IV. Sentient Beings
For those sentient beings who may be following my thoughts about Big Fish and Guppies, I had started reading that awe-inspiring but ultimately unreadable “Theory of the Leisure Class” by Thorstein Veblen. OY! After the ol’ college try, the best I could do was to follow some highlights, underlined by my father so many years ago. In so doing, I got a strong sense of why I have, as one critic observed, “made a career of skewering the rich.”
Let me clear something up. I don’t hate the leisure class. Not the whole class. Just some of its members. To be honest, what gets me is the three E’s: Ego, Elitism, Entitlement. What I mean is those individuals, who through noeffort or fault of their own acquire great wealth and/or status, yet demonstrate a blatant disregard for those who are less fortunate or “gifted.” No doubt, there is a pathological socio-economic system which allows, perhaps encourages such behavior. And, no doubt there will always be BIG FISH and guppies. I’m not against free enterprise, but I’m not a big fan of greed and excess, either.
What I’m talking about is very simple. Honestly? I’m so sick of the excess I see; the gains of the rich and famous through nepotism and meritless-ocracy, the Wall Street debauchery not withstanding. I suppose that is why shows like American Idol have succeeded. But shouldn’t we question the value in that? What does it say about us when we create a desire for everyone to become an American Idol? What happened to just becoming? When did it stop being valuable to just be a sentient being?
We all want. That is human nature. I am as guilty of wanting as anyone. When I traveled to India I saw unspeakable poverty. I saw unspeakable wealth as well. I am sure there is enough of everything on this planet to go around(…except maybe oil, and now look what we’ve done…) Enough so that each sentient human can live a reasonably comfortable existence.
We’ve seen the fall of Socialism, Communism, and now Capitalism. I simply do not understand why we don’t value sentient beings more than money and the havoc it wreaks on humankind.
If you are concerned as I am about our future, there is a very comprehensible and comprehensive discussion of Chris
Martenson’s Three E’s: Economy, Energy, Environment