One concept I’ve been thinking about lately is the fact that an incredibly large amount of people cannot afford the basic cost of living; food, shelter, and utilities are all inaccessible to a large percentage of the population. Now how the fuck does that happen in a society that humans themselves have constructed? It’s not like the modern world is natural and the evolution of the earth started off with structures and networks and insurance and taxes and interest rates; we, as humans, have invented and applied these concepts.
If you build a home, you expect to be able to live in it; it’s your home. So why is it that, if we have constructed an entire world for ourselves to live in, so many of us can’t live in it? Is it our fault? Have people not been taught how to utilise what they have efficiently? Or is it the fault of those upper class, top-of-the-food-chain, dominating members of society that wish to further their own resources and wealth? Perhaps it’s the fault of a string of errors made by imperfect humans. Or is it that the concept was flawed to begin with? Is it even possible to have an even (or at least fair) distribution of wealth without plunging ourselves into a communist abyss akin to North Korea (all praise dear leader, he is mighty)?
I think it’s possible that all of these factors come into play. It’s increasingly obvious to me that young adults don’t know how to use their resources efficiently, for example, they don’t know how to acquire the correct food (cheap, nutritious) and use it to create substantial dishes. The top “1 percent” can be seen to hog the nation’s wealth (specifically looking at the US here, but the same can be applied to other western countries). People like Mitt Romney “believe” that if they can create more jobs and more opportunities and more money for the rich, then in turn those people will create the same for the middle class/poor, and that the wealth will “trickle down”. Whether or not they actually believe this is a different story, however the concept is capitalist bullshit. Additionally, this also brings up another factor- education.
It’s often said the education is the key to solving problems such as poverty, which is probably a fair statement. However, there’s a difference between being educated and not being ignorant, something which a lot of our politicians and people who hold power haven’t grasped. In the Allegory of the Cave, Plato puts forward a point that only philosophers have the ability to become rulers.
Plato tells us that the freed man, having seen the truth, will return to tell his former companions what he has experienced. Plato also thinks they won’t believe him, will abuse him for his foolishness, and will kill him if he tries to free others. Nevertheless, for Plato it is the duty of the enlightened to try and convince the endarkened of the deception they suffer under; and he goes on to explain why the philosopher, who has knowledge of the Good, should rule over those who do not have such knowledge.
-Edward Fraser, in the May/June 2012 edition of Philosophy Now
In conclusion, the world is a scary as fuck place to live in, so get a good education, keep an open mind, learn how to cook, clean, DIY, and don’t be a dick.