Finding Direction:  The Advantages of Decay and the Problems of Growth  2.3.0

Moral Decay is useful for getting and keeping power and for accumulating wealth.  We see the characteristics of moral Decay around us all the time.  Advertisers often depend on and play with our fears and greed, our envy and jealousy.  We are encouraged to buy deodorant because of fears that we smell bad since human odor is repulsive in our society.  We buy houses, clothes, or cars based on envy or irrational imagination.  Will we really drive that utility vehicle to the road-less mountain top as the advertisement shows?  Would we even want to?  Would we be arrested if we got to the top?  Do we need 3000 or 5000 or more square feet of space for two or three people – even though we know that an entire African village could live in our one house or that a typical Chinese farm would fit on our lawn?  Do we really “deserve” expensive hair color or are we just afraid that if we don’t have the right kind, our friends will think less of us somehow?  Do we run cleaner, purer water into our toilets than most of the world has to drink and then flush it away because of habit, thoughtlessness, pride?  Is our suggestibility more extreme than anyone else’s?

Actually, no.  Westerners are simply rich.  Throughout history it has always been the prerogative of the rich to waste.  That is how humans have shown they are rich.  The Chinese Emperor did not have to burn his beautiful silk garments sewn and embroidered by multitudes of women – but he could afford to.  It contributed to his cult of personality, it made others less important and less valuable than he, it kept others dependent, and it enlarged his vanity and mystique.  Did kings and queens need half a dozen palaces with servants and courtiers standing at the ready in case anyone came by?  Did robber barons need to build extravagant mansions?  Were the pyramids necessary?  What was the purpose of gladiators and exotic animals in Rome?  What is the reason for fast, expensive cars?  Eskimos in the Arctic need fur coats, but who needs them in Miami?  Does it matter how many jewels are on the crown or whether the headman of the village has a fancier chair than anyone else?  Apparently we have to admit that for us these things do count and they do matter?  But why?  What is it about humans that make these actions or possessions so valuable?

Without Words We Cannot Think

“For the love of money is the root of all evils.”  1st Letter to Timothy 6:10a from the Apostle Paul, The Bible

 

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