Why would they want to fix it?

Opinion

In 1970, my first year in high school (grade 10, though; 7-9 was junior high), I joined Key Club, a national high school service organization. One thing that immediately struck me was that people didn’t seem to care about the hungry, the sick, women and child abuse, animal abuse. (Has anything changed?) When we went to a nursing home (now called assisted living facility), I was playing dominoes with one of my friends and two elderly women. We had a great conversation while we were playing, and something one of the women said has stayed with me all these years:

People don’t care about anything unless it affects either them personally or someone they know.

It’s a generality painted with a huge brush, but I think it’s true. In today’s world, Twitler, his supporters and enablers, the excessively rich, and the big corporations are the epitome of not caring about anything other than what will make them richer in the short term.The Andromeda Evolution by Daniel H. Wilson

I am reading The Andromeda Evolution, by Daniel H. Wilson and a sequel to Michael Crichton’s The Andromeda Strain (I have an uncorrected, pre-published, advance reader’s edition, but it went on sale on November 12, 2019). I came across a very telling few paragraphs on pages 14 &15 (remember that this is a novel, so names and such are not real):

It is a well-established Achilles’ heel of human civilization that individuals are more motivated by immediate private reward than by long-term, collective future benefits. This effect is particularly evident when considering payoffs that will take longer than a generation to arrive—a phenomenon called inter-generational discounting.

The concept was formally introduced by the young French economist Floria Pavard during a poorly attended speech at the International Conference of Social Economics on October 23, 1982:

The average span of a human generation is twenty-five years. Any reward occurring beyond this generational horizon creates an imbalance that undermines long-term cooperation. In short, we as a species are motivated to betray our own descendants. In my view, the only possible solution is the institution of harsh and immediate punishments for those who would be unfaithful to the future.

It has been subsequently theorized that our species’ seeming inability to focus on long-term existential threats will inexorably lead to the destruction of our environment, overpopulation, and resource exhaustion. It is therefore not an uncommon belief among economists that this inborn deficit represents a sort of built-in timer for the self-destruction of human civilization.

Sadly, all the evidence of world history supports this theory.

Although this is fiction, as my wise old grandmother always told me, fiction often is based on reality.

The above brings to mind the current United States president, a person I call Twitler because he acts like Hitler on Twitter. Witness Twitler when he said in December 2018 that he didn’t care about a predicted explosion of the United States’ debt because, I won’t be here.

He doesn’t care about the sick, the dying, the homeless, immigrants seeking a better life, the environment, our water, our skies, the forests, the rivers, the lakes…. He cares only about himself in the short term, and that’s detrimental to everyone except those of a similar ilk: big corporations and other excessively rich people.

The system is broken, but the only ones who can fix it are those who currently benefit from it, which begs the question, Why would they want to fix it?

3 thoughts on “Why would they want to fix it?

  1. TamrahJo

    Well….um…seeing as some WP fellow bloggers have ‘liked’ but not commented, I will – so here goes – (I hope you forgive me, for doing so – you have forgiven me in past for speaking my mind, I hope that holds true, but do not count on it being so…. 🙂 ) – Yes! Grandmama is right – no one cares unless “IT” is understood as directly affecting them or someone they love – FACT! – with caveat – There are folks (me included…sigh) who gush and say, “I love (that, you, your take on that point) who will, in fact, NOT show up to do shit-shinola on any of the early stages, that could AVOID extra costs, extra wastes, or destruction, UNTIL it become very apparent to them, at the 11th hour, that “SOMETHING MUST BE DONE! THIS STORM WIlLL AFFECT ME!” – sigh – sigh – sigh – history full of this stuff and Twitlers of all walks of life – and the YouTwitFaces (ha-ha- like your moniker and I share the moniker that occurs when YouTube, Twitter and Facebook merge to get the madding crowd building their mob all at once…) are always ready to ‘talk big, walk big, carry a big stick” but few of them walk that talk in real life – – In fact, it has amazed me how many known to me in ‘real, met you in person, known you for 30+ years” have not the balls or moxie, if you will, to defend the political meme they post ad naueseam on popular sites – and so – because, I’ve been working hard, and now see in what futile areas I worked (cyberland, when I should have been growing food and making hooch – for legal sale, at least for the first 200 bottles or so…) I realize tonight, yet again, that …sigh…Twitlers are always what they will be – humans do what they do – and yet – as always – my struggle with meself is ….do I survive to fight? If I survive, did I did so by echoing their ways? What is the answer?

    THIS – right there – is the issue – in order to fight against the Twitlers of the world, once must become, necessarily, a certain version of a Twitler – no bones about it – in order to “WIN” one must become, on some levels, the very thing one abhors –

    And so – while not immediately understood by many who walk the ‘enlightened’ path of love, peace and harmony – there are always ‘fighters’ who, with dirty wings and besmirched reputations, wade in first, with feet of clay – and – today? In our divisive country? No good being a Schindler or other such folks who chose to do what they could while playing poker with Twitlers – – not good enough, given the madding crowd that crows with glee and shares, reshares on social media certain folks who are deemed to ‘fall from grace’ –

    Rather like the crumbling of the Roman empire – eh? when the masses were starving yet cheered at the gladiaotorial rings as prisoners fought for their lives – – and demanded food, bread, etc, but were distracted as long as some poor sap, they didn’t know, died first – before them and theirs – –

    I can only say – here – I won’t wreak devastation, but seriously, I’m praying for Yellowstone Caldera to blow and hope I somehow get the chance to see how everyone in my region reacts then – thus far, I’ve met people who actually think they can out run it or survive it – I think they are wrong – they tell me I’m cynical – obviously, they are hoping to live long enough to reap the rewards of the Twitler shit they have done, but hasn’t quite paid off for them personally, yet – – LOL You are free to delete my comment – but this topic and the opening quote rather ripped the lid off my personal, smoldering caldera – I’m mad as hell – not taking it out on innocents, just waiting to see what takes place when it all comes crashing down and willing to say out loud, so I can be the first ‘example’ of what happens when you speak your mind, out loud – in noticeable way – –

    BTW – I’m tired of school shootings – such things should be treated as domestic terrorism by fanatics – unfortunately they are seen as ‘regulation’ things – rather than all out war – – as my dad, a peaceful man, said to me, “Some folks just don’t get the message until it’s delivered on their head via a baseball bat.” – 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      I understand completely. It wasn’t until around November 9, 2016, that I spoke the word “Fuck.” It simply was never in my vocabulary. It is now. My wise old grandmother taught me that I can hate things (pineapple on pizza, eggplant, etc.), but not people. Twitler has taught me that it’s okay to hate people, so I’m okay now with hating Twitler, Nunes, Jordan, Sessions, McConnell, and so many others. Interestingly, 99.99999999999999999% of those I hate are Regressives.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. SueW

    I’m afraid I found the previous comment/rant from Tamrahjo a little difficult to make sense of and understand.

    However, I thank you, Russel, for such an interesting and thought-provoking post.

    Like

    Reply

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