Friday, April 22, 2011

Melancholy, Day 5

I spent today waiting for the inevitable: Monday.

Yeah. I know how crazy that sounds. It was a Friday off. And all I can do is think about the week ending and going back to work.

I did clean the oven. So please note the line in today's song about having one's head in the oven, because mine was there.

I've also been reading Ethics for the New Millenium by His Holiness The Dalai Lama. His ideas about reality remind me of the description of right-brain world that Jill Bolte-Taylor experienced when she had a stroke that knocked out the left side of her brain off and on over a broad stretch of time. A mass recognition of such a reality would surely change the way we treat each other: if we are who we are because we are in relation to everything else, and we would cease to identify the boundaries between ourselves and others as such a hard line, we might feel more empathy toward each other and find ourselves less able to defraud each other in the little ways that happen every day.

I was discussing with my dad my disenchantment with the idea of the free market system as something righteous and moral. All things being equal, I'm sure it would be a nifty system. The problem is, all things are never equal and have not been from the beginning. The free market system has no mechanism in place to say that if an employer buys a person's full-time employment, that person must be paid enough to live on. And yet in an ethical system, I don't know how that observation could be overlooked. If you buy the labor of someone's life, they should be able to live off of selling that to you. I am tired of seeing poverty entrenched in families and so unwilling to let go. I am tired of seeing the champions of capitalism buy influence and use it only to shore up their own position.

I am not trying to say that free markets should be replaced with some other system. I just think we need to recognize that it is not an ethical system and that in recognition of our common humanity, we must put safeguards in place to abolish exploitation.

Time to put my head back in the oven.

The National - Conversation 16

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