November 1, 2019: The Trouble with Civility, Part II

Once you realize that trickle-down economics does not work, you will see the excessive tax cuts for the rich as what they are — a simple upward redistribution of income, rather than a way to make all of us richer, as we were told. Ha-Joon Chang

When we replace a sense of service and gratitude with a sense of entitlement and expectation, we quickly see the demise of our relationships, society, and economy. Steve Maraboli

Civility is hard, but civilization cannot truly be built by the “haves” over the “have nots.”  That is not civil, it is contemptuous.  Yet we have an economy built on a “trickle-up” principle—sort of like a “casino economy” (see The Inescapable Casino, by Bruce M. Boghosian. Scientific American, November 2019). Some folks get lucky, but it is the “casino” owners who gradually—okay, sometimes quickly—accumulate wealth at the expense of others.  And we’re good with it because hey, those “casino-owner” folks are among the brightest and best.  After all, it is a just world and the poor deserve their economy as do the wealthy.  “Civilization” allows this divide because we believe the basis of freedom is that we are all free to have or free to have not? 

We have to decide about a new brand of civility and civilization and it will not be easy or inexpensive.  Or we can just keep on keeping on, hoping to get lucky and calling that a gift of character that distinguishes us from others who must be the “children of a lessor god.”  And we can continue fighting with each other over who will save us, ignoring those “saviors” who get us to fight among ourselves while they keep the differences inflamed and their hands in the till.

What could possibly go wrong with civilization and civility using those compass headings?

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