Why are there so many people selling exactly this type of lie on social media?
Supposedly, the United States has turned from individuality to collectivism. Lie number one.
There is a tale, I don’t know if it’s true, that in Old Communist China, more traditionally, they used to put the children in smocks that tied in the back, because they wanted the children to learn how to put each other’s coats on. But more importantly, it would teach the children to depend on one another.
I have read books like Ultra Society. I believe in the power of cooperation, though I would like to do it outside the context of war (if you’ve read Ultra Society, you know what I mean).
Here, we are taught to rely only on Hobbes, Locke, and Adam Smith. We aren’t taught to read Rawls. I chose to read him on my own. I sought him out because I was looking for a philosopher who actually spoke to the human experience.
So what did he say?
- Imagine you are a spirit floating in the sky before you are born. You are about to face the lottery of birth. You could become anyone: You will be born as a lesbian, black woman in a wheelchair. Or snap, you will be a white billionaire's son.
- Now, Rawls imagined something that sounded to me like the Q Continuum on Star Trek Next Generation. Well, if you’ve never seen Star Trek this will require some explanation. Envision a United Nations of Gods. I think there’s a Senate in Star Wars, but I saw that 20 years ago, and they’re not Gods. Okay, so picture this whole congress of Gods who are, of course, omnipotent and eternal. We’re drifting away from Rawls, but um, so these Gods are deciding what the world will be like. Basically, you get to weigh in on how you’d like it configured.
- Rawls argues that people would construct a more equal, just, and fair society if they practiced this exercise in empathy. The birth lottery.
- Since I lost the birth lottery, I understand what Rawls means. A society should endeavor to be as equal and just as possible. Freedom is not sole concern. In fact, freedom for one person may well impose on the liberty of another. For example, I may want to touch your body to stimulate my own in a gesture of sexual freedom. It would be a violation of your liberty if it was unwanted. American society is rampant with liberty violations, because it focuses solely on freedom!!!
We have gone from self-reliance to dependence.. Lie number two.
Because our society is aging, we are experiencing more people on Social Security and Social Security Disability. Both of these programs are entitlement programs Americans put their money into, because they are social insurance. They are not welfare.
There has been a conscious effort by conservatives to make old age and disability, and even childhood, demonized periods of human development. People have to be allowed as humans to live through these periods of these lives without experiencing employment as their means of income.
We also demonize women with a Baby Tax for their pregnancies. There are plenty of problems for men right now. These problems are the product of sexism just as much as the issues that plague women. The current child support enforcement system is oppressive for low-income men. Our automatic tendency to award custody to women in a divorce needs examination. Men's rights activists have points here and there.
But as we distribute the workload of out-of-home and in-home productivity, men and women will need to negotiate a new relationship of fairness.
We have gone from personal responsibility to no consequences. Lie number three.
Actually, colleges and universities have been teaching students exactly that. Instead of teaching junk history with white people did this great thing, and white people did that great thing. We learn a balanced history. Much like the white South Africans faced their history, we are also fully capable of going through a period of truth and reconciliation.
Our races have been at odds for generations while also being cousins. When white Americans go to Ancestry.com to test themselves, they should look at their cousin list, do not be surprised if you have black cousins. A good percentage of white Americans do. That’s because their grandfather assaulted his slave. Those are your cousins. Now, how are we going to have that family reunion? DNA tests are flying in to be tested.
The sins of the fathers are visited upon the sons. When you find your great grandfather was a rapist, you still feel personal responsibility and accountability for their behavior. Trust me. It is our family story.