Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Real Problem is Our Thinking, Not Our Politics

Most of the time, believing as we do, that we are separate individual personalities living in bodies, we feel we have an obligation and duty to take care of ourselves and not be a burden to other separate individual personalities living in bodies. We therefore seek to create social systems of economics, politics and other things such as health care, based on that idea and maximizing the role of the individual, individual freedom and responsibility, and minimizing the role of community, interdependence and cooperation.

Metaphysics aside, how realistic is this dualistic, either/or thinking of the individual vs community model?


Do people really ‘make it’ and ‘succeed (whatever that means)’ as individuals? To some extent, yes. But what about all the things already in place that contribute to making that success possible, the things put there by other people working as a community: the schools, hospitals, roads and bridges, police and fire (which Republican aggressiveness and Democratic cowardice are allowing to be gutted)?


Clearly, these other things, built and sustained by community make individual success possible. So really, the ‘issue’ isn’t either individual vs community, but how can we release such dualistic, either/or thinking and work together to have both individual success and community.


And how about men vs women (or protecting men from women); no abortion under any circumstances vs abortion in cases of ‘authentic’ rape; or the heroic hard working white middle class vs the free-loading racial inferiors; or the innocent victimized Christians who are only trying to save the world vs the godless commies and false religions?  Is there no middle ground, no balance?  Clearly the problem is not the various positions, and which position is ‘right’.


The problem is the dualistic, either/or thinking itself.

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