keep it dark (snidegrrl) wrote,
keep it dark

readings and politics

I've been reading alot of newsy business lately. I just can't get into any book right now, so I need things in article-size format. Anyways, I actually found something I was interested in while browsing the WPE (see wperoundup as exemplary of why I disdain this rag) on the metro this morning.

H-Bomb Survivors to Protest Museum's Enola Gay Exhibit
Survivors of the world's only nuclear bomb attacks said Monday they will ask the U.S. government and Smithsonian Institution to include figures and photographs of Japanese casualties in a museum exhibit of the American plane that dropped the first bomb. They will stage a protest outside the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's new Steve F. Udvar-Hazy Center, where the restored Enola Gay is to be on display from Dec. 15th.

I notice they didn't include information on how to lend support for the protestors, but whatever. At least it wasn't another article on the rich and "beautiful" taking space in what's supposed to be a news periodical.

I read another article in the latest issue of Mother Jones which really struck me as something I agree with, as yet another example of someone saying what's bouncing around in my head but much, much better than I ever would. Unfortunately, it's not up on the webpage, so I'll just have to tease you and you can get the magazine yourself if you like.

The End of Equality
America once embraced the idea of a level playing field. But in Washington these days, Social Darwinism reigns.
by George Packer

...The very word 'equality', arguably the key word in the most important documents of American history, has been haunted by this spectre of forced redistribution in the modern era, which may be why it's taboo in the mouths of politicians. Jefferson and Lincoln could use it, but when did you last hear it on the campaign trail?

I myself have no qualms about redistrbution; I regard the spread of wealth as dubiously legitimate, arbitrary if not outright coercive, and far more alienable than the rights of life and liberty. Great gaps in wealth are not only morally repellent, but incompatible with the social cohesion a healthy democracy requires, and I would welcome legislation that capped the ratio of CEO to worker pay at say, 20 to 1 (as opposed to the current 500 to 1). In this sense, I suppose, I stand convicted of harboring un-American sentiments, and I know they have no chance of being taken seriously, because this is still a country devoted to the notion that human beings make their own fates.

...So what if a country famous for its creed of human equality has the most lopsided distribution of wealth in the developed world? .... As long as unequal results are considered legitimate, anything done to mitigate them - or even to raise them for discussion - can be dismissed as envy, or class warfare, or economic quackery.

It is very hard for me to exerpt any part of this article/essay as I think the whole thing is fantastic. The author points to as a good source of reading on creative ideas for solving the problem. I'm going to go browse that now! Perhaps it will soothe me after walking in to the office only to hear more grist from the rumor mill. Or... perhaps not. :)
Tags: politics
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