Sunday, May 26, 2013

Keep Walking, Even If You Never Get There

Karl Marx was right about capitalism: it is no good for the human soul. He was also right that someday--like a diabetic trying to save her own legs by eating vegetables instead of sugary treats--we may discover that the strong needn't eat the weak, and that equality and human flourishing benefits everyone; the vegetables don't taste so bad.

But you're right when you say we're probably not ready for communism yet. A few more generations of us may have to die off first. That's fine with me. A philosophy that runs deeper in me than Marxism is stoicism. Under even my stoicism are the teachings of Arthur Schopenhauer, a man who was deeply aware of human frailty. He knew that suffering was the touchstone of humanity. Suffering, it turns out, is one of the things mankind does best.

We will have to suffer until we learn. Our children will suffer too; but that is okay. Mankind will experience growing pains until it is no more. Even in an idealcommunist system--like the one portrayed in Star Trek--there will be growth. There is no abandoning the will; the best we can hope for is to hone the will, and shape it closer to our ideals. The foundation of all progressive agendas has to be the understanding that mankind--like all socioeconomic systems--works better on paper.

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