Thomas Merton, a Trappist Monk, wrote a book of faith called “No Man is an Island”. It was a book based on the spiritual economy inherent in all of mankind. This post is called “No Man is an Island” as a tribute to the ties between economics, politics, & spirituality that all of mankind cannot escape. It is with this that a few words will be spoken about the follies of Conservative ideologies. Conservatism claims to be based in lassez-faire capitalism. This ideology of rugged individualism has led to monopolistic behavior among the wealth-elite; siphoning great amounts of wealth to a remarkably small number of individuals. This has created a great level of unwilling discomfort among “free” peoples within America and the World.
One may claim that populist uprisings will accelerate in intensity until a revolution occurs within the conservative nation-state. The economics of revolution is as old as time immemorial.”Let them eat cake!”, was the catch phrase attributed to Marie Antoinette during the French Revolution. This embodied the aloof nature of the wealth-elite at the time. It highlights the arrogance of the “Bourgeoisie”; in their political and economic oppression of the majority of citizenry. This is but one example in history, as a populace has awoken to their discomfort and fomented revolution. The ebbs and flows of history are filled with such examples.
In the 2010’s, wealth is accelerating to the top 1% of society in greater amounts than ever before in the United States. The US is quickly becoming a two-tiered society of the haves & have not’s. Conservative political thinking discounts any mention of this as the “politics of envy”. The US is the only super-power at this time, having seen the Soviet Union collapse upon itself for the same reasons mentioned above. Capitalism was deemed a success over Communism. This heralded in a new era of “Reaganomics”.
Defense spending continues in pursuit of foreign conflict. These conflicts are being bought with national debt. Conservative ideology thrives in claiming small government, while allocating great % of national budget on defense. This Military-Industrial Complex inevitably solidifies control by the top 1% that is siphoning wealth through legal means. Spending on public education and infrastructure are dismal at best. As other countries invest in their future, the US continues to fall behind in all measures. Talk of big spending on domestic programs are deemed socialist and therefore inherently evil in nature. Public services continues to be privatized, claiming efficiency but allocating profit from the taxpayer.
On the same token the two-tiered society is being created through “free choice” of hope and personal debt. US national savings rates are dismal at best. Easy credit has afforded unsustainable lifestyles to keep up with the Jones’. Access to large amounts of media have projected a culture that values wealth as status. Hope of a better life is seen as being only available through education that requires high inflationary costs and personal debt. Student loans cannot be absolved and is a trillion dollar albatross now. It is having the adverse affect of delaying marriage & children. Even homeownership is becoming an impossible dream. Investment properties are inflating home prices to the extent that new generations are unable to achieve this goal too.
This is all happening legally in front of the US Citizenry. Dark Money has been deemed legal by a Conservative court, serving to set the rules in favor of the monopolistic elite. As this has occurred we have seen the accumulation of wealth siphon to the top. It’s hidden in plain sight until the discontent rocks the establishment politically. These reasons have seen the populist uprising of Donald Trump & Bernie Sanders. The left or right populism is all stemming from the discontent of perceived economic discomfort.
Information technology has provided an avenue for the average citizen to understand they are not alone. This inevitably foments populism. In the case of the Arab Spring, it foments outright revolution. This is exactly the reason why these technologies are being systematically repressed in many nation-states.
Religiosity is utilized by many nations to suppress the discontent of the masses. As religion is to project hope, it may be utilized to manipulate citizens into all forms of action. Secular government is the only answer. Sunni-Shi’ite conflict is being fueled by madrasas taking the place of public education. Fundamentalist thinking provides an avenue of quick comfort during difficult times. The end result is further extremist thinking and a greater flow of zealots on the battlefield.
No Man is an Island. Today’s generation is waking up to the reality that their discomfort is not unique. Time and time again, the actions of the few are having great effect on billions of global citizens. As there is natural law as a foundation of love & respect, there must be a responsibility of wealth. One is entitled to wealth; yes. The top 1%, which is utilizing politics and legislation to their advantage, is politically indebted to better the lives of the masses. It’s amazing that nothing changes given the level of “philanthropy” by the elite. This is a rouse with no intention of truly changing the world they live in. The world they live in is providing too much means to change course. Without economic equilibrium between the classes, the end result can be the destruction of nations. This has happened for time immemorial and will continue to occur until the nation-state represents all interests of all mankind. Our technology allows for a globalized society. Nothing happens in a vacuum.