December 4, 2011
When economies struggle and crash, it begins to appear that all people will become equal. All those rich people will lose their money and everyone will be completely equal in spending ability. The equalization of life: the dream of socialists and some populists! It is interesting to think of the stock markets as volatile storage vessels of wealth. Those jars could be broken and removed at any time.
What would happen if people no longer could depend on their wealth? They’d be down to all people really have a guarantee of: the ability to search for their own food and gather materials for their own shelter. It puts humans on the same level as animals who must hunt and gather daily to survive.
Civilized society seems organized around the ability to maintain jars and collections of things. We collect and possess and thus have something, sometimes more or less than what someone else has. These jars (and the accumulation of them) establish our value in a misguided way. Those with more jars are better and those without are worse (anyone thinking of Dr. Seuss’ book The Sneetches)? I guess this means that if the jars crash and are destroyed that we only have each other and what is within each one of us. Needless to say finding out that this is all that’s left would be scary, but it would also be revealing. Do we still have inner civilization or has it gone away?