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41928Re: [existlist] Re: The Personal and the Political

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  • Exist List Moderator
    Aug 10, 2007
      One need not have deep and dark conspiracy theories to know that
      "American Exceptionalism" and a sense of Divine Right ("Manifest
      Destiny") have guided not only this nation but the rise and fall of
      various powers over the centuries. Greek city-states, the Egyptian
      Empire, the Roman Empire, the Persians, the Inca, the Aztec, the
      United Kingdom....

      Nations have always been controlled by a ruling elite. These men and
      the rare woman or two (Victoria, certainly) imagine they can do no
      wrong. The work with companies, churches, tribes, or any other
      organizations willing to further the state. The East India Companies
      (the Royal and Honourable, the Dutch, and later the Portuguese) to
      this day acquired wealth that surpasses (adjusted for inflation) the
      entire Dow 30. And they did this in the name of "progress" and the
      assumption that European ways of life were superior and exceptional.

      The Opium Wars stole more wealth and enslaved more people over 155
      years (though you could say the last 30-40 of British Rule were quite
      superior to Chinese rule, sadly) than the Secret Wars of the U.S. and
      its allies in Central and South America. However, neither is morally
      defensible -- and certainly no one should dismiss wrongs based solely
      on history.

      My point is that nothing changes... we cycle and the names change.
      The Catholic Church gives way to East India gives way to Standard Oil
      and Royal Dutch. I dare suggest Gazprom will make any U.S. or
      European company look like a little lemonade stand if we aren't careful.

      It doesn't matter who runs the camp. Frankl and others suggest that
      freedom is personal. It is the personal struggle that matters because
      larger events -- while we can do something -- are often far beyond
      our control. We must do what things help us survive so we can help
      others, but we cannot help an entire world until enough minds change.

      Wealth was more concentrated at the founding of America in terms of
      percentages of people, but the spread between rich and poor has
      increased steadily since 1935. That just means more rich people are
      arguing over the wealth... and that means they can be "used" against
      each other in the right situations.

      The problem is how to live your own life so you do not join in the
      race to be part of a disconnected elite. And what if you are in the
      top 2 percent? What if you are one of the rich, earning more than
      $200,000 or having more than $1 million in assets? It means you
      simply own a home in New York or California... I know a couple of
      "super rich" in California and they don't have lives. No thanks.

      I'd rather be free than super wealthy. That is yet another prison of
      competitiveness.

      - CSW
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