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    The Will to Create

    Entries in American society (1)

    Saturday
    Jan162010

    An adult American society

    Regardless of the modern narrative which sees all events through the prism of politics, the private sector matures, settling into a perspective which will minimize the influence of government and begin maximizing the influence of the private realm. Contrary to the simplistic dichotomy of an elite, educated political class on one side of the divide and an ignorant, needy populace on the other, America is a patchwork quilt of diversity and latent power -- too diverse for centralized control, superficial divisions or social engineering.

    The current opposition to progressive, interventionist government policies is much more than a reactionary response motivated by ignorance and fear of change, or a clash of cultures. The common analysis that a conservative, southern reaction to northeastern progressivism is being manipulated for political purposes by well-funded, rightwing, partisan groups, is a political analysis -- what's going on across the country is, in large part, apolitical. Reducing what's going on in the private sphere to a simple split between the conservative base and liberals misses a larger reality. America, along with a large part of the rest of the world, is growing up and responding to future challenges.

    First, we need to break free of labels and political designations -- they are useful to the political class in order to control the narrative, but in the private sector they are misleading and practically useless. Not only is there a movement toward a broad over-arcing solidarity among the American people, this  shift transcends our borders and reaches to other nations and cultures as well. Communications technology and mobility of employment in the global economy demand a new understanding of governance and the very idea of "state" itself. The world will be forced to develope better immigration policies as borders become more challenged and less meaningful.

    The need for better, more relevant, education has been a hot topic for years as the global economy grows and generates more needs, yet our antiquated educational system is stuck in a political rut. As a larger part of society gains sophisticated technological knowledge, the old State-run educational system will appear more and more insufficient - new parents will have greater concerns for their children's education and future. The specialized knowledge which is accumulating in the private sphere is creating a challenge for a sluggish, behind-the-curve State and this will eventually bubble to the top of our concerns. The State is attempting to control and guide something it doesn't understand -- there are too many specialized areas of concern, and the technological growth is too complex and expansive for national borders and government control.

    All business concerns have to make a profit in order to expand -- our State guided economic planning is an obstacle to the growth and expansion of technological concerns. Once again, as was true of the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution, the late nineteenth century going into the twentieth century, we have a clash between the uber-rational and irrational. Social justice and egalitarianism are butting heads with the rational pursuit of economic growth with the State in the middle incompetently refereeing the battle.

    This battle has gone on long enough to change mindsets, so that most of society have now accepted a moral code which takes the needy in society into account, not just a moral code written into law, but a de facto moral code manifested in charity, although government social programs have dampened the spirit of charity -- in America, the spirit of charity is alive and well, but much less vigorous and generous than if government social programs didn't exist -- the idea that government is taking care of the needy and temporary down-and-outers prevents a full manifestation of private charity.

    The point is that spiritual maturation has generated greater depths of understanding regarding compassion for those down-and-out, left behind or handicapped. The fact that we've also reached a more sophisticated understanding of means to ends places current government social programs in an unfavorable light -- we've established agreement on the end goal, but the governmental means to reach the goal are in serious question. For the overwhelming majority in the private realm, we're willing to help, but we want the help to be effective and make a difference in opportunity, not create a social hierarchy based on levels of dependency.

    History is a series of struggles between society and State. The American dream was to harmonize the over-arcing goals of society - related to the rights of life, liberty, property, the pursuit of happiness - with the internal domestic protection, national defense and adjudication  duties of a government. American society made the innocent mistake of putting too much faith in government to ameliorate societal problems, because we are, after all, not Russia, but America, and statism in America could never reach the point of abuse that it has in Russia. However, the realizaton is dawning that some principles, although relative to different cultures, represent the dos and don'ts of economics, and economics that have been politicized lead to domination of State over society and growth stagnation, even if the domination presents itself with slogans of liberty and a friendly smile.

    As the individual matures to realize the necessity of self-determination in cooperation with other adults in communities and market places, nations require the same maturation so that dependence on the State doesn't retard initiative and responsibility. An unhealthy dependence on the State developed, and it's, in part, a fault of society's age old desire to get something for nothing, and, in part, the fault of a natural tendency within the State to increase power and control when limitiations are relaxed or removed.

    America is blooming once again beneath the regulations, failed programs and taxes of an over-reaching State, in spite of the heavy-handedness, and I believe this blooming is a major, permanent change which extends globally. In spite of the regional conflicts, nations across the globe are being transformed by technological advances which show no signs of decreasing. A major shift is taking place to adjust to the new realities of technology, communications, culture sharing and mobility. Global economic demands create the old battle between State and society, from the basic individual need for a good job, to the greater needs of businesses to respond to the demands and to successfully compete. But, this time, we're going into the battle as changed people who understand the harshness of economic rationality sans compasssion and chosen responsibility for those who may be left behind.

    As the State gradually fails, once again, to accomplish its impossible grand scheme for domination and centralized control, perhaps the private realm will take up the slack, intelligently and responsibly, to end Leviathan, once and for all, forever.