Culture Vulture is not by nature a political beast. But, especially in an election year, we cannot deny the power of politics to influence the course of our life and the lives of the people around us. So, even though our only genuine interest in or comprehension of American politics is based on the threadbare belief that the government could and should take care of every citizen equally, we continue to participate on an individual basis.
One of our challenges in comprehending politics is telling the difference between economics and politics; another is telling the difference between economics and business.
Here in the States nearly all of our political and economical decisions are based on concerns about how those decisions will affect the operation of business, more, even, than being based on the way business affects individual citizens. Culture Vulture regards it as unfortunate that the sole aim of business in today’s society is to create profit for individuals, either in the form of wages for workers or capital gains for owners.
But if the profit motive was abandoned, you might ask, what would motivate workers to work or owners to expand operations? We offer the perhaps hopelessly naive suggestion that if people were encouraged and educated to pursue whatever genuinely interests them from childhood on, most of us would work simply for the pleasure of doing what we enjoy.
Oh, sure, the shout goes up, and who in your insipid hippie paradise would wash all the dishes and do the laundry and haul the garbage and mend the roadways and attend to all the other categorically unpleasant activities necessary to the maintenance of a civilized society?
We can only answer for ourselves, but Culture Vulture would be glad, joyful even, to devote a significant amount of our time on Earth to physically laboring at creating a supportive infrastructure that took into account both the environmental integrity necessary to sustain biodiversity on a global scale and the pleasure-seeking principle that allows humans to strive for and enjoy leisure. We do not believe those two things are mutually exclusive, but as long as our political decisions are based on economics that are based on profiteering, it probably ain’t gonna happen. A dismal truth which does nothing to alleviate our desire for a more equitable definition of “civilization.”
Like my pal the carpenter’s kid said, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44).
Vote with your heart, friends and neighbors.
We wish this week a fond fare-thee-well to our good friend and esteemed colleague, Rev. Gus Wagster, who is departing for the East Coast in pursuit of literary and journalistic adventures. In the words of our mutual friend and former housemate, Bitter Betty, "I love you, man!"