What will it be today? Well, just take your pick (or mix and match as you must): Corporate Greed, the Free Market, Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, Regressive Taxation, Progressive Taxation, Racial Bias, Gender Bias, Lax Regulation, Government Corruption, Union Corruption, Wasteful Spending, Currency Manipulation, Excess Debt, Unemployment, Inflation, Deflation, Trade Wars, Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Power, Religious Intolerance, Religious Fanaticism, a Debauched and Hedonistic Culture, Sensationalistic Media, Sleazy Media, Reactionary Politics, the Disintegration of the Family, Political Correctness, Drug Addiction, the War on Drugs, Guns, Global Warming, Global Climate Change, Carbon Footprints, Scarce Resources, Poor Diet, Malnutrition, Obesity, Eating Meat, Eating Sugar, Industrial Agriculture, Poor Education, Poverty, the War on Poverty, Narcissism, or, my personal favorite, the universal Lack of Self-Esteem.
Spinning the wheel, today’s trifecta headline might well be:“Congress Considers New Bill To Allow Importation of Irradiated Fish From Favored Trading Partners“, or “Top Economists Agree That Higher Marginal Tax Rates Won’t Fix Deficit But Are More Fair“, or “Secretary of Education Promotes New Zero-Tolerance-Anti-Bullying-Anti-Junk-Food-Pro-Teacher’s-Union Campaign in Face of Increased Budget Cuts“, or perhaps “NBC’s New Family-Friendly Drama Promotes Safer Pre-Teen Sex and Dieting, And The Importance Of Reducing Your Carbon Footprint“.
We spend a lot of time talking about proximate, rather than ultimate, causation. It seems we don’t give a hoot, really, about tracing anything beyond the proximate or convenient excuse to promote or justify a rather thinly veiled agenda to fuel our anxiety, our hatreds, our sense of entitlement, or our self-righteousness. What is usually lacking are the things that, in our heart-of-hearts, we know to be more useful and valuable: a love of the truth, humility, compassion, self-sacrifice. How about love?
So, today, rather than argue my own personal list of proximate causes, I’d like to take a little break and offer a simple two word explanation, call it a universal prescription for all that ails us, collectively and/or personally.
Take that as you will. But, know this: whatever the drama you think you see, there is a root cause and, more often than not, it has little or nothing to do with what you see. – HT