having a clear-weather friend sounds like a good idea. They tend to be supportive during the best of times and are always willing to offer help without being asked. Being around them makes the heart warmer a accept one for being themselves. That is, until problems boil to the surface and criticisms involving them begin.

In most friendships there may be rough patches that creates conflicts. Clear-weather friends are absent when clouds appear; for bad weather makes them feel uncomfortable and they think they are under assault. They cannot be criticized in the slightest because they are flawless in their mind. This is to the point anything directed at them is reflected toward the sender. Similar to what you say bounces off of me and sticks to you.

Deep down inside clear-weather friends are manipulative, but do not realize it. They try to always tip the scales in their favor by distorting reality to benefit their goals. Their sense of entitlement makes them feel principled and strong and beyond reproach. Whenever things go wrong in a relationship it cannot be their fault. Their blind spot keeps them in the dark and stuck in the same position in life.

They are available in the best of times, but not the worst. The relationship is nonreciprocal and possibly detrimental to the sanity of those around them. Friends are essential no matter what the weatherman says the future models show. Considering how flakey clear-weather friends can be, most of the time it would be better to brave the elements alone.

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Social Commentary

Punishment

The concept of punishment is rather straight forward in American society. Someone commits an infraction/crime and they are put on some type of restriction. An implicit part of punishment is fairness and justice. Fairness and justice are abstract and subjective, but they animate our opinions of the subject. This paradigm appears good on paper, but the reality is quite different. When society puts punishment into practice, punishment does not always work out in ways that are just or fair.

Take for example, anyone who is considered poor. Many people who are poor do not consider themselves as such because it is a stigma that most want to avoid. One of the most disturbing things about being poor is that it is quite expensive: a true paradox. They must be taught responsibility to pay fines which they cannot afford. If this is the case-then the proper punishment should be jail time. This cycle should be repeated until they learn their lesson: it is a crime to be poor.

Along the intersection of class, we have marginalized, racial minorities. Society labels them as vermin to be disposed of and their only value is to be the victim of some form of predatory capitalism. Next thing we know they comprise a majority of customers in prison. The price to be paid for that infraction is more than monetary. Although the rich tend to benefit from this situation, a broken society is the price that is paid.

This is a classic case of law and order in the most twisted sense. The rich make the laws and order the gendarmes to enforce their rules. For all intents and purpose-people are punished merely as a condition of birth. This is an endless cycle that is never meant to be broken, because those that should rebel are usually broke(n).

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Education

Culture Clash

No one can truly pinpoint an American culture. The differences between geography, demographics, and natural resources is quite stark. Similarities may be found in clusters, but for the most part-the further one travels, the more cultural worlds diverge. Despite being citizens of the same country, wandering too far from the region of origin gives one the feeling of being a stranger in a strange land, thus creating a culture clash.

Personality, culture, and experience vary from place to place. These facets unite people in clusters, yet ensconce them from outsiders. When an outsider wanders into a different culture-the natives might as well be aliens; for that is how the natives perceive the outsider. Personality, culture, and experience serve as the building blocks for culture, and culture is a defining characteristic of a region.

Barriers are not always physical constructs. A closed mind can block the outside world to new concepts more effectively than a physical wall. If one were to break through a mental wall, they might find commonalities with a stranger, but only if one is willing to seek commonalities. However, breaking down cultural barriers is usually difficult, especially when fear is present.

Cultural factions are comfortable because of the sense of inclusion it provides. Reinforcing preconceived notions feels great, but it stagnates the mind and soul. Staying in the usual comfort zone is an cultural dead end. There are various forces at work that keep people from uniting, and those forces prevents the advancement of culture.

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Education

Dignity of Work

Out of all of the virtues America extols, few are held in such high reverence as the dignity of work. It is supposedly based on the so-called Protestant work ethic; implying that people who are not Protestants are inferior. We value work over any other activity in our culture, including leisure. This has been promoted to the point that what we do for work is our identity. However, our view of work and the experience of the proletariat has presented many social problems.

When we think about the dignity of work, we do not think about slave labor. Slave/free labor built most of the economy of the western hemisphere. Treatment and conditions were exploitative and humiliating with no reward or regard for human dignity. The practice was so lucrative it never really went away. The only change is the location of the slaves and the color of their skin. Seeing as how slave labor is used to make most of our modern conveniences, people try not to think about that issue too much. As long as we do not have to look them in the eye we can pretend that technology we use everyday is a reward from God for all of our hard work.

Making enough money to have a comfortable living is what makes work dignifying. Working for employers who pay their workers a pittance is a shame. With the massive disparity that workers surplus value creates there is no reason the proletariat should have to rely on the government to survive. Society views the lumpenproletariat as somehow deserving their station in life so the problem will continue. Precariousness has led to people becoming unquestioning servants to moneyed interest.

The leisure society portrayed by the Jetsons is just a fantasy despite technological advances.   The idea that people will be defined by their leisure more than their work  was within our grasp.  Americans love the concept of work, but look down upon people who do manual labor. We celebrate Labor Day, but that is seen as the last day is summer.  Class issues are rarely discussed in America, which is why we are truly exceptional.

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