Thursday, December 27, 2012

Brownie Points

Trey Smith

The point of being "good" isn't because goodness is valuable unto itself or because goodness is widely beneficial. The point of being good is to earn heaven points. Goodness, then, is defined according to a very particular set of religious and cultural values, and is highly "in-group" focused. Goodness means going to church, marrying early, submitting to a husband-in-charge family structure, having children out of obligation and upholding the social pillars that organize society to keep a particular group on top.

Goodness isn't necessarily helping other people or taking steps that are proven effective at decreasing violence or working to create a more accepting and happy world for our children. Goodness is upholding the power structures that have traditionally benefited the small group of men who think they have a monopoly on defining "goodness."
~ from The Conservative Philosophy of Tragedy: Guns Don't Kill People, People Kill People by Jill Filipovic ~
Zhuangzi wrote a good deal of the problem with living one's life according to external rules. A society's rules, by and large, are meant to maintain a particular social structure and social structures almost always create winners and losers. The rules, of course, are formulated by those who are the winners and a great deal of these rules are so crafted to guarantee that those winners remain winners and concurrently that losers remain losers.

The oligarchy in our society has developed a myriad of rules and mores to divert our attention from what they genuinely are up to. So, while we fight amongst ourselves, they rob us blind, but we don't notice.

Their definition of "good" is so narrowly constructed that many of us peons no longer understand the concepts of compassion and community. If we would throw off these fetters, then we might be able to come together. But that is the last thing the oligarchs want because they fear that, if we came together, we might compare notes and come to the realization that it is the oligarchs themselves who are poisoning society. The oligarchs fear that this realization might spur us to come after them!

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