How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion. Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving? This is a case of inequality. Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.
Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We have created a “disposable” culture which is now spreading. It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new. Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means to be a part of the society in which we live; those excluded are no longer society’s underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised – they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the “exploited” but the outcast, the “leftovers”.
In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting. To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase; and in the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us.
I’ve been slowly collecting these images from submissions over the past few months and I’m now ready to share them as a wonderful grouped set.
Reasons My Kid is Crying: A prominent politician is holding them up at a campaign rally.
You can only win each election one time. But you’re an asshole forever.
Every Columbus Day, we’re reminded of the difference between discovery and “discovery” – and rightly so. But let’s not sell Europe short; after all, European explorers found plenty of diminutive islands that no human had ever seen before, along with extravagant amounts of ice and snow. Just the islands alone add up to more than 0.14% of the world’s total land area, and today they’re home to more people than live in all of Connecticut! (via Map Of The Day « The Dish)
I am yet another furloughed employee in the DC area. I am frustrated. I am sick of being demonized. I have had to turn off the news because I just get a lump in my throat every time someone asks why the government even has nonessential employees or a Congressman says he is keeping his paycheck because he earned it. I felt like Congressman Neugebauer was talking to me when he was yelling at that poor park ranger. Since when was doing your job something to be ashamed of?
Yesterday I got an email from my employees union saying they would be rallying at the Capitol today. Since I can’t be at work, I wandered down there this morning. I saw hundreds of employees from the various federal employee unions chanting “We want to work!” and “Let them vote!” I’m a little embarrassed to say it, but I teared up. I’ve been a union member for years, but it wasn’t until this year that I realized just how important they are. They are looking out for us when no one else is. There were numerous members of Congress out at the rally, too, expressing support. I didn’t see one Republican though. Not one. They hate us. For doing our jobs. And their behavior has just made a big union supporter out of me!
I read to my son every night. Lately he has been asking for us to read a children’s Bible he got for his Baptism. Last night I read the story of how Jesus was so kind to Zacchaeus the tax collector. I know the federal government isn’t perfect, and I fully support making improvements. I just wish these nominally Christian right-wingers would stop demonizing all of us and start looking at the logs in their own eyes.